As always, I'm not entirely sure what this blog post will be about, but bear with me, you've clicked on the link, you may as well read my ramblings (Killer logic).
I never cry.
I'm not sure if I have viewed it in the past as a 'not manly' occupation or if it's because I bottle up anger/sadness into a great big ball which bounces around my insides like a rocket. Or maybe it's my British stiff upper lip. It's one of these things, I think, or I could be an emotional cripple. Who knows. I remember one big sob on my also red-eyed brother's shoulder once at my Grandfather's funeral. My big manly brother who I spent my life idolising was red-eyed. And that made it alright for me to show emotion. ( I'm sure child psychologists would have a fucking field day with this shit) That stuck with me.
I'm sure I've cried over scraped knees and the like, but besides that, my tear ducts have remained largely dry for the duration of my remembered life.
This huge part of my emotional makeup has been treated to a few crushing blows over the last year.
After a particularly harrowing English lesson (seriously, it's a thing) reading a story from the POV of a self-harmer, I cried onto the shoulder of one of my favourite teachers in the world. Everyone had left the classroom, and I was sat on my own in the corner with my head in my hands. I got up to leave - you know when your insides go all funny? Well that happened. She noticed that the normally sarcastic/pretentious/loudmouth wasn't being sarcastic/pretentious/loudmouth and I believe her motherly instincts kicked in. It was a very surreal moment. Hundreds of lower-school kids streaming past a classroom with an open door, as a tall year 13 sobbed his heart out into a much smaller hug. I quickly pulled myself together, apologised for having wet her cardigan, and ran.
On a rainy day in February this year, sitting in a park in Cardiff with a good friend, I cried for what must have been a good four or five sobs. They were good ones too. Real heartbroken ones. Real. I was talking at them regarding the death of a family member I never met, and how I wish I had have met them. The day before I'd received a message from another good friend completely out of the blue, telling me that they "remember them like it was yesterday... imprinted on my mind". As I recounted this I broke down and sat, in the rain, as joggers and couples walked past, sobbing my snotty nose onto my friend's shoulder. Several seconds later I rubbed my eyes and was done. That was quite enough public emotion for one day/month/year/lifetime. I felt like a less attractive Ryan Gosling; tear/rain streaked cheeks and a heavier heart than I wished to have.
Yesterday I received some heartbreaking news. I looked at my phone and stored that particular nugget away for what I presumed would be several years. This morning I woke up, strode downstairs, made a coffee, gave my Mum a hug, and proceeded to break down on her shoulder. Most unlike me, if you know me. I mean, the coffee wasn't THAT good. We were interrupted from that heartfelt moment by someone asking to get past. We were blocking the way. Good old real life, choking quality film moments with crushing reality.
I guess in that hug with my Mum, and the hug with my friend, and the hug from that teacher, I learnt that real, deep sobbing into someone's shoulder is one of the most human things we have available to do. This isn't about to descend into cheesy Nike territory, if I say "Just do it" (Trademark, sorry Nike) feel free to leave. I would. What I will say is this. Those people you rush through life with are beautiful people. Take time to appreciate them occasionally. You never know if the next day they might not be there to mock you or make you a cuppa.
I don't think these happenings will make me 'in touch with my emotions'. I don't really do that, it's not my style. This is just a little bit of catharsis for me. And if, because of this post, one person smiles at one more person, or gives one more person a big bear hug when they next see them, I consider this a very worthwhile post.