No one tells when you're young that your restless nights sometimes stay with when you grow up. Some of my oldest memories are of me, on the top bunk of the bunk bed I begged my parents to get me even though I didn't share a room with anyone. It started with nightmares.
My dreams when I was younger were messed up. Think of watching your family disappear in the desert messed up.
Pretty weird for a six-year-old. My parents noticed, mixed with my lovely ADHD, that I was a wreck. We tried everything to get me to sleep. That's where you come in. Insomnia, my old friend.
I think about how you keep me up at night, mixed with my friend anxiety, recalling every wrong or stupid thing I've ever done.
I don't blame you for the hundreds of hours of missed sleep, even though it's kind of your fault.
But it's also my medication, something my doctors warn me about every single year.
It's also my lifestyle I promise to change, yet never do.
And it's me. I do it to myself too.
I've always called myself a night owl. One night I drove around town at hours when nothing was open except 7/11. I found myself in a part of town I had never been in a Korean shopping center. While everything was closed, the neon lights buzzed awake advertising soup, jewelry, or skin care. All I could do was sit. It was hypnotic. When I went to leave, a family of deer walked in front of my car and drank from a fountain.
All of this beauty I would have never seen if it wasn't for you.
I lay in bed till two or three waiting for the second I feel like sleeping, yet it never comes. Do you ever think that maybe I choose not to sleep because I'm afraid the dreams will come back again? It wasn't until I started staying up later and later did I conveniently stop having nightmares. Maybe I didn't have time to conceive them in my head with the lack of hours.
While I love watching YouTube videos, Netflix shows, and full-length films, could I have watched them in normal daylight? Probably. Could I write my stories in the sun? Definitely.
While I yearn to be a morning person, I fear you'll always be in my way.
For all these years and all of these nights, it's always been us. So I ask of you, this year, let me sleep. Let me dream, even if the dreams are bad. Let my brain rationalize bad thoughts in the sunlight and not at four a.m. My shows can wait, the movies can be seen another day, my writing will not suffer.
Please, just let me sleep.