Ever since I can remember holding a pen, I remember writing. Words are my constant companion, my solace, my connection to humanity. I write because I must, but I also write to share a common experience. If one of my sentences makes you feel like you are not alone in this wide world, then I have done my job. We have so much to share as human beings, don’t we? Thank you for letting me share my words.
January 29, 2014 | 07:00 PM
All the things.
Every. Single. Thing.
I'm a crier -- a messy, red-nosed, puffy-faced crier. I cry happy tears, sad tears, grateful tears, angry tears, scared tears, confused tears. I cry them all.
Lately, though, I think I'm getting worse. Hormones? Age? Not giving two shits about crying in front of people? Maybe all of the above?
Here are a few things that have brought me to ugly tears lately:
1. The Dolphin Show at the Indianapolis Zoo. This happened right before we moved to Mississippi, but it's still one of my kids' favorite stories. "Rocketeer" played in the background as the dolphins performed, and I was a Hot Mess. There were so many memories -- gajillions of trips to the zoo with my four kids, my beloved hometown, The Move, my friends, my extended family, the unknown… and the dolphins themselves. Were they happy jumping through hoops?
2. A 6th Grade Band Concert. Those precious kids were so excited to be onstage, strutting their stuff… and then their special guest was announced. And from the back of the auditorium, the high school pep band burst in and up the aisles, playing the school's fight song with all their collective might. The looks of adoration on those 11-year-olds' faces melted my heart… and, apparently, my tear ducts, too.
3. Brandi Carlile's "Turpentine," the Indigo Girls' "Ghost," and Anyone Singing "River." Those are the top three songs that make me cry, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. There are 1,000,000 songs that are tear-inducing for me. And I know the lyrics to every single one of them.
4. Getting Pulled Over for Speeding. This has only happened once in my life, and I was so overwhelmed and nervous, I burst into tears when the officer greeted me. My naysayers (aka, Chris) claim it was all a ploy to get out of a ticket, but I was genuinely hysterical. Even I was taken aback by my reaction. The officer actually apologized for making me cry and asked me to compose myself before I drove again. Five minutes later, I pulled away with a warning… and a great deal of snot on my sleeve.
5. The Wake County SPCA Pet Adoption Video Set to "Take a Chance on Me." It started with cats -- and I don't even like cats -- but I was bawling my brains out anyway. And then came the dogs. Oy vey.
6. Paying Our Bills. Every. Single. Time. It always amazes me that with multiple degrees, 2 full-time jobs, and a slew of freelance gigs, we never have enough money. And then I remember this: four kids. Orthodontia, glasses, contacts, doctor bills, lunch money, yearbook orders, clothes, shoes, sports-associated clothes and shoes, sports enrollment fees, lacrosse helmets, musical instruments, school trips, FOOD. Oh, the food! The Willis kids are like vultures when it comes to after-school snacks. Have you ever seen pack animals stalking their prey? The circling, the take-down, the frenzied feast? Yeah, that's what it's like in my pantry. I thought the financial pressure might ease up a bit once we were done with daycare and diapers. But I forgot to factor in a few things. Like ALL THE TEENAGE things.
7. Looking at Pictures from Spring Breaks Past. Maybe it's the friendships that once were… and now aren't. Maybe it's the treasured memories with incredibly special people. Perhaps it's the kids with sun kissed noses and freckled cheeks. Or maybe it was the snow blinding me from outside my back window as I flipped through my photo archives. And the -40 degree wind chills. Yes, I think that was probably it.
8. Beer Commercials. One beer commercial, in particular. For Guinness. The one about the twins at the 2014 Olympics? You haven't seen it? Google it now. Get your tissues.
9. The Fault in Our Stars Movie Trailer. Oh, John Green. Enough said.
10. Conversations that Take Place After Two or More Glasses of Wine. Inevitably, those let's-change-the-world conversations that happen after more than two glasses of wine have been consumed always bring me to my teary knees. And all conversations that happen after more than two glasses of wine ultimately result in plans to change the world.
I've heard that crying is healthy and cathartic, so I'm embracing it. I've also heard that a glass of red wine every day is good for you as well.
Dudes, I'm gonna live to be 115.