I read this really great article last week called “In the Midnight Hour” – which is super relevant to my life because I am always awake at the literal midnight hour (and the hour after that, and the one after that, etc). But, beyond the literal, the article was aiming to address those moments in your life when the clock has moved onto the next day, the scoreboard has reset, and you have to make some decisions.
The author (who’s name I can find) was suggesting that the beauty of “midnight hours” is that we’ve gained experiences that lead us to pivotal moments. We have the opportunity to reflect, go forward, and adjust our plan of action to make an even greater impact. I’ve had a lot of midnight hours lately – those moments where the clock changes and I realize that it is up to me to act and react, to call the next play.
Personally, I found my most ground breaking midnight hour to be the wee hours of the morning on November 9th (#imstillwither), but smaller and less publicly centered “midnights” hit me randomly. Whether it be a controversial conversation in the classroom or a provocative news headline, perspective shifting conversations keep slapping me in the face and forcing me to step up the plate and tackle the daunting.
I’m really scared of public shootings – various shooting scenarios run through my mind a few times a day. But I have always zoned out of my nightmare and settled back into my comforting reality. Tonight, however, I was texting a friend about the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting. We exchanged articles and pictures and she had me watch a terrifying video. We fired texts back and forth – it was unsettling, unnerving, too real – and then we sat with it. I put down my phone, laid in my bed and let the weight of video rest on my shoulders, creep into my chest.
Thinking about these moments is rattling, scary, and uncomfortable, but it also bears the burden of responsibility. For me, it is too easy to roll over and wish away the nightmare, but not everyone has that privilege. My nightmare is someone else’s reality and to that I have no response. So, in awe of these various realities that make up our human experience, I am taking a step back to document my own midnight hour and, at 12:43 AM, I am accepting the burden of responsibility that comes with reflection, contemplation, and the human experience.