An affair with….

Tristesse.

Pathos.

Yes, you got that right. I am in love with a certain way that sadness makes me feel. I remember being very impressed with the title o a book by Françoise Sagan, “Bonjour , tristesse” : Hello, Sadness. Something that I would love to say.

I did not sprout this seed of melancholy on a whim. It has been cultivated over the years and been watered diligently, too. I often imagined how I would react if my parents or siblings died and cried for hours. I read and re-read sad poems, letting the sadness engulf my soul. I would think of less than fortunate people around me and let it make my heart heavy. I could cite many more incidents where I was one with an emotion that, for most people, seems destructive and self – defeating.

I did try to reflect upon it. On why I could always the melancholic strain in everything : was it my way of escaping the world? Or a means to be philosophical? I did fall off the bandwagon many a time, succumbing to self-pity, the very ugly cousin to sadness,  but I always pulled myself together.

Like most people obsessed with sadness,  I laughed a lot. I tried to deny the sad feelings I had on an everyday basis.  I tried to be happy go lucky,  I tried to “spread smiles wherever I go” , as the saying goes. What it actually did was to inhibit me, for I was basically denying my very existence. The sadness was so much a part of me that living became difficult.

At times friends would find me in grief and try to help – “Cheer up! Look on the bright side.” Of course! Sadness or melancholy is not pessimism, just like happiness is not optimism! The former is a feeling, the latter an attitude! I would smile and reply, “Of course..”

As I grow older, I am more at peace with this. I am trying not to deny myself and accept it as who I am.

Yes I still wish upon rainbows and lick dew off leaves.

I like to tell children about fairies and magic.

I  always believe the best is yet to come and tomorrow will surely be better than yesterday.

I enjoy comedies and funny videos and guffaw like a monkey.

Yet…and yet…

My heart will always be heavy….

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