Sunday, 16 June 2019

Places I've Cried in Public

Hello, my name is Boyana and I publish a blogpost once a year.

I am also a crier. It doesn't matter what kind of emotion I'm going through, if it's strong enough, it will most likely manifest itself in the form of snotty tears, which massively confuses everyone around me. 

I need to start by saying the idea of writing on this topic is not mine - I recently saw that Holly Bourne is going through the draft of her new book called "The places I've cried in public" and it obviously spoke to me. The title definitely makes me want to read the book and that's why I thought writing my own musings would be interesting especially for fellow criers out there. I doubt her book will be a list of the awkward situations she's put herself into but that's my interpretation of it. 


The plane 

I last cried on a plane about a week ago and it tends to repeat whenever I go back to the motherland for a period of time. For me crying on a plane or at the airport is connected to that special type of immigration sorrow, which I think every person who has lived away from home can understand to a certain degree.

Leaving my parents and friends to go and chase some nondescript dream in a foreign country has always been particularly difficult for me. I first moved to study, which lasted for three years. I then stayed on because I had a job and friends there. Even though now I have two places to call home, the flight from Bulgaria to the UK is always filled with guilt, a bit of anger and incredible sadness. 

I normally listen to music or read books which exacerbate the situation and I quietly weep next to people who stare at me awkwardly. The thing is, this has happened quite a lot of times so I am now immune to feeling embarrassed about it, I just let it happen until I accept the reality I have chosen and I sink back into daily life. 

Work 

Is there anyone who hasn't had a quiet office weep? Yes, I am sure there is but I'm a crier so there you go... On such occasions I tend to go to the ladies, get my cry on for 5 minutes and come out a new woman. 

Working in a severely corporate environment has lead me to question my existence several times, mostly when I feel like my work and effort go unappreciated (and that's an understatement) or some nasty person, significantly more senior, decides to bring hell upon me on a conference call simply because she cannot shut up for 3 minutes to hear me out. Or is that just me?

That's daily life in a workplace with a lot of egos and politics. I know we should let things like this go and a few months later none of it matters at all, but that sense of injustice has brought me to an edge several times. 

Also, I once cried at work because I realised I had been a bitch to a loved one so had a little weep because I felt like a horrible human being. Totally unrelated to the place but given I spend 80% of my time at work, it makes sense that I tend to cry there fairly regularly. 



In front of figure of authority

Extreme anger can also make me cry which is such a debilitating feeling. You don't want to look weak or whiney because you're angry, damn it! 

This happened about 10 years ago at school when I had a problem with one of my teachers. We despised one another and that was completely fine until he marked me down in the first term, for some unknown reason. It was the last year of school when all grades count towards your final overall mark. I should also mention he was my PE teacher, we're not talking about maths, history or English - he was insignificant.  

Like I said, injustice gets me going so I met with the head teacher to demonstrate all the evidence I had against him and tell her this guy was being completely out of line. As I started speaking, I could feel this ball of anger forming in my belly and I eventually started sobbing. I hated myself for crying in this moment, it was the worst possible time for me to be breaking down so I finished my speech by saying "...and I just want you to know, I am crying because I am so angry right now and not because I am a whiney little girl, which is probably what this horrible man thinks I am". 

The teacher was very professional and she said she understood, she proceeded to have a conversation with the teacher. He never spoke to me again until the end of school and gave me an excellent mark. 

I am sure I've cried at school many times before but this situation has stuck with me forever because I was so annoyed with myself for sobbing, thinking I looked so weak. I am now quite proud of it because it was one of the first times I stood up for myself - yes, it didn' go to plan, I didn't become this angry, downtrodden giant who demanded justice. This doesn't matter because I had the guts to call out someone's bulshit and it made a difference. 

The changing rooms

This is a happy one. I was in school, early in my teenage years. A PE class had ended and as kids do, my friend and I were racing into the changing rooms. We both slipped and I did the splits as she tumbled over me.

We both found it funny more than anything else so we started laughing uncontrollably. When I find something truly funny I also start crying. This really confused all my classmates because it seemed like I might have seriously hurt myself. There was this huge commotion around me, people were called to help and I just couldn't breathe with tears of laughter. 

I have also been kicked out of class because of laughing and crying at the same time. "Boyana, will you leave the room and come back when you're calmer please".

I am not embarrassed by any of those stories or situations now. I'd much rather be a bit more emotional than emotionless. If some tears help me get through something quicker, so be it. If someone makes me cry with laughter or happiness, great! 

I cried when I was the maid of honour to one of my closest and best friends, I cried when my sister used to come home after a year working away on cruise ships, I cry when I am really stressed and need to blow steam off, I cry when I leave my elderly dog at home not knowing if I will see him again next time I go home.  

I still naturally try to hide it in public but to everyone who has kindly looked away with the unspoken understanding that life happens - thank you. 

See you next year then!

B

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