I'm standing on the Seoul metro at 7:51AM. Just like I do every day. People come and go as the doors swing open and closed.
The deep male voice comes over the loud speaker and says in Korean, "stand clear of the closing doors."
I hear this 10 times per week. Once going to work and once coming home. This week has felt longer than the others. I have no explanation for that feeling, other than I'm working really hard.
The Seoul Metro is a clean place where thousands of people pack into cars built for hundreds. It's very tight in there. Sometimes I can feel the thickness of the air.
People talk about their morning routines like they're a science. Just go on YouTube and type in "Morning Routine".
You'll see a bunch of glittering young ladies wearing expensive Victoria's Secret pajamas. They've times their expensive Keurig machines to brew their designer coffee right at 6:00am or whatever ungodly hour they decide to wake themselves.
They flutter to the kitchen where they make themselves a charming and healthy breakfast. Probably some nuts and berries that they've prepared in a bowl with their initials on it. Everything is Tiffany blue.
There is no sense of urgency in these young women's faces. They are calm, well rested and totally beautiful at 7am.
Everyone knows that mornings don't glitter like gold, and in the chaos of work or school, sleep or insomnia, we face different challenges than are shown on the screen.
When I wake up, I look like a troll waiting under a bridge, and I bet you do too.
My morning isn't filled with coffee and cute music. Mine is filled with chaos. It is an exact representation of the rest of my life.
7:01 wake up, exhausted and completely out of it
7:02 hit snooze button for 7:15
7:15 wake up in a panic because I won't have enough time to get ready
7:20 assemble careless yet mildly stylish and cool outfit
7:23 put it on
7:25 brush teeth, wash face, apply exactly 57 dollars worth of makeup, mixing high end brands with low end ones for a "thrifty" face
7:30 wonder around my room and kick dirty clothes around in an attempt to find various chords and cables for optimum sound and computer performance. Headphones. I'm looking for my headphones. Always.
7:35 assess if I'm so dehydrated that I need to stop in the bodega to get a bottle of water worth about 75 American cents.
7:40 leave my messy apartment and make sure all things are unplugged and turned off.
7:42 go back because I forgot something.
7:43 consider grabbing some grapes or something, because humans really should eat breakfast. Hell, I don't have time. I never have time.
7:45 arrive at the train station and squish into a busy car full of people who no doubt are just as tired as I am.
8:15 arrive at the office, greet co-workers.
The morning is not a glamorous time for those of use who are disorganized and chaotic. Most of us are.
Waking up is hard to do.
You see, part of trying to fix your morning routine, is acknowledging that it needs work. I know mine needs work. But right now, it's not realistic, and that's okay. Being better, and improving isn't about being perfect. It's about figuring out what works. And right now, the chaos is working.