Crying in public

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”

― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

I have cried in public. Several times.

I used to be (maybe still am) very shy and insecure.

How bad?

So bad that I would cry at nights, hide the wet tissues under my pillow, and wear dark eyeshadow the next morning to hide the puffiness. I was terrified that someone would ask: have you been crying?

Why?

Maybe I will talk about the why another day, thinking about it still tugs my heart a little. Emotional memory doesn’t lose its sharpness, it doesn’t get tardy.

But then, something changed. I don’t know exactly what. But I stopped caring. I have cried on the bus, at the gym, on the street, and on a plane.

I don’t cry all the time. I’m not depressed.

Crying is only an expression of a certain emotion. Like laughing, smiling, frowning. It’s humanly.

I used to be embarrassed of getting sad emotions. So I would hide it.

Being a female, expressing your emotions is more acceptable. But that’s because we are often perceived as weaker.

Having emotions and empathy do not equal weakness. They show that you are a functional person.

Men feel too. They might cry. That doesn’t alter the degree of their man-ness.

During upsetting quarrels, hit by a wave of desperate sorrow, I would fight a lump in my throat. I would sacrifice my voice, my words, and my logic. Because I would rather not let my opinion escape than a few drops of salty water.

I didn’t want to seem inadequate.

And if I pass a stranger on the street crying quietly, with an air of embarrassment around them, I won’t stare or get uncomfortable. I will let them feel their feelings.

Let’s all feel our feelings.

14 Responses

  1. My mother always told me that if I didn’t cry…I would explode. It is and always has been a release for me. Anger, hurt, happy, sad, whatever it is, I let it go, and often feel better afterwards.

    1. I hear what you’re saying. Same with me. Someone once gave me an advice that whenever I feel upset, put on a sad movie and just just cry. Then put cucumbers under your eyes and move on. haha

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