I’m awake, which means a battle has been fought, and this time I won. Yesterday, I definitely lost because I slept two hours late, and I never got past the feeling that the part of me who chose to sleep through the morning was in control the rest of the day. I don’t think I’ve ever met this version of me, but I think about them a lot. I wish I could talk to the part of me that turns alarms off, hides phones under pillows and pillows under blankets. I wish I could sit down, have a strong cup of tea and find out what the hell is wrong with the me that makes my mornings rushed and my showers horribly dissatisfying. But I can’t. So I’m going to guess a bit more about this person.
The part of me that hears an alarm, stands up, walks across the room, turns the alarm off, and understands that the alarm was put in place by someone with a pretty tight schedule… this person would probably not watch me get hit by a car, but they wouldn’t do much to stop it. Sleepy me understands everything I do about how much time we need to wake up, shower, sit on the couch and stare at nothing, and get dressed. They know all this, but their priorities shift completely so the only thing that is important to them is more sleep, which keeps them alive by keeping awake me out of the picture for a while longer. From this, I can conclude that sleepy me is an unapologetic narcissist.
The last night I worked on my thesis required transcending to some state of being that had moved beyond awake and asleep. I had become so tired and so overworked that things like comfort, hunger, thirst, exhaustion, how long my butt had been asleep, any physical need fell so far from my field of priority that I just couldn’t think about them. I only noticed how my body felt once it was over. Sleeping me is on the far opposite end from whatever mythically efficient person I became when I was finishing my thesis. That person was removed entirely from what their body wanted. The me that throws phones under beds and sleeps for two extra hours is driven only by what their body wants. It is the difference between a child throwing a tantrum on their birthday because they didn’t get a third piece of cake and one of those really nice vending machines that have the touch screen and take credit cards.
What can we learn from our sleepy selves? I can gather that a big part of me thinks we aren’t getting enough sleep. The rest of my body treats sleepy me like the weakest member on a committee of supervillains: “Oh, you think we should let the body rest? You fool, we will do the opposite of that just to see you squirm!” Sleepy me also thinks waking me should do a better job with our cat because she clawed our butt so hard this morning we were worried we’d passed out in a piercing studio. The rest of me doesn’t trust sleepy me, though, because Moira is such a good small cat who would never ever do anything to hurt anyone and it was probably just one of those ridiculous dreams we’re always having. Sleepy me also tends to think that it would be a lot easier to get out of bed if there was breakfast to look forward to, and the rest of me can agree because it’s very hard to get up off the couch when I know the next food I’m going to eat will be in 4 hours when my school wheels out the trays of crunchy pita and crusty hummus.
There’s a lot we can learn from our sleepy selves, mostly that they’re bastards, but also that it’s really, really easy to fall back into living in impulses, and it feels incredible to do that. I may have had a hectic morning that kept me anxious through the rest of the day, but those extra two hours were something truly special.
Now, I’m going to go finish waking up so I know for sure that I’m cold and distant enough from the needs of my body that I don’t even think about comfy beds and fluffy blankets until nothing bad will come of it.