This weekend I went to go see the new Pixar movie “Inside Out.” Now, as a lover of all animated films, I really enjoyed the movie! Without giving away too much, I’ll tell you that the little voices inside your head, really do make a difference!
I will tell you, that I walked away finding that the moral of the story was that it’s OK to be sad. The main character, Riley, is a young, happy-go-lucky, goof-ball of a kid. But after a change in her daily life occurs, she finds herself facing some new challenges.
Like Riley, I grew up as a beyond jovial youngster; and like Riley, last year I went through what I would sincerely call my first real emotional roller-coaster. I found myself at a stand still with my emotions and how to handle them.
Just like Riley’s parents, mine told me that they hated to see my so upset since I’m normally such a happy, energetic person. But instead of allowing myself to be sad, I refused to acknowledge it, and despite my overwhelming emotions, did my best to keep smiling.
The problem, in hindsight, wasn’t as simple as I had expected it to be. I was under the impression that I had no reason to be upset, therefore, I could absolutely not be upset. Growing up in such a positive environment and with such a caring family, I knew that I had no reason to ever be upset. As the rest of the summer went on, I struggled with my unknown sadness, and developed a little bit of anxiety because of it. I was anxious because I didn’t know what was happening, and it made me severely uncomfortable. For the first time in my life, I was unsure of myself.
I had always been so confident that my being “certain of myself” was a given. My not being sure of myself or what I wanted was incredibly strange for me, and really scary. It put me in a rut that I couldn’t get out of for the rest of the summer. At one point, I remember holding my head in my hands at a complete loss of what to do, or how to move forward.
At the end of the summer, I spoke with someone who gave me the best piece of advice I could have ever received. She looked at me and said, “Arielle, you know it’s OK to be sad.” This is a simple piece of advice that we’ve all heard at some point or another, but for the first time ever, I actually understood it.
Regardless of whether or not I had a reason to be sad, acknowledging my emotions was the best thing to do. I didn’t need to sweep them under the metaphorical rug. Instead, by accepting the fact that I was upset, and by letting myself be sad (regardless of the reasoning for it), I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I felt immensely better, and was able to move forward with a significantly more positive outlook on life.
So my advice to all you happy-go-lucky kids out there goes like this: If you’re ever feeling sad, please don’t ignore it. Instead, acknowledge it and be sad. There is no rule or higher power out there telling us that we can’t be upset. We’re human beings, and it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t experience every emotion out there. And as soon as the sadness moves its way out, joy always finds its way back into your life! So cry it out, write a song about it, and tell yourself that everything will be OK. Trust me, it will.