Crying in public is never fun. Have you ever seen anyone do it? Apart from in the women’s toilets in a club on Friday night, I mean (because we’ve all seen that plenty) When somebody is crying when they’re alone it’s a hard one to know what to do. Do you ask if they’re ok? I saw someone gently crying on the tube platform and wanted to ask her if she was ok but admittedly felt frozen and bound to one of the unwritten commandments of London (“thou shalt not speak to others on the tube. Especially strangers”) and, we all know that asking someone if they’re okay when they’re clearly not can bring on even more tears. It’s like your brain is telling you that you’re ok in a desperate attempt to get you to get your shit together, but as soon as someone asks you if you are ok, it make you ask yourself if you are ok, and you realise you are really really not ok, and then you cry. Wah.
It’s admittedly more manageable and easy to brush over when a crying person is with someone. But the nosy person within me is always curious – have they just received really bad news? Did they lose their job? Have they just found out their boyfriend has been sleeping with that Becky girl from HR? Then your mind wanders and you wonder what you would do if you got caught out in that way. Would I be that upset if this imaginary scenario happened to me? Hmm. IDK.
Have you cried in public much? I sure have, lately. Sobbing at the airport after being told I couldn’t get onto my flight to Bali because my passport wasn’t in a good enough condition – how very Airline tv programme circa 2004 , I know. Crying last weekend on a shoot with Carl, when he kept asking me to reshoot his photos as I hadn’t got it right. I’d been feeling a little lost and down that week anyway, so cue me feeling overwhelmed with those “I’m not good enough I’m terrible at everything I am a total failure!” thoughts and bam, a stream of panicked tears trickle out and got wiped away before they made any trail marks in my contour. I shed tears in Pret on the Strand when my friend Harry came to meet me and asked “How have you been?!” – I wasn’t great. I’d had an awful week: 10 minutes earlier I had been dropped from an amazing work opportunity and most exciting campaign I’d ever been asked to take part in. And of course, as I said before, as soon as you get asked if you’re ok when you are NOT ok, the tears start to eek out like a small but annoying drippy leak coming from your loud neighbours upstairs. So I started doing a pathetic little sad-cry in Pret and the man came over and said “can you please buy something or leave” – GREAT. Then, on a happier occasion, I welled up and shed a snivelly wee tear over the beautiful message my mother whatsapped me for International Women’s Day. Oh holy fuck, even the thought of that message is making me well up in the coffee shop I’m sitting in right now.
Like most girls in their twenties, I have emotional barriers. I’ve spent the past 3 years preaching about how liberating it is to not have them and to let them down and let others in, only to realise, my walls are so high and rooted so deep I didn’t even know they existed anymore. Not only do they exist, it’s like I was living inside of them like a prison with no idea what outside even looks like. For someone who overshares their emotions on the internet a lot, it’s quite an odd thing to admit. But, also like most girls in their twenties, there is a lot that is going on that I don’t share on the internet. You have to keep some things private.
But there’s a pressure to have your shit together. To look always happy. Both in public and online. Crying is still seen as a sign of weakness – and especially as a woman, it’s seen that you’re hysterical or unstable. Or a mess. Or attention-seeking (when realistically, the last thing you want is to be seeking attention by crying in public). But life isn’t perfect – not online and not in real life, so I want to make that more open. Would you judge someone for crying in public or would you just feel sad that they’re sad? And secretly hope they’re ok? It comes down to compassion. And I guess we all need to be a bit more compassionate and forgiving to ourselves sometimes.
What I’m Reading and Listening To This week.
I just finished reading I Am Pilgrim. Now, I’m no book critic and take a closer inspection of my bookshelf and there are some questionable numbers on there. But I’m telling you, this is my FAVOURITE book ever. To give a background to my taste in books, my other favourites are Shantaram and the sequel Mountain Shadow. City of Joy. Books rich in description, long enough to take up a few weeks of night time reads, and so incredibly immersive it transports you to wherever it’s set. If you love things about spies/ intelligence agents, the world potentially ending, terrorists, murders, drugs, sex and glamour mixed in with gritty middle-eastern war, you’ll love it. It has it all.
I’m listening to Unfuck your Brain podcasts right now to try and deal with the above post. I’m not entirely sure that the podcast about immediately relieving anxiety is on the money in telling you to process your anxiety as physical reactions rather than an emotional one, as for me, when I’m anxious, focusing on the physical aspects of it such a “I have a racing heart. I feel faint. My head is getting lighter. My breaths are getting shorter and faster” doesn’t make me feel any better. If anything, it’s more triggering of those physical issues. I would recommend listening to the one on feeling overwhelmed and imposter syndrome.
What I’m loving this week.
I’ve been feeling emotional and antisocial. When I feel this way I look at homeware and spend all of my money on that to make me feel cosier. So here are the things I would buy if I lived in a far bigger flat.
What I Am Wearing Here
My outfit here, shot by Fifi Newbery