a literary and visual arts journal
I started this series in the early days of the covid lockdown as a way to curb my rapidly rising anxiety. I began to draw the people around when they looked the most composed and confident or when they showed signs of self soothing in public interactions, feelings that I identified with. After getting used to being on your own for so long during lockdown, easing back into civilised society with its unspoken rules and restrictions isn't easy. Sometimes, you go out with a well meaning friend who thinks you need some fresh air and human connection that isn't filtered through a screen, and you're happy for the attention, but the minute you begin to converse, you instantly regret leaving your comfortable home and the anxious part of you takes over.. you're consumed with thoughts about wasted time, the pressure that your goals and dreams place on your head, the guilt you have for not pursuing them, it all breathes down your neck and as you begin to spiral internally, your friend continues to talk, oblivious to your breakdown, while you try to maintain the illusion by sitting up straight and smiling and nodding as per the conversation's requirement. Sometimes it feels like you live a double life. The content, confident, ambitious version and the other one that crumbles under those same ambitions.