Monday in Wonderland: t's Okay to Be Sad

This week’s #MondayinWonderland is going to be a little different. It’s not a “get up and go get ‘em” kind of deal. It’s not a “you are super fierce and fabulous” (although you most definitely are). It’s not even a “be strong and push on.”

I wanted to share it anyway though precisely because it’s a message of weakness and something my perfectionistic, deliberately optimistic self needed to learn, and maybe it can be a reminder for you too.

I think a lot of times we are chasing an image. The modern woman is strong, independent, and resourceful. The idyllic man is resilient, charming, and dauntless. And even in small ways we tend to chase these images, be the one who has it all together and pursues success the way the successful did it, with a smile and relentless work ethic. It’s how we market ourselves to new acquaintances, on social media, and in a professional environment. Shoot, it’s even the environment I strive to create on this blog—one of positivity, silver linings, and a short trek to Wonderland.

And I am in no way saying any of these things are bad. It’s good to face adversity, it’s lovely to look on the bright side, and sometimes it’s even healthy to momentarily escape from reality by indulging in creativity, movement, whatever it is you love.

The only problem is that the most beautiful pieces of humanity are often the ones we hide from public view. We aren’t beautiful because we are cunning or strong or inventive. Not even our sheer will to survive makes us successful. We are unique even as a species because we are vulnerable from the inside.

I had a dear friend pass away last week and I expected to grieve of course. But I honestly thought, with my chosen mentality to pursue joy, that I would be able to look for the silver lining and derive something positive. I couldn’t do it. I was honestly a little bit of a mess, trying to distract myself, fight my emotions, and keep my pain under the surface because I am so blessed and have abundant reasons to be joyful, especially as I start college this week. I was dragged down by his death and couldn’t shake it off. And it wasn’t until I cried and cried that I finally felt a little better. And this was a good thing.

It means I was hurting, that I cared, deeply cared, about my friend. And those tears ended up being cathartic because they were for something and someone that meant very much to me.

Because the remarkable and unique thing about humanity is that we sometimes fall apart. We hurt and we cry and guess what? We don’t always have to have it together. Because when we cry until we’re numb, hold on just a little too tight, and be vulnerable, we shine like no other creature on earth. And from our pain we discover our communities, passions and interests. Through what makes us delicate and often ashamed, we have the opportunity to become even more than what we were before.

When I said choose happy a couple weeks ago, I meant it. But there’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself to be sad sometimes as well. It’s okay to cry and love, because that is when we are more than machines—we are beautiful, broken and disjointed humans capable of growth.

Thanks for letting me share. And thank you for being your beautiful self, mess and all.

Stay lovely,

PS: Your downloadable reminder here, and past Mondays' postivity here in case this one was too heavy for this particular day of yours.


  1. I love you for sharing this. You are right, it is okay to cry, be vulnerable it is the best way to move past certain things.

  2. So sorry you lost your friend. Sometimes a good cry really is just what a person needs, especially with something big like that. I lost my uncle this summer and it took me a few days to cry because I was trying to be strong so I could be there for my cousin and her kids.

    Anyways, great message. It's good to remember we don't have to be strong all the time and that feeling sad is a normal, human emotion!