I’ve always been a very emotional person. My mother I’m sure could tell you tales of me crying over the slightest thing. Im not embarrassed to admit this, its what makes me who I am today.

In my teenage years I toughened up, I shut out emotions, shut out what could effect me negatively. I was pushed around, spat on, sworn at and made to feel like nothing by my peers. I found solace in my school work, in the fantasy realms of books and video games. I learnt hard lessons about friendships, about where I fit in, and about myself.

I avoided conflict as much as possible. I stifled my emotions in the faces of those who tormented me. I learnt that crying wouldn’t help me get through secondary school. I masked my emotions with smiles, I was able as I got older to completely disregard the negative. I found friendships that have lasted, other intelligent people who didn’t act upon the base emotions of anger and jealousy. I found happiness.

Perhaps you are thinking that I shouldn’t have hidden myself, that emotions are meant to be felt in their entirety. I say to you, that I agree to an extent, and believe me, these emotions I swallowed found outlets, in artwork, in writing, in the pouring out of love to my family. I say to an extent, because I believe that there is a time and a place for tears, I believe my mothers words, to never let those who hurt you, see you cry.

Why am I telling you this? Because tonight I cried. And once again in my adult life, it wasn’t out of sadness, but out of sheer happiness. By being so moved by something, that the only way this flood of emotions could manifest itself, was through warm, salty tears.

I read a story tonight about a woman who’s second child was unexpectedly born with Downs Syndrome . It was raw, unapologetic writing. She didn’t hide her discomfort, her pain. She shared her experience in its entirety, most of all, she shared her hope. It’s amazing to read of a parents love that really does brighten up any dark recess of our lives. It made me look internally at whatever “struggles” I have felt. They all seem tiny in comparison to what she has experienced.

I have cried this evening not because I feel sorry for this woman, but because I have never read a more beautiful, inspirational and raw birth story. I have cried because I am thankful to have had a healthy child placed into my arms.

I am thankful that in my adult life I have found an appropriate place for tears. I cried the day I got married, the day I left my family, the day my son was born and many times since. I am not ashamed. It’s not shameful to feel with your whole being, to be really moved, to let life rock you sometimes.

I am thankful.


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