every tear that had to fall from my eyes

Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while so that we can see life with a clearer view again. (Alex Tan)

Unfortunately I don’t look a thing like Megan Fox, sorry boys, but I saw this photo and thought it fit this morning’s post quite nicely.

If you read my past post then you know that I was having a rough day yesterday and let my emotions get the best of me.  It was the first time in awhile that I cried, and cried, and cried some more.  Other than tears of joys at Julie’s wedding, I cannot remember the last time I really cried.  Even with all of the sadness and anxiety in moving to Chicago and struggling with the adjustment of living here, I haven’t cried nearly enough.  I used to cry more when I was younger, maybe even too much, but there came a time when all of that stopped.

A few months ago Adriana and I were talking about how I just needed to let myself cry to release up the pent-up anxiety that I had been feeling.  I lined up a slew of tear-jerker movies- including The Time Traveler’s Wife- but nada.  No tears.  I tried listening to ‘sad white people music’, as my friend/former roommate, Mike, used to say I listened to…again nothing.   (Note: The girl in the photo is my doppelgänger, Lauren Conrad.)

Yesterday, even as I tried to fight it, the tears came streaming down my face underneath my sunglasses.  By the time I got back home to my apartment I just stopped fighting them for the rest of the night.  Unfortunately for her, Darlene was the recipient of my breakdown email.  As I told her, I wanted to call my mom but I held back.  It bothers me that I don’t have the kind of relationship where my mom lets me have my weak moments.  I love her so much, but I just wish we could include that component to our relationship.  Fortunately I have people in my life, like Darlene, Alisha, and Adriana, (just to name a few), that I let my guard down around.  (Thank you so much, ladies.)

Today is June 1st.  Seriously?  Actually I think today may be the one-and-only, Joe Zummo’s birthday, but Facebook is not confirming that.  It’s sometime this week, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Joe- one of my favorite boys in the world! I’ll dedicate a post to him one of these days.

Since it’s June, I cannot help but think about the past.  The month used to mark the official beginning of summer, as school came to a much-needed end.  The two Junes (summers) that stand out most in my mind are from 2002 and 2006, high school graduation and college graduation, respectively.  I cannot believe that I graduated high school 8 years ago nor that four years ago my OU days came to a bittersweet end.

Sometimes it seems like my good old days in Athens were much longer ago, although I can still picture it like it was yesterday.  While I’m a big fan of the fall season in its entirety, springtime/early summer in Athens is magical.  Sure there are some fun festivals and never-ending nights out on Court Street, but there’s just something about Athens during this time of year you never, ever forget.  There have been days since graduating where I’d be walking in Pittsburgh, Columbus or Chicago and instantly be overcome by an indescribable, yet familiar feeling- one that I commonly had when in Athens.  Typically it’s a warm, sunny, breezy day when people are outside and every’s high on life (and maybe something else).  But me, I usually have a cup of coffee in my hand (nowadays) instead of those Crystal Lights and Kamchatkas (cheap vodka)- amongst other things.

Instead of going on and on and on about my lovely school day memories right now, if you’ll allow me, I’m going to spend the next few weeks dedicating posts to these times in my life.  I mean four years is the amount of time that (most) people spend in either high school and college, so being out for four years now deserves some recognition.

However let me say that in thinking of my emotional breakdown yesterday and this time of year, I cannot help but again realize how far I’ve come.  Four years ago, after saying my goodbyes in Athens, I was broken.  I never thought that I’d be able to pick myself up.  But here I am, somehow living in Chicago and finally knowing what career I want to pursue.

Here I am in the big city of Chicago, everyone’s favorite city, and I’m the girl hiding her tears with sunglasses on the train. While yesterday’s tearfest caught me off guard, maybe it shouldn’t have been so shocking- especially with the build up of emotions that I’ve been experiencing lately.  I mean weddings in themselves make people (ie. single girls) cry for days on end just at the thought of love and/or being alone.  Additionally, I think that the quote at the beginning of my post has a lot of truth to it:  

Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while so that we can see life with a clearer view again.

Sometimes we are so caught up in the every day whirlwind of life that we just need to clear our mind and get a new perspective on the situation- maybe even literally-speaking.

Even before my conversation with Darlene today (Thanks again, D.  Love you.), I had this epiphany:  I haven’t been growing much as of lately. Let me elaborate by saying (again) that ever since moving here 18 months ago, I have grown in more ways than imaginable, let alone expected when I began this new adventure.  But since my Human Relations course ended in mid-March, I really don’t feel like I’ve grown much.  I’ve been running my butt around lately, but what have I really learned from all of this- other than the fact that I miss my friends and family?

Even though it’s a little unnerving, I think I’m ready for a change…whether it requires a relocation or not.

Thanks so much for bearing with me these past two days.  I promise I’ll be back to gossiping and sharing my scandalous stories from the streets of Chicago soon…well maybe not.  In all seriousness, I’m fine.  Trust me, I’ve been through a lot worse.  It’s just that Child Life internship program rejection has me trying to figure out what to do next- and honestly I’m just not sure 1) what first step to take; 2) what’s rational; and 3) what I really want.

But that’s the thing.  This is a time in my life, as Darlene and I discussed, that I have a choice in what to do/ where to go.  That wasn’t the case in moving here to Chicago, which is something that I just brought back to my attention.  If I’m reading the signs right, it looks like Chicago was a temporary stop on my journey- a stepping stone to help me get where I’m going.  Oh the things we learn as we grow up.

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“Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots. ”
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
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Note: The title of this post stems from Carrie Underwood’s song, Lessons Learned. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve listened to this song to help me get through whatever mood I was in.

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