Yesterday I was awake for a record 20 hours with only 5 hours of sleep the night before. Under normal circumstances the moment I hit 16 hours I become totally useless. There is a good chance that I was still totally useless upon hitting 16 hours but I had so much caffeine coursing through my body that it was hard to tell.
I got up at 4 in the morning yesterday (my alarm actually went off at 3:55 but we’re rounding up) so that I could be at the top of a mountain staring down the valley with my friend Kallie before sunrise. I do not see what is so special about sunrises, they are just like sunsets only more annoying. For Easter I make an exception and see the sun come up because Jesus rose before the dawn on that morning as well.
It was lovely. It was also early. So early.
I tried to nap. After my own church’s service I went home (instead of socializing at their Easter picnic), curled up in my bed, and waited for sleep to over take me. 45 minutes later I got up and went about my life having not slept at all.
I hope that this part of the story makes it understandable that by 8 PM when I was arriving at a BBQ with some friends that I was throwing a small temper tantrum in my head. I was so excited to be there. I am not close friends with most of the people who were there, they are friends of my friends (specifically they are the people who are friends of the men who became my friends husbands). Even with the obvious character flaw of not being my “close friends” I like these people and I think they are fun. I did not want to be throwing a temper tantrum (even in my head) around them.
(That is the only picture I have of most of the people which goes to show you how rarely I spend any amount of time with most of them.)
I passed of the fact that I was feeling sad on the fact that I had been up for so long and maybe a little bit on the fact that I had taken my pills very early that day and their effects were probably wearing off. I did not focus on the fact that all of these people who happen to be my age are married and pregnant and whatever. I pushed aside the feeling that I needed to be drinking a very large glass of wine and muttering, “so I’m the single one? Great.” If this group of people were a sitcom I would be the obnoxious (and probably drunk) single person who shows up for comic relief (if this group of people were a sitcom it would also probably center around me and be fantastic).
By 9:30 or maybe 10 I just wanted to cry. I used the smoke from the fire as an excuse for any attempt at crying my eyes made but I just felt like crying. Once again I had to remind myself that it was just because I was tired. Our bodies never really grow out of being 2 year-olds. When we aren’t getting what we need our body reacts. The only real difference is it is not socially acceptable for a woman who is nearly 25 to just start wailing hysterically because she’s tired. I had gotten a ride with people so I was not going to force them to leave early either (although they have a 2 year old who was not throwing a fit but was clearly tired so maybe I should have).
The thing is that I was not actually sad. All of the things that I felt like crying about are things that I REALLY like about my life. I love that I’m single and get to be selfish about things and never have to make sure that my choices will destroy a relational dynamic (that’s the real reason people ask their wives and husbands for permission). It is odd how our surroundings change the way we feel about things or make us feel like we need to feel a different way than we do. We have to start remembering first all of the reasons why we like the way our lives are (if we did not feel comfortable with them in some way we would change them) and that what is good for others might not be right for us. I believed this was a huge break through for me because instead of getting upset and grumpy (and wanting to kill people like my friend Austin suggested I looked like I felt) I kept reminding myself that I was only feeling this way because of outside issues and that once I crawled out of my bed the next day everything would be fine.
In the movie “Austenland” Miss Charming says, “think of all the people who hang themselves. In the morning they feel different but they can’t do anything about it. Don’t hang yourself Jane.” It sounds stupid but it is actually brilliant and incredibly inspiring.