There has been one good thing that has come out of my insomnia this past week: being given the chance to really plume through the thoughts whirling around in my head.
While the common response would be to check one’s phone and endlessly scroll through one’s social media feed, I no longer reach for my phone or any electronics for that matter. In general, I fight the urge to turn to my phone during moments of insecurity and/or boredom. I’m not saying I don’t do it ever; I still struggle with it. But once it’s past 9 PM, I do not look at my phone or turn the laptop on until it’s at least 7 AM the next day. As a woman of schedules and routines, it’s become a part of my life. Non-negotiable. The only time I make an exception is when I can’t get home without GPS; but even then I try to limit my reliability on GPS as much as possible. Also, I’m rarely out by myself past 9 PM. I’m just that cool.
I made this a habit for very practical reasons: to sleep better.
I suppose it’s kinda ironic that despite all that I do — having only 1 cup of chai in the morning even though my heart would love it after each meal, not eating after a certain time in the evening, regular exercise, etc. — I still can’t sleep!
By the way, is this actual irony or just Alanis-irony? She’s marred the concept for me forever, so much so that I am afraid to even use the word in public (blog does not count, because I trust all y’all reading this) for fear of being outed as an actual imposter (in grad school, the term “imposter syndrome” was used a lot by students to describe their experience, but I never divulged that I actually was one much for the same reason).
Yesterday morning’s journaling “session” was actually kind of fun. Like back when I was in elementary school. I made lists, really silly lists. And through an hour and a half of stream of consciousness journaling, I was able to come to realizations that just thinking them in my head couldn’t achieve. There’s something about putting pen to paper that makes things seem like they have come to a resolution. Does anyone else feel that way?
In my self-imposed social media exile, I’ve really had a chance to turn inward. It’s no longer about what the cool people did last Friday night when I was sitting at home reading my book on Thomas Jefferson. It’s forced me to read and do things that actually make a positive or edifying impact in my life.
With respect to this blog, it’s also been freeing on how and when I write. I used to be upset at not getting comments on my posts. But now that I am not writing for likes, I’m writing what I want to, however frequently or as infrequently as I can and want. I feel like I am the blogger I was before I decided to go “public.” I’m also coming to terms on not seeking validation on my writing. I’m less and less concerned that all my non-work-related writing is on my blog. The value comes not from likes,comments, or shares, but from my own assessment.
I’m not sure if anyone reading this will be able to follow my train-of-thought in this post. Honestly, I’m not even sure I could if I were to re-read it tomorrow. But I suppose that’s why sleep is so important! Your brain needs it as much as the rest of your body does.
And yet even the most frustrating thing you find yourself dealing with at the moment bears its own fruit.