Sonia Said: Overlooking the bigger picture
By Sonia Hadj Said
I woke up after 9 hours of sleep, feeling as though I had slept for barely 9 minutes and I had partied all night long. But the only party that had happened was in my own head. The never-ending stream of thoughts running through my brain and straight to my body, asking it to share the too familiar anxiety attacks. It happens from time to time, just a reaction to our millennial questions of “what has changed" or "how have I progressed" or "why do I have nothing to show for myself?" The pressures that we think come from inside, but really are reflections of the outside world that we so desperately try to put on mute. I was terrified as I rolled off the bed and barely had any energy to sit at my desk. I knew the feeling all too well - guilt. Because I should be running around the city, making shit happen, all preferably within the period of one song, right? If not, I should just get a 9-5 job, earn normal money and call it a day. Do you get this way? Please tell me you do.
I kind of know why it happens. We lose the sight of the bigger picture and it's so easy to, if you spend your days serving coffee, watching people with a career rush around, and it could be you, it probably is you, but it's hard to feel that way on an everyday basis. I mean, let's be honest. That moment of revelation, the beautiful YESSS feeling only comes from time to time, and sure we live for it, but what happens during the rest of time? We struggle. We feel sluggish. We're not sure what to say to our parents. And so from time to time, that moment comes, a mean whisper saying "grow up" or "get your ass moving", but you don't feel like it and your head just goes AGHGHGH and nothing makes much sense, like this column probably, but bear with me.
What would I feel if I were to die today? Would I feel like I've lived the way I wanted?
I woke up feeling exactly like that. Like nothing made sense and I could be doing this and that, but I was tempted to go look for a job instead and let someone else take responsibility for my time and the work I do. I went to work with a huge "meh" attitude feeling even worse, now even missing Poland because at least there I was still just a daughter and had someone to take care of me. I walked to my bus stop and, as usual, admired Aldwych and that cute coffee shop I'm meant to go to one day, like I'm waiting for fuck knows what - it's just a coffee shop, after all. And then I saw this guy with a litter picker and damn, did he look miserable. And there I was. Between the wealth of Aldwych and the poverty of a London street. It was time, again, to ask myself if I felt good in this place. To look at the bigger picture and visit my happy list.
My bigger picture is a little scary: I imagine what it would feel like if I were to die today. Do I feel like I've lived the way I wanted to even if I am where I am right now, living poorly with no stability at all? Yes. So should I get into a cycle of fear, and worry about what I'm not and make choices based on that fear just because I want to tell my parents I got a "good" job? No. For me, sometimes that's all I need to know to wake up the next day, have some tea instead of coffee and cigarettes and acknowledge that I need time for myself. Because even if we do this thing, creative lives, there is a huge chance that we're overdoing that too. So in those moments, look at the bigger picture. Look at life as a whole. See where you're standing and if that's not where you were supposed to be standing, move a little, just an inch. Take a time-out, like I am now, simply writing this chaos down (sorry), my own therapy when I don't check e-mails, send e-mails, think about sending e-mails or why could Carrie Bradshaw do this shit and pay her bills and still be endlessly fucking unhappy (I recommend 2 Broke Girls instead).
So I woke up today and shut my brain off before anything could crawl in there, like a nasty spider in the bathroom that I killed before realizing how scared of them I really am. I stayed in my pyjamas instead of changing into uncomfortable clothes to feel like I'm working. Then I spent two hours writing this, shamelessly spying on people through my window. Now I'm okay. I forgot how much fun it is to live outside society's expectations.
Thoughts? Catch me here