A few weeks ago I was biking home after work in the freezing rain, long after dark, after a miserable day, and I was crying my eyes out. It was full on, unapologetic sobbing, with no consideration for others’ judgment, pity, awkwardness or general opinion. And it was fucking awesome.
Admittedly, it wasn’t great that I had had a shit enough day that it warranted sobbing. If I recall correctly, I had said goodbye to several wonderful people and had an internal review of a killer project that went along the lines of “No. This sucks. Everything you’ve said here is wrong.” And to top it off I was soaking wet and freezing and heading home to an evening of nothing but drinking until I fell asleep only to wake up to a day of dealing with the same shit all over again.
So, ok, it was a crap day. But the amazing thing is that just letting go and allowing myself to indulge in some good old-fashioned ugly-crying was unbelievably therapeutic. It was truly indulgent — it felt like my id was truly taking over, like I had lost control over my behavior and let my crazy out to the fullest. But by the time I got home, I felt so much better.
Why is it that temper tantrums are solely the reign of children? Everyone talks about the benefits of “a good cry” but it always sounds like something so dainty, something you do with a single chaste glass of wine, curled up with a blanket and some scented candles while watching some sappy movie like The Notebook. I think that it’s more beneficial to not just “let yourself cry”, but to have a proper fucking cry — a full-on tantrum, with kicking and screaming if you want, with ugly hoarse groaning and sniffling and snot running down your face, and not giving a damn about what you look like or for that matter who’s looking at or listening to you.
On a related note, I’ve noticed recently that complaining is not the evil zen-destroying activity that tumblr hippies have been claiming it is for years. If you’re sitting with someone who has similar problems to you whining about stuff you can’t change, it’s also surprisingly uplifting. This is why I’ve been seeking out expats lately — it can be so great to whine and laugh (most importantly, laugh!) about everything that annoys us about Dutch culture in an environment of total acceptance. Even if I can’t change any of it, even if I leave and go home and deal with the same shit all over again, sometimes it’s great to let go of convention and just do all the wrong things. Cry, complain, be jealous, be angry. Live a little. Fuck zen… once in a while.