Am I wasting my youth?
It’s 3:14 AM and I haven’t gotten a wink of sleep. The hot sheets are twisted around my ankles, causing just enough contact with my skin to give me comfort without enveloping me in their sweaty entrapment.
I turn on music in an attempt to sleep. It beats and thrums around me in atmospheric bliss as I try to drown my thoughts. Because, if I’m going to be honest with myself, that’s the main reason I leave my music on all night at almost full volume: to escape my roaming mind.
But nothing ever helps. My mind flies willingly to those thoughts, pulling me deeper into that dark, empty void. It doesn’t matter how emotionally, financially, or emotionally stable I’m feeling in the brightest hours of the day, because the lonely hours of the night grasp at me and drag me back to my weakest state every sleepless night.
It’s the Void.
That empty space where my mind retreats when I’m conveniently alone and feeling lost. It takes this vulnerable hour to question my motives, my dreams, my accomplishments and ask—are they worth it? Do they really mean anything?
I’ve spent my entire life learning about Plato and Socrates and many other philosophers with all their outlandish notions about existentialism and the supposed duty of man. But, no one ever taught me how to deal with these musings myself; how to fight off the darkness that invades my pores as I huddle in the recess of my mattress every night.
I can’t imagine any conscious human being able to avoid these thoughts.
But, there is always a saving grace in the end: either falling far into the void until merciful sleep hauls me back out again, or the intrusive light of the rising sun. Either would eventually snap me back into reality; a place where I know things to be true.
It’s so easy, to be afraid of what we don’t understand—especially when it comes to the mystery of our own minds. Even more so when we begin to question things larger than ourselves: the nature of the world, the meaning of life, the significance of death. It’s also easy to simply take the risk—examine the unknown and find meaning in it; at least become comfortable with the realization that we don’t have all the answers, and we never will.
I used to be afraid of these early mornings. 3:14 AM was my curse; a haunting passing of time I could never avoid, only endure. But, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to understand that it’s alright to dive into the unknown. This life isn’t made for comfort. It’s made for pain, and heartbreak, and discovery. And there’s a sort of liberation in the knowledge that we don’t know, or feel, or see, everything. It makes life an adventure, with an unlimited amount of things to uncover and explore.