The other day, I posted to Facebook that I couldn’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t a night person. A few friends said that they were the same way.
Writing that I couldn’t remember a time when I wasn’t a night person was a little bit of an exaggeration. Of course I can. But, that was before I started working. The job I had in high school was working for a Little Caesar’s franchise. I eventually worked my way up to the main closing insider. That meant that I wouldn’t get home until almost midnight. From there, I joined the Navy. It took some time before the brand new ship I was stationed to was ready to leave the ship yard. But, the job I eventually worked my way into was working in a dark room, staring at radar consoles. When underway, we worked 6 hours on, 6 hours off. If you didn’t go outside, you had two ways to tell what time it was. Looking at the clock of course. Or the meal being served. Was it breakfast or dinner?
These days, I’m often starting work at 5pm. That means I might be up until 2 or 3am. For this reason, I don’t schedule anything when the giant fireball is in the sky until 11am or noon. It’s something I’ve been doing for quite a few years. It’s habit and routine. Last night, for example, I saw a midnight movie with two friends. As we drove home at 2:30am, I was wide awake.
But, the main reason for writing this blog post was not to let you know about my work schedule. It was because I think I gravitate toward the night. I can’t speak for the friends of mine who agreed that they were night owls as well. But, I think one of the reasons I am awake at night more is because it’s easier to exist. Or, at least it has been. For as long as I remember, I have suffered from social anxiety. Heck, I didn’t even know the words “social anxiety” until I was 30. Before then, I just knew that it was easier to be outside when other people weren’t. And that, just so happens to be at night.
Since I sold my car last year, I’ve fallen in love again with the freedom and absolute joy of riding a bike. The best part of my day is the ride home at 1am. The road is mine. Oh sure, I keep an eye and ear out for vehicles and other people who might be lurking at that hour. But, it’s peaceful and I’m without nervous feelings during that ride. It’s nice.
Over the last couple of years, most of the nervous feelings I’ve “enjoyed” most of my life have been squashed”. I’m now, regularly out with friends and even just out for a nice ride or lunch by myself. I’m getting quite accustomed to the big fireball in the sky. The clipboard carrying creatures who like to stand on street corners don’t make me nervous like they used too. I can look people in the eye if they approach me to ask how I like my computer. I don’t stumble over my words when I’m asked for directions. I regularly smile when speaking with someone.
In some ways, I feel like a vampire who has just gained the power to coexist with people during daylight hours. It’s both odd and nice at the same time. I like it. But, I think it will be sometime before I start going to sleep before 9pm. My schedule just doesn’t afford such things. And I still kinda like being awake when others aren’t. I like talking with friends who are awake at such hours. Their nice people.
It’s nice having options, though.