Becoming a Night Owl

I guess it isn’t as though I’m not already one. Ever since I was little, my sleep schedule has been fucked. When school ended and summer began and I had nothing to do with my days, I’d find myself going to sleep later and later, and consequently getting up later, too. Eventually, I’d stop seeing the light of day. I love the light, but I think I like the night better.

I’ve been trying to create a lifestyle that allows me to be productive and happy, but I haven’t really been successful yet. Yesterday I had the entire day to do whatever I wanted, had no real pressing obligations, so I decided make it a creative day: I’d write songs, poems, edit my photos, etc. I tried to write a song and got so frustrated that I picked up Bukowski and fell asleep. I woke up at 7:30pm and hadn’t gotten anything done. It was depressing.

After a couple glasses of sangria with a friend and a beer with a couple more, we went to get poutine. Watching the workers do their job at 1am, I got inspired to get a 1am-type job, too. Why not?

Lately, and maybe for longer than I realize, I’ve been overwhelmed by the day and all the possibilities it offers. The pressure to be productive makes me a vegetable; I spend so much time thinking about what I should do, how much I should do and how I should do it, who I should see, who I should meet, what I should learn, bla bla bla. I make plans, I make lists, and I’m scared shitless of accomplishing anything, because it will never be enough. I’m so tired of thinking about myself all the time — I’m not that interesting, especially in this immobilized state: it’s just me, petrified, thinking the same old thoughts, and not doing shit about it.

However, when everyone else is asleep, I feel like living is more natural. My mind is quiet. I can write, I can read, I can learn. My anxiety is significantly reduced. Why have I always wasted the hours during which I enjoy life the most? During which I really feel alive? I’ve always studied at night, I’ve always written at night, I’ve always spent all night watching movies. And I think stars are really cool.

I went to bed and didn’t sleep much. I decided to get up at 5:30am, and now I’m writing at a coffee shop. I’ll check my e-mail, go to the gym, and hopefully it’s nice out and Tam Tams will be going strong and I can get some sleep on the mountain.

I’m going to try to come up with a daily schedule that excites me. I really don’t enjoy the hours during which everyone is waking up (so maybe 7am to 11am — chipper morningers are annoying), and the hours during which everyone is hoping to get rowdy after their day jobs (so maybe 7pm to 11pm). Even if I don’t see or talk to anyone during those times, I can feel the excitement in the air, and I can’t handle it. So I’m thinking of a couple ways I might be able to deal with this:

There’s a 9-5 job I’m hoping to get, which kind of sucks and I don’t really like the idea but it will support me financially, and it will give me something to do during the hours of the day I enjoy the least. Maybe once I get home, I can go to sleep, and then wake up at midnight or something to do some creative work of whatever kind, read, or meet friends who are out on the town, go dancing, or whatever. And then maybe another nap before work.

If I don’t find a 9-5 job, maybe I can get a night one at a pub or somewhere that is open 24 hours. It could start at 7-9pm, end at around 3am. I would come home, do some writing/creative work, go to bed at around 6am, sleep until around 2pm. Do whatever I have to do, see friends, whatever, then go back to work. I’m actually pretty enthusiastic about an Irish pub job, because I think it would be fun to be around people and live music at work. Not sure how other activities will fit into either of these systems, but meh. A consideration for later days.

Every time I have an epiphany, it’s about something I’ve known/felt all along but was resisting. What makes you happiest? When are you happiest? Why do you think you’re resisting what you know (or at least have a hunch) is true for you?

It’s been easy to shed some societal conventions, but most want to stick around and they put up a fight. They also like to hide; I never even thought of playing with my sleeping schedule in order to be happier and more productive. The only thing I’m worried about is not seeing enough light, because the sun is one of my favourite things in the world. It’ll be weird and I’m not sure if it’ll work, but I’ll give it a try.


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