I slept through the Tour deâ€™Â Fat and the Rocky Mountain Showdown. I missed the Festival of Foolâ€™s that was Fort Collins last weekend.Â I attended no social gatherings, ate no barbecued hamburgers and drank no beers.Â
Consider this my lamentation:
Oâ€™Â sweet metabolic pattern. Why has thou forsaken me? In light where darkness should be seen, Iâ€™ve pulled thy shutters low, and still the sun doth beam.Â Through and through cracks in yonder window lye glistening light burning thine eye; thine weary eye that seeith no moon nor starry sky. Disrupted sleep pattern, ultimate betrayal you, you biological clock, that reseteth with faint sunlight shined through and through into thine room. Oâ€™ what rest. Oâ€™ what a little folding of the hands has done.Â To misseth thy festival. Thy lovely dames perusing thy dark streets, looking for sweet gentlemen to sweep them off their weary feet; and I abed.Â Abed at the hour of 2, of 3 and 4, no more. Show me not my faults, only reset thy internal clock and let me out my vault!
Fifteen million people work the night shift in America. Iâ€™m one of those people. Things that come with the job: increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, offset metabolism, digestive tract complications and major inconvenience. I work Friday nights, Saturday nights and Monday nights. Some nights, I am jackâ€™s anger.
Why do I do this? Because I want to fit in? Not really, Iâ€™m no Patrick Bateman. I do this for the same reason the lunch lady at a middle school does her job: because I have to.Â
As aforementioned, Iâ€™m scheduled to work three nights a week. And as lamented above, these scheduled nights cut into my social life like a hot knife.
Luckily, I have me and my wildly active imagination to keep me company.
Here is a short list of things Iâ€™ve done for entertainment while working the night shift: sung the Titanic song into a mop handle, re-enacted scenes from â€œStar Wars â€œinto my cell phoneâ€™s video camera, taken off my shirt and folded sheets half naked in the back room, written raps and recorded them to show my roommates later and stopped people from treating my hot tub like the marital bed.
I am disturbed. Yes, Iâ€™m comfortable with that. And I pose a question: What would you do if you were trapped in a hotel on Harmony road from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday nights? Can you answer this question honestly?
I couldnâ€™t have if you asked me five months ago.
In actuality, my job isnâ€™t that bad; itâ€™s occasionally kind of fun. Where else can you re-enact Jim Carreyâ€™s UPS scene from â€œAce Ventura when Nature Callsâ€ in the company elevator and get paid for it?Â
There have been nights where I havenâ€™t seen a human being for eight hours straight. I think about this and I ask you, reader, when was the last time youâ€™ve been alone with yourself for eight hours?
Iâ€™ve found that I get to know me really well when I spend a lot of time with me.
Dr. Suess once said: â€œBe who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind donâ€™t matter and those who matter donâ€™t mind.â€
And just in case you donâ€™t like the doctor, Friedrich Nietzsche once said, â€œIs life not a hundred times too short for us to stifle ourselves?â€Â
Life is short. Be you. Even if that means being you when nobody else is around at 4 a.m. when only the centipedes are active.
If you Google â€œbeing alone with yourself,â€ the first hits youâ€™ll get will be for websites that are meant for helping with depression or give dating advice. I find that a bit depressing. Itâ€™s not bad to figure out who you are alone first.
You get my point. Sure I wouldâ€™ve liked to attend the grand festival this weekend, but it doesnâ€™t kill me that I didnâ€™t make it.Â The next time youâ€™re invited somewhere and youâ€™re indifferent about going, try spending some quality time with dear old you instead.Â
You never know, you might just surprise yourself.
Shane Rohleder is a senior communication studies major. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.