Philosophically, melancholy sometimes refers to suffering a loss with an inability or unwillingness to let go of that loss and the sadness that accompanies not letting go.
I feel that I have somehow messed up on an important relationship. When I entered my PhD, I looked forward to working on a dissertation. I imagined finding a mentor like the professors I had during my master's: friendly and professional; somebody interested in or invested in me as a scholar; somebody who would be honest with me; somebody who believes in my abilities; somebody who has my back and is a teammate; somebody I would talk to and rely on in the future during the rest of my career. I have a hard time articulating this relationship--I'm not sure what I've said so far captures it. At any rate, I messed up this time. I keep hoping that somehow things will click and I will be able to fix it and it will happen. I've even seen glimpses of it, I think. But it hasn't happened. I'm not sure what did wrong--maybe I'm not cool enough. Maybe I'm not proactive enough. Certainly I have not been the most impressive. I didn't speak up in class as much as I sometimes do.
Now, honestly, I have a great mentor. I know that he will be honest with me. I know that he will do right by my dissertation. He is truly brilliant, yet unassuming. He's funny, and a great teacher. But the relationship has never really come, and I can't seem to let go of wanting it. I can't seem to stop being sad and disappointed and confused about why I didn't make this happen. I should let it go--he is great professor and I'm lucky to be working with him and this dissertation will all work out and he will be there for me as I do it (if I go to him). Maybe it is all in my head (but it's not!). Maybe I have unrealistic expectations (maybe I do). I watch this relationship click between this prof and others and it hurts. Why couldn't I do it? Why didn't that work for me?
I can't seem to let it go.