Rerouting Life’s GPS

When my alarm went off at 5:30 today, I turned it off. This is not unusual. Like clockwork, every day, I set two extra alarms for fifteen minutes and a half hour before I really need to get up. 5:45 and 6:00 alarms would quickly come, and only then would I truly escape the dangerously addictive activity known as sleep.

I have a love-hate relationship with mornings, and these kinds of measures are necessary to ensure I pull my lazy ass out of my warm, safe cocoon of a bed and face whatever unknowns the outside world has for me. Back when I was working, getting out the door to head to a place I hated more than anything was a near-impossible feat that I still somehow managed to do. On the days or even weeks when depression reared its ugly head more than usual, I’d get out of bed for moments, only to collapse onto the floor in a whirlwind of tears and self-hatred. Those days are currently behind me. I hope desperately to leave them there, with my misery and uncertainty. Look forward, after all; it’s all you can do.

Today, however, my second and third alarms never came. Maybe I simply neglected to set them, or slept through them, or shut them off without remembering. Either way, out of dead sleep, I was suddenly reminded that I had school today. I needed to get up. My eyes flew open in a panic, not even blurry from sleep, and I slammed my finger on the home button of my poor, beaten-down iPhone on my bedside shelf. 9:00 on the dot. Those three bright white numbers stared at me, and I stared confounded back at them, for a mere moment until my locked phone flickered back to its idle black-screened state.

I’ve slept through my 8 o’clock class, I realized, dragging my hands down my face. Mind thoroughly blown, I do a mental recap of my life to date. Back in high school, when the idea of walking back into that godforsaken building sent such painful, searing dread down my spine that I would rather stay home and wallow in it: I still woke up. Work, later, Dunkin’ Donuts, coming to life at noon every day and heading in for my miserable closing shift at three: I still woke up. Even during my brief stint in banking, when everything seemed to be falling apart just like it did in high school, I drew each pained shaky breath and got out of bed. Even when the crushing sadness was physically too much to bear and I knew, oh how I knew, that I could never make it through the day: I woke up. Maybe I skipped. Maybe I called out. I always woke up.

February 7th, 2018: I unintentionally sleep through my morning obligation for the first time in recorded history. Mark your calendars, folks.

This morning wasn’t even one of those hard ones! As I stated in my last post, I’ve been absolutely happy lately. Why now, of all times, does this accident occur? It holds no weight, in the end. I apologize to my professor, make up the notes, and make sure to show up bright and early on Monday. No harm, no foul. Yet why do I feel so… off?

It’s simple: this never happens.

I can’t help but wonder if it was meant to be, for whatever reason. Why did the universe decide that I needed those few extra hours of sleep? Why was I fated to stay home today instead of go out? Was it to write this post? Will I do something profound in the next few hours, or will this incident simply fade meaninglessly into my past? Well, I do believe the latter is up to me. I was shaken this morning to wake up when I did. It threw a wrench into the works of my carefully balanced, hand-scheduled, bullet-journaled life. Am I glad I don’t have to deal with going to school today? Sure. Am I thankful for this sudden gift of seven extra hours of time I don’t know what to do with? Absolutely. But does this irregularity scare me? A little. I think it does a little.

Time, in fact, was going to be the topic of the next post on this blog, so I find this aberration too relevant to ignore. Me sleeping in today was only inconsequential if I deem it so. If I desire, I can turn this into a profoundly productive day. I have music to listen to. Words to pen. Lives to change. Hearts to reach.

Maybe I am simply a wildly hopeful girl who sometimes drowns in what feels like a hopeless existence, but I think everything can either matter to you… or not. I frequently find myself analyzing seemingly irrelevant moments like these and trying and find meaning in them. Needless to say, that can get me into some trouble when it comes to overthinking. But today, I have the outcome of my over-analysis in my hands. This blog post is the physical manifestation of what I consider some positive spin on what could have been an absolute disaster. Were this the me of even just a few weeks ago, I may have woken up feeling horrible, believing this minuscule indiscretion had already fucked up my college career within my first few weeks. This should be the end of my happy streak. Why am I not in shambles?

It’s because for once in my life, I know that that’s not true.

Maybe Zoloft is a miracle drug, or maybe this all is just a fluke phase of my life, and within a week I’ll be curled up in a ball on my floor again. The future is always as uncertain as a die roll, and for all I know, I’ll even sleep through tomorrow. I sure hope not, but like anything in life, I have no idea. For whatever reason, I’m okay with that ambiguity, and today, I think I am starting to get the hang of simply rolling with the punches.

Life is what we make of it, and some of us struggle to make it into something worth living, but hope is an invaluable resource. Whether or not this all will make my ups and downs easier to weather, I just don’t know. What I do know? Optimism is a gift I’ve nearly never managed to possess, and it’s lingering here at my fingertips. If I can keep looking at life through a clear, bright lens, I’ll look back on my high-def memories and smile… never frown.

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