Sobbing. Bawling, Tearing up. Weeping. Welling up.
There are a lot of different ways to describe crying.
Being in my 40s I kind of through that a simple holiday like Valentine’s Day would no longer have the power to make me cry, but this year it did. Twice.
First though, it was tears of joy.
I am the principal of a middle school and one of my sweet 8th grade girls created some Valentine’s Day fortunes for her friends. I saw one on another girl’s plate and it read:
“I’m dieting this Valentine’s Day, so I’m accepting diamonds instead of chocolate”
Very cute, very fun, and very appropriate.
So she asked me if I wanted one. I asked if they were “principal appropriate.” She smiled and said “Mostly.” I guess I could have walked away at that point, but they were cute and she really is a good kid. So I pick out a Valentine’s fortune. As I read it, the girls next to me starts reading it too and we burst out laughing.
The one I picked read:
“Wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day from the bottom of my boobs. I would say my heart but my boobs are bigger.”
We were all cracking up. I’m not sure whose face was redder – hers or mine.
She tells me to pick another one. So I do. And it read:
“I’m only in this relationship for your cute butt.”
I hand it back to her. The entire table is now hysterical. Tears are rolling down my face from laughing so hard. “Those are the only 2 that were bad at all.” She promises me, but I tell her I’m all done with her Valentine’s fortunes.
She frantically finds me another one that says:
“Yay! Valentine’s Day! That means discounted chocolate the day after.” I smile wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes.
While that moment of crying was a good one. My next Valentine’s Day tears were not shed in joy. I woke up at 5:00 in the morning and couldn’t fall back to sleep. That’s not usually a good sign for me. It’s when I start to think too much, and that’s exactly what happened.
I began to think about Valentine’s Day and being part of a couple, which I am not. And I started to get sad, really sad, about being alone.
And I cried. A heart wrenching, sobbing, all out bawling cry.
I hate being alone. I am afraid I will never have someone to share my life with, to share myself with. I am afraid I’m a burden to my friends. I’m sad that I feel so damaged that no one will love me again. So I cried.
But one thing is true about both of the cries I had on Valentine’s Day. They were both good for me, good for my soul.
The laugh until you cry cry, was great. It was fun. It made me smile. It made me feel good. And it is important to let yourself laugh and feel good.
The heart wrenching, tears pouring down my face cry, was also great. I spend so much of my time pretending that it doesn’t hurt and that I’m not sad, that it was great to just let it out and cry.
Being alone is hard. Being alone is scary. But being where I am now is better than were I was before. Sometimes it is hard for me to recognize and remember that. Giving myself permission to just cry and be sad is important. Just so long as I don’t get stuck in the sad tears and allow myself the tears of joy too.