We all have our share of bad days, filled with self-doubt and insecurities. And it doesn’t help at all when something you do with all of your blood, sweat and tears involved isn’t really appreciated by anybody. But let me tell you something important here. The day we stop looking for validation and start doing something just because we derive joy from it is the day when we truly begin to love ourselves and the work we do. There will always be a part of ourselves that constantly asks us “What went wrong?”, and honestly? I don’t know the answer.
Some days, all we want to do is give things we do the best shot we can. But you see, life is a roller-coaster. It’s one big book filled with lots of angst, maybe a little fluff here and there, messed-up plot lines, unexpected twists and arcs, and a whole lot of character development. As we all already know, life has its own fair share of ups and downs. There is no way to tell that when the road is smooth and easy to travel, there wouldn’t be potholes ahead. But guess what? Life’s no good without those bad days.
In fact, the more I watch the movie Inside Out, I realize that it’s our bad experiences that make the good ones even more valuable. I’m not going to romanticize any kind of situation that isn’t good, just for the sake of writing, or even just to show you that light does exist at the end of the tunnel. But all I’m saying here is that we shouldn’t write off all of our bad experiences because they usually come with some kind of lessons with them. If anything, they’re just a reminder that we should try harder, and do better.
Our bad days are a reminder that we are still human, and that we can still hurt. Still feel. No matter what kind of stone-cold exterior we tell the world we have, at the end of the day, we all have the same beating heart inside of us and we are all just trying to figure things out the best we can. And as hard as we may try, we can’t run away from the kind of pit that forms in our stomachs when things don’t turn out too well, even after we have given it our best possible shot.
It’s like this: sometimes, when I try my best and write or sketch something that I am exceptionally proud of, it doesn’t always get the praise that I think it deserves. And as an artist, it is always a little discouraging to think that my efforts are probably falling short somewhere along the way, but it also gives me a reason to want to do better. It’s not that my failure serves as a reminder to do better; I’m always telling myself to do so anyway! But it’s always nice to know that, maybe, there is room for further improvement.
That being said, maybe our bad days are also a reminder for us to slow down a little. Because, whether we do so knowingly or not, we may have exhausted ourselves to an extent where it is hard to give our best shot to everything we do. So, maybe all we need is a little bit of rest and TLC, and we’ll be back to being ourselves at our own pace. Forcing ourselves to do something productive is of no use because that’s not how you can nurture creativity. You may think I’m wrong here, but you be the judge.
It is important to let our brains and bodies take a break every now and then. Whether we do so for further inspiration, or just to try and think about something other than what we’re forcing ourselves to do, we need to understand that we all have our own limits. Take just about anything for example, and you’ll know that too much and too little are never good. So, if you’re going through a bad day and if you’re feeling too drained out for anything, then I suggest that you don’t force yourself because let’s be real, it never works.
I know that it can be a little discouraging to see that your hard work isn’t getting the recognition it deserves. What’s worse is when people try to make your work seem like it was something very easy to do. But you know what? Screw that! If you did something well, you’re allowed to be obnoxiously proud of it. Don’t let anybody take that joy away from you. But at the same time, don’t let the lack of validation bring your spirits down because those with a good eye for masterpieces will always appreciate your work, one way or another.
The clouds will pass and it will be sunny once again. And when that happens, I hope you’re all ready to bask in the warmth of the sun.
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