Left on read

On my mind

This is a bit of a strange newsletter that almost didn’t happen. I’m in the middle of going through The Artist’s Way, which I wrote about in a previous newsletter. My task for the last week was to not read anything. Yes, that’s right. No reading.

My job literally consists of reading, so I had to make some concessions to read work-related content and then of course, I need my parents and friends to not hate me, so I responded to any necessary texts and emails. Otherwise, any articles or books or extra social media posts I had to save for another week to enjoy.

I think the idea was to not have my head filled with other people’s words for some time. To be still and let my mind wander. That’s often a dangerous thing, but I complied. I had to learn to accept feeling jittery and disconnected, but also open to finding other ways of being in the world.

Not constantly reading made me look down at my phone less and observe the sky, the trees, the new buildings near my apartment, how my breath looks in the cold air and how I’m feeling at the end of a long work day. I thought it would make me write more but I felt like that was cheating since that means I’m reading what I’m writing and I strangely didn’t have the energy for it? Also instead of reading for pleasure, I indulged in more TV and podcasts for pleasure.

It just didn’t feel like myself to avoid reading for that long. I enjoy soaking up other people’s ideas and stories and learning about new topics. I appreciate motivational quotes and funny memes and comics to break up the seriousness of my day. Plus curating relatable and relevant content is kind of my thing, hence this newsletter…

So while I enjoyed the challenge of stepping away from the written word, I am very glad to be back to my reading habits just in time to start reading the latest e-book I had on hold from the library. This also means I have a lot of bookmarked articles to catch up on that I’ll share for next time.

Have you ever tried a week without reading? Would you ever do it? Let me know!

What I’m noting

  • ❤️ Love is Blind // If you’re in the mood for a ridiculous reality show about people trying to find love and get married in 6 weeks after getting to know each other without seeing each other first…then this is a great Netflix show to binge watch and reflect on the toxic, strange and sometimes sweet ideas we have about relationships. The finale aired yesterday, so please reply if you also share my obsession and want to discuss.

  • 🎵 Bint Makkah // A Black female rapper from Saudi Arabia shared an original music video highlighting her pride in her city and is now apparently at risk of being arrested. Only a few months ago, KSA put on a whole PR stunt inviting Western artists and influencers to the country for an event called MDL Beast which is just another example of how infuriating and hypocritical the country is when it comes to attacking their own people and trying to appear like a progressive place to the rest of the world.

  • 🚀 The legacy of Katherine Johnson // This legendary woman died this week at the age of 101. She spent more than 30 years at NASA, where she provided the complex calculations for the country’s most important missions, from the first journey to the edge of space to the triumphant landing on the moon. Her story was featured in the book and movie Hidden Figures.

  • 🎙️The Black Introverts // Great episode from The Stoop podcast on why it’s not always easy to be Black and introverted

That’s it for me. For all the new subscribers, I’d love to know what are you reading, watching or thinking about lately, which I often featured in my “What you’re noting” section. You can always hit reply to this email if you want to share or just say hi :)

Have a good weekend!

— Nesima

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