I found another reason for why sleep is so important for me, apart from the usual giving myself time to rest and recharge. Sleep is the time where the gravity of situations that unfold during the day sinks in, make themselves understood. It allows me to be awake enough to accept reality. Without a restful nap or a good night’s sleep, everything goes by in a blur, like a fever dream.
This past day has been nothing short of one.
I had to wake up at 2:45 am, in the middle of my sleep cycle, to get ready to go to the airport. The streets were devoid of people, with stray animals on the roads, reclaiming their lost land. An odd street vendor, followed by his faithful dog pushed his empty cart towards the market, to buy his wares for the day’s sales.
The sleepy, quiet city I left was in stark contrast to the city I flew to. People were bustling about with a sense of purpose, and everyone seemed to have some place to be. The skyline was cluttered with tall buildings, competing with each other to be the highest. Glass skyscrapers looked down at the city, casting their shadow over the dilapidated buildings standing erect next to them, the darkness unable to hide their mould stained walls.
The streets teemed with people and vehicles, almost like a gigantic anthill. There were roads big enough to be confused for highways, and roads small enough to be mistaken for a footpath. There is no sense of stillness in this city – with every turn of the head, an event passes by. With every blink, the world before you changes.
With people so busy to get to where they want to be, I thought that no one would actually have the time to stop and listen to a stranger’s cry for help. But the people I had to meet in this city turned out to be the most helpful I’ve ever met, and their nature to go a little extra for a stranger got me out of situations, which would have become insurmountable problems, had I been anywhere else I’d been before.
I’ll be leaving tomorrow, but I’m going to have to come back to this city soon. At that time, I’ll have to stay for a long while – think two, three years. I hope to learn a lot while I’m here, and to grow as a person in the process. At the end of the day, how we grow as people is what matters, according to me.
While I’m still reserved about how I feel about this city, I’m still very fascinated by it. I haven’t seen much while I’ve been here – which, hopefully, I’ll be able to rectify, when I come back for good.
‘For good’. It’s taking time for reality to sink deep into my mind, that I’ll be leaving the place I’ve called home for the past nearly two decades. That I’ll be calling a new, unknown place my new home, away from anyone I know and love.
But personal growth only happens when you’re uncomfortable. Comfort causes stagnation, as there is no need for change. Discomfort necessitates change, and change drives growth.
There is no growth while in the comfort of what you know.
The events of the day past lay scattered like a disturbed jigsaw puzzle in my mind. Thoughts zoom with the same chaotic energy of the vehicles honking on the street below. And mentally, I still float around, my reality having been turned into a lucid dream.
In my subconscious, I’ll be able to arrange the pieces of the jigsaw, to attain the whole picture. In my dreams, I’ll be able to drag my psyche back into my body, and be able to accept all that is to be my reality.
So, I sleep. And so, I dream.