Zia Hassan


I used to love the night.

As a child, night was when everything happened. Santa. Ghosts. Beer. Stars. Seinfeld. Everything.

In college, night was really the only time I got anything useful done. Editing video, coding. It was almost like the daytime didn’t count. Like the sunlight was a kind of barrier. Not so long ago, relatively speaking, people used to take the sunset as a clear signal to go to sleep. Not me.

It used to be no problem to stay up late. I’d be tired all the time, but at least I wasn’t missing out on all the night had to offer. Makes sense since teenagers are wired for night. But that wiring seemed to stick with me through my 20s.

And when friends started saying things like whoops, it’s past my bedtime! at 10pm, I’d shudder and hope I’d never become like that.

I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point my body rewired itself. I can’t stay up past 11 these days, though bedtime is usually earlier. Like confronting the monster under my bed, I finally had to accept that there was nothing I was missing out on by going to sleep.

In fact, the alertness I felt during the day was worth much more than the extra awake time bleary-eyed drinking Monster. Quality over quantity.

Even the quality of my thoughts changed. I became a more positive person. And I wondered why it took me so long, especially with mom and dad telling me go to sleep so many times for so many years.

We never learn, do we?

Or at least, if we do, it’s always on our own. No matter how obvious it is. No matter how many of our heroes say it.

We don’t learn until we teach ourselves.