On Crying

25 November, 2020

I cry when watching romantic-comedies. I cry when listening to slow music. I cry on the floor, in bed, in the bathroom. I cry at the doctor's office. I cry at my therapist's office. I cry at the movies. I cry in front of my parents, my teachers, my friends. I cry on my dog. I cry in the morning, in the evening, and at night. I cry more than I care to admit and then I write sad poetry about the tears. I cry when I experience physical pain or experience emotional pain. I cry because I have allergies. I cry because I am sad. I cry because there is some force inside of me that is overwhelmed with emotion from time to time and my body releases those feelings through tears and that is okay. 

I never really understood how people could cry so much as a child and I reserved crying for big, overwhelming events. As someone who is no longer a child I realize that a lot of things in life are big, overwhelming events. I often cry in anticipation of things because the stress of knowing is enough. I know that the things that upset me are never random and the physical reactions I experience are the result of the emotions I bury. Tears for me are always a manifestation of something deeper, a strong connection to what is happening and they are always proof of how much I care, whether I want to admit it or not.

I never want to be emotional in front of people. People earn my trust and after years of breaking down my many, many walls, I deign to show them my emotions and only then might I cry in front of them. Children are taught that crying is something to be embarrassed about and real people do not have a strong emotional attachment to anything. I am slowly learning that crying does not make you weak. Caring does not make you weak.

I always have a hard time explaining why I cry. All it takes is the subtle motion of wiping your eyes for people ask: "what's wrong?" and I never know how to answer. The internet always tells me to be honest and the truth is I just feel a lot of things now. Maybe I don't deal with my emotions in a healthy way although I've tried all of the things they tell you to try: writing, journaling, painting, therapy, breaking things. Some help, some don't. There are more things to try, I guess. 

Sometimes I just look at myself in the mirror and cry because I don't understand what I see. Sometimes I cry when other people are happy. Movie endings make me cry. Speaking up makes me cry. Telling the truth makes me cry. In retrospect, these things are telling. It's weird how your subconscious knows things before you do, sometimes the body just reacts.

It feels like even when other people feel the same things, they are just too far away to count as real. I used to think that knowing other people feel the same is just another way of invalidating my own feelings, making them feel small, but it's really just a reminder that things are not as bad as they seem. The only thing that is comforting is knowing it can get better, you just have to wait a really long time, sometimes. 

A while ago my friend gave me a book with articles from RookieMag.com and looking through it reminded me that we all really have the same experiences. It really doesn't feel that way sometimes, a lot of the time, but a lot more things are relatable that I think they are. And that's the best thing, not being alone.


keeping secrets

12 November, 2020

I've kept secrets my entire life. Some people say that not telling the truth is the same thing as telling a lie, but I disagree. I think we all have to keep things to ourselves sometimes, it makes them more special that way. Maybe I keep secrets so that I never have to know what other people might think of me. I don't want their opinion on the things that are important but I wonder if it's wrong to hide things sometimes. I wonder if people would want to know.

Lately with all this time I have at home, I've been working on artwork and I am more tempted than ever to share it. Not having to see people in person or experience their reaction is motivating in a way to pursue what I want. I'm used to storing my poems or songs or drawings or writings for the future incase I have the courage or opportunity to show them in a way that is meaningful but now everything is up in the air. The future is so uncertain that I'm tempted to just post on my Instagram for everyone I know to see and then hide my phone so I don't have to deal with the consequences. I'm jealous of other people who are able to put themselves out there so easily.

Sometimes I think that I only make art so I can receive praise and attention from other people. Someone I know posted one of my drawings and it got a lot of really good responses, I didn't know that other people cared about what I did. When I feel really alone I try to think about all of the people who know I exist and try to remind myself they care. They care, I just wish I could speak to them.

The art I've posted online compared to the art that I haven't posted is proof that I don't do any of this for the attention. How can I think I'm vain when I keep everything a secret? When I put on more than a mask and hide more than my face, what does it mean when it feels like no one else really knows who you are? Maybe I'll get that same positive response again and it will mean everything. Maybe I'll put my heart out there because I've kept it inside for years and there will be no response at all, silence. Will the people who I think are cool, think I'm cool? Everything is so strange.

When I look at interviews of artists who I love, I am so thankful they decided to share their work. I am so thankful they had the courage. How can I compare myself to people like that? Am I a narcissist? What? If? I? Fail?  Keeping secrets gets tiring after a while and with time they don't mean as much. I want to show other people the things I care about and use their reaction as proof that they care about me. I want your validation but I don't want to want it. If other people can put themselves out there why can't I? Why can't I?


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