About Melanie Dale

Melanie Dale is a minivan mama and total weirdo who stinks at small talk. Her laugh is a combination honk-snort, and it’s so bad that people have moved away from her in the movie theater.

Author of Women Are Scary: The Totally Awkward Adventure of Finding Mom Friends and It’s Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn’t Choose, she’s also a contributor for Coffee+Crumbs and an advocate for Children’s HopeChest. Living in the Atlanta area, she enjoys recording her podcast, Lighten Up with Melanie Dale, and blogging at Unexpected.org.

It’s not fair: Learning to love the life you didn’t choose

img_2870Written by Melanie Dale of Unexpected.org

A note from Jamie: Sometimes life just isn’t fair, a fact my friend Melanie knows all too well. She’s walked the hard road of infertility as well as dealing with special needs and mental illness in her beautiful family of five (which includes both biological and adoptive kiddos like my own!). If you find yourself in the midst of tough times, you NEED Melanie’s book: It’s Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn’t Choose. A book on suffering that makes you snort with laughter? Yes, really!

When Alex and I were in the thick of our struggle with infertility, our favorite coping mechanism was humor—a very oddball, totally inappropriate brand of infertility humor. Humor is how we survived and found fun and found ourselves, our us-ness, in the midst of the hopelessness of our situation.

Over time I’ve learned the value in making light of heavy things. They don’t become less important, but Big Scary Monsters lose their power over you when you laugh at them. Laughter makes you stronger.

And sometimes when you’re experiencing Big Feels, it’s hard to let out one without letting out all of them. When you take the top off the crammed-up bottle your emotions are in, everything sprays out. The anger, the pain, and the humor. And it feels so good to let it all out in one frothy stream.

It’s okay to grieve, to feel a loss. And it’s okay to be happy and sing at the top of your lungs. And those two things can happen within five minutes of each other. That’s what I love about feelings. We get to have whichever ones we feel when we feel them and they can make no sense back-to-back and that’s okay.

So let yourself laugh even when you worry you aren’t supposed to. Not at someone else’s expense, but at your own stuff. You own that, and you can laugh at it if you want to.
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