You should know two things.
- I am a terrible sleeper.
- One of my favorite past times is coming up with potential titles for a memoir I’ll probably never write.
Generating memoir titles has actually become a common joke in my family and often happens after a funny tag line is said on TV, or a quote found on social media, or some off-handed comment made by one of us. I have a whole lineup. For example, other memoir titles appropriate for my late 20’s:
- “I should probably let this go” – stories about my growing impatience and annoyance with most of the human race
- “I’ll start tomorrow”—a theme for basically everything in my life
Maybe generating memoir titles is my calling? Maybe. Probably not. However, I think if I were to title my last half-decade on this earth it would definitely be “Why am I Awake Right Now?” – in fact, I think this could be the title to a book about my entire LIFE.
I’ve always been a terrible sleeper and I didn’t truly appreciate sleeping until like, last year. Growing up, bedtime made me anxious because I knew it would take me forever to fall asleep. My parents used to lay down with me for hours at a time until I would fall asleep…to which when they tried to leave, I would wake up because still to this day, I am a light sleeper also. YAY INSOMNIA TENDENCIES. Looking back, I see just how much patience my parents really had to have with me and I…wouldn’t have that amount of patience with my children.
So my terrible-sleeping roots are deep. And they have stuck with me. Over the years, I’ve tried several remedies but can’t ever find one that will stick—I fully take responsibility that some of this delayed sleepage (is that even a word) comes from my own doing.
- No screen time 2 hours before bed? Ummm, hello I don’t know any professor that can abide by this. WE GOT LESSONS TO PREP, PEOPLE.
- Warm milk in the PM? This is disgusting. I am not a cat.
- Utilize the same bedtime every night? – What busy human can actually make this happen, I mean, really.
Mmmm yes, my lack of sleeping ability really brings out my eyes pessimism.
Here is an average weeknight for me, around 10 PM, or so:
I am awake. God, I am so awake.
Why am I awake right now? Did I set my alarm for tomorrow morning? What if I oversleep and miss my 8 AM class? I wonder if that’s ever happened to a professor before? Would I just lie and say my car wouldn’t start? Remember that time I overslept my final by 20 minutes but somehow my body woke me up to get me there in time to still take most of the test? I wonder if my body could apply that to teaching. My department would be so mad if this happened. Oh God, it can’t happen. Should I just check my alarm?
(Checks alarm…it was already set, like it always is)
Should I just take a sleeping pill? Do I still have 8 hours of sleep? I can’t take it if I don’t have 8 hours. Ughhhhhh. Ok, I’m not going to take one.
I will not check facebook. I will not check twitter.
(checks Instagram. Sees others perfect Instagram lives. Contemplates deleting all social media).
Ok. Time to sleep. I have so much to do tomorrow. Did I print out those handouts for lab? SHIT, I didn’t. I need to make a note.
(Grabs phone—makes an alarm to print handouts).
(Checks facebook without even thinking about it).
I’m thirsty (drinks water). God, water is so good. Why would people even bother with pop or heaven forbid…La Croix? Water is the purest of the pure, nectar of the Gods. Oh God, I can’t drink too much. Then I’ll have to pee.
I really need to workout tomorrow. I have to stop this weight gain. Ugh, but I am so tired! I have meetings until 5:30 and then so much grading after. Can I workout this weekend? I’ll workout this weekend. I have to. It’ll just be double (LOLOLOL like this will happen).
OKKKKK EMILY. Let’s pull out the big guns.
(cocoons in blanket like a burrito in the fetal position).
I’m comfy. I’m warm. WHY AM I AWAKE RIGHT NOW?
I’m not special. I know that there are millions of other women who have these same thoughts while trying to fall asleep. Why can’t we shut off our brains? Sometimes, I wonder if these are signs that I need to back off—but how do we back off when our careers are on the line? And when we have crap to do in the morning? And we are kind of forgetful? AM I GOING TO CONTEMPLATE THESE QUESTION WHILE FALLING ASLEEP TONIGHT?
I’m all about sleeping, but sleeping is not all about me. Like I said before, I didn’t fully appreciate sleeping and early bedtimes until the past couple years. Being home on a Friday night by 9 PM to get to bed? Sign.me.up. But not being able to fall asleep still baffles me and the thoughts that play through my mind are like a nightly sitcom. If I’m lucky, maybe those thoughts will be my meal ticket someday.
Why am I awake right now? I don’t know. But if you find out—let me know, will ya?