The Insomnia Files: The Pilot
This post is the accumulation of 3 sleepless nights
The why. Or: what’s this all about?
Almost 2 summers ago, I lost my ability to easily sleep. Insomnia found me, seemingly out of nowhere, and latched on for an indefinite ride.
Instead of wasting time lying in bed, going crazy over my hyperactive mind, I’ve recently decided to harness the whirlwind thoughts and give myself a creative outlet for these frustrating restless nights. Whenever sleep fails to come, I’ll write. Like now.
Caveat: This is about to get personal.
Another caveat: I despise when people talk too much about themselves.
I find it pompous, crass, and all around distasteful. Talking is not too far removed from writing, so I’m a bit self conscious and hesitant about starting this blog series, which will essentially serve as a glorified dump bucket for my sleepless mind. Nevertheless, it’s going to get personal.
Also the more I think about it, the more I realize that all forms of art are an extension of “talking about oneself.” Are not all paintings, sculptures, drawings, and songs but a representation of some aspect of The Self? I don’t feel the same sort of disdain about art as I do about loudmouth egomaniacs, and writing is an art, so I’m just going to view this as my making art.
But I digress.
It’s also hard for me to write unless I’m immersed in complete silence. And what better time for silence than 4 am in the morning?
And so it begins. Or: balance is important, mmmkay?
I’ve recently come to fully realize that I am a massive skeptic and realist. I like to look for and see the holes in things.
My favorite cheese is Swiss. And I really admired Stanley Yelnats growing up.
I harp, I dwell, I think too much.
In college, I majored in Psychology and Philosophy, and at one point wanted to pursue the latter as a career. This is a profession that literally entails spending one’s time and cognitive resources poking holes in other’s well-formed arguments and viewpoints as a means of income.
The reason I bring this up is because I now view it as a bit of a shortcoming. Balance is essential, I think, in all aspects of life, and currently I’m skewing a little too far to one side.
Aristotle believed in something he called The Golden Mean, “the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency.” So for example, Proper Ambition would be the middle ground between something like Vacuous Vanity and Laziness (or maybe Self-Disbelief?). While some may disagree, I really think there’s something to this theory. I feel it in my gut, at least. After all, isn’t a common saying “moderation is key”?
Throughout my life, I’ve noticed ubiquitous themes of balance and harmony: yin and yang, feng shui, Zone Diet-ing (back from my competitive tennis days), ancient greek philosophies, algebra, tight rope walking, Cirque Du Soleil. The list goes on.
It’s a pattern that cannot go unacknowledged for me.
Lately I’ve been working on regularly eating a more balanced breakfast: I eat two hardboiled eggs and fruit every weekday morning now instead of cereal or nothing. Perhaps it’s time to start working on a more balanced life and mindset. I could dream more in a pipe-like manner; fantasize more; contemplate sans inhibitions, instead of constantly backtracking and gut checking myself.
It’s almost funny to me how long it’s taken for me to realize the nature of myself. It seems like individuals know themselves the best, but also the least, as contradictory as that may sound. Nevertheless, better late than never, I suppose.
When I first met M, I was drawn to his dreamer-like qualities. Although sometimes said qualities fundamentally frustrate me and cause rifts between us, he is ultimately the idealism to my realism. The peanut butter to my jelly. The ham to my jam.
I think in many ways nature inherently tends toward equilibrium. I mean, just consider the way our brains work. And that’s comforting to me. Aristotle would be a fan of modern day neuroscience, methinks. But don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely a skeptic in terms of how much we’ve gotten objectively right in that field. Naturally.
Nonetheless, here’s to more all-around balance in life!