I have mentioned on here that I am a crier. Well, I’ve always been one. Even if I yawn too much, I get tears in my eyes. My emotions have always been right at the surface though. I am very quick to laugh. I am almost as quick to cry.
As we grow older, somewhat wiser, we start trying to hide those emotions from people. We watch what we laugh at, lest we laugh at something inappropriate and LET ME TELL YOU, I am completely an inappropriate laughter. Sometimes it just comes out in bad situations. Probably a tension breaker, but I am working on trying to control that. The crying is a whole other thing.
Sometimes I can really control it. I’ve had some moments in my life when I’ve really, badly, wanted to cry but have kept it in. Then again, especially lately, sometimes the tears just won’t be kept at bay.
I have cried no less than five times this past weekend. In two days. Not just little, dainty, letting a tear escape beautifully down the cheek crying either. Full on, breath-catching, runny nose ugly crying. Okay, twice I kind of did it to myself (movie, book) but the other times were completely unexpected. I just…cried.
I started to wonder though, why work so hard to not let those emotions out? Yeah, I don’t like people to see me cry, I don’t think anyone does really, but why try to keep those honest to goodness feelings all bottled up? I spend time making sure my kids know it’s okay to have feelings and express them, why can’t I take my own medicine? Because of pride? Could be. When you’re an adult and a parent it is so much easier to wear the strength card and hold everything in to ‘set an example’ or to be strong where others maybe can’t but in doing so, it’s easy to forget that we need those little moments to let our guard down too.
I spent a good many years, over half of my thirties to be exact, hiding my emotions. I let things go, I folded them up and tucked them way back into the tiny corners of my brain where I wouldn’t have to see them and I put on the face of what I thought everyone needed and wanted to see from me. It didn’t serve me well.
Then, I started confronting some of those old, wadded up feelings that had been stuffed down for so long and an amazing thing happened. When I finally started to really look at them, and deal with them, I felt better.
Since Shawn’s heart attack, I had been wearing that mask again. I felt that it was a necessity for a few weeks there. I have children to consider and having them see me break down on a daily basis would have hurt them more than helped them. They needed to see me strong and optimistic. I also had work to get back to. No good falling apart there either. Then we had family over and, as much as I love them, extended family is not where I want to fall apart either. So, the way I see it now is that my best friend is finally home and all those things that I held onto for necessity are finally coming out. Through my eyes. Regularly.
And it’s okay. I’m learning a lot of things are okay. It’s okay for me to say no. It’s okay to ask for help when I need it and decline it when I don’t. It’s okay to be my own advocate and to hold firm to my beliefs without having to apologize for believing in them. It’s okay to be vulnerable with my husband. It’s okay for my kids to see me cry and let out my own emotions. Where my mantra a few weeks ago was “I don’t care” (mostly in regards to not caring about anything but seeing Shawn recover and keeping the kids and I sane), it’s now: It’s okay. Because it is and it will be. No matter what life chucks our way, and believe me, life has a bit of a hard-on for throwing feces at us, I can handle it. And when I can’t, I can cry. It doesn’t make me weaker. It makes me human.