December 31, 2020, I sat comfortability in my bed watching Dragon Ball, and hesitantly checking the time to see when midnight strikes. Knowing when January 1, 2021, arrives, streaming is no longer one of my bedtime rituals. As midnight came, I left the comfortable position in my bed to head to the living room to see if my mother is awaiting as well. She sat on the sofa unconsciously watching television. She asked me if I wanted to sit down and watch. I told her no as Dragon Ball was capturing my attention, and the home improvement show she watched was of no interest to me. I’m 25-years-old. Should I like home improvements, hospital dramas, and novellas? (Spanish soap operas) I thought. I’m not sure, but Cartoons still amused me, and I can see geriatric me watching cartoons as the lights go out.
However, I stayed with my mom for a few minutes to end a year that helped me understand the country I inhabit (The United States). And the only way to survive here is to stop living life by the old ways. Go to school, college or job and try to climb up the position ladder. Sadly, this is no longer the case. You can aim for your ambitions, but people around you would say it’s unrealistic, and giving you pep talks to aim for something else as they themselves couldn’t. I understood this, but my problem wasn’t societal norms. It was me. But last year, I took the time to stop being afraid and see what I can achieve. I wrote a short story, a lyrical poem book and finished community college with high marks.
As midnight arrived and brought in a new year, my mom spouted happy new year and I responded with an unenthusiastic, “Yay.” My mom responded to my outburst, saying, “It’s hard to feel happy about a new year when you are stuck at home and everything that happened last year?” I sighed yes and went back to my room to finish the episode I’m on and sleep as it’s the last episode I’ll enjoy for the time being.
As the year began, I challenged myself with not watching streaming services for an entire month. I substituted my viewing time with more reading, Ted Talks, and podcast. The first month went well as I balanced my media consumption and grew more of a fondness for books. I was finishing 1984, and its tale alerted me of the travails that could head to the United States and had which affected many countries.
Two more weeks passed by, and I continued loving reading and podcasts. Honestly, I don’t want to return to television as the words and audio I’m accumulating are enough. But I noticed I had trouble sleeping. I thought it was because of working the graveyard shift as it affected my sleeping schedule. Each time I told my parents I slept like crap, my mom said I should watch tv. The dopamine I get from staring at the phone helps soothed me. I reluctantly told my mom, it’s not the reason; it’s that dang shift job. I didn’t take my mother’s advice as I wanted to complete the challenge. My sleeping was still a hassle, but I pushed on; I started my medium writing career this year, and I didn’t want to give in.
On the last day of January, I finished the challenge with flying colors, and my results excited me for any challenges I can achieve. On February first, I immediately grabbed my phone and watched my show to my pleasure. When I went to sleep, it looks as if I needed a stimulant of a video to settle to sleep. Even though watching is part of routine, I continued to read and listen to the podcast.
January proved consuming media isn’t as bad as everyone says, and there are a few who find support in a couple of hours of streaming. It also proves if I set aside excuses and challenge myself, I have significant results. I took my experience to challenge myself everyone month this year. Here’s to another successful challenge.