When I’m dealing with a million things at once, like major life choices, I don’t sleep.
Like, at all.
When I don’t sleep, I think about random crap, ranging from my plans for my rare day off tomorrow (as I’m currently employed four times over, two regular jobs & two freelance jobs, my LinkedIn profile makes me look like a machine) to my deducing that my insomnia stems from burnout. Maybe I work too hard, put too much pressure on myself. Maybe I take the random people who call me their inspiration seriously & I feel like I need to be the pillar of strength & grace all of the time or I’ll fail them (might I suggest a better inspiration? Beyoncé is a good one). Or how I feel like a failure as a writer as of late, despite my blog & other endeavours appearing to be successful. Or the fact that my best friends think I work too much to avoid actual feelings. I told them I write my feelings where they can’t be found; in plain sight but hidden. Look at me pretending I’m a riddle. Or just failure in general.
Ladies & gentlemen, welcome to what I think about when I don’t sleep.
(Don’t worry kids, the title is still a song title. Insomnia doesn’t prevent my sometimes flawless musical timing)
I’ve spent so much of my life with something to prove. I need to overcome the shit childhood; the poverty, the emotionally draining relationships, the foster home, the stigma. I need to succeed, because for so long the sins of those who should have protected me were on my head. I refuse to do that for my own children, so I spend a lot of time trying to be better, smarter, healthier, wiser. I used to fear failure. If I failed at anything, it was a tragedy. I couldn’t handle it. Tests, work, all of it, it had to be perfect.
Part of my growth as a person has been to accept that I’m not perfect & sometimes I mess things up. Like this past month, when I got fired from the job I hated more than I hated geese (almost). My spotless employment record, ruined. Old MH would have had some kind of epic breakdown. As my daughters asked what would happen next (& I learned that I need to be more mindful of my speech because my five year old said she missed my old Target Mobile boss because he’s not a “raging doucher”), I very calmly told them I’d have a new job in a week. I was wrong; I had a new job in two days. I had TWO new jobs in a week. I may never have a successful personal life, But I dominate my professional life like a dynasty sports team.
I’m so close to having almost everything I’ve ever wanted. I couldn’t let the fact that my boss couldn’t see my worth to the company (I later learned I was one of only three people meeting the company standard) & the fact I lost a job I actively hated deter me from the goal. So, I stayed the course. Focused on the goal. I needed to show the girls that Mom had it under control…& she did. I can’t obsess about the fact that I didn’t succeed at a random retail job I won’t put on my resume. I HATED IT. I won’t succeed at something I hate & if I just continue to work & focus on my new jobs (which I love so much more) & freelancing in another time zone, I’ll get what I’ve worked my whole life for.
So, I’ve learned there’s no shame in failure. It’s when you don’t get back up. So, I’ve accepted I’ll never be Laycool flawless. But I’ll get back up & try again. And again. And I’ll teach my girls the lesson I learned the hard way; its not failing because you didn’t succeed; failure comes from giving up.
I guess that’s what I love most about life; even when I have no idea what direction I’m heading in or what to do next, to the point where I don’t sleep & I’d really like to, I’m still learning & growing. I’m still evolving into the kind of woman I want to be & that’s pretty rad. And eventually I’ll figure this life thing out & hopefully it’s not before life removes me from the game…& maybe after I get some sleep.