The time is 6:28 a.m. and I’ve been up for 12 hours. This is how I work in the summer. I’m a night lover, or a nyctophile, so I choose to stay up late and sleep after the sun comes up. You could simply call me nocturnal, but it’s nocturnal by choice. The past week has been a really strange one for me and this post is going to be kind of a “brain dump.” I’ve just got a lot of things that have little to do with each other buzzing around in my head causing me to feel, as the title suggests, backwards. This is therapeutic for me, so if you’ll kindly read ahead and help me wade through my brain.
Let’s start with where this post does: my sleeping pattern. I’ve already mentioned that I love night time and it’s a voluntary choice, but it feels backwards. Today (or your yesterday) I woke up at about 6:20 p.m. after staying up until 6 ish in the morning. It is disorienting because while I’m just waking up, everyone else is winding their day down. Their dinner is my breakfast. I generally dislike the daytime because it’s really hot, but I avoid that problem by waking up in the evening after its cooled off a little. I love sunrise and sunset, which is when I sleep and wake. I’ve intentionally made my clock backwards because I have no responsibilities until the evening anyway during the summer. When there’s an exception, I adapt. Sunsets and sunrises are magical to me, and starting my day off with a sunset just boosts my spirits. I feel attuned to the world and just gracious to be alive. One by one my family heads off to sleep and I’m left alone in the house. Typically I’m browsing Facebook, searching YouTube, playing a game, or watching Netflix, and I do this until 6-8 in the morning. Watching the dark skies outside gradually turn navy blue, then lighten up until the sun is starting to rise is one of my favorite things. Feeling the cool night air and frequently the petrichor that comes with afternoon and late night drizzles. While I value this time to myself, I’m such a social person that at times it gets difficult. I’m looking for friends to text at midnight and chat, I want to have a walk in the park at 2 in the morning. I want to do stuff with my friends, but they’re all asleep, which is in my opinion the only down side of being nocturnal: the rest of the world is diurnal. Who came up with this schedule anyway?
I yearn to have somebody to talk to at night. I live for late night talks because they’re always the most real and authentic, in my opinion. Who doesn’t want to have a conversation where you’re the only two people around who are awake? It’s so intimate, and I breathe intimate conversations. That’s what I long for out of everyone. Of course, I have non intimate conversations, but I don’t think they’re as valuable. This is essentially the second element to my backwardness. I’m keeping things in to myself that I want to express to others.
That leads fairly directly into my next topic which is Parks and Recreation. I’ve been watching it for roughly two weeks now almost non stop and I’m in love with it. I could go on for hours about each character and how they’re all awesome, but my favorite is still April (aside from Leslie) and just about every line she has is comedy gold. I just love April. Anyway, so I’m currently at the end of season 6 and (SPOILERS) Anne just left with Chris to pursue a life together. And she had her baby. But what I really want to touch on is the relationships between everyone at the Parks Dept., especially Anne and Leslie. They’re all extremely close knit, even if they are really weird. Ron isn’t close to anyone but he’s super sentimental at times and everyone loves him. April has her moments of love for everyone (even Anne! D’awwww), and Donna constantly reminds everyone how close they are to each other. Even Jerry/Larry/Gary is in his own way loved. Don’t get me started in Jerry because I feel so bad for him, especially since I JUST watched the episode where Ben tries to stick up for Jerry but is ridiculed. And I started to cry when Leslie said goodbye to Anne. Anne wasn’t usually my favorite character, but I still consistently loved her, especially her with Leslie. They have such a beautiful friendship. Just watching how much Anne means to Leslie makes it impossible not to like Anne. And it made me realize that these relationships are the kinds of relationships I want with my friends (maybe not so much having a poor Jerry). I want an Anne who will stand by me and talk to me about everything no matter what, and an April who will deny loving you but secretly love everyone, and an Andy who loves unconditionally, and a Ron who implies his love toward everyone but won’t ever admit it, and all of them. Most importantly, that network of friends who is always together like a family. Each of them may have their own family of sorts, but I think we all know, and they all know, that that department is a real family. My friendships mean the world to me, and I feel like I’m the “closeted Leslie Knope” in that I want to be the one who will say how much everyone means to me and be the heart of that family. I would like to see my friends every day and have special events with them and feel the need to call them when they’re not around. I want an Anne Perkins to my Leslie Knope.
