The reason why they call something a “personal best” is because it’s personal. The question becomes what has to happen for a person to be at their best? Is the answer as simple as eat well, exercise and sleep right? Or is it more? Is the answer deeper than step challenges, wellness seminars and nutritional programs?
Perhaps, for a person to be at their best, they would have to define what their best truly is. This means defining our skill sets, which means we have to understand the tools we keep in our tool box. We have to understand our resources and how to use them accordingly. To be the best means to be able to maintain and sustain the highest qualities of our life. This has nothing to do with anyone else or the way others rate good, better or best. This cannot be hinged upon anyone or anything. This is not hinged upon outcomes or outside circumstances. To be the best means to hold a personal level of proficiency and maintain this, regardless of the different intervals of achievement and success. And lastly, to brand ourselves as the best has to come from within.
Bedtime Stories for the Insomniac is something I have been working on for a very long time. All of the stories here are true to me. The chapters you are about to read have been inspired by life on life’s terms. The following pages are a collection from my journals. All of this is very real and personal to me. Take the name of the book for example, my idea for the title is very simple. I never sleep much. I’m up late and wake up early. There are times when I lay in bed thinking about life. I think about everything, which is probably why I have insomnia. I think about serious things. I question the universe. There are times when I question myself and challenge my own assumptions. There are times when I relive old memories with a smile or think about places in the world that I hope to see one day. This is what the book is about. This is life from my perspective.
There was a little town just a few miles above the border at Juarez. I remember this like a picture in my mind. I know I was there and yet, the memory is more like a story that I was told about a life that happened to someone else.
I had been in the car with my family for hours. This long drive began from my Mother’s hometown in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The drive was mainly through an open and empty highway with nothing else around us except for the desert.
I had never seen anything like this before. The desert itself was vast and vacant, barren and empty, and yet beautiful at the same time. The sands ran on for miles with a shade of perfect emptiness.
We began this trip in the early morning when the sun came up. I could only imagine what a drive like this would be like at nighttime when the sky is nothing else but a full moon and a sea of glistening stars.
I know there is a difference between fair and unfair. And then again, I know that things happen without the option of being either. I know what we say. I know what we teach our children. I know about the rules and influences, and yet, I know that we often contradict ourselves.
Do you want some honesty?
I suppose there was a realization, or better yet, I suppose a time came when I figured to myself, “I wonder if I would hear from certain people if I wasn’t the one to make the phone calls” And then I wondered some more about this. Next, I tested my theory. In some cases, I learned that I was right. In some cases, I learned that I was better off like this. And in other cases, I had to figure out if I was happier this way. I have met different people at different times in my life. Some of these people have remained in my life and some of them are those who I call my loved ones. Some of the people in my life were only temporary and never to be heard from again, which is fine because this is how life is. In some cases, we stay connected. In other cases, we lose touch.
I see no reason to be disturbed or bothered by the way people live. I know there are different forms of life. I know there are people with different wants and desires or likes and fashions. I see no reason to argue about this or fight. Perhaps to some, there are things about me that go against their taste. I know who I am though. I know what I like and prefer or enjoy. I know this is me and you are you and this is fine. No really, it is.
There was a young man that I shared a room with for a short amount of time. His name was Chris. He was tall. Good looking. Chris was an athlete to say the least and although his challenges did not help promote his best interest, Chris was talented, strong, charismatic, and yes, I can say that Chris was my friend. As it would be for any friend, it was difficult to see Chris go through his tough times.
There is a story I once heard about a man that lost half of his leg in the war. After waking up from surgery, the man thanked the nurse for saving his leg. He said this because he swore it was still there. Unfortunately, the nurse was left with the chore to inform the soldier that he lost his leg from the knee down. However, the soldier was sure this was wrong. He even argued with the nurse.
“But I can still feel it,” he said
“It still hurts.”
Could you imagine that?
Could you imagine feeling something that’s no longer there, attached, or even exists?
This is my house, small, humble and with a backyard meant for dreaming. There are three bedrooms and one bathroom. There is an upstairs and a downstairs basement. My bedroom was the one upstairs and to the left. There were two windows in my room. One window faced the front of my house, which was on a main street. This is the window I could look through to see the world drive by.
The other window faced the side of my house. I used to dream through this window. And sometimes, I would climb out from my window and stand on the slanting roof on the backside of my house. No one could see me here. Below this part of my roof was the garage, which, for some reason, my family never kept a car in the garage. We had a collection of things in there. Just stuff. We had things like a lawnmower, a few rakes, a shovel or two and whatever collected things that never made it into the home.
There isn’t much time left. No, wait, maybe I’m wrong about this. Maybe time is only an illusion. Maybe time is a personal limitation, like say, when we skip over an idea because the timeline is too long or too intimidating. Maybe this is why people stall on the idea of returning back to school when they’re older. Maybe this is why people balk at new endeavors because the investment of time seems too overwhelming.
It’s nice to see the masks come down. It’s nice to walk by and see someone smile or just see another face without a surgical mask over the nose and mouth. It’s nice to hear that we might be ahead of this, which means the pandemic might be behind us now. And this is it, the year 2021. Who knows what might come next. Who knows if this whole test is just another moment in purgatory. Or better yet, maybe this is just a social experiment to see how we’d treat each other or how we’d get along if something went wrong. Well, if this were true, I suppose the next questions is , “Okay, so how’d we do?