On “Resting Anxious Face”

STEEPED BY SAMIA #19 | 03.19.23
If you have Resting Anxious Face, you may be entitled to compen—

On a sunny day, I take BART into the city. I’m excited to stay over at my friend Renuka’s place (check out her amazing Substack warmly, renuka !!). I smile and think about how in this self-employed era in my life, I can take the train on a Thursday at 1pm, when the world is quieter. 

I feel good. I feel free.

During a long train ride, looking out the window is a salve for my writer brain. Watching cities tumble into each other. Spotting unexpected gems, like a cluster of pastel-colored buildings, the ornate gates of a Buddhist temple, or a biscuit factory sign.

When the train moves underground, I catch my reflection: Face engulfed by a black KN95 mask, eyes rimmed with light blue liner, Mills sunglasses perched on my head, backpack on my lap.

I’m reminded of a moment during my NYC trip, in the summer of 2021.

I was on a busy subway with some friends, heading back to Manhattan from Brooklyn, after eating good food and browsing bookstores.

I was trying not to use my phone because the battery was dying, so I looked around the train, my gaze darting to my reflection in the window. It was quite warm and humid; and after a long day, I was looking forward to a shower and the cool AC of my hotel room.

A woman sitting across from me asked, “Hey, are you okay?”

She had curly hair, a printed cloth mask on her face. I’m sure I looked around a little to see if she was addressing me.

“Y-yeah, I’m good, thanks!” I said, with a nervous laugh.

“Okay, just wanted to make sure,” she said. Her eyes were kind and concerned.

I felt a little weird and embarrassed. I probably exchanged glances with my friends and looked at my phone until we got off at our stop.

I think about this moment, from time to time. Like right now, on BART,

Do I look: a.) Tired? b.) Anxious? c.) Dazed? or d.) All of the above?

It’s not that deep, I know; a woman saw a young woman who seemed nervous on the subway, so she decided to check up on her. Women looking out for women, you know?? That’s a nice thing to experience when you’re somewhere unfamiliar.

But, also —

What prompted her to check up on me?
What did she see that I didn’t see?
What did she know that I didn’t know about myself?

Who knows; maybe I have Resting Anxious Face. —S.A.

Steep On This:  

Catch Up:  

03.10.23 | Are you giving yourself enough credit?

STEEPED BY SAMIA #18: Sometimes you have to go uphill to go downhill again.

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!🧡

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