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:
- A book: One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
- A song: Devil by the Window by TXT
- A TV show: Search Party (HBO Max)
- A newsletter: Dispatches from Chrysalis by Priya Florence Dadlani
- A tea: One Stripe Chai Co. Masala Chai
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.
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