Why I Stay Up Late

Over the past 5 years I have enjoyed late nights to myself. A lot of thinking and discovering happens in these hours. When I was a child my bedtime was 9:30 sharp. I remember how happy I was when it got pushed to 10. I felt so grown up at age 9. Then throughout my teen years I sort of set my own bedtime of 11. I didn’t really like going to bed when it was in the a.m. I felt like the new day had started and I’m going against the flow. I felt so weird because a day just expired while I was still awake. This didn’t sit well with me. It’s that feeling when you pull an all nighter and your days just blend together. Reality becomes skewed because tomorrow in actuality is just “later”. Us falling asleep and waking up sets that standard to what a day is to us. Strange concept. For whatever reason, maybe it was my party phase, I started going to bed later and later. Over the past few years it wasn’t uncommon for me to see the sunrise and finally tell myself to go to sleep. Every time my head hits that pillow, I’m OUT. I don’t lay there for very long before falling asleep. I give myself 6-8 hours a night depending on what time I fall asleep. The later I stay up the less sleep I know I’ll get because I don’t really like waking up at noon. There comes a point where if I’ve been asleep that long I’ll feel like the last kid in the mile run during P.E of 6th period.

Every now and again I’ll just stand outside at 4 am and look at the stars while enjoying the silence. It’s a comforting feeling to know everybody is sleeping and I’m outside. Almost as if I’m a protector while they sleep. Like I’m Batman. One night I caught these kids TPing a ladies house that’s across the street from me. They finished as I was coming outside and they booked it. They got in their car laughing and left. The lady living in that house lives alone and she seems lonely at times so I try to talk to her as often as I can. She’s the sweetest person on my street. So obviously this toilet paper attack didn’t sit well with me because I knew my neighbor would have to clean it all up on her own. So I decided to clean it up before she woke up and realized what had happened. It took me about an hour and a half to get it all. They completely covered her car, lawn, and some of the front of the house with it. Once I was finished I went back into my house. Just 5 minutes after I went back into my house I saw those same kids come back, this time with a camera. You should have seen the look on their faces when they saw their masterpiece had vanished. They left feeling defeated and disappointed I would assume. To this day my neighbor knows nothing about this incident.

Sometimes when looking up at the stars I will feel this overwhelming sense of connection. I’m pretty comfortable with my emotions so it’s not uncommon to see me tear up in a sad or emotional movie. At times the stars are no different. Sometimes it will just strike me that I’m staring at a cosmic show of distant memories from the past. 20634429-20634433-large That’s what stars are, old pictures of how it used to be. Since their light takes so much time to reach us, some of these stars are already dead. It’s a physical way to observe the past aside from books and movies. Whenever I feel like I have a problem, after an hour of gazing into the abyss, my problems seem so small. I have seen shooting stars, satellites, the milky way, the crux, the north star, mars, big dipper, little dipper, Orion’s belt, a lunar eclipse, etc. I even have an app that tells me where everything is in the stars.

Anza-Borrego-StargazingI feel like when it’s the middle of the day everybody is standing next to me in a vast forest. People are going to work, coming home from work, going to lunch, meeting their future wife for the first time, going to the airport, going snowboarding, playing music, having domestic disputes that you can hear through their closed windows, cars revving, parties, police sirens, ambulance sirens, airplanes, etc. During the day everybody is standing side by side with you. But at 4 am. People are sound asleep. I feel like we’re still in that forest but now everybody has gotten tired of standing and they must now lie down. I can now see further outward with them no longer in my field of vision. My intense brainstorming happens at that time of the night. During the day I have to be productive. Laundry, Car wash, pay bills, deliver my shirts to customers, go to the bank, buy groceries. But at 4 am, I do none of these things. It’s my time to think, to research, to create, to marvel at the things I don’t have time to marvel at during my busy day. Have you ever gotten down on your hands and knees to watch ants at 4 am in front of your house and thought “Man, these guys never stop working, how do they know where to go and what to do?!” I find the simplest things fascinating. Which I think is a prerequisite for happiness. The most minuscule things have to intrigue you. You have to wonder about why and how things come to be. All kids are intrigued by everything but then we grow up and think we know how the world works. What if we denied ourselves of this false yet comfortable reality of knowing how things work and just admit to not knowing the grand majority. Not knowing is the most fascinating thing for me. It means there are still things left to discover. “Never stop being curious” is what I told myself at a young age and it has never steered me wrong. So to those who say I’m wasting my morning, I think you’re wasting your night.

Thank you for reading,

I finished writing this at 3 am last night.