As I start to write this, it's eleven o'clock at night, and I've just got back from a bachata class where I sat through a number of songs without getting up to dance. You wouldn't know it, but I'm sat here crying, desperately trying to maintain my focus on the screen, and generally feeling quite emotional. At the same time, I feel it's wrong to be this way, because I was born into a time when we were told that men didn't cry.
I hugged a friend earlier. We don't have the kind of friendship in which that kind of physical contact happens, but she told me something that made the hug feel appropriate. Actually, if I hadn't responded in that way, I would now be cursing myself for not responding in the way I should. The hug was a very honest expression of what she means to me as a friend, and an equally honest response to what she had to tell me.
Unfortunately, a hug isn't just a hug for me. I hide a lot of what I feel from the world. I waited until I was alone before I cried. I waited until I was alone before I let the full weight of my feelings hit me. In public, it's like I'm wearing a mask which hides what I'm feeling. A hug can send that mask crashing to the floor, where it shatters into a million pieces (I also wrote that last bit in a response I made to a question on Quora - I think the imagery sums it up nicely).
So, I'm sat here, overwhelmed by emotion. This is the part of me that no one sees. I've heard from a number of sources recently that I should be more open, and I'm trying my best with that.
A good friend asked me, just last week, who I would talk to if I needed someone to talk to. It's a question I've been asked a number of times. The answer is that there are people who get little snippets of what's on my mind, but I'm still quite protective of my inner world, as it were. Instead, I do things like sitting here, alone, and just trying to come to terms with the fact that I've allowed myself to become an emotional wreck.
Do you want to know something? Being an emotional wreck seems to be just what I need right now. I'm alone, so I don't have to feel embarrassed about it, and so much has happened over the last number of months that any one of those things could have seen me feeling like I feel right now. There's a sense that I need to feel like this, that this is some kind of release. Maybe if my friend could see me, she'd wish she hadn't told me her news at this time, but I actually should be thanking her. Maybe she'd get another hug.
I'm releasing a whole load of repressed feelings, and to my mind, that's healthy. This seems to be my way of dealing with things. I'm sorry if this post is disjointed but, considering what I'm feeling right now, to me it seems surprisingly eloquent.