I cry happy tears, sad tears, frustrated tears, joyful tears, empathetic tears, even though I am a tough son of a gun. What gives?
I consider myself to be a rufty-tufty kind of woman, one who can adapt to changes and roll with whatever is happening. I consider myself tough, although “rufty-tufty” might belie that a little. I consider myself to be empathetic, pragmatic, competent, emotionally independent with a little help, grateful for my friends, humorous and I mostly enjoy life regardless of some of the challenges that living in this time and this place presents to us.
But I cry, often. Not pretty, dab at the corner of the eye tears.
We are talking about ugly tears, unpretty, undignified tears and a Rudolph red nose and quite frankly it is a tad embarrassing. I can feel it about to happen, my heart/emotions will be nudged, my eyes will prickle and my throat closes and I think “oh no, not again, not here, oh… there we go” and nothing I have thought of can retrieve the situation once the process has started.
I cry at photo’s in the newspaper, there was a photo of a old, grey haired firefighter with his face contorted and crying at a 9/11 memorial and I totally lost the plot because I felt of his grief.
I cry at a fragment in a song, when it suddenly echoes my hopes or trials for a fraction of a minute.
I cry at a hope of something in the future, mostly to do with hopes for my child.
I cry at TV shows or news reports sometimes, not at the blatant “send us your money” reports, but sometimes at the response of a nearby person who intervened to make something better.
I cry at the Humans Of New York series, particularly the teachers who are making a difference.
I cry at TED talks, mostly the school principals who announce on the PA “if nobody told you today that you are loved, we love you”.
I cry in disappointment.
I cry, and pretty much lose the plot, when I hear kids singing in Church.
I cry at the idea of crying.
It wasn’t always this way, I had it under control for years and was able to function without this embarrassing affliction. But, I was numb, stoic, trying to keep it all together and I don’t know which way of being I prefer, then or now.
I am mainstream, not a new age hippy, and the word “feelings” to me is quite a bit of a swear word and a cop out. Yet it “feels” like I am feeling too much. Sundays are my worst day – when I step in the chapel during particularly trying times it feels like the only place in the world where I don’t have to emotionally fight. Sometimes the tears there are because I received a longed for answer or because I get the sense of eternal allies for the briefest of moments and I don’t feel alone for that moment.
I am hoping that this intensity will calm down after a period and that I’ll learn and adjust to feeling these emotions. It’s a little like taking the perforated lid off of a microwavable meal when it has just dinged, that first blast of steam that risks the old fingers for a moment. I am hoping that admitting I have a problem might be the first step in overcoming this affliction. Here’s to hoping, eh.