Tabling this for later

On my mind

I bought a dining table this week. This sounds like an unremarkable announcement, but I haven’t had a dining table in nearly two years. I’ve been sloppily eating omelets, oatmeal, pasta, and tacos on my deteriorating coffee table. Since I moved into my own apartment back in April, getting a dining table was high on my list of needs. Eating on your couch is only comfortable when you’re alone watching Netflix and your food fits easily in your hand. I missed sitting at a table with plenty of room to fit multiple plates around me and not having to worry about dropping something on the carpet. I’d love to be able to eat and read at the same time on Saturday or Sunday mornings. I also have the worst posture from slouching at work and at home, so I knew that if I could just sit at a table and eat like a regular person, this would help me tremendously. And of course, having a dining table means you can actually have people come over and eat with you.

Why did it take me so long to get something that was a clearly practical item? Well, I have a weird problem when it comes to buying expensive and/or big items. I’m incredibly afraid of making the wrong choice and wasting money. I procrastinated on getting this table, because I was afraid I would buy something that did not match the rest of my place. I worried about all the implications of buying something without knowing where I’d be in the next year and if this table would become a burden. Do I go with round, circle, or square? Do I pick an extendable one to save room but also accommodate more people when necessary? Is glass or wood better? Should I seat 2 or 4? How social am I, really? What does this table say about my life? Do I buy something for the present me or the future me?

I can hear you saying, sheesh, Nesima, do you overthink everything? Yes, dear reader, I do. I’d like to think it makes me an excellent planner and sentimental writer, but otherwise, it can be rather inconvenient.

I remember being dragged around with my parents as a kid when they were picking out furniture for our new house. My brother and I would sit on the recliners and watch TV while my parents debated various dining table sets and dressers. They asked for our opinions, but I’d simply shrug in response. I wasn’t interested or patient enough to care about decorating an entire house. I would have preferred spending that money on books or a vacation, but adults cared about big houses and filling them with stuff. Now I’m that adult but I did not grow into that desire. Having my own space is important because I spend so much time in it, but when it comes to investing in it, I still find myself hesitating.

But in the end, I made a decision. I bought a dark brown, modern, yet rustic roundtable that can seat four. The table came in three days earlier than I expected, perhaps the universe teaching me that not everyone needs as long as me to accomplish a task. Now all that remains is finding chairs. Hopefully they will be much easier to commit to now that I can envision the space they will occupy. I’ll share a picture once the space is complete.

I’m curious if you have things in your life that you have been stopping yourself from actualizing whether it’s a material thing, an emotional decision, or opportunity you’ve been looking forward to. What’s stopping you? I’d love to hear about it.

What I’m noting

  • Why Teens Are Creating Their Own News Outlets // For anyone who thinks teens don’t care about the world, think again.A recent survey by Common Sense Media found that 78% of American teens ages 13 to 17 say it’s important to them to follow current events. They just aren’t satisfied with mainstream media, so they’re making their own outlets like theCramm and @dailydoseofwokeness. Super inspiring!

  • 'It Had To Be Love': A Syrian Playwright's Struggle To Tell A Story In Arkansas // A love story. Set in Damascus. Performed in Arkansas. Read what Kholoud Sawaf, creator and director of 10,000 Balconies, had to endure to put on her dream show. 

  • The Waffle House Index // Did you know you can tell how bad a storm is by how many Waffle Houses are open and what kind of menu they’re serving? “If a store is open, your community has been spared. If the store is open but has a limited menu, you've probably gotten some damage. If the store is completely closed, you’re in a disaster zone.”

  • Let’s Talk About Mental Health // My friend Amal wrote about the unique barriers South Asians face in accessing mental health care. “Though there isn’t granular research on South Asians and mental health, Asian Americans report the lowest rates of treatment of any racial group. Some South Asian Americans are encouraged to turn to religion as a solution. Others are silenced by social taboos. A whole slew of solutions are emerging that target these specific issues, with one goal in mind: how can we get more South Asians to have healthy relationships with their mental health?“

  • Foreign Bodies // Check out this monthly e-newsletter, curated by Atlanta-based writer Fiza Pirani, dedicated to the unique experiences of immigrants and refugees as they relate to coping with mental illness and wellness.

  • It’s Time for Black Athletes to Leave White Colleges // Jemele Hill makes the case for black athletes to collectively agree to go to HBCUs and help bring much needed attention and money to these schools and the communities they serve. She’s gotten a ridiculous amount of hate for this article from people who aren’t really reading it. I know very little about the business of college sports, but found it a compelling argument for equity and disrupting the current system that doesn’t even compensate the athletes.

    Also: This Saturday, you can catch me performing some poetry in the GOOD FUN MUSLIM FRIENDS CLUB, a variety show curated by MIPSTERZ and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center during The Kennedy Center’s REACH Festival. The show is free, so come through if you are too :) 

September 7th @ 8:00 - 9:00pm
The Kennedy Center REACH

2700 F St NW, Washington, DC 20566

That’s it for me. Have a good weekend!

— Nesima