In Praise Of Melancholy: Why We Should Stop Seeking Total Happiness
Yesterday, instead of spending my day all cozy, under the sheets with Netflix and no makeup, I spent it crying.
I wept and blubbered uncontrollably like a tree caught in a fierce gale.
Shivering and reckless, I cried uncontrollably.
It was an outburst of frustration, a heightened version of the subtle melancholy Laren Stover talks of in her recent New York Times article, "The Case for Melancholy."
This was a mass culmination of mini-melancholies that tumbled into an overwhelming wave. It was a wave built up from a careful maintenance of emotions and a constant reigning in.
As women, we tend to keep things bottled up until they explode.
Our time of the month might have something to do with that, but sometimes, it's nice to just have a good cry.
Once you rid yourself of all that emotion, you can start fresh.
I didn't want to admit to my melancholy because I wasn't ready to be pulled away from it.
I wanted to wallow, to hold myself in blue-tinted air and to feel the breadth of my emotions.
I'd unpacked my feelings and thrown them across the floor. All at once, I pulled at the sheets and stained my cheeks with mascara.
I didn't want to leave my mood until the melancholy had left me.
In her story, Stover says one swift Google search will result in “the promise that it's possible to find happiness in 10 or 15 easy steps.”
It's true. If you tell anyone you are feeling down, his or her instant reaction is to build you back up straight away.
Does this mean we have lost the appreciation for melancholy, if we are always trying to correct ourselves from it?
As Stover writes, melancholy "visits you like a mist, a vapor, a fog." The causes are unknown, and it is not triggered by a physical event.
Much like the common cold, the vaccination isn't certain.
By jumping to rescue someone from melancholy, perhaps we are fooling ourselves. It's almost like using a cheat code to skip a level of a game.
If we don't experience the tragedy, how will we ever learn the value that comes from experiencing the lows?
If we never embrace sadness, we'll never fully appreciate the euphoria that comes from finding happiness.
Maybe we've truly lost the appreciation for melancholy.
If Millennials are so used to experiencing the highs and hysterias of life, is it any wonder we come unglued whenever we unexpectedly run into a drama-filled week?
Should melancholy descend, you may as well welcome it [...]
I agree. Much like being indoors during a thunderstorm and watching the clattering of lightening move across the sky, there is appreciation to be found in feeling melancholy.
Yesterday's outburst was built-up melancholy that evolved into melodrama.
It could have been avoided if I had just given into the smaller pangs of sadness earlier on.
We shouldn't be frightened of feeling blue or admitting when we are overwhelmed in unfamiliar territories.
Melancholy is something to be revered. It doesn't require a quick fix or a giddy article full of pointers to correct your life.
It is as natural as a sunrise, with a sporadic and unpredictable timetable.
We shouldn't run from it, but rather, we should embrace it as it's thrown our way.