And from there I go to a different place. I have had weeks where I see my friends every day and it’s a blast, but this week I’ve seen so little of them and it has me saddened. No, it’s not because I sleep all day, because I would change my perfect sleep cycle to see my friends. We just never make plans, or already have understood plans (like the weekly youth groups), or just different plans already. Okay, shoutout to all friends, let’s do stuff! There’s only so much of this summer left. That brings me to my next point which is…
The dreaded C-word is fast approaching. In fact, I counted the days and if I include today, the 17th, I have exactly 40 days left until my planned moving date to Utah. And before that I’m gonna have to be packing. I have a three day excursion to Utah next week. Time is running out fast and it has me in a panic. I’m really super excited for college, of course, and I can’t wait for all those experiences. Living on my own, being self reliant, making new friends, dorm life, classes, just about everything excites me, and it’s quickly becoming reality. But with that also comes the harsher sides of reality. I’ll have to pack, I’ll have to figure out a job eventually, I’ll have to start making payments, and most importantly, I’ll have to say goodbye. I’m pretending that won’t have to happen because I’m going to cry. If I cry when Anne leaves, then when I leave and say goodbye to all my friends, I’ll be a wreck. That said, I want a stereotypical sendoff. I want some kind of gathering. A party, a barbecue, just a train of people, anything. Basically, I want everyone there to hug me and cry with me (you better cry when I leave) and I have something special planned. But lastly, I want to drive off and see them fade into my rearview mirror. Make it happen, and don’t shy away from planning it with me. We’ll make it an event. Mark my words.
Next on the agenda is a weird sensation I had the other day. I was driving in my mom’s behemoth and I changed the radio station and it was Christian talk radio. I quickly changed it because I’d rather listen to music, but I had an immediate sensation of being in high school still. Most days after school my mom would pick me up and we’d drive out of the north parking lot listening to Christian talk radio. That was my snap I think. My realization that I’m no longer in high school. I had a quick nostalgia attack about driving away from the school and I was flooded with emotion regarding my school experience, particularly the theater department. I had theater almost every day after school, so it was always after theater that I would be leaving the school. I came to realize my time in the theater was done, but I missed everyone I was leaving behind. All the actors, the directors, the technicians, even the building and hallways and IHOP visits and cast parties and Alleycat visits. That was my real goodbye, all in a split second. I feel I’ve broken my last ties to high school and it does make me really sad actually. I know I had a rocky high school life, but it was really a treasure as well. You don’t realize what you have until it’s gone, and all of a sudden I’m missing high school. I couldn’t wait to get out of there, and now I want to go back. Talk about backwards.
I’ve also had really good moments this past week in regards to music. Part of being awake while it’s dark means I get to shower and sing as loud as I want without anyone hearing. I shower in the basement, so between two doors and two floors, lots is muffled. So basically, I have big dance parties in the basement where I just feel awesome singing to my favorite songs. In particular, a few mornings ago I jumped in the shower and the first four songs were just “pump me up” songs. It was ABBA’s “Chiquitita,” then Shania Twain’s “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under,” then ABBA’s “Lay All Your Love On Me,” and then Shania Twain’s “Man I Feel Like A Woman.” There were more awesome ones, but those four I was just feeling. It made me realize that I should have a playlist of “pump me up” songs that I could listen to in the mornings to get me ready for the day. I thought it was a great idea, and I will do it eventually. Having a bunch of up tempo and encouraging songs is a great way to start the day. I look forward to it.
