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Insomnia taught me the difference between like and love.

Russell Aaron no sleep insomnia

Insomnia is one of the hardest parts of my life. It’s not that it’s physically hard. It’s just mentally tolling on me. From a young age, I’ve always been up late at night. I think it started because I wanted to stay up with my parents as they watched TV. I wanted to watch and they said no. So I rebelled. I didn’t know that 33 years later I’d still have this crazy insomnia.

I don’t consider my insomnia a burden. I consider it a blessing and I use it to my advantage. When you’re up at 2:30 in the morning and there’s nothing really to watch on TV, you can get a lot of stuff done. Like working on all my WordCamp presentations. Or if I need to learn a new programming language or something along those lines, that’s what insomnia is for.

My insomnia is not tied to depression. The people I’ve talked to about insomnia often link depression and anxiety. They quoted it as being the main contributor to their insomnia. I’m pretty sure my energy and enthusiasm trigger my insomnia. Passionate is how I would describe my feelings towards the interests of my life. Many people have a small interest in mass amounts of subjects. I have large interests in a select few subjects.

Let it go

It’s really hard for me to let things go. There’s a giant part of my life I have given up on. It’s not literally giving up. We were going nowhere or I couldn’t figure something out. There was no one around to help. Now that my son is here, I’m not allowed to give up anymore. Whatever he needs, I have to provide. Whether that’s comfort, money, knowledge, or some combination. Insomnia is going to help me solve any issues we might have with our kids.

My wife is a morning person. I am a night owl. We can cover 24 hours. That’s what makes us one of the best teams. Knowing that while she sleeps I’m watching the baby and vice versa. It really allows us to be in a more peaceful sleep state to catch up on rest. Some mornings our baby will wake up between 2 and 6 am. He needs to be fed and put back to sleep. One of us has to do it. It’s usually me. My wife knows I only need a few hours of sleep. To me, a little bit of sleep feels like I’ve had eight hours. Unless I’ve been going for three days straight. Then I need to break for an evening. Either way, we have that teamwork.

ADHD and never being tested

I was never tested for ADHD. But I’m pretty sure I have it. I’m not talking about the kind where you give a kid some sugar and they go apeshit for a while. I’m talking about the kind when you are just so obsessed with something and it excites you even more than usual. When I get talking about something that excites me, I want to keep the conversation going as long as I can. Why wouldn’t I. If you love something, you should be able to talk about it non-stop or religiously? I use that word very lightly by the way. I’m not a religious person. Far from it. But I do believe that if you are involved with anything in your life you should put your entire heart into it.

Racing and WordPress. Those are the two subjects I can talk about for many hours and not take a breath. Thirty seconds into a conversation. You can feel my passion for these subjects. If you don’t feel it from my words, it’s safe to say I might like the subject, but not love it. I noticed the difference between love and like from an early age.

I used to date. Flirting and intriguing conversation really grinds my gears. If you know what I’m saying. In a good way. I know a lot about women’s fashion and designer names. That’s because I knew the one thing most men still don’t know to this day. If you’re going to have a conversation with a woman you need to be able to talk about the things they like. I’m not stereotyping women saying they only want to talk about fashion and shoes. What I’m saying is that it will come up at some point in the conversation. You’ll never know if they kinda like it, or if they should have a Ph.D. from Harvard. That is until you have the conversation. And if you’re going to have the conversation, you should know a little bit about the subject. At least the difference between Dolce & Gabbana and Giorgio Armani.

I learned that I can study a subject, learn fascinating things about the subject, and only learn to like it a little. I’ve even taken advice from top rated fashion bloggers in Las Vegas. They have taught me things to say while on dates. One of them said I was guaranteed to get a second date if I said a specific thing. You would think that because dating is one of my favorite things, I would treat this information as if it were gold. Instead, it was just a tool to me. It’s up to me whether I want to use the tool and when.

And that’s the difference between like and love. If you’d like something you’ll say everything you know about the subject in order to keep the conversation going. But if you love something, the conversation will continue naturally and you will select when to say things. Having insomnia taught me the difference between like and love.

Insomnia brought me love.

Russell Aaron Insomnia

Russell Aaron and Jill at the Mall of America.

Because of my insomnia, I would stay up late at night and learn WordPress. Learning WordPress, I was able to join a community. Once I joined the community I started building relationships. Some of which I still have to this day. Every Friday I’m on a podcast where I see three of my closest friends in the community. The amount of advice I have received personally and professionally is incalculable. In regards to my personal and professional career, I owe everything to insomnia. UC insomnia can be a good thing as well.

Without insomnia, I would have never learned how to build a plug-in. Without building a plug-in I would have never entered the contest. Without entering the contest, I would have never had code to submit. Without having code to submit I would have never landed my job at a WordPress agency. Any way you slice it insomnia has improved my life in one way or another.

So take it from me when I say my insomnia and didn’t bring on depression. For me, it probably saved me from a dark period in my life. Insomnia help in every way imaginable when it comes to my career. The career helped me land my dream girl. In landing my dream girl I was rewarded with two wonderful children. Insomnia is the best thing ever. Change my mind.

1 thought on “Insomnia taught me the difference between like and love.”

  1. I’m adhd. It explains my insomnia. My incredible long term memory, and my habit of fixating on things and not letting them go. I also have OCD which fuels my ADHD. I can’t focus on X unless Y is done.

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