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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 55
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
I Believe in the Sleepless Nights
Jessica Lance


Imagine a little boat in the middle of a stormy, violent sea; the waves toss and turn without a sense of direction. The crashing waves and the ominous clouds’ darkness encompass the boat on every side. The boat solely relies on its own strength, battling to stay afloat in this dire situation. The boat is all alone in the chaos of the storm; the feeling of isolation creeps into the scene in the dead of night. The same image is associated with the feeling I have when I toss and turn. I believe that sleepless nights can make one feel drowned in the raging sea.

There have been multiple episodes of this feeling as I lay wide awake with unending thoughts. These thoughts overwhelmed me with past events, memories, mistakes, worry, and the future that lies ahead. The storm sets my mind off course to continue my journey as I get lost in the chaos of my ideas. If the storm would just pass as I fall into a deep sleep, everything would be okay. The skies will clear, and the waves would calm as I drift off into imagination. My mind would change from a state of worry and consternation to restful dreams beyond belief.

The most memorable situation of insomnia I can recall, was the night before my first day of high school. It didn’t help that I was changing from a public school, East Hamilton, to a private one, Baylor School with a prestigious reputation. The next four years of my high school life would start tomorrow. After having that whole day to prepare for the major event ahead, I still felt the restlessness of my own thoughts keeping me awake. The immense waves flooded my boat again as I laid in bed alone in the waters of the storm. I apprehensively imagined the upcoming future which turned into stress and worry. I knew that if I just crossed over into sleep, the fear of the future would pass like the figurative storm. I woke up the next morning ready for the big day after I had drifted off sometime during the night. I was the lost voyager washed up on shore, thankful for persevering through the commotion of the night.

Since that night, I am close to finishing my first year at Baylor. I know that whatever challenges the future holds, I will somehow find a way to persist and stay the course through the storm. The sleepless nights still arise sometimes, and I lie awake wondering about everything that has happened. I would not be here if it weren’t for those nights to get me through the unimaginable; to let my mind explore the outcomes of situations. I know that in the end I will wake up from distressing stormy times ready to face the events head on. The sleepless nights are the most important times; they are for hearing the troublesome thoughts out loud that penetrate my mind and deter me from the future.