Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sleep Well


Adulthood carries with it the joys of independence. Late at night, that independence may resurface as a nightmare, or at least a pesky recurring dream that makes one want to lie awake just a little longer rather than succumb to another repetition.

Some dear ones are gifted with the ability to leave their troubles with their unconscious, folded up under the pillow. Others are good at hiding it. I carry mine around like a darn purse that makes my shoulder ache, and then the ache flows down and down to my toe. Sometimes it even spreads up to my eyebrow.

I am most troubled and disappointed by my own shortcomings, which are seeming to reproduce and then light on every surface near and far, like Charlotte's baby spiders just after hatching.

Next I am troubled by my schedule and it's impossible boundaries.

Then I am troubled by the reality of my everyday existence, which is certainly not what I had planned for my life. I could accept that if it made sense to me why it might be a better option than I what I had planned, but since it's not make sense right now, I am still straining against my leash most pathetically.

When I talk to others, I realize almost all of us are in the midst of the same behaviors and varying degrees of shocked disillusionment. Not everyone, by any means, but many of my generation seem to be facing this.

At night sometimes I remember falling asleep as a child. Of course I had woes in the past, and they even loomed large at times. Sometimes the 'tragedies' didn't make any sense, but eventually they sorted themselves out. I remember rare nights when sleep was hard won, and of course my mom would know it. And she might come in and sit by my bed, or on my bed, and stroke my hair or rub my back until my childish body relaxed, and I realized all my problems were taken care of by someone else anyhow.

Or maybe I fell asleep in a random location, watching a movie or waiting to go home from my parents' friends' house. And my dad might scoop me up and carry me to my proper place. I might wake up, but I would realize it was best to keep my eyes closed and remain motionless, not to let this opportunity slip by to be carried by my father to exactly where I belonged.

It troubles me at first when I realize I am escaping to fairly passive memories of existence. Then I understand that my responses in those times were not exactly passive, although the result was true and deep relaxation. My response was trust. I knew the ones who loved me, and I let them care for me in their love. Then I grew up and got blasted independent and stubborn, and viewed it as a sign of weakness to accept help and support and direction from anyone except for my own self. I would plumb the depths of my own mind for answers to questions.

Today I am weary. I have worries. I am perplexed by knotted strands of the future I don't know how to untangle. I want to fall back into childhood and let the solutions wash over me like a night of trusted sleep, when all my problems, ultimately, were solved.

And then I realize... I can.
"Even to your old age I am the same, even when your hair is gray I will bear you;
It is I who have done this, I who will continue,
and I who will carry you to safety. [...]
For I am the Lord, your God,
who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'
" (Isaiah 46:4, 41:13)

5 comments:

daniel said...

I loved this blog post, Sydney!

Bethany Blanchard Coleman said...

Not to knock God or anything, cuz cool and all. But this is what marriage is for. It's def not like having a parent, but you don't have to face those times independently--a.k.a. "alone". And you get to snuggle. :D

Sydney McFearless said...

haha! sister you are sooo silly.... and just so you know, i'm actually not married! also, i can't marry myself or make someone else marry me. SO. there you have it. :)

Bethany Blanchard Coleman said...

mmm, yes, i did sound rather unhelpful and insensitive, didn't i... sorry, not at all my intention. i was more marveling at how family and community works: someone you become legally attached to as an adult can be a companion in some of the same ways as those who you were born legally attached to. it's almost like we creatures were born not to be alone... :) although some people are really good at it. since I am never alone except when driving to and from work, and since I am married and thus a lost cause from the single perspective, i have nothing whatsoever of use to say. apologies.

Sydney McFearless said...

no no no, DON'T be sorry, don't ever do that. because it is for the simple fact that you are married that i was able to enter daniel into my new SIM as "Daniel (brother)." and that made me happy! also, your husband is one of the only people who will online chat with me BEFORE work -- and this was also the case when work started at 445am! also, he gave me some good encouragement on my writing just above, and that was thrilling. so that fact that YOU are married helps ME a lot. and gives me something to look forward to. but it's not really helping me through the sleepless nights at this time. ;)