I’m a crier, I’ll admit it. When my husband and I were first dating and he came to visit me in Los Angeles, I took him to see Waiting for Superman. I spent the last ten minutes of that film softly crying. Poor guy probably thought he was dating a person who forgot to take their meds. As he got to know me, he discovered I’m just a crier. That’s who I am. And thank God.
Two years ago, I was spending a lot of time going across town on a bus to get to school. I would listen to my iPod and cry the entire 60 minutes it took to get from downtown to Santa Monica. I was in school five days a week and there wasn’t a day during that first semester that I didn’t cry. My relationship had ended but we were stuck living together at a friend’s cramped apartment and I was trying to stay sober. Sometimes, the tears spilled off of the bus. One day, I called my mom from campus. Naturally, I cried about my life and about how hard it all seemed. She listened and cried too. She got it. My mom lived through an alcoholic marriage and two alcoholic children. But she encouraged me and cheered me on during that phone call. It was raining that day and I felt like I better get off the phone and head inside. We said goodbye and I started to descend the steps I was standing on. Upset and disoriented, I wasn’t watching myself and I slipped and fell on the slick steps. I bounced and landed on the pavement. A trio of hipper-than-hip black girls who looked like they should be in a magazine and not at a community college rushed over to my crumpled state. “Are you okay?” and “Oh my gawd! Did you hurt yourself” is what they cried out, generally concerned given the dramatic nature of my fall to Earth. And I meekly mumbled something like “Yeah. Thanks.” I pulled myself up and ran inside the library for more crying. That day, I remember wondering if I was ever going to stop crying or if sobriety meant I was doomed to a life of tears and falling down in front of cool people.
The whole thing seems comical now and embarrassingly perfect for that time frame of my life. And today crying is a release and shows that I’m alive and able to be emotionally moved by things. Like when saw Hugo on Christmas day, my husband and sister both saw me crying and sort of nodded to one another. They know I’m crier. That’s just part of who I am.