• Madelynne Juenger

Feeling Funky & Not in a Groovy Sorta Way

Lately, I’ve been feeling rather funky. And not a good kind of groovy funky. More like an “Eeyore with a permanent rain cloud over my head even when it’s perfectly sunny outside” kind of funky. But it’s not the first time that this Eeyore mood has set in. However, I think it is the first time that I’m actually taking a second to acknowledge it.

Usually when I feel this way, I just try to sweep the feelings under the rug. A sort of out of sight out of mind mentality. And of course this works for a while, but eventually people will start asking about that big, odd lumpy pile thing gathering underneath your carpet. And at this point it’s impossible to lift up the rug without your entire living room exploding into a gigantic dusty mess.

But instead of embracing the mess and then making an effort to sweep it up properly, I sit on that little pile and smile and say, “Oh you know, just a new decorating technique I’m trying out.” And as long as you make sure your smile is extra big and extra bright, people will say “Hm okay cool, I must have just never heard of that before.” And on with their day they will go, smiling with their new interior decorating knowledge. And on with my day I will go, sitting on this lump and trying my best to not let anything sneak out.

And this is so strange. Because everyone (EVERYONE!) has bad days. Everyone has dust under their rug and gloomy thoughts and times when they just feel so down that they don’t think they’ll ever be able to stand up again. But for some reason, I feel like I can’t have bad days. My rug must be spotless and if it’s not, then I can’t let anyone know because I’ll just let them down.

Now, let me explain where this thought process comes from. I come off as a very bubbly, smiley, and extremely happy person. And I am…for the most part. I couldn’t survive if I wasn’t optimistic and I pretty much smile and laugh all the time because that’s just my natural, genuine reaction to things. But because of this, I’ve kind of developed a reputation for being continuously happy 24/7 with no bad days. People tell me all the time that they wish they could be as happy as I am and that they are always glad to see me because I’m always smiling. And gosh dang it, my silly brain has run off with this idea and warped it so that I think the world will fall apart if I’m not a big shiny ball of sunshine all the freaking time.

I’ve basically based my entire identity around being happy. Through elementary school, middle school, and high school I just sort of smiled at things and went along with them. And people loved it, so I played into the part. Happy and nice were my things. If I was always happy and nice, then people would like me. If I was always happy and nice, then I would know where my place was and I would be comfortable there and I would get along with everyone.

But as wonderful as happy and nice are, it is actually physically impossible for any human being to be those things all the time. Because we all have something called feelings (!!!). And sometimes I feel angry and let down and sad and lonely and frustrated and tired. And sometimes I feel ecstatic and excited and confident and loved and bubbly. And sometimes I do feel really freaking happy. But I just don't know how to feel the first list without thinking that I'm letting everyone down around me. And I just have to learn that it's okay to feel both happy and sad and the world won't stop spinning because of it.

I have to learn to lift up my rug and embrace the dirt and the dust and to finally sweep it properly into a trash can without being ashamed of the large bag that I have to carry on the way there.

Recently, I was talking to my mom about these feelings and she told me the best advice that I could’ve possibly asked for, “You can’t be on all the time.”

You can’t leave a light bulb on all the time without it eventually burning out (or also probably setting something on fire). And the same goes for people. We can’t be on all the time. There will come a point where we will run out of steam and feel tired and lonely and defeated. And maybe nothing will physically catch fire, but it might as well.

So this is me screaming at you from personal experience that you DO NOT have to be happy all the time. If you don’t feel like smiling, then heck! Don’t smile! Your face muscles will probably thank you greatly. If you can’t constantly speed through life at 100 MPH, then take a break or at least slow down to a brisk walk. Your body and mind will also thank you greatly.

It is okay to be sad. It is okay to be angry. And it’s okay to have Eeyore days.

It’s not okay to pretend that we don’t have emotions. It’s not okay to sweep all the bad ones under the rug. And it's not okay to hide behind a smiley persona all the time.

Let’s acknowledge and embrace our funks. Because they are nothing to be ashamed of.

Because everyone has them. And because being sad sometimes is okay.



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