My Nightmare Before Christmas

Photograph by: Andrea Boldizsar

The natural light is dimming, my room is growing colder, and the nightly routine — give thanks for three things that happened that day, tuck your pajama pants into your socks, and make a fort out of your covers so that monsters that linger in the shadows of the night don’t see you — is unfolding. There it is again. That incessant and violating trail of thoughts, the uneasiness that comes every night: You’re dreams are invalid. Your existence without higher purpose. What makes you think your ideas are any good?

She sounds like a poisonous bitch, doesn’t she? But I still sleep with her every night. I’ve come to realize that the mental frenzy apparent on any given night is in direction correlation to the chatter in my mind- when one grows, the other, too, in equal strength. So, I guess it is neither spirits nor apparitions that conjure cold sweats at 3 a.m., but my insecurities and my inability to commit to myself and believe that I have something good for offer the world. I caught this mental habit in the act recently, and though it took me 23 years to do so, I’m somewhat proud of the discovery: Like when my nephew finally laid his gaze on the pseudo-dinosaur fossil he’d been frantically digging up from his toy paleontology kit only to find that the damn thing was missing a leg.

You see, things are moving quickly. I’m being presented with opportunities filled with incertitude and promise. I can go left, I can go right, explore up, run down, but no matter the direction chosen change is here; and it’s scary. There is an opportunity to work abroad, in a third-world country, in which my professional obligations would be grand. I’m talking building the foundation for an entire company that carries gender equality and ecological sustainable on its back. There is also the glimmer of something self-made. A pretty and chaotic dream that keeps me up at night — yeah, the one that bitch constantly ridicules while she tosses between my sheets.

As the number of possibilities multiplies, so do the chances of reading the compass wrong, right? But if embarrassment and external judgment are to be definitive judges, I’m in familiar hands. I know those two. It’s not like I’ve sworn off Tinder only to download it, delete it, and redownload it 30 times. It’s not like I’ve spent the greater part of my 20s sleeping with my mother because my anxiety was so crippling I couldn’t stand to be alone in the dark. And it’s not as if I had a child out of wedlock, at the wee age of 17, or highjack a festival to pitch myself professionally to Drake’s manager only to make a nice, round Kim K. ass out of myself.

Now, I cannot disclose the blueprint of my dream, for I’m afraid too many of you would have bigger balls than I and bring it to fruition *nervous, sarcastic laughter ensues.* What I can tell you is that in calling these creepy crawly, night hopping monsters by their real name, it will be easier to turn off my closet light. Will you turn off the light?

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