Whether you can't sleep or you randomly wake up during the night, there are a ton of things that ramble on in an anxious mind.
Here are 12 things that keep me thinking late into the night with no end in sight, just thoughts, ramblings and concerns.
1. What time is that thing tomorrow?
Whether it be an appointment, a class, a meeting or a lunch date, there is no doubting that days are swamped. Sometimes this gets a bit confusing.
Was lunch with Tai at 11 on Wednesday or Thursday? What time is my tutoring session? Did I remember to cancel that one thing because of this other thing?
2. Did I brush my teeth?
Maybe, maybe not, but now I've got to get up and make sure. Otherwise, I risk feeling really grubby and having an off start to the morning.
3. Am I forgetting anything else?
Besides brushing my teeth or the time for an important meeting, is there anything else my brain has forgotten?
Did I feed the cats and clean their kitty litter? Did I do the laundry? Did I complete that homework or study for that exam?
Do they or do they not exist? How could they possibly not exist? I mean, come on, the universe is huge – what are the odds that Earth is the only planet with sentience?
Or more specifically, what happens when we die? There are literally a million answers depending on who you ask, and they just churn around in my head, preventing me from the sweetness of sleep.
6. Conspiracy theories?
You name it, and I contemplate it.
Did Bush do 9/11? Is the Illuminati real, and what is their purpose? What about all those panic reenactors at every national crisis? What is up with that?
Is the electoral college ruining democracy? Are reptilians living in the Arctic? What's up with Jim Carrey? Though I don't believe most of these, they sure are intriguing to ponder, but they lead to restless nights.
7. An earworm.
That catchy tune I heard a few days ago but don't really know — it's been on a 30-minute loop of the same warped, butchered and off-beat line of lyrics.
8. That thing I said back in the summer of 79'.
Pretty much everything I've ever said. All conversations, interactions or even non-scenarios are up for debate.
The late hours are the best hours to become over-analytical of every aspect of every encounter I've ever had in my short but awkward and comical existence.
9. The meaning of life?
Existential crises are best had when the darkness is enveloping. I entertain questions of whether or not what I'm doing is what I'm meant to, what it means if it's not, and what that even means.
Is what I'm doing enough to secure happiness? Is that even possible? What if my happiness isn't appropriate? What if my underlying passion never creeps out, and I wake up one day and realize I've chosen the wrong path and have wasted my time and money?
What if I've sacrificed happiness simply for a net of safety? What if I did reach for the supple honeydew of chance only to realize it was sour after all, and I've let it rot in front of me once again?
Out of the many things clogging up my thoughts, this is probably one of the scariest. We're so divided and things do not seem like they will be looking up anytime soon.
From school shootings, the alt-right, anti-abortion laws, climate change deniers, xenophobic anti-immigration policies and literally so much more. Not to mention, the human rights violations abroad.
I'm surprised I manage to sleep at all.
11. All the things that could've been and everything that could possibly be.
A thousand "what would've happened had I done this or not done this" and a thousand "what will happen if I do or don't do this" jumble around in my head, bouncing off of one another keeping me alert into the early morning hours.
I think of all the people I see throughout the day and what might possibly be going on in their lives and their minds, how they're feeling and if they're alright. I think of the people who aren't alright, and I wonder if or how I could make a difference.
I think of the people I've loved and lost and the people I've never had the chance of loving or being loved by. I wonder what all these people are up to and into and what makes them tick, what makes them who they are.
I think about myself as a person and what that means.