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Discovery 17: Sadness

“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.

Author: Rennett Stowe; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons

Author: Rennett Stowe; CC BY 2.0 license; via Wikimedia Commons

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?


About irinapashina

Marketing professional, blogger, group fitness instructor, reader, theater-goer


2 thoughts on “Discovery 17: Sadness

  1. Just tried to remember what is the last time I felt sad. I think it must be something related to my eternal questions like “why are people eating animals” or “why are people smoking” and stuff like that, that use to make me mad, and now just make me sad.
    Sweet story about your 18th birthday! In Romania everybody used to throw a huge party for that occasion, even renting a restaurant or a whole club for 30-40-50 friends or so. In my case, I did not have money to have a huge party (I think this was the reason I was a bit sad too), so I just invited my best friends for a pizza in the best pizzeria in town and I think pizza never tasted better.. and my girlfriends were crazy and fun.
    It´s interesting to see how sad or joyful moments can turn into melancholic, soft memories with time.

    Posted by Olivia Falkenstein | August 13, 2013, 12:27 pm
    • We all have our ‘eternal’ questions and finding or not finding answers to them makes us sad. Questions, answers, and also our attitude towards them change over time and it’s fascinating to observe how ‘being mad at something’ can turn into ‘being sad about something’. Also, I can relate very well to the way we see our memories diffently as time passes. Your 18th birthday makes it sound like a cherished and special memory for you now. Thanks for sharing it.

      Posted by irinapashina | August 13, 2013, 10:27 pm

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