Although society has taught us that "big boys don't cry," I learned that it's okay to cry from whom other than...
a guy? Yes, that's right a guy taught me that it's okay to cry... and it is, it really is, even for those of you "tough
guys" out there.
I wasn't really much of a crier, especially in front of people. I just didn't really care for a whole lot of attention,
still don't. When someone cries, it's kind of our nature to see what's wrong and try to make it better, and that created
attention that I didn't want, so I just didn't cry at all. I've certainly gotten better at not holding so much in though.
I still don't like crying in front of people but I've learned it's okay. I used to hold everything in; finally, when I couldn't
hold anymore in, the slightest thing would set me off.
For example, one year on Mother's Day, my friend said something about my mom working again. I started crying. It wasn't
what she said, or even so much that my mom was working on Mother's Day. I had been holding so much in, and was trying to
hide so much from so many people, that I exploded. The bright-eyed and bushy-tailed person that I appeared to be that day
and even the happiness that I was feeling, it was all fake. Happiness is something that people don't ask about, though...
something they don't try to fix. I guess my apparent quick and extreme change in mood is what surprised them the most.
Anyways, off the bunny trail. We were on our way back from a Steubenville Youth Conference in 2005 (it was my third year
going to that conference) and the guy who was sitting next to me went up to the front of the bus to take advantage of the
open mic time, when we had the chance to tell the bus about our experience at the conference. He talked about his first Steubenville
Meanwhile I was sitting and trying hard to listen as a million thoughts were rushing through my head. I was thinking
about everything that had happened to me at Steubie, everything I would try so hard to change and fail at yet again, and everything
that I wanted so much to share with everyone but didn't have the courage to. These thoughts were running through my head
even before he got up there, even as he was sitting next to me, but now I was sitting alone, and his talk kept triggering
other memories and other thoughts.
I buried my face in my arm to hide my tears and muffle my cries. I didn't want anyone to notice, I didn't want to cry.
Then he stopped talking and some of the thoughts disappeared and some turned to the realization that someone might see me
crying. But at that point I wanted to know that things would be fine, I wanted someone to notice that I wasn't okay, so I
kept crying. When he sat back down, it wasn't the feared, all-attention-on-Katie-creator, "What's wrong," that
came out of his mouth. He simply told me not to be afraid to cry, to let it out, and he gave me a hug, and with that let
me know that he was there for me.