I remember it like all the things that stay with you. And also because I have a list in the event that my memory fails me. She happened eight years ago and the list has since grown to four people. But today I choose to talk about her, because she was the first embrace I knew, the first who noticed me, spoke to me and genuinely said ” Don’t talk, first cry, you will feel a lot better.”
I couldn’t possibly comprehend what was happening to me. Why it felt like a wave had hit me and suddenly i was breathless and gasping. Or why my vision got blurry and teary. Or why I couldn’t form coherent words for the life of me. The walls seemed to be closing in on me like a ghost in pursuit of what was its. Pushing my desk out of the way, I ran out, without caring about having to shove people out of the way, without caring about their prying eyes, just as long as I was out of that closed space.
It was such a relief, breathing again, but with it came the torrential tears. I couldn’t hold them back anymore, I didn’t have the energy in me. Holding onto the banister I let it all out, sobbing, heaving, panting, sniffing and repeating. It all felt as if I was crying for all that’s bad in the world. Like someone had set all of the world’s trouble onto my weak shoulders.My heart ached, my head throbbed, I couldn’t seem to run out of tears.Confusion, surprise and bitterness is all I felt.
I cried for all the dysfunction around me, I cried for being so far away from home, I cried upon the realization of life being one long painful struggle, I cried for my seemingly perfect exterior when I was a mess, I cried for being so imperfect amongst a crowd of perfect girls.I cried for Rebekah whose meals I could no longer share. I cried for the things that irked me so much but couldn’t change, I cried for all the times I had to fake a smile, or the times when I questioned if indeed my happiness was deserved.I cried for the transformation I was undergoing, and the painful process that it was. I cried for the inconvenience that I felt I was, the stupid unnecessary tears and for my first breakdown that was happening in the most inopportune place.
The funny thing about crying is you can’t seem to stop crying when someone shows their concern; when they ask you why you’re crying. And it’s like you find another reason to cry, and so you cry like your life depends on it;angry tears, sad tears, surprised tears, bitter tears.
At first I hadn’t noticed her presence, until she held me by the shoulders and drew me in for a hug. She didn’t speak, and so I let my cries fill the silence, I let them answer whatever questions she had. After what felt like eternity she rubs my back ever so gently and says ” how do you feel, you want to talk about it?”
And I shake my head no because now there’s a lump in my throat and my voice is sure to come out hoarse.
That was the first time I felt comfort in the arms of someone else other than myself. The first time I let go of myself so publicly, without holding back, without questioning if crying took away a part of the pain, without worrying about how I’d look after or how the other person would view me. It was also the first time I felt the healing power in tears, just how relieving it is to have someone by your side, assuring you that it’s a necessary process, a beautiful process, and it doesn’t mean you’re weak whatsoever. That it simply means that you’re a feeling human, a wholesome human, a truly living human.
Eight years later, this is me saying thank you to the lady whose white shirt I soaked, whose time I’ll never give back, whose kind heart and comforting words I’ll never repay. To Moureen, the woman with the most graceful walk, whose lips carry music for the soul, whose skin oozes never ending love, whose touch leave an imprint of happiness and better days, thank you.
A lot of other things make me feel better. Things like solitude, music, dance, workouts or books that make you linger on a sentence for a moment too long. But it’s the people in my list that I choose to feature today. People that have witnessed my facades fall way and helped me pull myself together nonetheless. Thank you.