And of course with freedom to throw dance parties at three in the morning comes freedom to do wrong. My entire time awake isn’t fun and pretty. Sometimes I go into self loathing, and sometimes I do stupid and disgusting things and I hate things and I feel like I hit rock bottom. I become miserable and most importantly, I become aware of my shortcomings. Right now I have a really rocky relationship with God. I know I can give off the image of strong faith in these posts, but the reality is usually very different. I put a lot of that in because I know some of my viewers, and I feel if I don’t make everything tie back to Jesus, I’ll hear it from them and I save the trouble. I know everything should, but I truly feel as though Jesus isn’t in everything I do, and in some way he doesn’t need to be. Before you burn me at the torch, I mean that watching a movie doesn’t necessitate Jesus’ involvement. You can fight me on this, but sometimes I want to watch a movie or a tv show and not think about how Jesus appears in it or doesn’t and evaluate it. I sometimes just want to watch Scarlet Witch destroy robots or see Buffy stake some vampires or anything like that. See what I mean?
Anyway, that’s beside the point. I often write theological stuff and “praise Jesus” stuff where I don’t know if I’m saying it authentically. I adopt a fake it till I make it mentality. In reality, I don’t know how strong I am in my faith. I genuinely want to learn more and I want to be stronger. That much I do know. I am seeking God, but I’d be lying if I said that I’m sure of where I am. I don’t touch my Bible outside of youth group, prayer isn’t a part of my daily schedule, and I have a lot of fears in my head. I pretend I’m good and devoted, but that’s a lie. It leads me to dark places a lot, and immediately after “x” interaction or action I will regret my decisions and say, “Why did I do that?” I have the voice in my head before I go to sleep that says, “You didn’t pray today,” and I have to force myself to do it. I know the bedtime prayer isn’t the only way to approach it, but I just don’t remember until later, which shows where my priorities really are. When I do pray, I have no idea how. I feel obligated to run through everything in my life, and apologize, and praise, and ask for help for my friends, and ask for help for the people around the world, and pray for the country and it just becomes an overwhelming task. If I actually prayed for every prayer request I see/hear on a daily basis, I would be praying all day. I have no idea how to pray. I was told pray like you’re talking to a friend, and that’s what I do, but it makes my conversations really long. And then I run into the problem of “asking for help.” I’ve heard so many different things about it that I have no idea how to do it. People say that you don’t ask for help because that means you want to do things in YOUR power, not His. At the same time, God doesn’t hand stuff to you on a silver platter or do things 100% for you. So pretend I want to say, “God, help me stop cursing.” Asking for his help means you just need his help to do what you can’t, which is bad. But if you say, “Make me stop cursing,” he’s not going to just remove every curse word from your vocabulary. It just gets me confused.
And then I have my fears of death. I just have debates in my head about God’s existence. It seems so silly to believe in something I can’t see. What if I’m wrong? What is death going to be like? I get so intensely afraid of death and whether I really have faith and if my faith is misplaced. It hasn’t been a problem until recently and I’m just really lost in my faith right now. I feel so backwards and I just don’t know what to do. It’s a nightly/daily occurrence and I keep making resolutions to do better but I never do. What does that say about me? I just feel hopeless sometimes.
I think the last thing that I want to talk about is just my family situation right now which is just another weight on my shoulders that scares me. I came back to my mom’s house for the first time in about three or four weeks. I feel like I’m walking on hot coals or broken glass around my parents. My dad still won’t talk to my mom. I won’t disclose my mom’s issues, but I’m not sure of her stability for a few reasons I won’t disclose either. Life at my dad’s is so different from life at my mom’s. I just feel like I’m caught in the middle. I want things to be normal again and I know things aren’t normal at all with my family situation in conjunction with everything else that’s going on in my life and in my head. I am just muddled and confused and happy and sad and lonely and excited and angry and disgusted and just about every other emotion all at once. I just feel backwards.