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A 3AM ESSAY

My day started at 3:17am today. Whaaaat?!

Yeah, I know. And I don’t even drink coffee, which means that I run on pure, unadulterated zest for life. Haaa! What this really translates to is that I had a whole list of things I wanted to get done today and maybe only a handful of those boxes will get checked off. Maybe.

Mornings like this, when I’ve been up either reading or writing, every now and then looking out our window, I am always surprised when suddenly it’s light out. How does the sun rising always catch me off-guard like that? Somehow, I am completely unsuspecting that the sun does indeed rise every morning, like that time Matthew and I were walking down the subway steps of NYC and right before we hit the turnstiles, he did an exaggerated yawn, probably a nervous reaction, pulled me close and we shared our first kiss. It was lovely and beautiful and totally unexpected, which made it that much more endearing. 

Matthew, with his eye mask over his eyes,

without even lifting them will roll over and say, “Go to bed already.” Pffft. I am in bed. I’m just not asleep. My mind is whirring with thoughts, typically questioning the meaning of life and also asking myself if I’ve shown the kids enough love today. I know I hugged them, kissed them at random times, praised them, told them I loved them, but did they really feel it? “You know I love you so much, right?” I repeat that, always, to each child before bed. Once the house settles and everyone’s asleep, well almost everyone, the only thing creeping around in the dark at our house at night is me, checking in on them several times a night, watching them sleep, and thinking to myself, I really have to try harder at loving them today. 

I tried to explain this sentiment to one of my brothers awhile ago and he promptly told me that I am like this because I’m neurotic, which means to say, I’m perfectly normal and weird at the same time. But who isn’t? Thank God. Perfectly normal and perfectly weird. I am achieving balance in my life. I can just picture Oprah and Eckhart Tolle smiling and nodding at me in approval. 

I did a guided meditation to meet my spirit guide once and, going in, I fully expected The Madonna with the baby Jesus in her arms, or at least, someone like her, you know, motherly, to show up. Instead, as soon as I closed my eyes, all the noise of the room faded away and what took its place was the sound of a Buddhist monk chanting, clearly singing prayers, though I couldn’t understand them. Then, in the stage of my mind, sure enough, an elderly man with a bald head, dressed in orange Buddhist robes, amusedly took center stage. He had this smile that was just short of turning into laughter that seemed to say, “not quite what you were expecting huh?” 

I took this as a sign from the Universe as a reminder to me that, yes I am a mother, incredibly honored to be one, but I am also so many other things that have equal gravity in my life. “Who were you before you started thinking about who you are now?” I wrote that and only that in one of my journal entries not too long ago. I’ve stared at that question without really knowing the answer – yet. I’m not sure I ever will know. Thinking of who I was then rests on the foundation of who I think I am now. And who I am now changes all the time, based on the truths I discover through my own experiences in the now. 

I’m an infinite puzzle I’m still trying to put together the pieces to. Does this round nub even go into that square dent? Heck, if I know. But I’ll try it anyway. I am comfortable with the unknowing, even at 3AM, comfortable with the questions that inevitably bring more questions, when being awake at that hour, thinking these things is at its most discomfiting, because you are left with your own thoughts, no one to voice them to, and no one else to answer them. This is ok, in fact, it’s perfectly weird and perfectly normal, so long as it means I am more present in the now, for having asked the questions in the first place. 

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