The Evolution of Human Connectivity and the Individuals it Produces
Mind over Matter, Everyone Matters
Everything Has a Starting Point
My best work has always come alive in the night time. I was a night owl as a kid, hiding under the covers with a flashlight, trying not to get caught reading one of my books after my mother had already warned me multiple times to turn the lights out and get to bed. I was enthralled with literature and its existence from a very young age. I read numerous books repeatedly -- searching for more truths than I'd been able to comprehend the first time around. I engaged in games, pulling all nighters in the upstairs playroom with my older brother. It had become somewhat of a weekend ritual of discreet rebellion for two siblings who could rarely agree on anything. Convinced that we would eventually beat every level of Donkey Kong, if and only if, we played it start to finish -- and as a team -- it became the major focus of one of our most intense childhood missions. Meanwhile, we held hope that our incessant fight to stay awake long enough to ensure that we would one day witness the final episode of Gilligan's Island, became yet another sibling journey -- one that we would one day celebrate together during the 4 o'clock hour of some dark Saturday night/Sunday morning. While dancing in our pajamas quietly upstairs, singing the theme song to a show that had been aired solely on reruns for over a decade, we bonded and sent high fives flying in each other's directions. In our juvenile world, we had just achieved greatness. We silently knew we had just accomplished a mutual childhood dream together, secretly, and without rivalry. We'd quickly move on however, sinking deeply into our bean bag chairs for hours with our childhood best friends, day in and day out -- brainstorming ideas and creating intricate plans as to how we could trick the tooth fairy into leaving us money for popcorn kernels doused in red food coloring, ever-so eloquently disguised as real teeth. But we were just kids. The world was at our finger tips, everything was possible, and dreams were things that we believed automatically came true. We eagerly awoke the following morning to find a stack of monopoly money, which had replaced our falsified popcorn tooth. Someone, somewhere, had been a child once too.
Growing Up and Surviving the Changes
We woke up one day ready to join the world of sleepovers... a night out when parents retired to bed before us, and expectedly so. These so-called sleepovers were actually an excuse to skip sleep altogether; to find freedom within a friend's house, to challenge each other to perform random acts or reveal one's deepest secrets. Although the severity and depth may or may not range from gender to gender, the end game was always the same. Who will do or say what, when put under pressure. These nights produced incessant laughter, new friendships, embarrassing social situations, and stories that were only to be shared amongst primary attendees. These moments in time inevitably molded us into full-blown teenagers. Staying up late as teens became the norm, watching pointless pop tv shows with the closed caption on and the volume down low -- trying to avoid getting caught at some ungodly hour on a school night. While essentially breaking the rules in order to somehow sustain relevance in a world none of us fully understood, we as a group of youths, became more important to one another, than any other external, physical, or societal need that may have been crucial to the long-lasting developmental of our young lives.
Adulthood: Success, Individuality, and the Standards of Society
You blinked a few times after those sleepovers, and before you knew it, you were an adult and the guidelines had all changed. Expectations became firm and ultimately ubiquitous. I have found however, that the pattern has since remained the same for me. Everyone is asleep and according to the commonality of our culture and the status quo of expected behavior throughout adulthood, I probably should be too. The designated hours of sleep are dictated by society and the mainstream stance of what is the "norm," as opposed to individuality and the spontaneous irruptions of creativity and thought. I beg to differ though, as some of my best pieces of work have often been created in the nighttime. Some of my fondest memories and ideas have formulated during the late hours of the moon's rein -- bred and exhumed, effortlessly during the hours of suggested sleep....each one precisely outlined with specific intentions, illuminated only by the darkness and the silence it carries. Just because the social order of a proposed culture shares a common, unwritten understanding that we as a community, shall operate on a congruous clock in order to be successful -- does not mean it is the only way for one to advance. We are born individually, and therefore, cannot be held to a generalized standard of success, performance, or proposed attainment of any predisposition, which includes universal accomplishment or proficiency. If we develop differently, and in our own time, how are we to be expected to perform at similar levels, at the exact same time as those that are born during the same numerical year? We simply cannot. Age is a number, a category, and a mechanism used to identify and classify, not a means to measure growth or progression in life. The substantial grounds for such justifications are biased and uninterpreted by professionals. The amount of evidence that has been collected during early childhood development as well as the studies conducted on "nature vs. nurture," and the outcomes of social influences, more than show the impact that life has on each individual. The variance in each human mind, despite age, gender, race, ethnicity, general IQ, or physical condition, is what creates the vast supply of never-ending wonder of what we each are capable of accomplishing during the span of our lives. We are all designed to seek and understand life on our own terms, at our own pace. Productivity has no bedtime. Success has no timeline. We are all designed to seek and understand life on our own terms, at our own pace.