the morning me

The end of summer has arrived. I’ve started back with real life and I’m exhausted. I find getting up early everyday so tiring. I’ve heard people say, “Oh I’m a morning person",

accompanied by a big smile. The ‘morning me’ wants to meet their smile with a growl. I get it intellectually, but the reality of it is beyond comprehension. I do not wake up happy, unless I get to lounge in bed and wake up at the time my body wants to wake up. I’ve wondered if those early morning people actually wake up happy. It doesn’t mean I can’t wake up. Oh, I get out of bed. I don’t press the snooze button multiple times before waking. I instantly jump out of bed to turn my alarm off because the sound irritates my precious ears. I want silence. I want to lounge in my bed. I want to not talk to anyone until a good hour after waking.

The trouble is that others do like to talk. Those people are often morning people. I know when I’m home with my parents my mom gets up incredibly early, and by the time I make my way upstairs she has been up for a few hours. She says “good morning” and then the questions start. Sometimes the questions are things I don’t even like to answer when I’m awake and sober. “What are your plans for the future?” “Are you dating anyone?” “Why don’t you ever tell me about your boyfriends?” Yada yada yada. I’ve learned to be polite and try to keep my internal growl internal. I try to dodge the questions with a “mom, I haven’t even had my coffee.” You see, my family is a coffee family and the need for coffee in the morning is a need everyone one of us understands.

The acknowledgement of morning politeness and small talk is something I have had to learn. In university, I and my good friend T were famous for our grumpy morning routine. We would both get out of bed, get ready, and get to the dining hall without a single word. We would be in our group of friends, but the two of us would sit silently. Personally, I felt understood by T. She got it. We just need a bit of time to acclimate to the outside world. Our friends would laugh at our grumpiness because it was in such contrast to our fully awake selves. You see, T and I were the dorm clowns. We went to second hand stores just for fun to take pictures of ourselves in wacky clothes. We wore our pjs to the weight room and again took pictures of our silly antics. (And these were the days prior to smart phone cameras). We loved being stupid together, would laugh a lot, and attempted to get others to join in on our own special brand of hilarity. In the morning, though, we were the complete opposite. Apparently, our grumpiness was tangible. One day, my outspoken good friend, R had had enough. We passed each other in the corridor on the way to the bathroom. She greeted me with a perky, “Good morning!” (Add the smiley face emoji) and I met her greeting with a literal growl, “Grrrfffugh.” (not aggressive, just resigned and tired). On the way to breakfast that morning, R told me that I was being rude. It was only common courtesy to meet someone’s good morning with a polite reply back. A sound was not a greeting. I knew she was right and from that day forward I would meet her “good morning” with my own. Although the smiley face emoji was something I was unable to fake at that time. Even to this day, she laughs when thinking back to my miserable "good morning" from that moment on, but I listened and I took note.

Through the years, I have learned to talk and actually say a happy “good morning”. I have realized it’s not my right to take out my grumpiness on those around me. I often warn those who live with me, that I am not my best in the morning and then joke about my need for coffee. I can even make my face conjure my own version of a smiley face emoji. But these are all choices that I make inside my head. It is not something I would do reflexively. I wish it were. I am not a morning person. I am a “give me a few hours, and a bit of space” person. For those of you who are morning people, I am envious. I envy jumping out of bed with excitement and glee, especially if it’s prior to 7 AM. For those morning people who judge anyone for sleeping in, I need to add one thing - you are missing out! You are missing the luxurious joy of lounging, sipping your coffee, and slowly making your plans for the day. It is pleasure. A fleeting pleasure. Perhaps the fleeting aspect of it, is the reason it is pleasurable in the first place. So I wake up midweek, tell myself to smile, reply to every “good morning” I hear, drink my coffee, and tell myself that the weekend is coming.

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