There is a common association with men not being ‘in touch’ with their feelings and being told not to cry, be a man etc etc. I have often found this a very odd thing to do a person, try to stop them feeling, try to alter their emotions to tell them that they shouldn’t cry like there is some sort of bad consequence that is attached to it and if they continue to cry a demon will come and consume them. Wouldn’t it to accept that the person is upset and tell then it’s okay to be upset; for me our sadness is just one of the emotions that helps us define our humanity. Despite my opinion on this I have found myself feeling the pressure to be a ‘man’ about things and not hide any tears which has been further impacted by my mother, who even when my father died didn’t tell me it was okay to cry, in fact she did the opposite and told me not to. I know she is not trying to alter me because she is disappointed by the fact that I do get affected by this way, this is just her way. I guess it is what she is used to and has tried to impart to me.
There are a lot of things that touch me emotionally in this way and if my brain is in the right place then certain pieces of music or tv/movies can move me easily to tears and often when I least expect it. It’s usually based around a subject I can relate to, let me give you a perfect example. A few months after my father died I choose to go and see the film Million Dollar Baby I had a rough idea what the film was about but stayed away from reviews and spoilers. The film at the time had been out for a while and I wanted to see it in the Prince Charles Cinema which is by far my favourite cinema in London because it’s comfortable and has that ‘lived in’ feel that most cinemas these days cannot achieve. I don’t doubt that the film’s storyline was enhanced by my fathers passing and I was in a vulnerable state as it was but had just no idea how powerful it was and how much it would affect me. I sat in the cinema with my then fiancé with tears rolling down my face unable to stop them and not wanting to, being utterly moved by what was happening on screen. Now this is not the first time nor the last time this has happened to me but it is one moment I will never forget because it struck so hard.
Other things that move me to this point are visual representations of people struggling past a certain emotional block or starting a journey on a lifetime ambition where they have had to work to get to the point they are at now. There is something in these examples that connect with me and again there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this as I have struggled with confidence since I can remember and having the power within you to say “Screw this I am going to follow my dreams” is something I have wanted to say for years. It takes me constantly reminding myself that I have already started to do this and have the big trip booked for this year which has been a dream for many years. So if someone was watching my life on screen the last two months would be some sort of montage (everybody needs a montage) where I sell things, give things to friends/charities and arrange things like immunisations, insurance, storage and so on before leaving on a plane (which happens on Feb 2nd) where we would fade to black and have to wait for the sequel.
So yes this is yet another one of those confessions where I want to stand up and be proud of who I am. Believe me this is more for me than it is for anyone reading this. I tell people that I see cry that it’s okay to cry and will try to make them feel safe when they get that upset I sort of want to do the same for myself. Empower myself with the knowledge and truly feel that it’s okay to be that emotional about something because you somehow relate to it. This is of course easier said than done but one day I might actually believe that statement, I think I am beginning to but there is still a large element of doubt.