Issa Rae tweetNo doubt you’ve heard the oft-repeated cliché of how the path to success can only be found through rising with the sun. Or a variation thereof.

Well, I’ve never believed this to be true, and there’s ample evidence to show that plenty of successful people have achieved greatness as night owls or late risers as those who’ve subscribed to the morning person aesthetic.

I, a die-hard night owl for years, have fought valiantly against this conspiracy to turn all modern human beings into early risers. In a more romantic state of mind, I’ve fancied myself as someone who mimicked Simone de Beauvoir or William Styron more than Toni Morrison or Isaac Asimov. And I was proud. So, so proud.

But alas, I fear those days may be behind me. Granted, it could simply be this odd transitional period I’m in where juggling multiple projects, new clients, PMP classes and volunteering has forced me to rise between 4:30 and 5:30 am every day and now I’m stuck. But if I’m being honest, it started well before that.

Now I can hear you asking, “Candace, is it really that bad?” The answer: Yes!

I suppose my aversion to this insistence that success is only for the morning larks comes from not only the constant media bombardment that claims if you don’t wake by 6 am every day, you’re somehow bound for failure, but also because it insists that there’s only one true path to prosperity. And if you’ve read my blog, you know that I’m a firm believer in doing what works best for you — regardless of what others’ may say. People offer their advice based on their own journey, but your journey will never be exactly like theirs, so why not amend, tweak and freestyle to suit who you are?

So you can imagine how that perspective feels when I, night owl extraordinaire, found myself regularly turning in at 10:30pm so I could rise at 4:30, 5 o’clock to prepare for my day, respond to emails and study before my 8:30am class. I had no choice but to pause and take a good hard look at myself. The verdict? I’m turning into a morning person.

Others may rejoice, thinking I should be happy to be among the early birds getting the worm. But they’re wrong. Frankly, that’s their arrogance talking, along with the misguided infatuation with glorifying busy and equating proper sleep with laziness and lack of ambition. Much like our collective need to belittle those who procrastinate, suffer from writer’s block, or create only in fits of inspiration, our society seems hell-bent on convincing everyone that a morning person is the only person you should strive to be.

Well, I’m happy to admit that I’ll never understand our obsession with turning everyone into rote and routine automatons. Thanks, but no thanks.

No Cause For AlarmAnd yet, here I am. Rising with the roosters and hustling my way through the day, feeling guilty about my inability to stay up past 12:30 am. Do I feel more productive? No. There’s still only 24 hours in a day no matter what time you rise. Do I feel more focused? Not particularly. I’m as distracted or not distracted as ever. Do I feel bound for success? Not really. But the results are still out.

What I do know is I’m going to have to lean into it and see where this adjustment in my biorhythms take me. Maybe this is a gift in disquise, and in the end, it won’t be so bad. I’m inclined to listen to my intuition and trust that it will lead me where I need to go. And if that’s toward forever rising at 4:30 am without an alarm, then so be it.

But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.