why is everyone asleep?

I look out my window at the apartment building next to me, look for signs of life to affirm that I am not the only one awake. But the lights? They are all off.

Oh for goodness sake. It's 11:30 pm. Why is everyone asleep?

At least I know my upstairs neighbor is awake. I know this because he is currently rolling bowling balls from one end of his apartment to the other. He may also be playing fetch with his dog. Or tap dancing with force and intention, like he really means it. The possibilities abound.

I look to the left and see the moon high in the sky, confirming that it is, indeed, nighttime in the city. It's the time when most people go to bed, when most people scribble in their journals or read a book or take one last scroll through social media before hitting the hay.

I, on the other hand, tend to view the moon not as a guideline for bedtime, but rather as a gently glowing orb lighting my way through the night. These hours of darkness, of quiet and calm, are the perfect time to write. Or to watch Netflix. Or to look through old photos and wax nostalgic for a while. That's what night is for. It's also for drinking peppermint tea, catching up with that one friend who's also still up, or thinking about the trajectory of your life and where you'd like it to go for 15 minutes or for an hour or for hours on end (this is fun!). It's a time reserved for simple math, the most of which involves calculating the number of hours between now and my ambitious alarm, my on-time-for-work alarm, and my just-enough-minutes-to-make-myself-look-mildly-presentable alarm.

That's what night is for. So why is everyone asleep?

Who are these people anyway? People who brag about how early they wake up? Who look upon night owls with confusion and pity? People who wash their faces and brush their teeth and simply go to bed at a reasonable hour? People who wake up BEFORE THEIR FIRST ALARM?

These are the people I aspire to be, and these are the people I cannot stand. This is a contradiction and I recognize that.

It's 11:51 pm and I'm looking out my window again, but further this time, to an apartment building in the distance. There are lights on there. There are night people doing their night things. These people are probably working on a manuscript for their first book. Or maybe planning the trip they're going to take next month. Or perhaps posting photos onto a homemade inspiration board. (They are all very ambitious.)

They could also be breezing through the new season of House of Cards. Or browsing dogs available for adoption in Minneapolis, which is a thing I have definitely never done (but actually I have and I would NOT RECOMMEND IT to the faint of heart). Perhaps they got a craving for chocolate chip cookies and they're baking a batch AS WE SPEAK. And if that's the case, you go Glen Coco. 

It's 12:03 am now and I'm sitting on my couch and I'm looking at the moon. My eyes are maybe getting a little droopy and maybe I'll go to bed or maybe I'll write some more. 

Nighttime is good for writing. Nighttime is good for a lot of things. The world is your oyster and your schedule is your playground.

Sleep is good, too. Sure it is. But sometimes, when the whim of imagination or the spark of curiosity overwhelms you, give into it. Write that essay. Watch that show. Browse that animal adoption page. Fulfill your inner night owl, if only for a little while.

We can always sleep tomorrow.