How to Embrace a Gray Day

theperfectafternoon

It’s gray here today. That kind of gray that makes you want to drink endless cups of tea and listen to The Smiths all day on repeat. Not a sad type of day per se, but one that is lovely with its puffy clouds and range of grays and unusually coolish temperatures. I’m wearing a hoodie in April in North Carolina, so today I’ll take it.

And the more I let myself be okay with the gray and the un-sunniness, the more I sink into the day as it turns into afternoon. The more I hold on to my warm mug a little big longer in order to let the heat sink down into my bones. I know that the sunny days are the ones that get all the attention, the glory, the “good” comments, but I’m all about these days that slip in between and remind you that even the unsunny days can be perfect. Even they can harbor a warmth despite what the sky is saying.

And how I feel about gray days is similar to how I feel about posts that show up in my various feeds that share less-than-perfect images and words. Their less-than-perfectness allows me to connect in its everydayness. It’s gray dayness. The not-so-perfect posts are the ones that allow me to see the human beyond what appears on my screens, both big and small. They allow me to know you on your gray days. They remind me that just like the weather shows us, we are all an amalgam of our sunny, gray, and in-between days.

And just like how the barometric pressure drops on those gray days, so does the stress to keep everything perfect when you post those everything’s-not-so-perfect posts. You release yourself from having to one up everyone, from having to find the perfect angle, from having to make those colors pop when they don’t want to. You let yourself be seen in those imperfect moments.

Sometimes on those gray days, if you’re lucky, the rain comes. And whether it shows up like a torrent or hints with sprinkles, it refreshes nonetheless. There’s a whoosh in the air when the sky opens up, like a sigh or a deep exhale. And it reminds you that these days, they are perfect, too. In their weight and their grayness and in their waiting to exhaleness.

By holding back the sunlight that seeps through our skin, they inherently show us how to embrace the gray days by that act of withholding. In taking out what we all consider beautiful they force us to find a new definition for what beauty truly is. And just how necessary this paradigm shift is for moving forward.

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