Sleep, Fear, & Life.

Do you ever use sleep to avoid reality?  Do you ever wake up in the morning look at the time on the clock and think about all the things you need to be doing, but every time you look back at the clock you surrender to fear by closing your eyes and going back to sleep?

Endlessly hoping that all your problems will go away; all the while knowing that they will not, & with each passing time you wake the fear has grown more and more... YET, despite that you still continue to choose to hide from it.  Knowing going back to sleep won’t solve anything, BUT for some reason you STILL keep attempting to resolve the same problem with the same unsuccessful solution.  

It’s like when you’re hungry and you check the fridge and there’s nothing in there.  That purgatory of time where you go sit on the couch thinking of your hunger, & 10 minutes later you go back to check the fridge AGAIN knowing that there’s nothing in there, but for some reason thinking and hoping that this time there just might be something you’ve missed.  

Do you ever let the pressure of life & the fear of failure build & build & continue to accumulate until you’re paralyzed; until you don’t know what to do; until your only escape is to close your eyes, & go back to sleep?

Do you ever try to flee reality with sleep only to make it worse?  6 AM, 8 AM, 10 AM, 2 PM, a wash of guilt as the sun fades away, and another day is lost with nothing to show for it.  The later in the day the harder it is to close those eyes & retreat from your battles.  The more you avoid the mounting fears the more guilt you feel, yet for some reason you still can’t think of another solution.  

You close your eyes and think.  You THINK of all the things you know you SHOULD be doing, the things you COULD be doing, all the things you know you NEED to be doing...  that’s all you do you is THINK about it.   WHY!?...  Because it’s easier that way.  

You run, you flee, you shoot yourself in the foot.  You trip when they’re chasing you, and the crowd says “RUN!” but you surrender to defeat because it’s easierthat way.  You talk about what you SHOULD do, what you NEED to do, what you WANT to do and then you DON’T do it.  

You do this long enough and you lose yourself.  All you do is talk.  Why!?  Because it’s easier to talk about it than to actually do it.  

So you close your eyes and go back to sleep.

You think about it, you dream about it, you wake afraid, but in sleep you’re safe, in sleep nothing matters, your problems don’t really exist at least not until you wake again.  Only this time theyhave grown, and youhave not.  

You are bigger than your fears don’t let them grow bigger than you. 

Someone once said “A sleeping man never won a war” .  Don’t retreat, don’t surrender to defeat, get up and fight.  This battle is your life, it’s not meant to be fought horizontal.  

Cover some ground, don’t just rotate with the earth.





Sometimes this overwhelming and crippling fear can be the case even if your reality isn’t necessarily bad...  sometimes you want something so bad you can’t wait to wake up and chase it, other times this thing this obstacle is simply too big and it scares you because you don’t know how to approach it because your afraid to fail.

 It intimidates you and it fills you with fear.  That cortisone, the fight, flight, or freeze.  The uncertainty, the paralyzation, of the weight you choose to carry.  

Will you be strong enough to do what you need to do?  Are you able to do what you’ve promised yourself and others you’re capable of achieving?  

What if you fail? What if nothing works out the way you want it to?  You know what? You will, & it won’t, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying, or at least attempting to find out.

Sometimes you come up with an idea so big and so scary that you run away, find a safe place to hide out, curl up in the fetal position with it and cower to the challenges you know you must overcome in order to achieve it.  

Afraid of the obstacles in your path to attaining this abstract idea you’ve been trying to germinate.  Hibernating trying to grow this seed with no egg to fertilize it.  

Sometimes you get too comfortable and complicit that just the thought of trying to feed the seed freezes you in your sleep.  You allow yourself to get soft and lose that outer shell you need to muscle through the world.  

Sometimes you need somebody to come kick the shit out of you, & wake you the fuck up with a metaphorical bucket of ice water.

The only constant in this world is change.  All you need to do is learn to adapt.

You’ll never be “Ready” no one ever is, that’s the thing that they don’t teach you in the history books.  Everyone else was also scared shitless & had absolutely no clue what the fuck they were doing when they started.  Likely, half of them still hadn’t even figured it out by the time they were finished, but the difference is, they didn’t let that stop them from cluelessly trudging headfirst into the great unknown with a backpack full of fear of failure, in order to achieve and accomplish something noteworthy.  

But first they had to wake up open their eyes and put their feet on the ground.  Every day.

Day after day, after day.

Lewis & Clark had no GPS navigation, well researched field notes, or predicted weather radar forecast.  Those dudes were fucking terrified, out of their element in the middle of nowhere, literally writing history every day.  The truth is “sometimes the fear won’t go away, so you’ll have to do it afraid”.

The first step in the right direction is waking up.

I’d like to share with you a few quotes from some of my favorite people that have always resonated some degree of relevance to me no matter what the current context of my life is.  

President Theodore Roosevelt Once Said:  “Nothing in the world is worth having or worthdoing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

Muhammad Ali Once Said: “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

He also said.

“If Your Dreams Don’t Scare You They Aren’t Big Enough”

Anthony Bourdain Once Said:


“If I'm an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food, it's a plus for everybody.

Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”

“The journey is part of the experience - an expression of the seriousness of one's intent. One doesn't take the A train to Mecca.”

Hunter S Thompson Once Said:

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

“Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

“The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over”

I don’t know...  Maybe what it is about all of these quotes that I find meaningful and impactful to me is the fact that they seem to spark some sense of confidence in me or some type of reassurance that my reluctance to make that leap of faith and trust that the sun won’t melt my wings is simply a natural and human disposition.

For now (as I have done in the past & will continue to do in the future) I will leave you with a quote of my own that I wrote before I left home to cycle across the country.  This has sense become my mantra & life motto & I imagine it will stay that way until I can find the answers to the intangible & abstract sense of meaning and purpose I have been seeking all along.  Not sure if I ever will so I’ll probably continue living by this until I take it to the grave.

“I don’t know what I’m looking for,

But I know it’s worth looking for.

I’m not sure where I’m going, 

But I’m not staying still.

The futures uncertain,

But it’s still gonna happen.

Nothing else matters, 

But the top of the hill”

You’ve just gotta, wake up, open your eyes, & put your feet on the ground, every day, day after day, after day.

There will always be haters who judge you meticulously.  There will always be people jealous of your success or people who don’t agree with the decisions you make on how you chose to live your life.  There will always be both strangers & people close to you who either love you or hate you for what you chose to do with your time, and the way in which you go about achieving your goals.  Don’t let that stop you from embracing the vulnerability to peruse what ever your truly passionate about.  Art is about exposing your weaknesses as a sign of strength. The longer you hold it in your head without releasing it the more power it has on you and the less control you have over yourself.

My mom used to say.  “Do what you don’t want to do, and do it everyday”.  And I always used to think; what a weird way to live?  Why would anybody ever think like that. But I now realize that she didn’t mean “don’t do what you love” but in order to do what you love you must first wake up, open your eyes, & put your feet on the ground, even when you don’t want to.

Drew Echelberger