Boundaries Part 1

As promised, the first Reuben’s Wednesday signed, sealed, and delivered on Wednesday ūüôā


Many years ago, I didn’t know much about boundaries. Or rather, I knew about them, but I didn’t know what it meant for me. I’ve always thought I’ll be the courageous rebel who’ll rail myself against any and all ‘man-made limitations’. To me, the sky wasn’t the limit, it was just an excuse to keep men bubbling safely within Earth’s atmosphere, instead of inventing a rocket to pierce though right out of it.

And so I began the great experiment. On the social sphere, I started experimenting with the boundaries of myself, and others. On the train, on the streets, anywhere and almost everywhere, I would try to start up a conversation with someone. And to my surprise, people were actually receptive. One guy even went on and on about how I should join Toast Masters because it changed his life and he was sure it would change mine too. So, as you can imagine, my outlook on life transformed completely. I realized that humans are not as far apart from each other as I thought. And I felt as if I’ve officially built¬†and got on¬†the¬†rocket that took me out of my own atmosphere. Awesome.

But just in case you come from a liberal society, or you’re just a flaming extrovert, mind you, before all this, I was as shy as the toothpaste at the bottom of the tube. Damn. My whole family is introverted, and so am I, but not by nature. I am the curious, shy sort, the kind who needs to explore the world, but is sometimes just too darn afraid to stick my neck out. The kind who has words to say but somehow, they get stuck at the… bottom of the tube. So to me, whatever I achieved in this period was¬†great. It was¬†admirable.¬†And more often than not, it was.

Until things went haywire. I began pushing more and more boundaries. Not social this time, but physical. I thought to myself – if I could reduce the number of hour I slept everyday, and still maintain the same level of functioning, wouldn’t that be the ultimate time hack? I could make a dozen more friends. I could learn things that need a¬†lot¬†of time to learn. I could… I daresay, become a genius!¬†And so began my research and foray into polyphasic sleep.

But like many other things I got interested in, I never really bothered working with the fundamentals before experimenting with it. As such, I found myself getting addicted to the short sleep phases. And no, if any of you were wondering, I never actually managed to pull off polyphasic due to lack of discipline, but that’s another story. In this one, all I did was sleep less, without any compensatory REM naps throughout the rest of my day (sorry for the technical talk, if you didn’t get it, it just meant I executed the polyphasic sleep hack wrongly!).

Sometimes, I would wake up in the middle of the night and just work on a project that I felt ‘super inspired’ for. While it would seem brilliant then (mostly because my ability to make sound judgments was already deep fried by my lack of sleep), a careful analysis many months down the road later would have it that work done during those graveyard hours was among the shoddiest I ever produced, although I still do hold that high levels of creativity and spontaneity are often achieved during those times (go midnight junkies!)…

…if you want to know what happened to me in the end, tune in for next week’s Reuben’s Wednesday!


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