My dear friend Exhaustion

Niomi Nunez, Features & Lifestyle Editor

Exhaustion fuels me. You read that correctly. I work best when my undereyes feel dry but look moist, and when my breath smells like burned malt from all the caffeine drinks I’ve had. Exhaustion is not my enemy, rather it’s my dear friend.  

Exhaustion and I have gotten very close in the past couple of weeks. We go everywhere together—class, work, clubs, etc. Like a warm weighted blanket, it cradles me and tells me everything will be okay in the end. Without Exhaustion, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. So much of who I am has been constructed in my hours of sleep deprivation. 

I am a good writer (so I’ve been told) because of the things I have written in moments of exertion and fatigue. I am funny (so I’ve also been told) because of the delirium brought on by my tiredness. For some strange reason, I am most courageous when I am tired because I couldn’t care less about anyone’s opinion of me, I just want to sleep. 

My other friend named My work ethic introduced me to Exhaustion. My work ethic is great for the most part—they procrastinate no more than the average young adult. There is only one dilemma – My work ethic thinks that I am invincible and perfect, and I am far from that. My work ethic and I don’t have the healthiest of relationships, but that is beside the point. I have built a profoundly strong relationship with Exhaustion, and it’s all because of My work ethic.  

On a less abstract note, being tired is somewhat comforting and rewarding to me. It’s strange but true. I take comfort in knowing that I give every hour of every day my all. I am up and at ’em from the dewy hours of the morning to the loud cricket chirps of the night. I work hard because exhaustion promises me the reward of rest.  

I know that this all sounds very delusional, but I think many people understand what I am talking about. When I say many people, I am referring to those whose schedules look like an encyclopedia. For us, being beat is a sign of hard work and accomplishment. Working while exhausted only pushes us to get the job done faster and maybe even better because we tend to not overthink things when we are tired. Exhaustion is also our reminder to stop and relax.  

There is no point in fighting exhaustion, it’s a part of the human experience—whatever that means. We struggle in life because we think that the things we do mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. I guess the reason I have chosen to embrace Exhaustion is because it validates the things I do, and I know it will be in my life forever. Yes, I will complain about it every day and will have a mental breakdown every now and then, but I will still call Exhaustion a dear friend of mine.  

To my dear friend Exhaustion, I love you.