COLUMN : the importance of sadness

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in my last column, i wrote about david using champagne, music and soba noodles to celebrate me out of a melancholic state of mind.

i want to rewind a little. i want to talk about what that kind of temporary sadness means to me.

i’m usually a happy person. i’m quite positive and most days are sunny. but once in a while i will have one of those blue days. where i lose faith. where i feel like everything’s hopeless. like i want to give up.
and no matter how much david is trying to cheer me up, i will try my best to in my turn convince him that everything’s useless and difficult.

and then he succeeds. i never stay blue for that long. and i’m happy again, feeling like anything’s possible and the world is its usual sunny self.
it’s easy to write the melancholia off as something unnecessary that we should just ignore and cheer up from. the quicker the better. that feeling down is a failure. but actually, i’m writing this in defence of melancholia.

i’m not saying that sadness is good. but i’m not saying that it’s bad either. what i am saying, is that sadness is important.


everytime i have one of my down days, i feel much better the day after. much better, in fact, than i did the day before the melancholia even set in.
i feel revived, motivated, in love.

why is that ? here’s my theory.
when i’m having a sad day, i question everything. am i on the right path ? do i really love my job ? is it possible to live like this ? shouldn’t i just give up ? wouldn’t it be easier if ?
and i rack my brain for escape routes. would i be more happy with these other life choices ? what if i stop doing this and start doing that ? is there a better way to reach my goals ?

my whole being is telling me to get out. to start new, or give up.

and then an hour goes by. the edge off the sadness is gone. i’m slowly picking myself up again, almost always with the help of david or a friend. i listen to their calming words and stop repeating my rant of doom. and i’m back in business.


why do these mood dips make me happier in the long run ? because they make me look at all the choices i make and question them. am i moving in the right direction or not ? and if i come out of the sadness still feeling like i’m on the right path, then i know it’s true. because if i pessimistically question everything and i still can’t think of anything i rather do, i know i’m living a life i’ve chosen – come good days and bad.

sadness is an incredibly powerful tool to figure out what it is that we want. we should use it wisely.

love // jenny

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other columns you might like :
city vs nature
eating like a minimalist
to make work seem like play



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