How to Start Living not Just Existing

Writer: Habiba Suliman and Malak Raslan

Editor: Ahmed

I am bored, and there’s nothing to do,

A sentence that everyone says at least once a week, if not once day.

Thinking about why someone would be in a constant state of boredom; it is almost as if your mind or body is trying to signal that you may be held in some form captivity. A lot of times when we get bored, we visit our go-to social media platform. Scroll scroll scroll… We aimlessly like, comment, and we keep this cycle going untill we reach a point of comparing ourselves and our lives to others. All the questions rise in this state, but we evidently reach the billion-dollar question: why am I not living like these people? The people who know what they are doing in life, who they know how to enjoy life, and most importantly, who  they want to be in this life.

We wanted to dive a bit deeper into the moment we faced this state of being sick of just existing and realizing that maybe, just maybe, there’s more to life.

Habiba’s POV:

Are you living?”

Something whispered to me. Or maybe someone. I stopped dead in my tracks. I looked around me, but I saw nothing yet everything simultaneously. I took a deep breath and braced myself for this life-changing encounter.

I looked in the empty void of her eyes and with every ounce of willpower that was still left inside of me and said,

No, I’m not living.

She just cracked that classic villainous laugh and faced me. I gasped and looked away.

She is…me.

I looked everywhere but not at her. She is right. I have not been living, and I have been existing with a mountain of a burden of not feeling that this is enough. I needed this surprising encounter. I needed a sign. A sign for me that it is indeed time for a much-needed change of events. I needed a mass amount of simply a new life. A new me.

Yet, it is never easy to just…change. Change is one of the hardest aspects of life. It is scary and frightening. It is a risk. But in the end, life is all about risks. We all don’t know what we are doing in life but I am pretty sure it shouldn’t be just existing. Without recognizing it, us, human beings, live such a systematic kind of life. Full of a routine that keeps reoccurring until they cannot acknowledge their surroundings. However, how does someone break their routine? I, for one, was cycling in my neighborhood and realized that my normalized routine wasn’t ideal for me. And with this realization, I needed to move more often. To let my legs take me anywhere but the confinement of my house.  To take me somewhere and hopefully this somewhere would be where I am meant to be.

Malak’s POV:

Oh yes, finally I reached my reading goal for 2020!

I said before going to update my Goodreads account. I began to think of ways I could celebrate this achievement and to my surprise ,or no surprise at all, is that I wanted to go and get a bunch of books. I was hit with the realization that I was stuck in one space and not moving much, not meeting new people (except for virtually), and lastly not living.

This happened to a lot of people but at least I found ways to lose myself through books, making content, listening to music, and more… I lost myself within a daydream of life. The image of me feeling alive felt so good and I wondered what if it could be brought to life. That was a crazy and distant dream to me back then. I started small. I finally listened to my mom about me having anemia, since I was as pale as a white board and ,as it turned out ,she was right. Taking iron pills then more vitamins and this little habit helped me so much physically and mentally by making me more disciplined. I started adding more things in my to-do list and trying out more experiences like joining Milkyway Magazine as a social media specialist, and with that working on all my hard skills (e.g. content and social media marketing), and soft skills (e.g. communication).

I kept adding and adding till I reached the point of doing things that make me feel alive even for a phantom of a second. I learned to combine between the tasks I love and the tasks I loathe. Eventually, staying consistent became the goal instead of barely making it through the day.

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