Thursday, August 05, 2010

I'm so sleepy

I haven't been able to sleep for over a week now. I don't know what's wrong with me. I've actually found myself avoiding going to bed at night, so I'll do extra long workouts, edit photos, type on my book or clean house until midnight. Then I'll freak out that I'm up so late when my days start at 5:30 a.m.

I was tired yesterday, but it's really hitting me today. The dog got me up at 5 a.m. to go outside, but I laid back down. Instead of kicking on NPR, the clock radio dial must have wandered because it just played a staticky hum that I slept right through. I woke up at 7:50, already 20 minutes late to the office.

There is a lot going on with my life -- trying to stay ahead of my finances while trying to launch a consulting business, trying to figure out a relationship and if I jump back in or let it go, trying to put together a ten-year roadmap for where I want to be. I find myself thinking more and more that I want to be able to quit the rat race and attempt a circumnavigation. Of course, that plan doesn't jibe with the traditional plan of getting married and having kids, etc.

However, last week I watched this documentary called Deep Water. It's available for instant play on Netflix. It's about the first solo non-stop sailing race around the world that took place in the late 1960s. The main character of interest was this engineer who left his wife and four kids sitting in England while he entered the race. Unfortunately, he was a terrible sailor and his trimaran was poorly constructed and plagued with problems.

This engineer decided to just float off the coast of Brazil while faking his log for months while the other contestants circled the globe. Then once they sailed back past him, he was going to follow up the rear and return to England as if he had also circled the globe. Unfortunately, the solitude made him batshiat crazy, as evidenced by his rambling manifestos where he starts discussing his transcendence into a celestial being. Slowly, all the other contestants except one are forced to drop out of the race. Instead of showing up last and being able to pass off his log books without much scrutiny, he would be setting the circumnavigation speed record if he returned to England. Knowing his fraud would be exposed, he ends up committing suicide just 700 miles from the finish, and a cruise ship finds his trimaran floating, empty and tattered in the middle of the ocean.

Obviously, his family was devastated. Then to add to their loss, the guy's press agent has all of his logs published, so he becomes this international figure of mockery and disdain, which was even harder on the family.

Things don't really get under my skin, but I have not been able to stop thinking about it all. I think that maybe I saw too much of myself in that poor engineer -- the driving need and ambition to achieve something great but with the overwhelming fear of failure. Would I have the mental stability to go a year without human contact or would I go crazy as well? Sometimes I worry about my mental stability WITH human contact.

And the engineer wasn't the only guy to go crazy. A Frenchman competing in the race would have won except as he finished his circumnavigation, he started questioning the whole point of life and society and decided that instead of finishing the race, he'd just keep sailing and go round the world again.

Things are different today. There's satellites to keep track of you and let you communicate with the outside world. Then again, it's your choice whether you allow communication or if you lock yourself off into a world where you are the only being -- both god and man.

I don't think I shall attempt a solo voyage of that length. I don't want to know where my mind would go.
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