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Away with the Sleeping Mask
By Lauren Hunt
There is a moment each day, before you remember what day it is and what year it is and where you are and who you’ve become. There is only you, and you are waking up, and maybe you’re really happy just to be waking up again, or maybe you’re really tired and cursing yourself for setting an alarm so early. I am in that moment right now, only I am not waking up to a new day. I am waking up to life.
I know where I am and I know who I’ve been, but I don’t know where I’m going, and I get to decide that today. Right now. I could turn off the alarms in my head, roll over, and continue to sleepwalk through my life. I could keep getting by, keep doing the bare minimum, keep following the schedule of what I’m supposed to do to become a happy, successful, productive person. I could save my dreams for the moments before I fall asleep, when I get to construct my own world. When I get to be who I choose, say what I feel, love who I want, run and jump and fly and find adventures and excitement and success. I could grumble through the day with sleep in the corners of my eyes, blurring out the peripherals of life.
Or, I could wake up. I could decide to spring out of bed with a joy for living and breathing and seeing everything in my vision, wiping the corners of my eyes and finding things within my reach I never knew where there. I could use today as the blank slate it is. I could stop the past from flooding into my mind and tying me down to where I am and who I’ve been. I could be so grateful just to have woken up that I’d refuse to waste another minute on anything that didn’t make me blissfully happy. I could spend every minute with friends and family, or with strangers in new places, or cooking the meal I never have time for, or putting the story in my head on paper, or packing a bag and leaving the map at home. I could wake up with a clear vision, and find that in this reality I can still be who I choose, say what I feel, love who I want, run and jump and fly through life in pursuit of my own adventures and excitement and success, instead of those I think I’m bound to pursue.
Tick. Tick. Tick. The alarm is coming. It’s time. Open your eyes.