STEEPED BY SAMIA #18 | 03.10.23
Sometimes you have to go uphill to go downhill again.
“The yoga instructor on YouTube said that if you feel shaky during a pose, send your breath to that part of the body.”
I said this to Sufyan and Abu while we were trudging up a fairly strenuous incline, during a hike. I love the image that comes to mind of oxygen traveling through the body and sending support where its needed.
This hike was new to us: the St. Joseph’s Hill Open Space Preserve in Los Gatos, near the Lexington Reservoir. We trekked paths that splintered into different directions, dodged puddles of muddy water, marveled at vista points and the plants, rocks, & trees we encountered, passed by a butterfly hovering over a rock twice (!!) because we got a little lost.
Along the way, Sufyan and I made up “proverbs” and deep sayings, like:
“Sometimes you have to go uphill to go downhill again.”
Profound!! — It deserves a block quote, lol.
Life has felt a lot like this, lately. Trekking uphill;
Calves heavy, muscles activated that you didn’t know existed, waiting for a bit of breeze or a patch of shade to catch a break. Sometimes, the uphill can be a longer stretch of time than you anticipated.
These past few months have been quite slow. Figuring out what I want to do in life (& job searching…), writing even if it’s not going anywhere, getting in the headspace to tackle things I’ve been putting off.
Sometimes, the slowness is de-motivating; I’m filled with anxiety, and the weeks feel like they go by quickly without much “progress.” Other times, the slowness is clarifying; I’m learning new things about myself and what excites me creatively.
Time and time again, it’s easy to give into the dread and let it exhaust me. During one of those moments recently, I asked myself:
Are you giving yourself enough credit?
Sometimes, we dwell a lot on what we haven’t done instead of affirming the ways we’re already showing up for ourselves and our loved ones. All the little and big things —
For being present the best you can
For listening to your needs & acting accordingly
For doing the bare minimum at work when you need to
For seeking wonderment in the little things
For being attentive of your loved ones‘ love languages
For being a rad pet parent!!
For engaging in hobbies, new & old
For holding onto your intentions even when it’s hard
For connecting people with other people or opportunities
For taking small steps toward something daunting
For letting yourself to be the “messiest” version of yourself
For the little & big ways you help your household
For learning what mental health looks like for you
For recognizing when something isn’t working out
For accepting the uncertainty & darkness in life
— and on & on.
Personal growth can be so specific to you & not very visible to others; so sometimes it can feel like nothing is happening. And sometimes your reality, or the season of life you’re in, doesn’t feel like it matches up with societal notions of “success” or what you “should be doing” at your age.
You are a lot of things — and you aren’t defined by what you can’t (or don’t) do. I see you!!
A couple of days after the hike, it snowed in the Bay Area.
Parts of Los Gatos, Fremont, Oakland, and the Santa Cruz Mountains etc. were blanketed with snow — like, actual snow. This hasn’t happened since the ’70s (!!).
The day after it snowed, Abu and I went on a walk around our neighborhood. We were awe-struck by the snow-capped mountains in the distance. “Wah, it feels like we’re in Tahoe or Yosemite~” we’d turn to each other and say. Bundled up, cheeks and noses red.
The snow, even though I didn’t see it up close, brought up a child-like excitement in me.
I’m reminded to cherish the everyday joys & rituals I get to experience right now: Going on afternoon walks with my dad. Learning to stretch like my cats (jealous of their big stretch). Eating strawberry Pocky and watching rom-coms on a Friday night with Safa on TeleParty (I loved Bareilly ki Barfi!!). Having creative sessions with friends on FaceTime, where we write & create together. Getting excited about things like indie zines and typography and fan fiction and multi-media art.
Slowly but surely, we’ll get through this. But let’s take a sec to appreciate the small uphill battles we’ve already overcome. —S.A.
Steep On This:
- A book: Wintering by Katherine May
- A song: Got The Thrills by TWICE —new TWICE out :’))
- A zine: Cake Zine by Aliza Abarbanel, Tanya Bush, et al.
- An anime: Hunter x Hunter (2011) —current rewatch!
- A newsletter: Between a Rock & a Card Place by Caroline Cala
- A tea: Kola Goodies Sri Lankan Milk Tea
02.23.23 | An ode to the little worlds we inhabit
STEEPED BY SAMIA #17: “What if we joined our wildernesses together?”
About This Blog:
Steeped by Samia is a space where I can simmer on thoughts & curiosities in the scope of digital culture, creativity, life, & more. Far too often, my writing ideas fizzle out in energy; I never get to see them to their full potential. While building my rhythm with writing, I want to share these ideas with you.
Stay Up-To-Date on my blog by clicking the ‘follow’ button at the bottom of the page, and you will receive an email every time I post. I aim to post a new installment at least once or twice a month. Thank you for supporting my storytelling! 🧡
love this so so much 💕 your progress and your growth is so beautiful to witness and is definitely seen 💝
Thank you for reading and affirming me, Ren!! I’m so proud of you for all that you do :’)