I am a heart on her sleeve kinda gal.
I am a cry when I'm sad, cry when I'm happy, cry when I'm overwhelmed or overcome being.
I cry when someone tells me a touching truth about their lives; not just because of the tale itself, but because they are trusting me with their story, their thoughts and feelings. I cry because sharing with another person on intimate levels always fills me with waves of sympathy, empathy or gratitude and these emotions often manifest in the form of tears.
I'll cry listening to a song; on the speakers in my room, on my iPod as I'm walking or on the stereo in my car. I have cried at concerts, too. Sometimes it's because of the lyrics, sometimes the melody. Sometimes it's because of a memory the song brings to the surface. I've always marveled at music's power in that way--how a song can truly bring you right.back.*there*.
I'll cry watching the final episode of a favorite TV series. I mean have you seen the Golden Girls finale? When Dorothy says "This has been an experience I'll hold very close to my heart. These are memories I'll wrap myself in when the world gets cold and when I forget that there are people who are warm and caring. Your friendship was something I never expected at this point in my life...I love you...always...You're angels, all of you... You'll always be my sisters... always." I just about die.
I'll cry watching the same scenes from the same movies no matter how many times I've seen them before. Beaches? Steel Magnolias? Rudy? Holy tear fests.
I've been known to cry watching a performance; dance, theater, musical. Art is just so...lovely...when it's lovely.
I've also done my fair share of crying while reading. Books, articles, poems, short stories...the medium doesn't really matter. Words are magic to me and the *right* words are simply bewitching.
I laugh myself into tears often. This is the best kind of crying, of course; when there is no sound coming out of your mouth, you can hardly breathe from the joy of what just happened or was said and tears are silently rolling down your cheeks. In my humble opinion, tears from laughter is about as present as you can get.
My tears have little to no filter. It matters not who I may be with at that moment. If those puppies start prickling in the corners of my eyes, they are coming out come hell or high (salt?) water.
Crying is a release for me. I fully acknowledge that tears have the ability to make some folks uncomfortable (I've seen that proof on many an occasion! Can't you just picture the "this is awkward" squirm?) but it's never made me antsy or anxious to see another person cry. It's true what they say. Sometimes I really do just need a good cry.
I remember once in college I was sitting in the HUB (the student union building at Penn State) eating lunch by myself when I looked up and saw a girl crying at her table. Now, this girl was not meekly sniffling or attempting to hide her tears. She was full on shoulders shaking, tears-flowing, tip toeing on the edge of sobs. She also was not sitting alone. She was sharing a booth with 3 other ladies, presumably her friends. What struck me so hard about this scene is that none of the 3 girls were paying much attention to her, let alone offering comfort. The best way to describe this image is to say they were kind of awkwardly sitting, glancing around the room and at one another, not speaking a word. They weren't fidgeting or squirming. In fact, I'd venture to say they looked more annoyed than anything else. After several minutes of witnessing this strange scenario I couldn't take it anymore. Without really thinking I ripped a page out of my notebook and wrote a quick quote from Sex and the City (this was when the show was still airing new episodes): "As we drive along this road called life, occasionally a gal will find herself a little lost. And when that happens, I guess she has to let go of the coulda, shoulda, woulda, buckle up and just keep going." Then I folded the page, walked over to their booth, bent down and said, "Hi. May I give you a hug?"
Without saying a word or ceasing her tears the crying girl shook her head yes, reached out her arms, and wrapped them around me as I wrapped mine around her. We then squeezed each other in a genuine hug.
Good Lord did that girl hug me.
After a few moments we released our embrace and I handed her my folded piece of paper. Then I patted her on the shoulder, mustered my best "everything is going to be OK!" smile and walked away. I didn't wait around to hear why she was even crying. I didn't ask and she didn't offer up the information. I guess for me, in that moment, it didn't really matter. I simply felt compelled to let her know in a small way that it was OK to not be fighting back tears.
I suppose I've never seen the point in swallowing your emotions. If they are strong enough to illicit a physical manifestation of salty water from your eyes, whether it be from sadness, joy, gratitude or inspiration...then perhaps they don't deserve to be stifled. Now, this is not to say that people should crumble into a fit of weeping at every turn. Taking a moment to breathe yourself into calm is always highly encouraged. I also don't mean to imply that if you don't cry as often as someone else that there is something wrong with you. There is certainly much to be said for the ability to remain in a state of strength (thank God for those "rocks" in my life!). We are all built so differently that one persons reaction should never be ranked on the genuine-scale against another's. Trust me, I totally understand the urge to tell others (and myself!) to buck up and move forward. I guess I just don't think crying is necessarily a sign of weakness. I think it can make things (life, a scenario, an emotion) very real. And in a world full of fake and phony, real is something to be admired.
I guess what I'm trying to say is...
Hi. My name is Trish. I am crier. And I am officially embracing it.
How about you?