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reem zeineldin

see the world through my eyes

riyadh, saudi arabia

words are the canvas to paint on thoughts. i like to address simple conflicts by painting them in mezmerizing words, to appeal to the reader yet help them understand.

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My quarantine enemy and ally

Jun 21, 2020 10 months ago

The sudden altercation that took place in such a brief time, the time that existed between two days, shall be convicted with the heinous crime of messing with my comfort! Just the day before we were confined at our comfortable yet suffocating houses, I was running freely, just like a breeze in open air, arguing with my friend face-to-face about some petty topic, and stressing about having to climb up the staircase of dread that leads to the exam halls. However, the next day I woke up to a confusing letter, more of a strict order, asking us to remain at home! As I write at this moment, my rueful feelings towards this letter wage war against my warriors of positivity, slaying every one of them. In contrast, when I travel back on the roads of my memory, I see my warriors duplicate as I read the letter. O how the tables have turned! So why was I intrigued by the idea of confinement back then, and why am I angry with it now? The moment I first imagined the word “quarantine”, bullets of happiness struck my heart. In the beginning, the happiness fooled me, but the realization that these bullets were slowly killing me took away that happiness. My happiness was a construction made of bricks of relief, designed to be sturdy enough to carry me. “No exams!” was the first naïve thought that kept bouncing in my mind like a happy kid fooling around, but fooling around always has consequences. In a duration that can't be calculated because it was almost infinitely too short, boredom decided to befriend me. The situation was like pouring water into a broken pot: no matter how much you pour water, it will never be fulfilled. Then a more chaotic situation occured, boredom wasn't too fond of my company so it invited its friend, the sinister demon of loneliness. That demon perpetually visited my heart, making it its favorite victim. Before I knew it, my only friend was a paper and a pencil, and my only amusement was the movie that occurs in my sleep. The dormant suffocation was awakening from its long sleep. Consequently, the house that once radiated comfort evolved into a prison cell, so I started wondering when my sentence will end. I perpetually recognized the purrs and meows of street cats. That is when my buried jealousy aroused: they are running free on wide streets while here I am bound to my room! It came to me as an absolute shock that the reason I willingly welcomed quarantine, was the aspect that waged war against my demons…studying. With my SATs accumulating in the rest of my year, I had to start studying vigorously, especially that I am a girl of golden dreams. I knew if I desired a goal, then I had to walk an arduous path. Studying slayed all my demons and healed the wounds they induced. Acknowledging the idea of studying helping me directly address my future, gifted me with euphoria. Although the fear of failure after such a long journey interrupts my positivity momentarily, it is never strong enough to breach my walls. I then realized that “studying” wasn't the reason for my sudden rush of happiness, but it was the self-competition that I was so eager to win: it was my realization that I need to win my future before it defeats me. I never understood why, but competitions excite me: the thought of outperforming everyone else especially when I know I am capable of winning. In this case my opponents aren't people, but my own self, and my prize was success. The conflict I faced wasn't of severe intensity, yet it is one that is faced everyday by thousands of people. Painting the buried thoughts using words, gives us a lucid image of what we are facing, what our proponent is and what our opponent is. The key to defeating your enemy is knowing what it is and what is your loyal ally. Therefore, penning down your thoughts will purify a once blurry image. No wonder why self-conflicts are the ones least solved; they are always buried down.

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