On Feeling ‘Okay’

“How are you?”

“I’m okay, I guess.”

Okay.

Do you really just want to be okay? Does anyone?

I think feeling ‘okay’ sucks. It’s definitely worse than feeling happy, or elated or delighted or blissful. But it’s also worse than feeling sad, and defeated, and morose, and melancholic. In fact, ‘okay’ is not a feeling at all. It’s nothing except cold, grey emptiness.

‘Okay’ might be not sleeping on a wet, tear-stained pillow, closing your puffy red eyes before you do. But it also doesn’t mean waking up with your eyes shining bright, with freshness enveloping you as you get ready to start a new day.

‘Okay’ definitely means that you don’t feel defeated and trampled on. That you don’t feel completely lost. But it also doesn’t mean that you have hope. That you have the strength to dream for bigger, better things. That you actually believe that you are capable.

‘Okay’ is somewhere in the middle. So that should be good right? You’re getting the best of both worlds? You get to feel the sadness and the happiness? You get to fall down, and then rise up even higher?

No. See, that’s exactly what feeling ‘okay’ doesn’t comprise of. When you hear ‘okay’ you really think that everything is…stable, normal, alright. But that’s what it isn’t.

What you probably don’t know (or maybe you do after all) is that feeling ‘okay’ is just another word for feeling nothing—for emptiness.

Remember, how I said it’s worse than feeling happy or sad? Because when you feel happy or sad, you actually get the chance to feel. You actually feel human. You know you’re capable of getting hurt. But then you also know that you are capable of feeling true happiness. That’s what being ‘not okay’ feels like; and trust me, it’s so much better than just being ‘okay’.

When you’re ‘okay’, your body’s there, but your soul isn’t. Your state of mind and heart is good enough to let you function in an orderly manner. It’s good enough to allow you to fake a smile and pretend everything is…(wait for it!)…okay. You can go through the motions without ever feeling a thing. Nothing affects you. Everything passes you by. Sometimes, it does feel better than the alternative of feeling broken and shattered. But after a while, it mostly feels like…not feeling at all.

Cold, grey emptiness.

But we all…we settle with feeling ‘okay’. We convince ourselves that we’ll surely never feel happy. Might as well be ‘okay’ than sad.

Nope! That’s where you’re wrong. You will feel happy. One day you will. But for that you must, you must allow yourself to feel unhappy.

You must accept the darkness, before allowing the light.

Must embrace the black before enjoying the white.

Don’t get stuck in the grey.

Be more.

Feel more.

Want more.

Live more.

© Copyright Shreya Pandey

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