“I Can’t Sleep Unless I’m Horizontal” (and other stupid things I said when I was a kid)

First of all, I know what you’re thinking and yes, I did use words like ‘horizontal’ when I was a kid. Pretentious or adorable? I like to think that it’s a little bit of both.

This phrase was oddly something that I would say on quite a regular basis and I’m still not sure how or why this was constantly being brought up as a legitimate topic of conversation but who am I to judge what is considered conversation-worthy to a bunch of 10 year olds. All I know is that this phrase is seared into my memory and was very true about myself at the time. I could not sleep unless I was completely horizontal, in the regular, “I’m in a bed” sleeping position.


Long car ride late at night after a wedding? No sleep for Anamaria until we got home. 15 hour flight to Europe? That’s at least 7 films that I can watch IN A ROW! There’s no way that adolescent Anamaria was passing that up. Plus the seats didn’t allow me to be horizontal so… You get the picture. What I have come to know about myself now as I have progressed into adulthood is that adolescent Anamaria could really be an entitled brat sometimes. (Also that I love referring to myself in the third person, in a completely un-ironic way.) Of course I’m going to claim that not being horizontal enough was the excuse for not sleeping on all these occasions when in truth it’s simply because I was averaging 10-12 hours of solid sleep every night. 12 hours! Who has that kind of time to spend on sleep? A child that’s who.

Now imagine my astonishment when I started travelling on my own after I turned 18 and had many international flights to look forward to. I was still pedaling the claim that “I simply cannot sleep unless I am completely horizontal” but what I had not anticipated as an adult with a job, studies and trying to balance a social life along with my ever growing TV series roster and film watching dependency, was that I would be averaging about 6 hours of sleep a night. (Don’t even get me started on social media. As soon as I joined Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that average dropped significantly.) A STAGGERING change to my once cushy 10 hours a night. So now a 14 hour flight to LA or a 12 hour flight to Vietnam turned into prime sleep time. Forget about being horizontal I was barely buckled in before the saliva was dribbling out of my mouth! (Attractive, I know.) I can’t even really remember a time in recent years where I haven’t been just a little bit tired at any given time of the day. Being horizontal is no longer a pre-requisite to sleep. I don’t even let being at work stop me. If I rest my head on my desk for too long it’s all over.


Here are a few other things I touted as hard truths when I was a child and honestly, I wish I could take about 90% of them back because nobody prepared me for what the future really held:

“No I’m not tired and don’t want to take a nap.” – Are you crazy 3 year old Anamaria?? Take the nap! Take every nap ever offered to you on God’s green earth for it is such small luxuries that you will cherish when you are working a 9-5 office job and want nothing more than to lie down under your desk and not be disturbed for at least an hour. Of course naps aren’t allowed in Adult Word and you have to get back to that PowerPoint Presentation you were working on.

“Dark chocolate is gross.” – This is especially silly considering the fact that I didn’t actually taste dark chocolate until well into my teenage years so I was making this statement blindly, without any actual knowledge of the subject matter. If I could, I would literally never stop eating dark chocolate, ever. Ever! I cringe at the thought of how much dark chocolate was missed and squandered in my youth due to my lack of adventurousness. (That’s totally a word.)

“If I hold my breath every now and then I can store up air for later and then I will live longer.” – Bless my little heart. Ok so this one isn’t necessarily stupid or something that I wish I could take back. Let me explain. When I was very young I used to think that eventually people just ran out of the air supply in their lungs and that’s why we die, kind of like our lungs being oxygen tanks that eventually just got used up. (Oh to be innocent and naive again…) So I took to sporadically holding my breath for as long as I could to accumulate more air for the future, thus extending my life quite significantly. (If it wasn’t so ridiculous it would actually be quite genius.) The lesson I have learnt from this particular gem is that, not only was I obviously extremely intelligent and creative from a young age, but I was also a planner who thought about the future which is a quality to be commended.

Or so I’m told.


Images here and here


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