I'm Not Happy, And That's OK

Sunday Style is a NYC based digital publication on personal style.


People say I’m a standup guy

Effervescent and never grim

Even tell me when they grow up

They “only want to be more like him”

Well tell them I wish that I were too

Now the sun is shining, and daisies bloom

Let’s get high and explore the moon

The darkest skies never seemed so blue

Shooting stars are just falling,

falling in style

Smith, 2017

I used to tell my sister that all I ever wanted for her was to be happy, mainly because no one has ever wanted that for me, but also because I had long-believed that happiness was the main pursuit for a life well lived. In recent years, my perspective on happiness has been transformed by a number of experiences and while I understand the value of happiness, I understand that each emotion carries its own unique significance in the full experience of life. With that being said, there’s something I’d like to confess. I’m not happy, and that’s OK.

Usually when people ask me how I am I will almost always say that “I am well,” because truly, I am. Like any other person, there is a great mix of “good” and “bad” happening in my life at any given moment, yet I choose to fix my focus on that which promotes a sense of strength and joy. Seldom ever does one seem to have the time to discuss the things that are falling apart in my life with sincere interest, and while that can sometimes makes me sad, I hold fast to the truth that everything has its place in time, and I remain grateful to know that there are people ready to shout down my fears and insecurities in praise when I need it.

When was the last time you found yourself in situation where you realised you were unhappy? Was it in the workplace or at school? Was it in a relationship with a friend or a lover? How did you respond to that feeling of overwhelm or sadness? Sometimes we feel like we need a safe space to scream or cry, ideally with someone who will be there to listen (I know I do… *likely the reason I wrote this article tho #lolcoi). It is important to be honest about how you feel, and to have someone you can connect with in your low points but sometimes, if we aren’t careful, we can be looking for someone to connect with who actually jump into sadness with us instead of pulling us out of that lowly place.

A couple weeks ago, I was in a very sad space. I felt like I was losing in relationships, in business, and even in my own creative abilities. In fact, I was so sad that I didn’t even reach out to the people I would normally connect with when I am feeling low. In a moment where my focus was so terribly misplaced, I concluded that everyone in my life was either unequipped or unavailable to lift me up. How sad. In my moment of weakness though, I had an interesting thought. I thought that although I couldn’t seem to find anyone to call, and although I had no idea how this particular episode of sadness would come to an end, the very least that I could do is put it out there in the world that I was feeling this way. I thought that maybe, just maybe, someone would see my message and reach out to me with a word of encouragement. And thank God I did.

For this message, Twitter was my platform of preference. Remember Twitter? Let’s dig a little deeper… you know that little bar graph icon that allows you to see your tweet’s activity when clicked? Gahh, most people on there probably don’t even use it, but if you work in any type of content or social media management then you probably know what I’m talking about! Anyway, what I did after publishing a few thoughts is what’s important. I took a moment to review some analytics- just to see how many people had the opportunity to see what I had to say that day- check this out:

Out of 91 viewers, five stopped to expand a tweet that read, “been feeling really sad these last few days.” Five people took a deliberated moment to review this thought, and maybe even read it for a second or third time. Out of those five people, one made the decision to reach out and respond.

Now maybe you’re reading this, and you’ve just started reminding yourself of all the people posted in your corner so that- when you find yourself in a moment of sadness- you won’t make the mistake of discounting those who are ready and willing to lift you up when you need it. Or maybe you’re reading this and thinking that you are invincible, impervious even, to the idea of sadness- think again mate. The thought that I’m willing to drive home in this writing, is that no matter what you’re going through in life, one person is all it takes to make a world of difference. It was one person who reached out to see about me, to encourage me, to strengthen me. If you’ve ever had a true friend, then you know what I mean.

To be fair, there is at least one universal quality that equips someone to assist a friend suffering the experience of sadness- they need to have joy! That person needs to be connected to the higher ground you are looking for them to help you reach. I mean seriously, how confident can you be in someone’s ability to save you if when they see you struggling, they’re first response is to jump into the very quicksand you’re drowning in? We’ve all heard the proverb at least once before that says “You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.” I’m proud to admit that I need help- often. The struggles I’ve been writing about lately are very real, and the journey to success over the challenges of life are ongoing and tough. So the next time you ask me how I’m doing you can expect me to say, “I am well,” but if you must know… I’m not happy, and that’s okay, because I know I am not alone and that this season is equipping me for much success.

Peace, Love + Light. KI.

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