It’s 5:20 AM and I just gave up on trying to sleep and brewed myself a delicious french press. I have two mini kit kat sticks sitting next to my computer and I doubt I’ll eat them as I’m in the mood to write this all out. Clearly, I’m not that concerned about the bars being the first meal of my day, because if I had the choice, chocolate for breakfast would be the most important meal of the day. Unhealthy? Yes! Smart? No! Nonetheless, they’re there staring at me and ready to be devoured.
There is a lot to be angry about these days, but I choose gratitude and love. Not being able to sleep and tossing and turning is frustrating and can easily agitate the angry feeling. Turning my phone on with the bright lights, which quickly stimulates my nervous system is likely not going to help the cause either. But, yes, lots to be angry about. My Facebook news feed is still spewing with negative and disheartening news about the elections. I am reading almost all of them, and trying to make sense of this reality. All this on top of long work days should probably have me in a really bad funk. Rather, I am waking up refreshed. This morning, my body does not ache and my eyes are not puffy. I woke up at 2:15AM parched and thirsty for water. I did not fulfill that need. I managed to fall back asleep, but woke up again at 4:20AM. Finally, around 5AM I decided to tune into a guided sleep meditation. His Australian accent in the middle of the night was rather sexy and sleep was not what I wanted to do with that guide. So, I decided to channel all that energy into this. I have been most resentful, as of late, about not being able to write. Creating and running a project is definitely no joke, but I finally accepted that I won’t be able to write like I used to and won’t pressure myself to do so. If it comes, it comes. But sleepless nights might be the time I get to shine. As I wake up shiny and bright-eyed, completely grateful and full of love this morning all I want to do is tell you why. So here it goes:
- We met a young Syrian refugee taxi cab driver last night who drove us to work last night. I immediately started asking him personal questions. What’s your name? Why are you driving a cab? How long have you been here in Yerevan? I know I can get really personal real quick, but I felt like I had to ask. He had a nervous energy about him, which was all so familiar to me. This was his second job, and it was his first day on the job. He didn’t really know what he was doing or where he was going. It seemed to me that he put up a front to show me that he’s enjoying this new gig. But, then, I thought about the 7 months I chose to drive for LYFT after my experience in Nepal. I remembered that most mornings, I woke up with gratitude because I knew I was lucky to have that opportunity. Equally, there were mornings where my pride and ego got the best of me. I questioned what I was doing with my life. I questioned it, but I did not really lose sleep over it during that time. I continued to work, because that gave me the most flexibility in my schedule. That in turn, helped me put my creative energy to co-founding Stega. Our driver likely knew that there was something more for him out there and he put his pride aside and drove us. Or, plainly, he knew that’s what he needed to do to survive, for the time being. We finally found our way. He, without the pride most (Armenian) men, told me he did not really know the city too well. But, we worked together and he got us to our destination. I happily paid him 3x the metered amount, when I normally stick within budget. Most cab drivers try to take advantage of us, as we speak English which is a clear indicator that we are not locals. I normally pay local fares, especially, if they try to scam me. If they don’t, I always pay a little extra. Our driver didn’t want to accept such a large amount, but I wished him a happy first day and I went in to teach my final class to our Monday/Wednesday group. For some reason, this whole 10 minute encounter was so necessary last night. It triggered something. Something positive and good. What a great way to begin class that evening.
- The final class for our Monday/Wednesday group was a bit emotional. I imagine something of the sort happening tonight. What I felt as a teacher was unlike anything I’ve felt so far. It was not the feeling of success or accomplishment one might wonder. Instead, I felt that what I was doing was the right thing, right now. Yes, it was likely validation, but an internal one. I love teaching, because at the core of it, it grounds me and keeps me on my toes. It helps me remain a learner. I learn more than I teach and at the end of the day, that’s all I really need in this short span of time. The human relationships and the lessons that surface through these connections help me continue to be happy and grateful. The words I uttered to my best friend, after we finished our session, was that “I need to go get my 300-hour certification”. I am full of joy for having (created) this opportunity for myself and I am assured that this path is for me.
It is 6:26AM. 4 Kit Kat sticks later I know I should stop (with the chocolate and my writing). I stop because the emails are waiting, the events we have planned for this weekend and our social media need my urgent attention. Yerevan will continue to remain asleep for two more hours. Yet, I get to enjoy the rest of this quiet night turning morning. To you my friends, may rest find you well. And, if you are just waking up, good day to you.