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The Tale of a Night Owl

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People might call insomnia a disorder, a disease or whatever it pleases them. But I have to tell you that I am proud to be a night owl; or as you know it, an insomniac. Some say that people from insomnia suffer from a disorder which makes them unable to sleep at night. Shut up people! Get it straight from an insomniac. Insomnia is not a disorder nor are we suffering from it. I have to make one thing clear here, the way I understand it. Insomnia is not a disease except for people who chose it to be a disease and we do not suffer being insomniacs except for those who chose to suffer from it.

People have their own body clocks. Just like you are right-brained, left-brained or middle-brained, you are either a night owl or an early bird. We are neither better nor worse than the early birds. Our ways may differ but we are still of the same level as the early birds. So it is so frustrating to see how much the norm favors early birds. This is the very reason why many of the night owls simply hate the norm. The norm does so much to the early birds and the night owls are simply left out to care for themselves. The norm has labeled us ‘insomniacs’ so that people can point at us and pity us for a disease that does not exist.

All the office hours are from nine to five. All schools open in the morning hours and close in the evenings. Shops, banks, welfare services and everything else shuts down before midnight. And the night owls start their day right after midnight. Is there a single thing out there that works for night owls except for pubs? This is the very reason why many of the night owls turn out to be loners and take up jobs as artists, writers, inventors or any profession that does not depend on the norm.

As a kid, I was scared to show the world that I was a night owl. I did not want people to point out at me and whisper; “That’s the kid suffering from insomnia”. I would lie back in bed and die trying to sleep. But it would never come. It never did. So I pretended to sleep the whole night. For the first half of the night, I would listen to all the late night discussions of the elders of the house. They did not know I heard it all. Sorry Mum! I couldn’t help it. The second half of the night was dead scary. It was all mysteriously silent and the rats will give me shivers with every clink and crack. To cheer up myself, I made up funny stories in my head and built castles in the air. There was a time when my head overflowed with junk and ideas that I had to jump out of bed and write them all out.

School next day was always a nightmare. I would sleepwalk to classes and gaze blankly at the teachers who made the most annoying noise in the world! Teachers had a tough time with my attitude. “You can excel if you really want to, you know? But you have to change your attitude. Be responsible” They would always counsel me. I was just too tired to be responsible. I managed to survive school but never excelled.
It might be the same story for all night owls out there. We suffer as kids because the norm controls most parts of our childhood. Now that the norm has loosened its strings over us, we have the freedom to decide whether to suffer for the rest of our lives or to accept ourselves as we are. I’ve made my decision. I’m not going to suffer any longer. I am fine with being a night owl and I get most of my work done during the night, specially my writing. And I do not think it matters because I make sure I get at least six hours of sleep during the day.

I like the night kingdom. It is mysterious, creative and unexplainable. Plus, we night owls have the least of distractions. It is you who decide whether to suffer or live. It is you who decide whether to be called as an ‘insomniac’ or a ‘night owl’.

Let me get you one thing straight. No matter what the world thinks of us, the night owls rule!



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