So many assignments due. So little time.
She’d fall asleep tired. The familiar, thin sleep that she recognised from last semester.
She tossed and turned in bed. A tiny burst of inspiration found its way into her veins. “Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll catch up”.
She was quick to dismiss it. She knew from experience.
Tomorrow is a moving target.
It feels like there’s always time. The only reminder being a dull sense of anxiety in your stomach that you’ve learnt to ignore. Before you know it you realise you just time travelled straight to Sunday night. Panic. Your blood turns to adrenaline. Your heart beats so hard it hurts. You open up your laptop and patiently waited for the tsunami of unopened emails and overdue assignments to engulf you.
Lethargy. It gets in the way of our hopes and ambitions in a way that drugs and alcohol wouldn’t dare to dream of.
She hoped the mint would mask the smell.
Ma always told her to stay away from drugs and alcohol. ‘You’ll never be able to stop!’ she’d warn her.
She caught a glimpse of her reflection in the window of the train. Fat, oily hair, and a bald spot. It made her heart sink. She wished someone had warned her about reflective surfaces instead. A constant reminder of her inadequacy. They followed her everywhere.
She’d find solace in layers of makeup.
She’d wash off the concealer, the eyeliner, the kohl and watch it disappear into the drain to keep herself from looking at her reflection.
Ma didn’t understand.
The few drags she took at the bar each evening was no match for the insecurities that ran so deep.
Alcohol numbs our inhibitions just as our insecurities enhance them.
For the hours we spend worrying about the impression we made. How we aim low and genuinely believe we’re being realistic. How we find it so hard to feel good about ourselves because everyone else seems to feel better.
Our insecurities are no different from those hallucinatory drugs we’ve read about but are too scared to try. All you see are prettier people, better grades and happier lives. Soon enough everything is a reminder of how average you are.
Eventually, you realise your confidence is more brittle than the mirror you’re looking into.
Makes me wonder why fairness creams, liposuction clinics and cosmetic surgeries aren’t illegal.
How much happier the world would be if the kids who hid in dark corners and used fairness creams could be caught and reprimanded for trying to be someone they’re not.
How beautiful it would be, if feeling inadequate was simply against the law.
We’ve got our priorities all wrong. It’s time we addressed the things that matter.
Time we looked into the things that stay in our bloodstream longer than any amount of drugs or alcohol will.
Why do we feel guiltier about a few hours of dulled senses over a lifetime of unproductivity and self-doubt?
Its time we realised how tragic it is that a generation will look back at their youth and marvel at how beautiful, smart and able they were and wonder why they didn’t realise it.
Welcome to all the emotions you’re legally, socially allowed to have.
What would you like this evening?
We’re stocked with every variety of lethargy and selfdoubt. Pick your favourite. Mix them up if you like.
Unlimited. On the house.
Come on in. You’ll never leave.
So we leave our joints and booze at the door.
We have nothing to worry about