The summer began with the attendance of two graduations. My brother graduated from High School, and my sister graduated from college. It makes me want to cry, seeing all these graduates and knowing that a new part of their lives are about to begin. And because my siblings are a part of this class of 2015, it makes me want to cry even more. I am so proud, excited, and scared for both my siblings!
I don’t usually express my emotions. Or rather, show them publicly. But if that rare moment occurs, it usually doesn’t go so well (that’s usually because I become a hot mess, the situation becomes somewhat awkward, and others don’t know how to react because the occasion is so rare). Even when I dance, I’m always told to perform more in my face.
I mean, I don’t even like to hug people. I don’t even express myself through the most simple expression of trust and intimacy (did you know that a hug releases 5% of stress? They don’t say whether it has to be a good or bad hug, so I’m assuming all hugs in general release dopamine. There is no prejudice. Man, maybe this is why I’m such a miserable person. My friend did tell me that she felt I have been a miserable old lady since I was 5…I need to hug!). I just want to be clear though, I do hug people because everyone does it. But if I did not conform to social norms, and I was confident in the choices I made, rather than being self-conscious that whatever it is I want to do is looked down upon, or deemed awkward and weird, by my millennials, and the society I live in today, I would freely choose not to greet with hugs. Rather, I would greet and send people off with high fives!
Even though crying is a little bit different than giving hugs, they kinda have the same purpose. They’re used to release stress and/or happiness. They’re used to show a form of vulnerability and intimacy. They’re used to express one’s feelings, and they’re used every day.
Now I feel like I have to justify myself. Just because I don’t like to physically express my emotions openly, does not mean that I am not an emotional person. In my daily soul searching struggle (ah, was that just an example of alliteration?), I find myself to be a very sympathetic and even empathetic person. It’s just easier for me to contain my emotions whenever I feel like crying in public. I personally feel like crying shows weakness. Or maybe I just care way too much about what others think. Or maybe I’ve given myself that excuse for so long that I’ve trained myself to stop myself before letting anything happen.
For example, my sister is moving away to New York. Not for college, but to start a new life. This past Monday was her graduation day. It would be the last time I would see her before she moved off to New York the following weekend. I told her how proud of her I am. I told her that I wanted to cry and that I would miss her. I mentioned that I wanted to cry, because I wanted her to know how sincere my feelings were at that moment. Coincidently, as I said those words, I felt a soreness in my throat developing. It was the feeling of my tears crawling up as I was trying to suppress them before they burst out of my eyes. I subconsciously told them to stop, and the tears were soon under control. Unlike how I said I was going to, I did not cry. I stopped myself from crying in front of my own sister.
Sometimes I feel like what I say isn’t validated until I show it. Without a doubt, my sister knew that my words were honest. But no matter how much I wanted to cry, I did not. I just wish I did because rather than telling her, or having her know my feelings, I wanted to show them.