I was pleasantly surprised to find myself feeling a bit more optimistic and less angst filled as I began this work week. I began a new position a couple of weeks ago, one I did not choose, one that did not have enough hours and had very few redeeming qualities for me.
My infinitely sunnier disposition came in the most unusual way. As I was feeling my worst and expressing the hell out of my anger, sadness, and hopelessness, I had to hole away for a few hours by myself and listen to dark music with a scowl on my face.
Somehow the stars aligned and I came out of my nasty funk to find I was not exactly feeing happy about the change but at least wasnt feeling totally terrible. And that was a major step!
A lot of people wanted to cheer me up and make me feel better about this job situation but I didnt feel better until someone just let me bitch and I was just all out miserable. This is the ironic part about emotions-they have to be felt, truly, deeply felt before you can move forward. I felt a little like a kid having a temper tantrum but it did the trick.
It felt great not to feign happiness just to avoid an awkward conversation. Normally I would; got to be the happy girl you know? I finally figured out what to say to people-that I didn’t feel like looking on the bright side just yet. I’m not sure but I think it may have helped others too to know where I was at the time so they’d know how to help. Or what to avoid!
So the next time you’re feeling pressure, from within or without, to put on a happy face, don’t. Let yourself (or someone else) be miserable for awhile. Just get to the bottom at some point so you can start going upward again. That’s the good part.
Lauren Ivory earned a Master of Divinity degree from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis and completed her chaplain residency at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Originally from Northern Michigan, Lauren is now enjoying her new city of Chicago and working on the north side as a hospital chaplain/’storylistener’. When she isn’t working she can be found spending time with friends, reading, exploring unique things about Chicago, traveling to see family and friends, listening to music, and dancing.