“Perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
I remember my 18th birthday as one of the saddest days of my youth. Not because of a big loss or affliction. It was just the worry (and confusion) about getting older that caused my sadness. Today, many years later, I cannot help but smile when I recall that day. The memory of what felt like a particularly sad moment back then stands for ingenuousness and naivety now.
It’s astonishing what can make us sad at times and how sadness can get us to re-think situations, human connections, circumstances, even our own attitude.
I am well aware that there are states of great unhappiness and emotional distress caused by loss, despair, hopelessness. It’s not them that I am referring to here. It’s the other, rather insignificant moments of pensive sadness. Sometimes caused by a story we stumble upon, a scent that suddenly comes our way, a thoughtless word or gesture. And sometimes even without any obvious reason.
No matter how uncomfortable the thoughts and concerns on my 18th birthday made me feel, they also helped me grow in a way. Multiple similar moments since then led to the discovery that this kind of sadness is not simply an annoying appearance that must be ignored or suffocated at any cost. Now, I kindly call it part of the natural trajectory of my mind and try to keep its transformative, inspirational potential in mind.
How do you see your sad moments?