I can’t remember a time where I was excited to go to bed. For me, getting in bed means that I am alone with my thoughts. When they finally reach the surface, I’m overcome with regret.

I usually try to drown them out by playing games on my phone until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore, but that doesn’t always work. My brain overloads me with ideas of what could have been. No matter how hard I try to figure out an ideal situation, it dawns on me: I can’t change the past.

The “past” is a weird thing. It could indicate five minutes or fifteen years ago. Somehow, the memories of everything that has happened and all that you have learned are crammed into your brain. Sadly, that is exactly what keeps me up at night and distracts me during the day. But those memories of the past contribute to who I am now. And who I am now will impact who I am tomorrow.

Our lives are constantly being written into our own little history books. A diary that no one can ever read but you. Yet, that diary has some pages ripped out and some quotes smudged. Who knows what happened in between the important parts? Maybe that’s why they aren’t important. They fade with time because we shouldn’t be spending our energy focusing on those irrelevant moments.

Those evil thoughts that keep you awake at night will only make themselves known because they can tell that you are at your weakest. You’re exhausted and just want one thing: sleep. Your brain never stops going, though. It is constantly thinking, dreaming, and keeping you alive. It’s the definition of “can’t stop, won’t stop”.

But what if you could make it stop? Deciding to focus on the meaningful things that have made your life worth living will help you to rest easy. Imagine going to bed every night and feeling a sense of peace because your only thought is a time that you were truly at your best. I hope I’ll remember this as one of those times, because I’m pouring my nighttime thoughts onto a page, filling the blanks with words instead of worries.

Being alone with your thoughts sounds suffocating, but it doesn’t have to be a trap. Instead, use that time before falling asleep to reminisce about your favorite moments or to look forward to the future. My past has shown me that I will stay up way too late to evade my guilt-ridden memories. My goal is to be able to say that my present self is free of it all.