Humans logo

I Can’t Sleep

Volume 5

By Heather DonaldPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 3 min read

I can’t sleep. I have a lot of work to do tomorrow, I guess it’s actually today. I have orders to fill, I’ll be baking all day. I should be sleeping. But instead I’m laying here thinking about artistic talent competition shows. I love them! There are competition shows for fashion designers, tattoo artists, makeup artists, singers, dancers, cooks, drag Queens, models - there’s even sword makers and glass blowers for crying out loud! Not all shows do it for me, for instance I like Idol - but not AGT or The Voice. But for the shows I do watch, I get heavily invested in the contestants journeys and have very emotional reactions. I mean obviously it’s sad if someone you’re rooting for gets sent off, especially Junior competitions. And god forbid there’s anything to do with a contestant’s family member or loved one, a parent’s tears of pride will dissolve me into a ridiculous puddle of goo. That said, I get far more emotional seeing an artist’s successes along the incredible journey they’re being afforded. I’m talking about young people with legitimate talent and a hunger to share their light and make their mark on the world. Remember being young and having dreams? The stars are easy to spot, they’re the ones that dig deep and you can hear it, see it, feel the rawness, the pain that’s in their soul, driving them. You can feel their desire, their need to be recognized. Eager to learn, humble enough to know there is so much to learn and having the intellect to understand if they absorb this once in a lifetime education from well established stars in their fields, with that guidance, they’re destined for greatness. I just imagine how they must feel, the buoyancy of success after the crushing weight of anticipation and pressure that precedes a performance or challenge, after the torture of your art being picked apart in judgement. It just has to be so joyously overwhelming to get a positive response and I share their tears of joy celebrating their special moments. I am always incredibly honoured to have witnessed the ember that will eventually explode into a star. I am a dreamer, a romantic and an empath. I have a soft heart, I appreciate the joy of others and weep at their misfortune.

When I was young I sang. I was in a school of the arts, I was in dozens of shows. As a young adult I sang in bars occasionally and of course I will serenade my family, my friends and my dog at any given moment. There was a distant time when I thought I was destined for greatness, but then there’s life making all the decisions.

I still desperately want to be successful at something and make my family proud. Have a successful business that supports me, lessens my struggle so they don’t worry. I am capable, I am driven. I need to be great at everything I do and am unreasonably inconsolable if I experience failure of any kind, even the smallest mistakes are devastating. It is more damaging than you might think, chipping away at what little confidence I have until I’m afraid to try something for fear of yet more failure. I often wonder if my life circumstances had been different, if I had grown in a more privileged and functional environment, would I be the person I wish I could be? Would I be a star? A writer? A CEO? Not knowing keeps me from sleep, and here we are, full circle. I can’t sleep.

Good night.

pop culture

About the Creator

Heather Donald

I believe in love & kindness, that we should embrace joy, sing, dance & be silly! I am a survivor, damaged but not broken. I have a lot of love to give, free of judgment and given freely because I believe love can heal the world. 💕

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.