I don't want to be asleep anymore
by Kiara Burch | shot by Brook Mckeon
Each winter I fall asleep, and each spring I feel a reawakening that sends jolts out of my core and calls me to open my eyes and peer a little further down the rabbit hole.
After months of existential dread and constant thoughts and grievances over the state of the world (the state of my life, the state of my perception creating my current reality) Spring returns like an old friend knocking on my door, reminding me that there’s something more out there if I just open myself up to it.
I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to be open in my everyday life, especially in the colder months.
Maybe it’s a type of self-protection… probably — my ego loves to hide in the guise of ‘self-protection,’ (which evolves quickly into self-sabotage…). Every night for the past 3 months I’ve fallen asleep dreaming of Spring. Of warmth, of those moments driving on the highway with my windows down feeling the sun’s rays on my vitamin d-deficient skin. I wake up counting down the days till the equinox and then some (because sometimes, Spring can be a fickle friend who likes to play tricks with temperature).
I think it’s about colour. I told someone at a party once that I thought I got depressed in winter because of the lack of colour around me, everything various shades of gray and black and brown and only sometimes a hint of blue.
They just chuckled. Maybe the limited colour palette of winter doesn’t bother some people, but a life devoid of variance, of chance and change creates a sense of monotony. I know, though, that temperature is important too — that feeling of breezing through life, being free of restrictive layers of clothing and the chill I can’t seem to escape no matter how many blankets I have, makes life feel easier. My bones feel lighter, and existence doesn’t feel as dense and heavy as it once did.
I just hate restriction, isolation, and obligation (just a few of the reasons I feel like I wasn’t really made for this world sometimes). I want to feel free, I want to be free, I want to feel uninhibited.
And maybe I’m just creating these restrictions in my mind; maybe winter is just my excuse to feel bad and stay in my maladaptive patterns.
Maybe what I really want is to be free from the nagging voice in the back of my brain telling me to hide, to preserve, to hibernate out of fear. By the time Spring comes, I’m so tired of being afraid, of feeling like i’m drowning in a pool of my own tears — I just snap out of it.
It never really feels like a decision; it feels like a force overcomes me and invigorates every cell, telling me it’s time to get up, it’s time to go out and stop sleeping, that my life will pass me by if I stay in my dream world, and that as great as this fantasy world is, living and experiencing reality can be just as (if not more) magical than what I can imagine in my head.
What if I took care of the menial tasks that generate stress when left to pile up? What if I took a risk and shared my talents with the world? What if I asked to be seen instead of hiding inside, behind some mask of indifference (hiding how much I really care)? What if I asked for what I really desire instead of assuming it’s not possible? What if I allowed myself to believe in myself, in my dreams, in life?
What if I told people I loved them, and I’m so grateful that they exist and we met?
How can I ignore this inner call to explore when the flowers, the trees, everything is calling to me — inviting me to join them in bloom? My inner alarm has no snooze button, and I don’t want to be asleep anymore —i’ve made my decision, time to join the land of the living.