I am currently sitting at a Panera, waiting to go to work in another hour (work being further down the strip mall). My coffee has cooled to the point it’s *almost* drinkable, which should do something to indicate how long I’ve been here.

The place is fairly full – there are at least as many occupied tables as there are not, and there’s a steady stream of customers coming in the faraway door (which I am hiding from, because people, it is 4 degrees outside). Everyone here seems happy and genial and like they’re functioning perfectly fine.

I hate all of them.

It’s not anything personal, mind you. It’s merely that it’s 7:55am, I’ve been here for 20 minutes, I’m bleary, and they’re all chipper. Not to be too stereotypical about it, but morning people piss me off.

It’s not their fault. I know this. Given I am doing this bitching at pretty much 8am, I know that most people are functioning perfectly fine by now and the morning-hating issue is on me more than them. I also know that later at night, say 1am, I will be wide awake and perfectly functional, and they will be wasting precious nighttime hours sleeping.

Part of my problem today is sleep-deprivation. It is my choice to have gone to bed at 2am in full knowledge that I would have to be out the door by 7:15. That said, when I did finally go to bed, I wasn’t tired. I had stopped writing for the evening and was reading* in a fruitless attempt to make myself tired. So when I stare groggily at the chipper morning-lovers around me, it is part in frustrated sleepiness, knowing that they don’t share my desire to faceplant into a pillow for another 4 hours.

I’m jealous. I tried for a solid year (2003-4: The Year I Tried To Be An Motherfucking Adult) to turn myself into a morning person, to get up by 7 when I had no reason to and function just as well as my morning person then-partner could. I would have figured that getting up at 7 every day and going to bed by 11 every night with few exceptions would have been enough to shift my circadian rhythms into the sort of cycle that is shared by chipper morning people everywhere.

Every night was the same. We’d go to bed. He’d fall asleep within a few minutes. I would lie there, growing steadily more awake by the moment, brain fizzing and spinning and popping, until I’d finally manage to pass out from sheer frustration around 1:30. Then I’d drag my sorrowful ass out of bed at 7 am, hoping that my lack of restful sleep would be enough to propel me into sleepiness earlier at night.

It never happened.

So here I am, 2 weeks before my 31st birthday, staring sleepily at my laptop screen, waiting to go to an uncharacteristically early shift at work, waiting for my coffee to kick in, wondering if I’ll ever be functional at a time when most normal adults have been at their jobs for 20 minutes, wondering if I’ll ever be a motherfucking adult.

Or maybe I’ll figure out at some point that being a night owl does not necessarily mean I’m somehow an over-old adolescent. If I come to that conclusion, it will probably be because future best-selling novel 😀 will have been written nightly between the hours of 11pm-3am, and my inability to sleep at normal person hours will have been justified.

Until then, I’ll settle for trying to convince myself that everyone else’s generic cheeriness is not meant to be an assault. They’re enjoying their mornings. 16 hours from now, they’ll be enjoying their pillows, and I will be writing.


*I was reading The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson, which is not at all (as I had initially assumed) about the popular girl at high school whom everyone loves to hate. Unexpected YASciFi FTW, yo.