A Brief Tale of Good-Sad Days, Riding Waves and the Raw Side of Life

This is about the good-sad days, a term I'm coining as of right this moment.

I have to say I've been having a lot of really good days lately. I've been busy and productive and enjoying most of everything that I've been doing. "Can't complain!" I've said again and again. I have so much to be excited about, so much to be grateful for.

Then last week, well, I had a really nice Thursday, and then I hit a wave. You know — you've probably experienced this too — when you see something that reminds you of something you feel is missing from your life or when a heavy thought you hadn't thought in so long suddenly pops into your mind like a really mean version of "the game" (as in... "you just lost the game" if you remember that ridiculous fad from a few years back). 

And even if your day is good — even if your day is great! — there's the wave. It's approaching and it's surging in more quickly, maybe, than you'd expected, and now you have to react. So what do you do? 

Well, here's what I did. I told myself, "Nope. Nuh uh. No. Not happening. This was a good day. And I just don't care about this wave, it's not knocking me down, it's not touching my mood. I'm. still. good." Because I'm stubborn that way. (Anybody else out there?)

But, here's the thing. You can't really strong-arm your way out of a wave. So, even though I pushed the thought of its approach out of my mind for a while, all I really did was sort of flip a slow-motion switch.

I worked a lot on Friday. "Nope, I don't see a wave. All good." And then all day Saturday. "I'm good. I'm good. I'm cool." On Sunday and Monday, I really thought I'd passed through it. I got errands done with my roommate, I got really deep into illustrations I was really excited about; I felt... like yeah... I've totally got this. "Water feels great! Doesn't the water feel great?"

And then Tuesday. Lovely Tuesday. Tuesday was a particularly busy day. And a good one! I worked. I yoga-ed. I voluntarily socialized (which

is huge for this introvert). And when I got home that wave was just right there. Right there on the other side of my apartment door like, "Surprise." Except, it wasn't really a surprise at all. 

So I put on John Q because when I'm ready to surrender to my waves it always involves a few good heaving cries, and nothing starts my waterworks quite as quickly and intensely as watching Denzel Washington choke up while the hospital tells him he has to raise $250K or else his son is going to die of heart failure. Allowing myself to really, really cry — it's a part of dealing with my waves, and as much as there's a part of me that just thinks that that sucks — like really sucks — like ugh, can't I just be "stronger" — whatever that means — there is a huge, blooming, beautiful voice in my gut that reminds me that no, it doesn't suck. It's emotion. It's life. It's real. It's what we do to move through. 

Good-sad days are what they are. They are good and they are sad. The goodness doesn't toss away the sadness and the sadness doesn't overthrow the goodness. 

So why share? I just think it's important. I just think it's real. I just think that if I can put on a happy face most hours of the day, so can a lot of other people. And sometimes the best thing we can do with our raw moments is talk about them. And since talking about it can be harder for me than writing about it, I write about it, too.

If you have a wave I wish you well in your journey through it. If it helps you to talk about it, I hope you find someone to talk about it with. If it helps you to cry, I hope you break out your crying movie, or mixtape, or show — and I hope you cry. If it helps you to sing or dance or write or climb or laugh! I hope you do those things.

And if you're hard-headed like me, I hope this can encourage you to un-flip that slow motion switch and sink in that good way that doesn't mean we're drowning, doesn't mean we're weak, it just means we know the wave is coming, and it'll flow a lot smoother — we'll come up a lot quicker — if we let ourselves ride it through.