In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Moved to Tears.”
Just yesterday, as I was reading a particularly well-written fanfic, I was moved to tears. Not because the story was tear-inducing, but because an incident in the life of the female protagonist — and her reaction to it — resonated within me.
A few years ago, I never could’ve imagined that I’d cry so much in the future. I was the tomboy in my neighbourhood, tough, ready to let my fists do the talking. I was one of the guys; I never cried. Ever. Crying was a sign of being weak. Letting others see you cry made them tease you. And so, for many years, I never shed a tear publicly. Even in school, I was known as the strong girl who never cried. It was, therefore, a huge shock to my classmates when I couldn’t hold my tears back after an almighty fight with the-then best friend. I cried in school, in plain view of everybody. Even as I cried, in some distant part of my brain, I was already steeling myself against the ridicule that was sure to ensue. To my utter surprise though, nobody teased me. Almost everybody was worried about me and unanimously backed me up when they came to know of the fight. Even the Draco Malfoy of our class. It was then that I realised that when a person known consistently for their strength sheds tears, it’s not taken as a sign of weakness, instead it causes others concern about the person.
I’ve come a long way since that incident. There have been, over the years, many episodes when I’ve cried, bawled and sniffled, privately AND in public. This past year has been an especially trying time. I’ve questioned myself, my beliefs, my motives, my relationships — romantic and otherwise. I’ve cried myself to sleep, woken up crying, cried on my birthday, cried for no reason at all. I went into depression to the extent of becoming suicidal. I’m not proud of that, although I am now almost completely out of it, thanks to some outside help, a sharply-worded lecture and some travel-therapy. I’d say I’m becoming strong again, in a way. Not shedding tears — in public — as much as possible. Not because they expose a chink in my armour, but because I recognize their importance when their appearances are few and far between.
At times, the strangest of times, though, my eyes still well up. Like when I’m gazing up at the mighty Himalayan peaks after a strenous trek to the summit. Or when I read about the female protagonist’s hopelessness. It wasn’t her fleeting contemplation of suicide, but her fierce desire and determination to live, however, that moved me to tears. Because, now that the fog of depression has lifted, I recognise that same desire burning in myself.