I was 12, It was a weekday afternoon. I was in the middle of a science lesson. Instead of focusing on the properties of a Bunsen burner, I was focusing on the fact my classmates were sneering at me on something based on a lie. I didn’t know what to do apart from cry. The moment the bell went I ran.
I didn’t know where to go, if I went to the bathroom, there was the potential, they would follow me and laugh at me for crying in a cubicle. Going to my German lesson in this shaking state was out of the question so I went to the school nurse. The moment I reached the room I cried. I think this was one of the first moments I cried in front of someone who wasn’t my parents.
What happened next was powerful. I was five minutes late for my lesson. I got a note explaining where I was and I walked into the lesson composed but scarred and the whole room knew it. It was the first time I cried in public because my heart was shattered and I didn’t know how to deal with it.
Crying gave me strength. It gave me the relief I needed to move forward. Part of that was the notion of having someone with me while I was crying but the other was my classmates knowing how upset I was. My teacher was slightly oblivious but the kids knew something had happened. They knew I was upset and how their words affected me. They were mindful when speaking to me for the rest of the day.
That afternoon, crying in public, made me strong, it showed me I can control where I express my emotions, when to give in to the feelings and when to hold back. It taught me, there is strength in allowing people to know you had a wobble and cried a little bit. It isn’t a weakness the world can make it appear to be.
Why am I sharing this? because earlier this month, I needed to cry at work. I thought it was the worse thing I could do and while it may not be the best thing in the world, it really did not have the detriment effect I imagined it would have, in fact, it enabled me to focus afterwards rather than stewing with my emotions in my brain. So the next time you feel like crying, cry, cry without feeling apologetic about it.