Accepting That I Don’t Always Have To Be Happy

I am a generally very happy person. In fact, that may even seem like an understatement. I’m one of those people who loves looking at flowers, and who you’ll never, ever see with a resting bitch face. I’m not overly bubbly –  I enjoy a heavy dose of saltiness and cynicism. But ever since I was a wee babe, I’ve always looked on the sunnier side of things.

Which is why this is a bit difficult for me to actually say this. Some days – maybe once a month or so – I’ll wake up feeling blah. I don’t feel myself, don’t feel like doing much at all, and all around have a blah day. Just like Luke Danes has his dark days, or that one time when Leslie Knope got down because of the recall, I sometimes feel out of sorts. I get up, and it just isn’t a good day.

My blah days usually involve me sluggishly moving through my regular routine. I never get to all the things that I planned on doing. I move slowly through my yoga practice, and I typically end up responding to only one of my emails sitting in my inbox. Both my brain and body aren’t up for anything at all, and I essentially end up acting like a cat having overdosed on catnip the day before: lethargic, and within the same two foot radius for the entire day.

Even if it isn’t a gray and rainy day outside (which it usually is) I still have that sleepy and subdued feeling that is usually accompanied by an overcast day. I’m not all there when I engage in conversation; in fact, I’m more on autopilot. Reading and watching Netflix aren’t even as enjoyable as they usually are.

I used to think that this was a terrible, terrible sign. I worried that my meh days pointed to low self esteem, unhappiness, and depression. I thought that my days of low productivity and not giving were signs of some deeper, underlying issue, and that terrified me. I was scared that a single day (out of 50 or so) that saw me not as my usual sunny self was a sign that I wasn’t happy with my life.

I was so concerned about my meh days, that I used to pretend that I wasn’t having them. I forced myself to move through my usual paces, I hitched a smile on my face, and I strove to be enthusiastic in encounters and conversations. Above all else, I couldn’t bring myself to discover that I wasn’t constantly humming a cheery tune. Because if I did, then it must have meant that I was deeply troubled, right?

But then I realized that it doesn’t mean that at all. For whatever reason- whether induced by the weather, hormones, food, a weird dream or a negative encounter from the day before – my day sometimes has a little gray cloud over it.

And this is what is really scary. I believed that if I wasn’t absolutely happy every single day, then something must be wrong with me.

Why? Why would I put that sort of unrealistic pressure on myself? Maybe it’s the perfection found on Instagram. Maybe it’s my own self-imposed set of standards. It seems that for awhile, I confused happiness with being happy every single day. But that isn’t happiness at all. Having a blah day, an unproductive day, is natural. Just as it is sometimes sunny, sometimes rainy.  Or when your hair looks fab one day, but then the next it is a serious rat’s nest. Most days I’m a bucket of cheer, others I am a lazy little puddle.

I am finally fine with that. And you should be, too.

If you don’t feel like you’re walking on sunshine, it’s okay.

If you don’t want to go outside and interact with people, it’s okay.

If you sometimes feel like you aren’t capable of accomplishing much for the day, it’s okay.

If you just want to stay inside, and move slowly throughout the day, then don’t fight it.
It’s okay to not me perfectly happy all the time. In fact, I’ve just realized that is is perfectly normal.

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