Do you ever have those days when you dive heart first into a bad mood? You’re walking, talking, making it to class, hanging out by the water cooler, filling those spaces in your life with a routine you tell yourself you deserve, but it feels like you’re dragging your heart on the floor beside you. Nothing is really wrong, you have great weekends, perfectly normal days, good times with friends, so nothing’s really wrong. But you wonder if you’re just snuggling in pillows of comfort to rest your head before you hit it against your bad mood again.
Be it an isolated incident in a nearly ideal life, or a string of such days weaved together, we’ve all been there.
So, I decided to do a pseudo psychological, borderline philosophical analysis on why these bad days happen, indeed.
Every aunt you see only during Diwali, every uncle who asks you for your exam results has said something like this to my child self.
“Listen kid, cherish these days. Oh, you only live while you’re young. Once you grow older, you’ll never be able to anymore”
And now it hits me. Has society programmed us to believe that we all have more problems as we grow older? Does the very expectation of needing life to be harder as it goes, lead us to perceive life as more difficult than it really is?
As mind maps a linear correlation graph of problems vs age, it’s apparently supposed to only get worse from here. More bad days, yay us.
I’m sorry, a mid-college-life crisis about turning 20 in two months is almost starting to act up.
Since, apparently, we won’t stop having bad days, [even if it’s a result of accumulated social perception] let’s ask the expert in closest proximity, about what they think about all this. Me.
First, a pre-introduction.
“I’m an Idealist trapped in a Realist.”
That’s right. I’m made up of an uncontrolled, reckless convolution of dust and dreams, forever flickering, wildly, restlessly. So I happen to have views from both, the default pessimist, and the proactive optimist that love to turn my head into the noisiest conference room ever.
Pessimist: I am a record holder for the highest probability of being right, you know? I’m right about things not going our way. I’m right about us not being good enough. I’m right about life smacking our faces yet again, when we’ve just picked ourselves up. Optimists are stupid. They get their silly little hopes up to float their silly little dreams, and the bubble always bursts on you. How can you be okay with being wrong so many times? What’s the point anyway? Of anything at all?
Optimist: You are limiting towards turning into those fully blown Nihilists, aren’t you? I’m usually a nice guy, but I honestly don’t know a single thing that is more pointless than being nihilistic. And if you’re half as smart as you’ve convinced yourself to be, you’ll appreciate the irony in that. And is that what we’ve been reduced to? To have an insatiable need to be right all the time, at the cost of the possibility of us ever actually being happy? You get to be right all the time coupled with being sad all the time. How do you think that is worth it?
They both raise very valid points. An oversimplification would be that optimism is stupid, and pessimism is sad as seen from their worst critic’s perspective. So, the bad day walls start building up around you, how do you get out? Whose help do you seek?
They’re both required. They both are capable of making solid points, and they need to stay to put the other in their place when they get too wayward. The pessimist helps you recognize all the fault lines in yourself. And the optimist helps you to fix that with his burning fire of hopes and dreams. Without the pessimist, you wouldn’t even know what you should be fixing.
That brings us to,
The Law of Lows
A made up theory by me, whose importance and relevance is oversold with the use of clever alliterations.
“Every bad day is an opportunity to fix an underlying insecurity.”
Humans are so weird, we don’t really know what makes us happy. A lot of us still don’t know what we’re passionate about, but we’re still chasing. We’re always chasing the feeling of being alive. We’re chasing fire. And sometimes, we get clumsy and accidentally burn ourselves while trying to light a fire. And thus bad days happen. So, listen to what those bad days are trying to tell you.
Because we’re only capable of feeling for things we care about.
On those bad days? Pay attention. Pay attention to those defective emotions that you feel. The anger, the jealousy, the anxiety, the apathy, and the blues. Tune into them and recognize the underlying thing that made you feel. That’s the thing you truly care about.
If we want to understand where we really want our lives to take us, we need to know what makes us upset.
We have bad days, and our hearts become paperweights that nail us to the ground. We lay there like tragic sunsets, with dreams oozing out of our wounds.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Bad days help you reassign the direction of vector of the life you deserve to build yourself.
Bad days are meant to be understood.
They won’t seem so scary, then.
We accept and grow, in that order. And then we recurs.
Bad days or not, we’re meant to bounce back, like hopeful sunrises, every goddamn day.