What is it about trying to fall asleep that instantly sends my brain into hyper-drive. My thoughts rush through my brain at a million miles a second as I come to realizations, have brilliant epiphanies, and relive memories I haven’t thought about in years.
I cam to the realization that I am a dying species. I am the last of the human race that is likely to remember what it is like to write a research paper by hand and to have done said research from an encyclopedia.
I grew up in a house that didn’t have a computer until I was in high school. Since I didn’t have much experience or desire to use the computer I wrote all of my papers by hand. It was obviously inefficient, but we didn’t have a printer and something about hand written papers just felt right.
My senior year of high school literature my teacher assigned us a 10 page paper. I remember writing several drafts, starting over, and starting over again. I must have written 100 pages. I doubt anyone younger than me will ever know what that’s like. They will take the delete button for granted.
These thoughts quickly lead me down the rabbit whole of my consciousness…
I remember my high school computer class. I remember making power point presentations that forced us to use every feature. I remember spending hours carefully crafting a power point about a car I thought was cool – huge rims and all. Just reliving little moments like that remind me how immature I was when I was 16.
Then I think of moments of adversity. Like the effort I put into sports and making good grades. I see the moments that built character and the tough spots that in retrospect probably shaped my thinking for life. I remember being a leader on the wrestling mat, I remember going another minute when I didn’t think I could. I remember beating a guy no one thought I could.
Still can’t sleep…
What kind of man do I want to be? I read an article today that said that a 75 year Harvard research study showed that relationships were the key to happiness. Good relationships. Do I have that?
Maybe I should work harder on having better relationships. I’m going hiking with Holden tomorrow. That’s good. I need to maintain that relationship. I haven’t spoken to my Mom in almost a month. I need to do better there. I haven’t spoken to a lot of people. Maybe I should make a list of people to call or email every week – just to maintain those relationships.
I’m getting older and I don’t know what’s really important anymore. I used to be so sure. When I was in middle school starting on the football team was all that mattered. In high school it was more of the same. Good grades, good athlete, wrestling, football, college, girls…pretty straight-forward.
College was easy enough. Get a degree, get a job, drink a lot of beer. Pretend to know more than you do. Check, check, and double check.
Now here I am approaching five years into full-blown adulthood and I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t believe in any personal God to throw my problems to. I am starting to understand the importance of family, but I’m not sure I have family worth investing the energy on. I have a great wife, a few great friends, and a career.
To be honest everything is great. Great – accept – I have that unsatisfied feeling in my gut sometimes. I don’t know what it is – maybe it’s just that I always set my expectations so, so high. So high, in fact, that I’m not even sure where to go. I don’t know what’s next. Hints a guy blogging at 1 o’clock in the morning instead of sleeping.