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When the lights go down – What do you do?

Maybe that’s just my anxiety kicking in, but… Have you ever just laid down at night and digested everything you did throughout the day, everyday, for the last couple of days?

Summer is long gone. Pécs wakes up cold and humid and I take at least one hour to leave my bed and be productive, which means: I’m always late.

I had the hardest time this summer. I failed an exam and had to retake it. While most people were out, forgetting about their traumas from the exam period, I was still living them. When I finally took the exam,a week later school restarted.

I have a midterm in a couple of weeks (I’ll already be done with it by the time you read this)and indeed I’ve been studying yet it feels like there’s no time, like I haven’t actually grasped anything despite the amount of hours I’ve put in.  I usually go back and forth with this topic until I remind myself that even though I try very hard, most things aren’t under my control. That even when it feels like the world might be crumbling around me, I just have to keep pushing through despite it.

People like me are cryers (figuratively, most times) and we manage to mess up every other day, usually in public. We laugh at other people’s jokes, at our own jokes, at ourselves. And every new day is a repeat of the previous day which is a repeat of the day before that. Until we find ourselves married with two kids, put them in school, nag them until they become decent human beings and then watch them do everything we did.

But… is that how it is supposed to go? I once told a friend that the sowing season is meant for hardships, that this is the designated period for the overwhelming pressure of making decisions and sticking to them to crush us. I’m an active person, attending university classes from 8 to 4pm. There’s on-going laundry, cooking and cleaning. Plus social activities, which really should be more than what they currently are, but when added to the mix, leave you without enough time to even sleep properly. And that’s just the average human from my point of view. So I wonder, how are we not insane? If this is most of us, where are the scripted moments for our well deserved “out of character” episodes? I haven’t been sleeping like I should, probably haven’t been eating like I should either (guilty of secretly drowning my sorrows in ice cream) and once I actually reach bed, I overthink. About what I did and what I didn’t do, about what I managed to study and what I didn’t, and  how I will most likely forget all the info I just retained so I occasionally bully myself into repeating some points in order not to forget. I think about how I deserve some me time and end up listening to music, dancing and/or scrolling through instagram for another hour instead of just sleeping. I overthink about the guy I wanna get married to and have the two children with. About my flaws and whether he goes through the pictures on my profile (just like I do his), and I think about the color of our future kids’ hair.

And I wake up tired the next day, lay in bed for an extra hour, get late to school, go through the day as if my soul was as dense as mercury, get home, feel unaccomplished and proceed on looking for ice cream and going down the same pitiful path and making myself feel miserable. It’s a vicious cycle that IS under my control.

So today, I’m choosing to let go. To go to bed at 10:30 and not scroll through instagram. I’m choosing to wake up energetic because I actually had enough hours to sleep. To detox my soul from this self-imposed abuse, and I should probably stop buying ice cream too. I’ve been angry during practice sometimes, like the training sessions are the only place I can be as aggressive as I have been feeling and without them there’s no excretory system for my “bad emotions”. I feel like whatever is making me derail now, might be a buildup of everything: the lack of healthy rest, the disappointment from not limiting my own expectations, the act of dreaming and floating and loving and feeling ashamed for all of it. What’s making me derail are my own thoughts about where my development should be, my desire to fit into a mold I’m not yet ready to and probably will never be. Personally, I think I’m too harsh on myself. But lately, I’ve reached the conclusion that I might not be the only one. Loving yourself involves so much more than indulging in a shopping spree or having your nails done and doing a facial. Loving yourself is drinking (insert any nasty healthy concoction you absolutely detest) green juices sometimes, is putting boundaries on other people’s behavior towards you but also your own behaviors towards yourself. Be attentive to your needs, listen to your soul and body, be balanced. Paracelsus once said that “the dose makes the poison”.  And I believe this should also be applied to feelings and emotions, that there’s a purpose to all of them, that every feeling is meant to make us acknowledge something. But everything should be felt under the right context and in specific amounts. Happiness, anger, fear, sadness, all amount to the human experience. They are all necessary blocks in the building of any decent human being. Nobody should be neglected from feeling and accepting such emotions. An emotional castration does more harm than good and often people (like me) do it to themselves, we prevent ourselves from feeling, learning and healing. It requires time with oneself to learn and the notion of spending time alone means different things for different people. It can surely be daunting, ugly and exhausting, but ultimately it’s liberating. It’s scary to cut leaves that seem green and fresh, but it’s liberating to grow twice faster and stronger. So, learn what to trim and when; for when the lights go down, you won’t be afraid (or just needlessly anxious like I was, wasting time I could be managing better). When you lie down, your sleep shall be sweet, safe and sound.