I was talking with my close friends the other day about crying. Really crying. Allowing the tears to come, and the wails to erupt, and the sobs to rack the body, and the emotional traumas to bellow out of the soul in the form of hiccups and snot.

The last time I really cried like a crazy person I was behind the wheels of my car. I blasted the loudest version of “Fuck Her Gently” by Tenacious D, parked the car in the darkest corner of a suburban parking lot and I cried with every fiber of my being.

Crying behind a steering wheel is just about the best place, in my opinion. I’ve heard of others going to the last stall of the top floor’s bathroom and crying there. Or, maybe disappearing into an alleyway behind a building you work in and crying over lunch break.

We all laughed as we shared stories of false alarms “I thought I would cry, and I tried, but didn’t!” and laughed as we reenacted some of the emotional physicality of crying. My friend did a great impression of trying to hide the tears by shaking his shoulders up and down and flinching like he had a tick. I felt the tears well in my eyes from the mirth shared over something that seems so sad and personal, yet was the source of such epic comic material.

I’ve had times when I’ve cried so hard I laughed. There are moments when, God Help Me, I Will Not Cry Right Now as salty tears roll down my cheeks. And moments where I’ve looked into the eyes of a loved one and loved that person so damn much that the only way to express that feeling further is to well-up. I’ve cried while walking home, in the rain, with no umbrella, with no one on the street and only my short staccato breaths to keep me company. And, hell, I’ve cried right into a mirror just for the sake of seeing what I look like when I turn on the water works.

I find the best cries are when I’m about to sleep. Just, let it all out like I’m wringing out a rag cloth full of water and then letting it dry. Ahhh, that feels so much better, and lighter.

Crying is beautiful. It’s a purely personal and incredibly relatable experience we can all say we’ve participated in. We come into the world crying, heaving large breaths of cold stinging air into our very new lungs.

I don’t consider myself someone who cries often. I know a couple people in my life that can cry pretty easily and frequently and I have never ranked myself with that crowd. So, whenever I do cry I consider it an occasion, a time to really reflect and experience the feelings of whatever it is that has pushed me to that limit where I need to physicalize how I feel. I imagine almost a burning wreckage of an emotional blob bursting and then, like lava cooling after an eruption, fertile ground is made and a whole tropical forest can begin to grow.

That’s how I’m going to imagine this new year of being 25, the actual birth-day was the lava eruption. Now: I’m fertilizing a new Hawaii.

September 6, 2012 at 8:20 pm by Natalie Allen