Two days in a row with tricky questions. Today‘s task? Tell us about a time when you had to choose between two options, and you picked the unpopular choice. This was another hard question, especially because I kept on thinking of high stake situations and having to pick between what is right and what is easy. But that wasn’t the question (which lucky for me because nothing was coming to mind). However making the unpopular choice (or following the road less traveled) I can somewhat answer that one readily enough.
Let me preface this story with I feel like many designers are night owls. If you would have gone to my college’s building on campus you would find people working away. Go there between 5 and 8? Ghost town. To be fair, I wouldn’t be there either. I would be up getting ready to head to work by 7:30 before going to class at 10. The stage is set.
When I studied abroad for design I lived in an apartment with six other girls. On the second day of classes I was up and working on something or other (perhaps preparing a blog entry so my family would know I was alive and thriving). A couple hours later one of my roommates come into the living/dining room with her breakfast. I cheerily called good morning and she momentarily froze. The message was clear, that wasn’t going to fly. She appreciated the sentiment but loud noises in the morning were out. Instead mornings were like museums in our apartment. Very still and very quite. It was fascinating to watch sometimes. To see how 7 people could interact so effectively using so little words.
It was made clear over the semester that all of my roommates were night owls while I am very much an early bird. They’d stay up well past my bedtime working on some project or another. For awhile I tried to adapt to their schedule, but that just didn’t work. I’m most effective between 7-11 (both am and pm…it’s weird it’s like I get this extra little kick of energy again at night). Of course I can do stuff at the other times, I just feel most effective then. Also I feel rushed if I get up right before I’m suppose to go to class. That’s never been how I rolled.
Some unspoken rules were set in our apartment. Music, although it could be played, couldn’t be ‘rock out’ loud after 12:30 at night in the apartment. (This rule would be suspended before deadlines when all of us were up anyway and needed to have a dance party to re-energize ourselves.) The awesome girl I shared a room with would leave the bedroom and work in the living room around that time too so we could have lights out in our room (or just work in the dark). In exchange I would be quite in the mornings and usually went to school either as the others were just waking up, or before they were up. Sometimes my energy was just a little to much, the others could sense my happy energy even when I was silent. One roommate (the one I said good morning to so enthusiastically) just shook her head and called me a morning person.
So for a semester I made the unpopular choice of waking up early and working before class over staying up late. I’m surprised I functioned as well as I did, burning the candle at both ends. I would stay up until 12 or 1 and then get up (usually) between 6 and 7. But that is 6 hours of sleep, so not really surprised I guess. Just grateful for the experience of A) Living abroad and B) living with so many people (that I wasn’t related to, there is a big difference).