This moment – coming to terms with the bad days


Natalie Mix

Photo courtesy of a summer trip to a Flowerland with my best friends

I’m not sure what happened today—if it was the rain painting the sky in hues of gray, the sleep deficit I was shouldering, or the minute disruptions to my routine here and there—but I couldn’t shake a restless frustration all day, like stratified storm clouds peppered by bursts of lightning as my hands fidgeted uneasily, tugging at the hair in my eyebrows and on my scalp. 

It just wasn’t a good day.

Even now, I’m sitting here fighting a battle for every single word that manages to eke it’s way out onto the page. And every curative avenue that I explored today left me just as frustratingly empty as the one before—I dumped my Cinnamon Apple tea in the lawn because I couldn’t bring myself to finish the thermos-full, and all I had to show for an hour at the library was one, albeit long, sentence. Today was simply set in her ways, unwilling to be sculpted into anything of beauty. 

After all, as someone reminded me in AP Lit today, it is Tuesday, whatever that means. 

After last year, days like today scare me. How easy it would be to simply stop, to let all of my hard work melt away until I’m back at square one. And when I’m in the thick of it, it doesn’t even seem like there’s much to tear down. 

I couldn’t count the sheer number of times today I had to let a thought wash over me without seeping in between the cracks—the thoughts of how much I detested the way my ASL project was turning out, the thoughts of every little task I’d forgotten to complete, the thoughts of how far behind I am in applying for college. 

That’s what I was supposed to write about today—college, and how I’ve barely touched my applications, and how I feel miles behind everyone else, and how I’m so unsure of so much, and how I’m so worried that I will make the wrong decisions. 

But all of that will still be there in a couple of weeks. Today, slowing down meant admitting the day’s shortcomings and accepting that they were okay. I didn’t make the college application calendar I’d intended to make, and I spent two hours mindlessly watching TikToks on my couch, but I finished all of my homework, and I took a shower. 

And as many times as I felt helpless frustration bubbling upwards in my chest, I also found the bright spots, little moments of sunshine—the new playlist I carefully crafted, entitled “claw clips and thrifted sweaters;” the mocha frappe I bought at McDonald’s this morning; the soup my dad made for dinner tonight.

Tomorrow, I have another shot to get up when my alarm goes off, another chance to get to school when I intend to, another opportunity to choose my form of caffeine to brighten my morning. 

Today was a bad day. But it was just that—one bad day. One bad day won’t place me on a collision course, because I’ve grown so much from that girl who fell into more than a string of bad days. 

And now the bad days serve to contrast against the brilliant ones, navy bubbles amidst the swirling cerulean sea. 

Today was a bad day, but tomorrow will be better.