When Was the Last Time You Cried?
When people say they can't remember the last time they cried, I am shocked. More than likely, I have already cried that week. I am a busy, and passionately invested individual. I'd like to counter the notion that crying is bad or something we should hide in public. I cry watching Dobby die in Harry Potter for the trillionth time (sorry spoilers), when I see my friends hurting, or after almost every cross country race. Crying is a release, so whenever I feel so much that my head cannot hold all those thoughts and feelings in, I let it out. Pacing to the hallways to the nearest bathroom to cry is my patented practice. Still, while understanding that I need this, I still bring my water bottle to wash my face off and make sure it doesn't look like I cried. One reason I cry is frustration. When frustration boils in my brain, the very structure that binds my neurons seems to weaken and I crumble before building up from those ruins and tears. There is a sense of shame around emotions and deeply feeling, especially in male-dominated fields, like STEM. If I let myself cry a bit while programming for my robotics team, then I've let down every badass feminist. It becomes patronizing to be the only female programmer at my school, to the point that I fear anything I do will be representation for all female programmers. Often it seems my empathy and attention to detail, traits that are associated with femininity, are looked down upon or scoffed at. Being invested and caring a lot about things makes me a target for ridicule. I refuse to be ashamed of what makes me feminine. If femininity is associated with compassion, empathy, kindness, and crying, then lets turn that on its head. Many act as if compassion and empathy are weaknesses, but I believe that is what make me so strong. I care so much, probably too much, about everything.
Crying is often associated with fragility and in turn, women. Our patriarchal society creates a toxic atmosphere for men and women. We live in a world where "don't cry" or "crying like a little girl" are common phrases. This leads me to this question, why are our little boys "not crying"? I mean, I babysit, so I have seen plenty little girls and boys alike cry. We can see somewhere around the time they enter primary school, our boys stop crying. This sucks. I don't know what I would do without crying. I recently went 2 months without crying and by the end, I felt so crusty that when I finally cried, I cried some more with relief. We are depriving our boys of one of the most cathartic and expressive coping mechanisms. Crying is for everyone, we thrive off that high energy. Passion and involvement are the keys to living a fulfilling life. You cannot try to go about your dreams without diving head first, putting all your cards in. When you invest yourself in something so highly, you risk losing it all. Falling from that high up can be scary but you can never get there if you fear the fall. This is why I have taken 2018 as The Year of the Tears. The year I will let it all out, let people know how I feel, throw abandon into the wind and allow myself the unadulterated emotions wishing to course through me.