By 8AM I had already forgotten how terribly shitty it had been to get out of bed before dawn and had recommitted to this life of mornings.
Coffee and planning in the sunshine with every available seat in the room open to me? So magical. Playlist? Done by 9AM. I took a long walk between classes one and two, sauna and shower between classes two and three, and got to explore the newly opened Eataly* in Century City.
At precisely 2:24PM I began to crack at the seams. Almost lost my jacket. Couldn’t find my way back through the escalator system that I had just ridden. Spilled kombucha all over myself and kept spilling it for a solid twenty minutes.
It’s actually quite reassuring to me that there is a drawback to this morning business. That to enjoy the foggy brightness and hush of the early risers, you would have to concede the warm and dim of night owlery. That nothing is perfect, morning people get tired too, and Idris Elba likes to DJ house music in his spare time.
I’m reading Marcus Aurelius’ diary, which only (debatably) sounds cool when you say it like that. Because when you say, “I’m reading Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius,” you sound like a dweeb. I also thought it was going to be a little more angsty, a little more “Antoninus was such a ho today,” a little more Burn Book maybe?
It is not.
It is mostly recommendations for how to live a life.
He also name-drops a lot, and in that respect it is very “XOXO, Aurelius,” but humanizing. Antoninus left a huge legacy, but he still died, and you will too, and so will I, so what about it? What are you going to do now, because at some point it won’t matter.
“Shame on the soul, to falter on the road of life while the body still perseveres.”
In other words, get it together while you’re still alive.
Instead of my reusable shopping bag, I handed the cashier at Trader Joe’s my spare underwear out of my bag today. I felt a profound sadness for the ways in which I cannot function as a morning person.
But that question - that what are you going to do now question - has no temporal quality other than present tense.
Show up. Show up. And it doesn’t have to be 8AM for you to show up.
It is now 2AM and I am awake and alive and writing and at some point it won’t matter, so back into the ease of midnights and meditations I go.
*Spoiler: it’s like all the other Eatalys, only no one knows which one of the 65 doors you are allowed to enter, and you are somehow always in everyone’s way, and nope, that was still the wrong door.