The stars and the sea.

There’s something intense about the beach at night.

I prefer the beach at night to during the day. When it’s totally empty, it’s just you and the sand and the waves and the moon. I was lucky enough to grow up very close to the sea, the beach was never something that was off-limits. I guess that’s why I find it such a relaxing place. I love beach bonfires and chilling with my friends on the sand or watching my dog play in the waves don’t get me wrong, but I love it when I’m there by myself, too. At night, it’s a good place to think or to figure things out. There are no distractions.

It gives me a feeling I can’t really explain. You’re totally alone, but at the same time you’re not. You know that somewhere in the world, someone else is looking up at the same moon you are, asking the same questions. You know that someone somewhere is swimming in the same sea that’s rolling up the shoreline metres away from you. You feel connected, but comfortably isolated at the same time.

To me at least, the beach is the perfect metaphor for life anyway. What is one grain of sand on a beach compared to the beach as a whole? It’s nothing. And that’s who we are – we’re that individual grain of sand that’s falling through our fingers as we play with it. We don’t matter, not really. We could disappear and it wouldn’t make a difference to the beach, or the world, as a whole. Our individual problems that we face, they’re huge to us. But they don’t matter in the long run. Soon enough, that grain of sand will be washed away by the waves, and nobody will ever know it’s gone missing. As the waves wash away my footprints that led me to sit on the beach at that moment, so too does time erase the past that led to the reason why.

It’s the perfect place to be if you’ve got issues. It makes you think about things, it puts your entire existence into perspective and it makes you realise that maybe things don’t matter as much as you think they do. It’s nice.

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Midnight works.

It’s 00:25 here right now. My brother’s asleep. My mum’s asleep. Even the dog is asleep. And yet here I am, attempting to write my media coursework. People who aren’t students are often surprised when I reveal to them that I did this piece of work, or that essay, overnight. It continues to confuse me.

For me personally, this is the best time of day to work. How often is it that your family are asleep, it’s quieter than the Night Before Christmas, and you haven’t got that annoying little list of “things I must do before today is over” rolling around in your head? In my house at least, I’ve always got some kind of distraction during the day. My dog will come and see me, holding a toy and putting on his please-play-with-me eyes. My brother might come in and ask if I want to go on the PS3. Mum wants a chat, friends call or text, and twitter is at its busiest. Right now, at half past midnight, I have none of that. I can hear the faint rustling of the tree in my neighbour’s garden through my slightly open window, the noise of the rain on the glass, and all I have to worry about is what I’m trying to write. It’s almost… relaxing. Which is something coursework rarely becomes. There is of course the underlying pressure of the consequence of not getting this done by Monday, but at this time of night, when everything else is dead, any sense of what time it is or how long I have left kind of vanishes.

 

I’m not suggesting everything should be done at this time of night, especially if you’re not used to being awake late. I fully anticipate being awake until at least 2am to try to finish this, and that doesn’t work for a lot of people. But next time you’re stressing out over a mildly-urgent piece of work, leave it until everyone else is in bed, and get cracking. You might surprise yourself.