This I Believe

Cynthia - La Puente, California
Entered on July 24, 2007

When I was a kid I used to think that when it rained the clouds were crying. They turned dark gray, almost black, and the sky rumbled as if it were wailing while fat tears fell to the floor, showering us. Now that I’m older I realize that the clouds aren’t crying, but I still look up at the sky and wonder if it is sad or simply in the need of a good cry.

I’m an emotional person and I cry often. Whenever I am upset I lock myself in the bathroom, sit on the tiled floor and cry. I go there when I do not want anyone to see me, to talk to me, to hear me. My parents always tell me that crying doesn’t accomplish anything and it makes you feel physically drained. Something inside me does not believe them, though. I believe there is more to crying than convulsion and tears.

After all, I do not only cry when I am sad or angry. When I shared the draft of a novel I am working on with a couple of friends and saw them reading every word as though they could not bear to put the pages down, I felt myself tearing up from the sheer joy of having my work read and appreciated.

It might look strange to some people to see me laugh and cry at the same time, but I believe that when you are as emotional as I am, crying is as natural as breathing. When you are in a state of bliss, tears somehow sneak out of your eyes. When you are devastated, they march in droves. When you are angry they escape rebelliously. When you are terrified they come out without you even realizing, as if you are numb and they cannot be felt.

Sometimes I still lock myself in a room and my suppressed feelings come out in tears. Happiness, depression, stress, scorn—every color of the emotional rainbow trickles down my face despite how I try to keep them locked away. Tears are a way to break off the masks we wear day after day to hide who we really are. You can’t lie about being sad when you’re crying; tears easily give you away.

I believe that crying is a way to release our emotions in ways that words cannot.

My tears scream at people when I clutch the sides of my head and will myself to disappear. They said “goodbye” to my friend after her graduation ceremony when I couldn’t tell her myself. They sighed “I should have studied more last night” after every test I was sure I failed. They giggled after every time I lost my breath from laughing too hard. They

whispered, “I love you,” while my heart tried to keep it secret.

Maybe crying doesn’t change anything, but it does help me understand my feelings. It draws me closer to people not because I’m in need of their sympathy, but because it makes me more honest. Crying helps me become myself more so than smiling, laughing, or speaking. Tears are truth. That’s what I believe.