It Stalks You In The Night
You lie there, willing sleep to carrying you away. Hoping and praying that the shuffling and sighing and tossing and turning will eventually cease, to be replaced by the sweet release of snoozing.
But you remain disappointed.
Brain spinning like a toddler atop a tricycle after a hit of Haribo, you find yourself unable to keep pace with your thoughts as they dodge, overlap, and collide like a mischief of rats fleeing a sinking ship.
Why are you suffering these tormented, sleepless nights?
What did you do to deserve this deficit of dozing?
Nothing, dear reader, absolutely nothing.
The only thing you’re guilty of…
..is the desire to change your life for the better.
The Worst Good Idea
Sleepless nights? I’ve been there. And recently, I was racking them up like a raver who worked a day job at an energy drinks factory.
But let me introduce you to a little secret.
A secret that, deep down, everybody knows, but rarely discusses.
Because sleepless nights due to guilt, fear, decisions, regret…all the nasty stuff, basically.
We’ve all been there.
But what they don’t like to talk about is insomnia, self-doubt, and introspection that comes from…
Following a dream.
Yep, irony alert: Following a dream during the day can stop us from dreaming at night.
Do any of the following sound familiar to you?
First, you define what you want out of life – and we don’t have to mean selling the house and spending the pension fund on a butterfly sanctuary in Phuket – be it a job, hobby, relationship, trip, or whatever else you’ve had your heart set on.
Then you do the googling, the reading, the YouTubing, the scrolling, the hashtag searching, the watching, the scheming, and the planning.
Followed by bubbling excitement and patting yourself on the back for being the all-executing, action-focused, go-getter that you are.
Finally, riding a wave of anticipation and excitement into bed, snuggling under the covers.
Then asking yourself:
“Oh shit, how am I actually going to do this”
Let the all-night rollercoaster of self-doubt and questioning begin. Don’t forget to keep your arms inside the car at all times as you curse yourself for having the courage to dream a dream in the first place.
And if you’ve ever been on this particular journey, and entered a new day with tired, itchy, red eyes and a personality of a bear with a steel trap nibbling on its paw, you are not alone.
Because I know this experience all-too-well.
For me, it was known as ‘February’.
Because I’d foolishly considered that the process of following a dream and moving to New Zealand would be ‘fun’.
How wrong I was.
Mind The Gap
First things, first, New Zealand is fun. VERY fun.
And I’m not even knee-deep in kiwi fruit and sheep yet. I’m on day 10 of managed isolation quarantine.
Think of it as a prison. Only with more Netflix and less shanking.
I don’t regret following this dream for an instant.
But during the whole month of February (and the first 48 hours of March, if we’re getting technical), I was having serious doubts.
Doubts about the dream. Doubts about my ability to make it happen. Doubts about myself.
I’d lie awake every night, drowning in an endless sea of to-do lists, constantly berating myself for daring to dream big.
I found myself in ‘the gap’
The gap is that bottomless pit situated in-between the exciting start that that is ‘the idea’ and the happy ending that is ‘the result’.
Not be confused with a US clothing store which is the one-stop-shop if you want to look like an extra from Friends.
The ‘gap’ is the part of the journey where you can really make a difference in your life.
This is where you stand for something.
Because if you don’t, you’ll fall, deep, deep down.
Then tell yourself a bunch of excuses about it ‘not being the right time’.
Expend lots more energy building up the confidence to start dreaming about a new ‘idea’.
But I discovered the secret:
Whenever we want to achieve something new, we’re always going to fall in the gap.
So it’s not about the falling, it’s about learning how to stand back up again.
Standing Up For Yourself
Pandemics. Travel bans. Visa issues. 12,000 miles away from every familiar thing that I held close to my heart.
Plenty of reasons to lie awake all night at the bottom of the gap. So many opportunities to say, “this is just too difficult right now”. Dozens of pitfalls to tumble into
But also plenty of reasons to stand tall, and stand up for our dreams.
So next time you’re lying awake at night, worrying that wonderful vision you had for the future is just too difficult to achieve.
Stand up for it. Stand up for yourself.
For you are stronger than you can ever imagine. You can achieve things you didn’t think possible. You can make it to the other side of the gap.
Although, maybe I’m wrong. This might just be positive-thinking mumbo-jumbo. Perhaps, dreams should stay just that – a dream – and not be turned into reality.
But there’s only one way to get a solid 8 hours’ kip…either give up on your dreams or make them happen.
Both options work, but the choice is yours.
Love from New Zealand.
PS – Yes it’s actually called a ‘mischief’ of rats. And for that knowledge-bomb alone, why not forward this blog to someone you love?
Or hate. I’m not picky.