This is not a statement made because I am male and I certainly don’t hold back (as most of you know about me) because I’m ashamed, fearful of what others may think or that I feel the need to reinforce an archaic social belief. This, like most of my writings, are an offering of sorts; an explanation not for the sake of explaining but to offer another perspective.
I hardly cry.
Now to make a distinction, I do shed a tear or three at times – – I’m an emotionally charged and driven person – – but I cannot recall the last time that I just cried. In no way do I feel it’s wrong to do so, in fact I find solace in others doing so. It’s what I feel to be “uncontrollable caring”. An outward manifestation of pain relief and understanding, an expression for the world to be reminded that others experience as well.
I am not proud that I am this way nor am I ashamed, but I will make an odd admission: I am as so because I choose to be.
It probably seems a bit backwards, ironic or stupid that I would even believe it’s a choice but I ask you hear me out. I have an overwhelming appreciation for the now but my fascination with what’s next generally supersedes my rationale. I say that it’s a choice because I talk myself out of it most of the time, I rationalize what’s occurring and begin to question everything. What is happening? Why are others crying? How was my life better for having experienced whatever it is? Now, some would say it’s a distraction, and I will agree that to a small degree it is, but this isn’t like texting while driving in the Indy 500, this is more comparable to looking at the floater in my vision on a random rainy day. There is a sense of enjoyment in appreciating the smaller things, be it happy memories or good vibrations. I internalize many things, but this shouldn’t be confused with bottling things up, it is quite the opposite. I am processing everything I can think of and it takes awhile to go through the years of whatever it is that lead up to that very moment. I am opening the blinds, letting the sun in… I am remembering.
I used to cry a lot growing up, pretty much about everything I felt wronged about. The kid at school was mean, I didn’t get my way, I didn’t feel I was getting enough attention (middle child problems), I don’t want to clean up my room, a person I love had died, a person I love has had someone die and the list is much longer. At some point, and I’m not sure when, but I stopped. I didn’t quit, or vow to quit, I just started thinking more. I started expressing myself differently regarding those sort of situations. I started observing and listening more, and accepted that just because others are doing it, that I didn’t need to.
So I thought. I watched. I drew. I wrote.
As contradictory as it may seem, I am a cry baby. The wonderful nature of being emotionally intense and awkwardly indifferent about what form of expression is necessary in a given situation. I still am though, with a caveat. My tears do not come in a liquid form, they instead leak out through my writing. Now, this is not saying every piece I write is me crying, but in moments when one would typically want to cry, I write (after a bunch of thinking) instead. I have been told in the past that when I’m deep in thought, which is quite often, that I appear that something is wrong; the usual response being that nothing is wrong because it is true. I don’t believe that something must be wrong to be deep in thought, it’s just kind of where my mind usually is for one reason or another, but it’s always because I want to understand something. It is those points of contemplation that I get to answer why so that I can ask another question, to shed my fears and concerns one word at a time. I may not always do it immediately, or ever, but I will always explain myself when I can, and much like crying tears works for some, my crying tears because they are written down.