There’s only one thing that matters today: it’s beautiful out.
The kind of midsummer beauty that can be sometimes hard to find in the humid and rainy north. It’s humid today too, almost unbearably so, but I still find myself sitting on my miniscule back porch at 9am, staring up into the cloudless sky like it’s the first time I ever saw it. Scully, my chunky, 3 year old, Shepard mix splashes in her pink kiddie pool like a big water dish, filling her mouth with fresh water that just spit out of a green hose still dangling, lazily over the edge of the plastic pool. It’s a perfect morning, punctuated with lawn mowers that never seem to stop running this time of year and the light buzz of the first cicada I’ve heard all summer. At that moment, I’m glad I actually pulled myself out of bed to experience this morning.
I’m a night owl, usually. When I was a little younger, I was the picture of the struggling creative: awake at 3am, glasses pushed up, pen in hand, a concerned look on my face as I tried to figure out where I wanted to go next in a story, chicken scratch covering almost every inch of a notebook page. And while I always liked that idea of myself (how perfect is it for a horror writer to exclusively write at night?), it’s no longer a realistic idea of myself.
Of course I still love writing at night. The rush of cleaning up a complicated chapter or starting and finishing a rough draft for a short story that’s been brewing in your head all day, is a high that I have nothing to compare it too. When I usually finish writing, birds are already chirping and life is trying to pull itself together for another day. I shuffle to my bathroom to finally brush my teeth and wash my face, and it’s always in that moment I feel as peaceful as I can possibly get. It’s as if, just by writing, I was able to clean out a part of me that was pent up and dying to be free. Like Dumbledore and his pensieve (yes, I know how nerdy that sounded).
Recently though, I’ve been trying to fix my sleep schedule. While staying up until all hours of the night was kind of romantic when I was a kid, and a state of being when I went from my teenage to young adult years, it’s not so practical when I have a billion and one things to get done during the day.
It’s not really a huge change. Instead of waking up at 10 or 11 (the perks of working at home on your own schedule), I’m getting up around 8, and getting to work by (at least) 9:30 - 10, but it has already made more of a difference in me.
If anyone knows me, they know I’m very childlike. Not immature, well at least trying not to be immature, but I’m short with a round face, a love for cutesy things that is usually on the same level as my love for creepy things, and I can be fairly enthusiastic over stuff that I probably don’t need to be so excited or amazed about. I’m also extremely nostalgic about 80% of the time. Yes, I’m that 90’s - early 00’s kid.
But since I’m trying so desperately to change some of my bad habits (including my messed up sleep schedule and incredibly disordered eating), I’ve been slowly chipping away at the things that most made me like a kid, or at least like the emo teen I used to be.
Today, as I sat outside and watched my dog play, the sky getting bluer and bluer, I wasn’t sad about not being a kid anymore. And it really shocked me. Summer is usually the time I most think about my past and how much fun I would have as an unburdened child who explored her yard and imagined far off places, or played Animal Crossing on the GameCube all day without worrying that I got enough grading hours in to pay my phone bill this month. Of course I still miss those times, but for once I didn’t feel like I would give anything to be back there.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting enough Vitamin D because I spend as much time outside as I possibly can before we get another Westeros style winter, if I’m just having a good day where depression or anxiety isn’t trying to gnaw at my psyche, or if I’m just on a track in my life that finally feels right, but I don’t miss who I was. I’m just glad about who I am today. Now, back to work.