I hate crying. It makes me feel out of control, weak. I thought for a while that I’d actually forgotten how to cry – I suppressed any hint of tears often enough that it actually became difficult to allow myself to cry when given legitimate cause. However, this year I seem to have re-mastered the skill and I’m pretty sure I’ve cried more tears than in most of my life before this put together. All these things that I deeply care about have suddenly all come into conflict, and somehow this has turned me into a soggy, sniffly, puffy-eyed mess.
What an inconvenient time to re-learn how to cry – I’m supposed to be an adult after all. I’m surrounded mainly by people like my fellow TA’s, who had a conversation during finals grading about how *annoying* it is when students cry. And then complimented me on not being “one of those girls who cries.” I’m ashamed to admit that I wasn’t brave enough to correct their misconception. I have students to teach, papers to read, experiments to run, and just so much stuff that desperately needs to get done. All of this is pretty much impossible through the blur of a lacrymal waterfall, or the accompanying crippling bouts of self-loathing and temporary depression. Fortunately, I’ve mostly managed to contain any crying jags to the (always blessedly empty) women’s restroom or to behind the lenses of my super awesome sunglasses.
But today almost got me. A generally overwhelming morning combined with several sleepless nights and recent news of a former teacher’s death resulted in me frantically dousing my face with cold water and giving my emotions a stern talking to about 5 minutes before I had a scheduled meeting with my advisor. I managed to make the meeting (*and didn’t even cry during it, yay I’m amazing!*), but I’m praying my advisor didn’t notice the really *awesome* contrast between the red and blue in my eyes or my trembling hands. Pretty sure he already thinks I’m a bit dull, no need to add suspicions of emotional instability (or possibly drug use?) to that impression! Fortunately he didn’t seem to notice anything out of sorts (he is so wonderfully oblivious sometimes, thank goodness!) and only gave me the “wtf is wrong with you?” look once – when I managed to completely blank on the names of every single professor that I’ve ever had a class from at my grad university 😐
Ugh, why can’t I just deal with everything without channeling my inner 5-year old? At least I’m developing much more empathy to draw on in any future encounters with crying people 😦
(image from http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/crying1.htm)