I’ll preface this by saying that I am a generally moody person — with quick and unpredictable shifts that catch me by surprise and appear to have no reason or pattern — and that what I’m talking about may not apply to everyone, but hopefully it helps someone.

When I originally had the idea to write about letting a mood overwhelm you, it was going to be a positively framed piece with the goal to motivate people not to give in to moods, especially negative and heavy ones. In light of the recent act of terrorism in Manchester, I am no longer inclined to follow my initial plan. Germ is a place where we talk about the light in life, but it is not a place where we hide from the darkness and pretend it doesn’t exist.

A bad mood is often compared to a rain cloud, dampening your day, casting shadows, and bringing thunder. It is an accurate metaphor for the wave of feeling that accompanies a downward shift in mood, whether that mood is triggered by an event or just arrives when you wake.

When a bad mood swings my way, I usually try not to let it affect me. I’ve found the few things that work for me: listening to comforting or uplifting music, talking to a friend, distracting myself with comedy specials and books, or even just taking deep breaths, closing my eyes, and concentrating on a blank white space. They aren’t permanent or fool-proof solutions, but they’re better than nothing. A bad mood is particularly distressing when I have things to do and it attempts to get in the way of them — ruining a social situation or an exam. These are occasions where I try not to give in. I believe in the power of my own will to overcome the emotions I am being sent, telling myself that they are misguided, irrelevant, and just a mistake my mind made.

On occasion, though, bad moods are my solace. I’m apprehensive to put down in words why bad moods are important to me simply because it is quite possibly unhealthy and definitely not motivational in any way. Bad moods often provide the best creative output. To take a negative emotion, to twist and mold it into words, is often an easier way than to put hope or fleeting happiness into your work. Sadness, anger, helplessness, they’re like dry wood — quick to light and burn with much smoke. Sometimes it’s easier to wallow in them and use them as tools than to push your way through to the other side.

People died that night in Manchester. People have died before, and they may die in the future. There is terror in this world, and this week that terror brought down my mood. I’ve been trying to push through, to hold on to the hope and the love. We all are. But I also let that mood be the motivation for this article. I let my unshed tears turn into words that I want to share with people.

I never knew any of the victims personally. I currently do not even know all their names. But to those of you we lost, this is for you. I may not be a beacon of hope, but I will not hide from the darkness just because people like to see the light.

Moods come and go. They aren’t everlasting like the impression you have left on this world. We are changed by your lives, changed for the better, banded in more love everyday. I’m sorry that this was not written out of that love, but rest assured, I know that it’s out there. I just need to reach for it.


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