This I Believe

Ingrid - Goshen, Indiana
Entered on November 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in the renewing power of crying and the right to be unhappy. It’s not as depressing as it sounds.

I used to wish that I was “tough” and didn’t cry so easily. I do cry easily, though, and I’ve gotten used to it to the point where I often welcome it. I usually cry when I am extremely frustrated, when I’m angry, when I’m overwhelmingly sad, or when I’m laughing hysterically. I tear up easily in movies and am quick to tear up when my emotions are running high.

This belief comes out of a combination of events in my life, both recent and from the past. This past year has been a hard one. Both of my grandfathers died. I was under a lot of stress between work, school, and sports. I was constantly butting heads with my parents and was unbelievably ready to be out of Pennsylvania and away from the things that had become too predictable. I know I’m not the only one to have gone through a year like that, but it is a year that greatly affected who I am. I learned volumes about myself and about how I relate to others and how I deal with my emotions.

Over the last year, I have come to understand that crying is not something that determines how tough a person is, or the opposite. I feel no shame in telling you that I cry almost at the drop of a hat. This is because I have found crying to be the best form of emotional release. I cry when my emotions have built up to a breaking point. They overwhelm me and there is nothing left for me to do but let it out. Crying is an opportunity to drain all emotion and start anew. After a good cry, I always feel like my head has been cleared out and I have a chance to open my mind and look at things differently. I feel refreshed and renewed. I am not the only one who feels this way- studies have been done that show that the majority of people feel better after crying.

Along with believing that crying has the power to renew, I believe that I have the right to be unhappy. It may just be that John Roth is making my Human Stories class read way too many books about utopias, but I have to stand by this belief. It is good to be happy, in fact, it is what we all strive for. However, after reading about societies that don’t know what it is to feel any emotion other than contentment, joy, and bliss, I have decided that without knowing what it means to be unhappy, we cannot know true happiness. The bad times make the good times ever so much better.

So between crying to find a release for my emotions and being unhappy sometimes, I have found that my life is, overall, quite happy.