On Sleep

I know more about sleep than any ordinary person should (anyone who doesn’t study it for a living of course). This may be due to the fact that I had frequent nightmares as a child leaving me to not want to go back to sleep. My parents would put on Cinderella for me on the old VCR we had which I suppose at that time wasn’t that old. In all seriousness, without my anxiety medicine it takes me at least a half-hour or so to get to sleep. An average person needs about only fourteen minutes to get to sleep. While on my medicine, however, it takes me even longer. I estimate it takes at least an hour for me to get to sleep.

Sometimes there are obvious factors as to why I’m having difficulty. One such factor is what I call “racing brain syndrome” (catchy no?) where my brain either has too much creative energy or too many worries going through it. Often I also seem to want to recount the day or even random events from my past. Sometimes it’s like my brain missed a memo from my tired body and the late time on the clock that I am supposed to be sleeping. I have read that people have written in a journal to help with this so they can get all the ideas out and finally have their brain rest. I’ve tried this before, especially if I have creative ideas, and it has helped a bit.

Sometimes the room is either too hot or too cold. I’m either curled up in a ball trying to warm myself up enough or I’m stretched out with my legs search for the cool places at the sides of my bed. I have read before that the best temperature for sleep is in the mid-sixties. Other physical factors can be aches and pains (often due to my scoliosis) but if this happens at least that can be quickly fixed by taking an Advil.

And before you ask, yes I have taken Benadryl and melatonin before for my issues getting to sleep. They don’t really help me much. One positive is how much I have learned about sleep because of my problems. And even though I still struggle sometimes, at least I know I have a lot of knowledge in my back pocket to try out if I need it.

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A Letter to the Creative People

Here is a piece of writing I quickly came up with for a professional writing class in which we have to do communiques each week. We are allowed to write about anything as long as we are conveying something through writing. So expect to see more of these. 

Dear Artists, Poets, and Creators,

I have convinced myself as of late that we creative people were not meant for this world. I say this at the risk of sounding very cheesy and airy fairy. Yet everywhere I look, we are being squashed, looked down upon, or simply shoved aside. Many times during the day I find myself either daydreaming or find my mind wander to other responsibilities.

Here’s a crazy idea, maybe society should include creativity within the classroom? Or make jobs for creative people which will allow them to have a decent life? I feel like society is under the assumption that only a few of us are sprinkled into the population and can easily find a position where we can do our work. Yet very few of us find a stable position and the large number is left to work on something less intriguing. So it’s simple. We can split our time and attention into work and creative pursuits; right?

Once we have time taken up by work and responsibilities, where is the time to be creative? Oh wait….there isn’t much time is there? I suppose there is always the option of not sleeping or slacking on work. But those aren’t very good options are they. And there is always the proverbial “If you are passionate about it then do it. Make time for it.” Ah yes thank you I will wave my magic wand and make my laundry list of responsibilities disappear…but only just as soon as my laundry is done.

Okay so the world we live in is not congruent to the dreams of the right-brained creator. But what are we supposed to do? The short answer is daydream more. The longer answer is that in our nature we want to escape from a world where we don’t fit, and in that create worlds and people of our own. Or lose ourselves in making a scarf or a piece of art. When this happens our personal worlds make more sense and then we can deal with the “real” world better. So interestingly enough the cause of the problem also becomes the solution. However, there is a logical inconsistency here. We need time to be able to breathe, slow down, and create. But that’s exactly what society is missing in their understanding of us left-handers and right-brained people; we need our creative expression like we need water, air, and food. It is not an option to ignore the voice that tells us we need to do or make something. It is not an option to ignore us any longer and for us to ignore ourselves. We need to change society and who better to do it than us creative types.

Sincerely,

Megan (fellow left-handed, right-brained, creative daydreamer)

Happy to be Reading- “Underlife” by January Gill O’Neil

Yet again I must apologize for neglecting this blog. I’m sure once I go on winter break I will try to post periodically. This semester at college has been challenging but also soul enriching. The challenges I faced made me look at what I was doing with my life. Why was I starting to have panic attacks? I know I have major anxiety problems when it comes to school work so much so that I finally started to go to a counselor to talk to her about my issues.

I found out two things I have been doing wrong my entire life:

1. I was comparing myself to others.

2. I was trying to meet all my teachers’ expectations and be a “perfect” student.

But since I realized these two main flaws in my philosophy of what I am supposed to be as a person (which is not to my capabilities), I have realized the source of my anxiety and perhaps have begun the process of letting go of the idea of being “perfect”. I feel everyone holds themselves today to unimaginably high standards. But we are only human.

I hope this provides for some explanation for why I have been neglecting this blog. In essence it is only an extension of me neglecting myself. I hope instead of neglecting myself and what I enjoy doing, I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and start to create a new happier me. I deeply desire to shed away the stress and idea I never have enough time, so I have more time to better myself.

One of my first steps has been to start reading more. I have taken up reading the Anderson fairy-tale stories before going to bed. Right now I am reading a series of short stories about a man who paints pictures of things the moon has observed happen on Earth. It is quite interesting. The moon sees the varied human emotions happen right before his eyes and all sorts of different people and places. It makes me wonder at the history of man kind and the many people, places, and experiences which have happened on this planet. The only constant in truth is the universe itself. The moon and stars. Yet, now that I think of it, even that changes. Stars die creating supernovas.

Anyhow, one of the people I go to for advising whom I now consider a friend as well as a role model (Although I am unsure whether she realizes this), got into a conversation with me yesterday about poetry. She suggested I read a collection of poetry named “Underlife” by January Gill O’Neil. I am halfway through. I must tell you that the poetry is such a meaningful look at simply (yet complicated) moments of life. Anyone who has lived in an urban environment could connect to it and even if you haven’t it is still very relevant to anyone.

That’s all for now! I hope all of you aren’t stressing too much about the upcoming holiday season (excepting Hanukkah which has already come and gone).

Until next time,

Megan

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