The Mystery Box

I don’t know what it is about Monday mornings that makes me so excited to get out of bed. For most people I know, the opposite is the case: Monday morning typically means waking up earlier than they care to, making preparations for the first step back into the weekday routines that for most people I know consist of either classes or workdays. Monday morning is the end of the weekend and the farthest-feeling point from the next one.

Almost without fail, I am the first person awake in my apartment any given day of the week. Monday mornings have always been the quietest of these. When I wake up, I can be relatively certain I won’t encounter any other human beings until I walk into the office where I work a few minutes before 8:00. My revulsion of being rushed has me wake up two hours before that, which means two hours of blissful quiet before I have to be anywhere.

Practically speaking, mornings are my least productive time of the day. I spend entirely too long drinking maté and eating breakfast, reading the New York Times, catching up with friends by means of blogs or Facebook. Sometimes, though not as often as I would like, I spend some time in waking meditation or prayer. This time of my day is sacred. If I don’t have this time in the morning, my entire day is thrown off, so I try my hardest to ensure it never passes in a rush.

Earlier this semester I found myself wrestling almost every morning with the fact I wasn’t using the hour between the end of my shower and when I leave for work as productively as I could be. I later decided there was no purpose in doing so, as from the beginning I had set that time aside. I pushed back the time at which I woke up by a few minutes every week for the first month of the school year until it reached its current point. Now that I’ve found my balance, I’ve come to love the mornings more and more.


Mornings are special to me because they represent the only uncorrupted time of the day. Every morning, I wake up and I have no earthly idea whether the day will be a good one or a bad one. The cliché goes that it will be whatever kind of day I decide it will; the fact I’ve been battling my control-freak nature tooth and nail for the last several months has me casting aside the desire to determine the course of my own day and leave it to God instead. It doesn’t matter to me which it is, though, because I know that the next one will be an entirely unique entity from the one that preceded it. Mornings represent the consistent point zeroes from which my days construct themselves. In that way, each one is more or less the same, the uncorrupted beginning of a new day that will be entirely unlike any that came before it, though it might bear similarities of form to some of those others.

Mondays are similar. Mondays are like the morning days of the week; because people in my country conceive the start of the week to be Monday, Monday represents the day on which the rest of the week builds itself. Monday mornings, then, are the purest of the pure. I love waking up on Monday mornings because I have no idea what the day will look like nor the week to come, and that sense of mystery is exciting to me.

I have long been drawn to the unfamiliar. While a frequent lamentation in my culture is that people tend to be resistant to change, I am not only accepting of change but even embrace it. In fact, if my life is too unchanging for too long a period of time, the result is I begin to feel stifled. This is a paradox: it takes me longer than most people to change gears, per se, which is why I have trouble multitasking. That it takes me longer to adapt to new situations seems strange in light of the fact I enjoy change—what is it about the process of change that makes these conditions so?

I can’t say I ask myself that question a lot, but I can tell you I enjoy the process of change. The prospect of the new and unfamiliar has a kind of thrill to it, like a toned-down, drawn-out dose of adrenaline. The crazier the plan, the better. I have a feeling this might get me in trouble someday, but we’ll see.

So why Spain? Good question. The more I learn of the world, the more I want to learn. People utterly fascinate me for a milieu of reasons both good and bad. The best way to learn of them is to become one of them, however one is able; there are so many types out there, all the same, that the best way to learn them is to go and see. No amount of explanation or impersonal studying can provide real understanding of the incredible thing that is the human race. I want to know it better. The best place to start is from a place one hasn’t been to yet.

Perhaps that doesn’t answer your question. In that case, you’re in the right place.

Hasta luego.

Photo Cred: Mike Shaw, 2009.


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