I was a nervous child. When I was in grade school and I couldn't sleep, I would sit wrapped in my blanket next to my nightlight and read chapter books until my little eyes would fall closed. I would hide at the top of the stairs and watch Welcome Back Cotter and Saturday Night Live behind my parents on the couch. I didn't realize at the time that my anxiety kept me awake, that my little brain was already processing all the stress I believed I had. I worried about my little 5th grade tummy and thighs because my mother said I hadn't lost my baby fat with sadness in her eyes. I internalized all the unhappiness in my family all around me that I didn't yet understand was not normal.
In high school I stayed up all night, not so unusual. I would write down all my fears in journals covered in fairies and glitter. I wrote all the time. I wrote letters I never sent to boys who broke my heart. I wrote letters to boys who's hearts I had broken. I reorganized my closet, and I wrote short stories about it. I romanticized my teenage adventures and worried I was not having enough of them. And if all else failed then I would call my friend Katie and we would watch late night infomercials together until the screens went to static and there was nothing left to sell.
In college I left my sleeping boyfriend in our bed in my first ever apartment and scrubbed the kitchen floor all night because I knew our relationship was over and I didn't know what to do with that information. I fretted about my classes, and my body, and my decisions. I worried about the future and all the unknowns that would come with it. The night before the LSAT I stalked along the floor of the basement of the house where I grew up and considered changing everything and everyone and doing everything I could to assure never feeling so frightened again. But it wasn't the last time. It is never the last time.
In law school I would just drink.
And now I sit in my bed, listening to the morning call to prayer pour out of the mosque, seeing the first glimpses of day creeping in through my shutters, wondering what I will be doing with my life and if I really want to get married at all. Will I find a passion after this that will fullfill me emotionally and financially and and and and
Will he really be the one who will become my real partner in this crazy life? When I look into his big brown eyes I want to believe I will be able to sleep, with him, forever. I just want to be able to sleep.