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2012 Spring Issue 3 (April 20, 2012)

On changing yourself

April 20, 2012
By Maddy Crowell

You are a different person from the time you wake up in the morning to the time you go to sleep at night.
Many people hate the mornings. I myself am not particularly in love with them. I am pulled from the sweet bliss of my sleep, with nothing on my mind but peculiar and random fragments of leftover dreams, and sometimes the last thought I had before I had fallen asleep the night before.

Waking up in the morning is not too different from a butterfly coming out of a cocoon, a chick breaking out of an egg, or a bear coming out of hibernation. We wake up clear-minded, but groggy, fresh, sore, and slow moving. We wake up closed. Saying hello to people feels mechanical, forced oftentimes.
Then the schedules of the day overtake us. A “hello” or “how are you” is uttered in the bathroom, or on the way to class, as the day begins to work itself out. Then that first conversation of the day plays itself out, a conversation that is often forgotten by the end of the day, and we are gently pried from the privacy of our minds. We become caffeinated, fully awake, ready to take on the day.

Oftentimes we wake up with an agenda, a line of classes, appointments, meetings, lectures, meals and study breaks to attend to. Oftentimes we have a general idea of how our days will play out.

Yet, what isn’t factored into our schedules is the unpredictability factor: the small degree that we can’t account for, the inability to know who we’re going to run into or what sort of thoughts will cross our minds. What we are completely unaware of is how we are going to change, what sort of new idea we will be exposed to that will change the course of the day, change us in subtle ways.

So as the day begins to play out, interactions fluctuating, we are pried from the soft cocoon of sleep, and forced to engage, forced to think. Our minds take careful notes of the subtleties as we converse, as we listen and participate in class, as we glance from time to time at inky shadows playing as we walk, the deep glare of the sun, as someone says something that makes us think in a different way.

These little things get carefully stored into our subconscious, collected as we thrust ourselves into the world, material that comes up, in small bits, in our dreams as we lay back down to sleep. 

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