Does time pass differently?” Y asks me over our lunch break during yoga class. She wants to know if time feels different when you’re deliberately not working and not on vacation.
It takes me all day to figure out my answer. But somewhere along our walk to the subway after class, I finally reply.
“Time feels infinite,” I say. As soon as I say it, I know that’s exactly the right description.
This month I gave up time.
November’s Unplanning Project was to not plan what time I do things. I stopped planning when I get up, when I fall asleep, when I catch a train, etc. I stopped setting alarms. I stopped worrying about getting to bed early or not sleeping in.
Last month I was really struggling with quitting going to bed late. And then I read this article about how some people are morning people and some people aren’t. I had an epiphany. I’m a night person.
When I was a teenager, I used to always sleep in and wake up at noon. My dad would always joke that even though I was eating breakfast at noon, I’d be eating lunch an hour later. I still do that.
I used to feel bad when my friends would visit and get up super early, and I never could get up and start the day with them. I’d struggle to wake up to my alarm. But now I realize they are morning people. And I’m not. They’d also usually be in bed by 8 or 9, and I’d stay up several hours after them working on art.
And so half way through the month of quitting sleeping in, I quit. I stopped worrying when I got up and went to bed. I’d get up at noon, and although I would start my day half a day later than everyone else, I’d get a lot more done after dark, staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning puttering about on my portfolio and editing photos.
Even after getting up, I would work on things leisurely, without the pressure of needing to finish my to-do list today, or before the end of the “work day.” When I’m not tied to how long things take or what time they start and end, it feels like there is infinite amounts time. It feels like I can take as long as I want to work on things, because there are no deadlines. And as long as I do a little bit each day, things will eventually get done.
Each day I stick to my rough outline of a schedule, filling up the blocks of creative time with lots of art: cooking, writing new posts, singing new songs, dancing, taking photos, and editing photos. I realized I’m spending my days being a full time artist.
I think I just discovered my spin. I am a full time artist.
I think I’ll start telling people as my spiel: “I’m a freelance photographer. And right now, I am working on several personal art projects.” That seems to be both vague enough and expansive enough to cover everything I’m doing at the moment. It’s a good start for now, and I can continue to adjust it as I go. After all, I’ve got all the time in the world to figure it out.