We All Have Bad Days, but Perhaps Not Bad Lives

On my worst days, my thoughts go to Ernest Hemingway.

Leigh Victoria Phan, MS
4 min readOct 12, 2021
Photo Courtesy of BOOCYS on Adobe Stock

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
Ernest Hemingway

I’m learning to understand that isolated bad moods and bad days are just that; singular occurrences. They’re single moments that don’t need to repeat if I grab my mental reigns and get myself back on track. I remind myself why I’m running up that hill, why I’m digging myself down deeper, why I’m rolling that boulder every day.

But there are just some bad days that are so steeped in melancholia that it isn’t so easy to bounce back to a place of resilient determination. Sometimes, I end up having a day where it really feels like the boulder rolls backward and crushes me.

I’m usually not quite this honest about my day-to-day thoughts and feelings. At the very least, I usually don’t write about them so frankly and share them with the internet so openly. But as a part of my journey as a poet and as a writer, I’m trying to be more open and authentic. Right now, that means cracking the door open on bad days, too.

Since you’re reading this, you’ve probably experienced something similar. It’s a battle to remind yourself that a few isolated bad days don’t equate to a bad life. It sounds a little…



Leigh Victoria Phan, MS

Brooklyn-based writer and poet. Designer in NYC. Drinks books and loves coffee. Has an MS from NYU in Integrated Design & Media. Working on an MFA in Fiction.