I am a night owl. I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t. I remember sneaking up late when I was a kid to watch music videos and feeling like no one else anywhere was awake. It was probably only 12 or 1am but the late nights really just never stopped after that.
I didn’t do very much “sneaking” as a teenager because there were so many of us that it was a lot of work to make sure no one was going to tell our dad. But anything that was happening after dark, I was in. With permission of course!
My established nighttime habits made it that much easier when I had a newborn that also didn’t like to sleep. I feel like we logged about a million hours of cable TV during those first few months and I got very skilled at doing my coursework with her in at least one of my arms. As the next few years passed, I’d study on the floor parallel to our playtimes. Between my teaching hours, school, and a little one I was always restful at night but I have never felt like I wanted to give up when the day comes to an end. I also very clearly remember worrying, at different times, that I wouldn’t be able to sleep which ended up being far more upsetting and traumatic than just staying awake. I think most people have experienced a time in their lives where this was, unfortunately, true for them as well.
I don’t feel any kindred spirit with the darkness and, as an extrovert, it isn’t exactly that I like to be alone. To me it seems like there is always an opportunity, no matter the hour, to use time productively, creatively or even romantically, should we be so lucky. There are so many ways to use the quiet as a beneficial time to explore our thoughts and emotions. It is a time without the static and noise of the day.
It has been a very painful several years full of loss, hurt and being unsure about my security and the safety of my daughter and myself. It has made me think back on all of my late night journaling throughout the years. From grade school to Post-Grad. We do what we have to do as life happens and we don’t question it. But we do sometimes forget about the little Band-Aids when our pain feels too intense for such a small “help” and when it feels like nothing at all can aid our healing.
Only a few things are obvious givens at this exact moment of my life. I will be up late at night. Thanks to social distancing and quarantine, I do have the time and space to do things I love and are a necessity to me. And, now, almost more than ever….I am in desperate need of returning to my nighttime stream-of-consciousness journaling schedule. Even if it is complete nonsense!