An Elusive Balance

This morning, I awoke on the floor of my bedroom.

‘This morning’ is technically correct, though I should mention it was actually 3:20 AM.

Though not necessarily a common occurrence for me, I do occasionally wake up in this fashion – with the lights still on, an unfinished cup of coffee on the nightstand, my back in knots, and iTunes still playing The Lord of the Rings Complete Recording on my laptop. And it usually happens after I try to stay up late writing. Emphasis on the try.

And my first thought is almost always ‘Not again.’

I go through periods in my life where I think I have it all together – the stars align, my routines even themselves out, I remember everything on my to-do list, and I don’t wake up on my floor in the wee hours of the morning. And then, inevitably, there are also periods in my life where I fall into that horrible place between ‘having it all together’ and ‘a complete, total trainwreck.’ These days are usually categorized by piles of unfolded laundry littered around my room and days where I rely solely on English muffins and ramen noddles for sustenance.

I mean, I’m in my early twenties. I think I’m allowed to be a trainwreck sometimes. But it’s not productive, and, in the end, usually makes me feel like a useless slug until I can pick myself back up again and try and get back on track.

I suppose I am searching for something that has eluded me for what feels like forever – that balance, between the extremes. The train that chugs along toward a visible destination, instead of being completely stopped at a station, or blown off the tracks and broken into millions of indiscernible parts. The place in between feeling totally and utterly stuck and feeling like everything is moving far too quickly. The right pace to get to where I want to be in life.

I find myself, some days, coming home from a long day at work, and instead of working on a manuscript, like I promised myself I would, I sit down on my bed and end up taking a three hour nap, and then can’t fall asleep at a decent hour at night when I need to wake up the next morning at 5AM. Then when I wake up from the nap, I feel so bad about myself that when I attempt to salvage writing time out of it, I’m too irritated to make words.

Other days, I get to bed at a proper time, feel energized at work, come home, and pump out 5,000 words in a word document all in one sitting, and don’t end up hating it all when I reread it the next day.

I guess it’s all part of life, trying to find that balance. The periods of sluggishness and feeling dispirited grow shorter, and the periods of productivity and an increased sense of accomplishment grow longer. I’m still looking for my balance – so I don’t wake up on the floor of my room with my foot tangled in my comforter and Enya resonating from my laptop speakers. It would probably help if I stop drinking four cups of coffee a day, but that’s a whole separate issue…

Currently, My train is chugging along. I have a novel that is in the process of being edited/published, though I still don’t even believe it’s happening. This is something I have worked very hard for, and I am hoping that it will provide me with some more momentum.

There are still days when I sit in front of my screen and stare at the blinking cursor, and can’t think of anything to type, so I give up and browse the internet for cat pictures and fainting goat videos for hours. But the days (with the exception of last night, apparently) where I can sit and churn out thoughts and ideas without feeling like it all belongs in a compost heap are growing more frequent.

The balance is getting closer, every day. My train has finally left the station, and I will keep it on track, so that someday it might reach the destination I dream of, even though it might take occasional pit stops here and there.

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