I believe that life is strange. The crazy little moments that don’t make sense, or don’t fit in the scheme of this life is almost like nature’s way of saying, got you! The really small tree with the huge shadow; or the sheer rock formed into the most beautiful of art. The upside down, and twirling masses of beauty that doesn’t follow logic or a pattern. The curve balls, the Hail Marys, the last chances.
Humans are creatures of habit. We like patterns, we like knowing what is coming next; even when we profess to be spontaneous or daring. There is still this innate need to have continually. Think about it; you may love to jump off high things, but don’t you use the same shampoo every day? Do you use it because it works, or do you use it because you really don’t want to try and try until to you find another you like? Some may claim that is just laziness, but I truly believe it is a sign that we all need a certain amount of comfort in predictability. I take comfort in the idea that if everyone is doing it, than it isn’t bad for me to need that dullness in my life. (Don’t bring the bridge and everyone jumping off of it up…I don’t care).
And there are other things that I depend on my life. I like knowing that when I look out my bedroom window the vista isn’t going to dramatically change. I like knowing that what I see is the same thing that was there yesterday. I like knowing that in certain instances I can predict how I am going to react, and how I am going to feel. Mention sexual assault and I don’t care who you are, I will speak up. I feel passionately about it, always have. But there is more than just those few topics, or the big reactions. I like depending on certain truths, even if those truths are not easy or particularly pretty.
For instance, I don’t cry. Period. End of sentence. I can literally count on my hand the number of days, months and years since the last time I cried. I can picture exactly where I last cried, what I was wearing and even what got me crying in the first place. And besides the time I watch The Notebook on television, I haven’t cried since. It has been eleven years. Eleven years of holding it in, keeping the image up, and basically faking my way through those one or two tears I needed to get my point across. For a long time I tried to cry anyways, but I soon got too frustrated. I researched the idea that maybe my tear ducts dried up, but something tells me the answer isn’t that easy.
I have spent the last eleven years, particularly the last three, building very high walls. Walls to keep out the emotions but also walls to protect my vulnerable heart. It is a lesson I learned early on in life; how to protect myself. I could sit here and blame someone for the need of that lesson, but I belive that sometimes we do it out of a strong desire to protect ourself from possibilities. I believe I have been protecting myself this whole time not from something that happened, but from the possibility that something would happen. And maybe it happened just enough that the more it was verified the higher my walls were built. I am not sure yet, but the end result was that I built those walls so high, and dug myself down so deep, that I could not and have not cried.
I am just coming to the point where that bothers me. I am just figuring out the importance of crying and the importance of that all power release. Crying I believe is a much more powerful and fuller release than an organism, the only other thing that seems to allow your emotions to fly out. The big Os don’t last long enough; but the tears do. Saying all this, I will admit, there is a part of me that is concerned that if I start crying I may never stop. I may make myself so sick with the flood of emotions that it becomes much more than a release; but maybe even a small death.
I say all of this to get to here: In the last month my life has begun to dramatically change. I am learning about myself in ways I never would without this change. I am learning about my secrets, those secrets we keep so deep even our own soul has problems acknowledging them. I learning about courage, the real courage of being me. I am learning slowly about worth. (I have not gotten close to either resolving or understanding self-worth but this is the first time I have had to question it.) I am learning that the answers I thought I could depend on, were never there and were never true. And it is such a massive change that it has become a daily battle to take one step forward. I almost feel like there are a thousand soldiers in front of me, all with swords drawn, and because I am one, I have to fight them each one at a time. And every time I take a step forward, I have to acknowledge that it isn’t the last, and I am not close to winning the war.
But through this dramatic change and reformation that is battling against my very soul, each and every day, comes the growing desire to cry. For the first time in years it is there, the need to cry. The physical burn behind my eyes, the holding of the breath before the great release, the knowledge that slowly, like lava out of a mountain, the tears are coming out of my soul and closer to the sun. They are, for the first time in so many years, felt.
That knowledge doesn’t make me excited, there is no happiness that accompanies that realization. Instead it like one of those great mysteries in nature; you see it, you may even be able to feel it, but you don’t understand how. Is my soul finally finding healing, so that it can cry? Am I finally being honest, and therefore opening windows that have been rusted shut? Will this journey end in me learning to cry again? And is that the war I am trying to win? Or is that a symbol that all that I have buried, all that I have felt and turned away from is finally being healed? Am I finally being healed in ways that I never have before?
I don’t know if I will ever cry again; I don’t know if I know how. But I am taking comfort that maybe the burning at the back of my eyelids is a sign that I am on the right path. Silly? I know it is silly. But in this war, in this journey and on this path, something so simple as the pain of tears can be a comfort. Who knows maybe I will finally find the strength and the trust to let it all go, and find the safe place I have been looking for all my life.