Dear World,

There was a certain freedom in denial, a truth in self-preservation.


All my life I felt like I’ve been running around and somewhere along the road, I forgot what I was chasing after. While saying “Yes” to everything sounded like having a positive outlook to life yet saying “No” meant to have closed oneself to what might be; missed connections, job opportunities, a potential date or even the chance to the best party in town. 

This was life in constant fear of missing out. I would rather not let go because I was too scared to be left out, too scared not to be missed and too scared to not be called again. While at times it may take true courage to move mountains, sometimes it takes a lockdown, staying home and being nothing but completely unavailable to make a difference.

The engines have slowed down. The curtains have closed. The lights switched off. Finally, I was emotionally, personally and professionally checked out. I jokingly once responded to a call from a friend, “The number you have dialed is currently unavailable”. There was a certain freedom in denial, a truth in self-preservation. A closure in saying no. A respite in letting go. 

And slowly, what seemed like prison, felt like redemption. What seemed standoffish, felt socially-acceptable. What seemed distant, felt close. And what seemed disconnected, felt secure. It was during this time of isolation & reflection that it occurred to me that it was okay to say “No” after all, it was okay to stay home, it was okay to be closed off, it was okay to be unavailable. And it was okay to not answer the phone.


The Number You Have Dialed is Currently Unavailable

Support this photographer: Saunak Shah ︎  @saunakspace ︎ Venmo      



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