This I Believe

Megan - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on November 16, 2007

Cry a River

I believe in crying during movies, and not caring if anyone sees. I believe that the more people who laugh at you, the stronger you grow. I believe that showing emotion makes you human. And I believe that crying is a good thing.

The first movie I ever saw in a theatre was Pocahontas—you know the Disney version. I cried at the end, and walked out of theatre wiping my eyes, telling my sister that they were just watering. I cry at the end of Beauty and the Beast. I sob like nothing else you’ve ever heard when Sirius Black dies in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In Pirates of the Caribbean, my eyes were swollen when Will Turner got stabbed. I couldn’t breathe for ten minutes after the end of Phantom of the Opera. Actually, I think the entire theatre heard me sobbing for Sirius…

I was at a Christmas party. When I got back, I found my family watching The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring, a movie I had never seen. The place where I came in was the spot where Boromir dies. I had no idea what was going on, who he was, why he was dying, or who had killed him, and I broke down sobbing. I’ve seen the whole movie about fifty times now and I still cry. My sister calls me pathetic, but she does the same thing, only quieter.

What I’m trying to say is that, basically, every single movie I’ve ever seen, I’ve cried somewhere. Tears of joy in Pride and Prejudice, tears of laughter in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, tears of sadness in Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, tears of anger in The Thief Lord. Heck, if I even cried during Finding Nemo, I can cry during anything.

I know other people who cry during movies as well, but no one that I know is quite as prevalent as I am. But there are other emotional people out there. Other people who cry. I believe they are just better at hiding it, because they don’t want people to laugh at them, or call them sissies.

I’ve gotten used to people laughing at me. They’ve been doing it since I was five. I tend to ignore it now, or laugh right back at them. I’ve had some people look at me and say, “It wasn’t that sad.” Then I explain to them that I thought it was, and if they didn’t think so, that’s all right. Other people tell me, “He’s just a fictional character.” However fictional they may be, I still cry for them, because it’s still sad. They’re still dying their fictional death. And I get attached. Movies draw me in, and make me a part of their story, make me believe they are real for a few moments, and I get attached to the characters as if they were mine. And because I’m so attached, I cry.

When I was little, when people laughed at me for crying, I used to cry harder—I’d get offended. But the more movies I saw in the dark—in the theatre—the more I cried. More people laughed. But I realized that it didn’t matter if they thought I was weird, because I was sad, and I wanted to cry. I began to laugh at people who told me that it wasn’t sad, and I began ignore people who called me names or made fun of me. I believe my crying over movies actually taught me how to stand up to people, and I believe it made me stronger.

I once had someone ask me why I cried at the end of a movie. They wanted to know why I couldn’t just keep how I felt to myself. I asked them if they thought it was sad, and they responded no, they thought it was simply the course of the movie. I just ended the conversation, but in my head, I was telling them that they had a heart of stone. I wondered how they could be so calm about it, and then I found myself wondering why I wasn’t calm about it. My sister told me that I was just emotional, and it was okay. But I couldn’t help watching the dry eyes of the people around me and wondering if they felt no emotion. If they didn’t care about these fictional characters, did they feel for real live ones? Were they capable of feeling the strength of emotion that I felt in everything? Or were they cold on the inside? I began to believe that emotion was what makes humans just that, humans. And if they can’t show emotions, I believed that they weren’t being human to the fullest extent they could be. I believe that you have to be strong and unafraid of crying, because in the end it helps you be human.

I’ve always believed that crying is a good thing. When I was very little, and afraid of the dark, my mother used to come into my room and tell me that everything was going to be okay, that there was nothing lurking in my closest, and that it was okay to cry if I wanted to. I believed that if I cried hard enough, my fear would leak out with my tears and I would be okay. I would calm down, and I would stop fearing the dark. When I’m very angry—or even a little angry, sometimes—I tend to cry. And if I cry for long enough I calm down, because my anger flowed away with my tears. When I’m sad, I cry and the more I cry the more my breathing becomes even and my sadness runs down with my tears. Crying is for me the outlet that many people find in shouting or hitting or screaming. I believe that if the world screamed a little less, and cried a little more, it would a more peaceful place. I believe that emotions flow in tears and if you have too much of one emotion, you cry to get rid of the excess. I believe crying keeps up an internal balance, and I believe that crying is a good thing.

So the next time people laugh at you for crying at the movies ignore them. And the next time you try to hide your tears, just let them fall. I believe that the more you cry the more human you become. I believe that the more you cry the stronger you become. I believe that even if there are fictional characters they deserved to be cried over, because they are dying too, it is just a different sort of death. I believe that crying lets you control you emotions. I believe that if a movie is sad to you and no one else, you should cry about it. I believe that you should never hide your tears, because that is like hiding your humanity. And we are all human, so, therefore, we all cry. And that’s all right. So cry, and don’t try to hide it in the rain. Just cry.