I've always been an emotional person. As a nine year old, I recall watching The Secret Garden on repeat, crying at the end every time. I remember feeling overcome with emotion as I reflected on how far all of the characters had come, how much they all had grown. My parents always asked me, "Why do you watch that movie, if you know it makes you cry?"
Excellent question. But I didn't know the answer then, and I still don't really know the answer now.
Now, I am an overly-emotional pregnant person. Things like seeing my favorite Christmas decoration on display the day after Thanksgiving in my parents' home made me cry. So did multiple commercials that we viewed in between football games over the last few days.
It's always been a part of who I am, and I am guessing that it always will be. The one thing that makes it hard? I get embarrassed. Our society isn't one that really accepts emotional outbursts of any kind, especially in public. So, what am I supposed to do?
I've tried lots of different techniques to stop the water works, whether it be on the comfort of my own couch or standing in line at Chipotle. Looking up, biting my tongue, thinking of something funny. I'll be honest and say any combination of these techniques works roughly 25% of the time. Every other time, I'm left with watering eyes and a red nose, which gives me away immediately.
Maybe, as humans, we're designed for public displays of emotion. Maybe it makes us all appear a little more relatable to our peers. Maybe it reminds us all that we're in this together, that things don't always have to be easy, that we don't always have to be strong and appear braver than we are. Maybe I'll stop trying to hide my tears and just let them flow. Maybe we all should.
So, if you see a pregnant lady crying outwardly in public, just hand over a tissue and give reassuring nod. True, maybe something big is going on in their life, but maybe they just saw a puppy in a sweater and their hormonally-overloaded heart just can't take it.
Or, you know, maybe they're just human.