Alright, its official. I concede. After years of fighting the truth I am finally embracing who I really am. No more denial from me. I will learn to love this newly realized, disgusting part of myself, just as I learned to work with and appreciate my vanity. There’s no point in pretending to be anyone different to you, as I have been so honest up to this point. I will come clean. But please, don’t judge me.
Gosh this is harder than I thought it would be.
You see, the thing is… umm.
I think I am…. Oh god, my gag reflex is reacting and I’m not even speaking out loud. Wow
I am a morning person.
UGGH, I never thought that I would see this in writing, let alone be in agreement with such a heinous statement.
And I know that you are already making judgements, you stop that right now. Before you start picturing me as some bubbly morning person, I SWEAR, I’m not like that. At least. Not every morning. And don’t you dare assume that I am productive, because trust me, getting up early doesn’t seem to directly influence my production level.
Let me explain how we’ve gotten to this point. For one thing, there have been many, many, hints to this conclusion over the years. My mother likes to bring up all the times she woke up to find me playing with my toys as a toddler at like 3 am. As I got older, it got a little later, closer to 7 am. In high school, I would wakeup naturally around 9 on weekends, if I wasn’t up too late, but I would stay in bed for hours reading or on my iPod, which led my family to believe that I woke up closer to noon (like any normal teen I suppose). It didn’t help that I would pretend to sleep when they would text me, or call for me, or check on me (I wasn’t asleep family dearest, I was depressed and really didn’t want to hang out with you guys, I wanted to chill in Raelee Dreamland). On week days, my alarm went off at 5:45 am every morning and we left about an hour later. In college, I was granted the job of dropping Sister off at the bus stop around 8 am. Reflecting back, the best and most productive days are the ones I wake up around 7:30 and am fully dressed with Sister at the bus stop; as opposed to the days I crawled back into bed after getting up with two minutes to spare.
The summers I spent working at camp, I woke up at 7 am every morning, 6:45 on days I wanted to shower before breakfast. Depending on how late I was up the night before, it was relatively painless Unless it was super cold. Then it was a bitch.
The ultimate truth is, I do better when I get up early and have plenty of prep time. Mornings that an alarm go off tend to go better for me than the days I wake up naturally.
So why did it take me so long to realize I am a morning person? Well, it’s kind of silly, but I always thought that being a morning person meant that you LIKED waking up early. And to a point I don’t. I hate it. I hate the weird hangover-like haze of turning the alarm off and then sitting up. I hate that it tends to be cold in the morning. I hate getting out of my fluffy and cozy and warm blankets. I hate people who are peppy and sing and smile when the sun has barely risen. Well, ok, that’s not entirely fair because I seem to be one of those people, but in my defense, I am faking that joy and hoping that it turns into real joy.
But really… I kind of like getting up early. I like leaping out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off with no thought. That’s the trick to getting up early you see, you gotta just get up, you can’t think about how early it is. Ideally after that, you immediately put on peppy music (now I share a room with another person, and she doesn’t like blaring music, so I use headphones if people are home and sleeping). You have to make sure its music you know really well, and is dancey, otherwise you’ll just get sleepy again. Then, you make the coffee or tea. The past couple months I only wake up early to go to an appointment or to walk Sister to the bus stop, and today for the first time in a long time I took coffee with me to the bus stop, and OH MY GOD, what a great choice that was. I got to hold the nice warm mug in my hands while we walked in the cold dewy morning. There were birds chatting, and the quiet splashing of the ducks on the lake, and I couldn’t help but feel so at peace and cozy!? I realized later that it smelled like camp and that’s why it felt to familiar to me.
I got sidetracked.
OH, while the coffee is a brewing (or pouring; we’re a Kureig family), that’s when you wash your face. I read once in high school that Audrey Hepburn washed her face with ice water in the morning, so I picked up a similar habit. Without thinking I immediately walk to the bathroom and splash cold water on my face. If it’s a bad acne morning, then I’ll go ahead and wash with soap and warm water, but I still start and end the routine with freezing cold water. There is something so weirdly relaxing about feeling your cold face against the cold morning….
Then it’s time to get ready, (unless you’re staying home that day, then it’s time to read and drink coffee), hopefully if nighttime Raelee was nice, there are a couple prepared outfits to choose from, otherwise my room turns into a trashed dressing room. When I started college, I tried to get into the habit of not checking my phone until I was on the bus, that way I didn’t get sidetracked by social media. While I’ve been out of school, I try to look at most of it on my computer, because I’m more likely to start working on my writing once I run out interesting things to look at, as opposed to scrolling though Buzzfeed on my phone for way too long. If I’m being really adult, I make myself a healthy breakfast, usually something I can sneak on the bus and eat while waiting between stops, or just on the bus.. shh.
See, I didn’t know that enjoying all these little minor things made me a morning person, I thought to be a morning person you had to naturally wake up at 7 am and be immediately happy. But as I have aged (chill Raelee, you are literally 21), I have come to realize that more often than not, happiness and joy is a choice. You have to look around you and take in the little pleasures, like morning coffee, or the smell of a dewy morning. As someone who would ideally like to be a professional actress, appreciating an early morning will come in handy, given the traditionally early call times that filming requires.
On the plus side, waking up earlier has helped me go to sleep earlier. Now, instead of going to bed at 3am, I can fall asleep around 11pm. Crazytown.
Bonus: At my first theater festival, without thinking I posted a photo with the caption: “Heaven: Free Starbucks, 6:30 am wake up call, and a school full of theater people.”
My mother called me out for saying that a 6:30 am call time was “heaven” but to be honest? That morning, surrounded by hundreds of thespian artists, I barely even noticed the sleep in the corners of my eyes.