I am not sure if it is because I am a guy or if it is because I am a freak, but there are times where it is really hard for me to acknowledge how I feel. It is almost like I am afraid of my feelings. For instance, if I am scared I get angry with myself for not being more “manly,” if I am happy I am embarrassed to really show it, and if I am sad I put on a “brave” face and try my hardest not to show it at all because for me there is nothing worse than crying, and I feel twice as bad if any one sees me crying. It is one of my biggest fears; to be seen crying.
Unfortunately, I cry a lot, twice in the past year or so in fact, so I am angry with myself all the time for being such a weepy little chimp. I have always been ashamed of this. You know, it wouldn’t be so bad if I really understood how these emotion things worked and if I could control them the way I want to, but I can’t seem to get a grasp on them let alone understand them.
But, do I really need to understand them?
I have asked myself this same question a number of times since the birth of my son, and I have come to the determination that I don’t.
We wouldn’t have feelings and emotions if we weren’t supposed to, so why do I run from them so often?
I remember the very first time I held my son. I was so happy, so proud, so scared, and I immediately loved him most of all. I just wanted to stare at him forever, wondering how it could be that he could make everything so perfect when he had just arrived in this world. Then, my view of him was ruined by my tears.
I didn’t know why I was crying, and, for the first time in my life, I didn’t care that I was or who saw me doing it. It just felt right. I didn’t need to make any excuses like “Oh man, I got something in my eye!” or “These aren’t tears. It’s just freakin’ hot in here and I am sweating like an over worked horse.”
It was so refreshing, holding my brand new slimy munchkin while I cried openly. It was like the perfect moment. I wasn’t embarrassed. I wasn’t ashamed. I was content. Honestly, I really didn’t even know I was crying until I tried to talk and found that I couldn’t because I was all choked up with emotion.
I could barely utter the words “Thank You!”
I didn’t know who I was thanking in particular.
I was just grateful, and not afraid to show it in the least. In fact, I really appreciated those tears because they were able to say everything that I only wish I could have verbally. It was such a relief to be able to show how much I cared even if I couldn’t find the words to say it.
Why can’t tears be a relief every time they make an appearance?
Yesterday, I cried and was really embarrassed about it. I was saying good bye to my baby brother and my practically sister in law who are moving to Florida when my eyes started leaking. I was almost mortified, but I couldn’t stop it from happening.
Again, I didn’t even know why I was crying.
Sure, I am going to miss having them around, but I am also really happy for them and excited for them and proud of them both for having the courage to chase after something that they want even if they aren’t exactly sure of the outcome. I don’t know if I could ever do that. It’s a major test of my bravery to just take the little man out shopping most days. I couldn’t imagine moving half way across the country.
That’s gotta take some balls!
Anyway, for whatever reason, I cried as I said my good byes to them. Man, it was embarrassing! I just wanted to run and hide, but I didn’t. I muscled through it as bravely as I could while I told them that I loved them both, and then they were gone to pack for their upcoming move.
I am still embarrassed that I cried, but after I thought about it for a little I am not nearly as embarrassed and ashamed as I was. Like when my son was born, I let my tears say what my mouth couldn’t find the words to. There’s no shame in that.
Hell, at least now they know that I truly do care.