I’ve only cried at work three times since I started eighteen months ago. Two of those instances have happened this past week, and each time I’ve cried because my feelings were hurt.
The last couple of times I cried outside of work, it was because my heart was broken. Broken by a boy, broken by sadness, broken by sudden death. Broken because something I held near and dear was gone, for reasons that are hard to grasp without first pulling at thin air and beating fists against chests without beating hearts. I cried because it was deeply personal.
I’ve been thinking about crying, and feelings, and me (wow, that didn’t sound narcissistic at all!) a lot lately because of a spring of life events that have lead to a lot of cries and lot of feels. Pair that with stressful work and the slow erosion of close friendships and I find myself much more vulnerable than usual. The relatively orderly lines that keep me feeling like my life is in check have begun to blur, and with that my feelings creep more and more in to how I operate in all spheres.
It turns out that believing in, and actively striving for, social justice might not adhere to my clean line life what with the whole personal belief side of things. It turns out that regardless of the environment I’m in at any given time I am still a person with feelings. It turns out that I might take my work very seriously, invest a lot of time and energy in to it, and then wish at the end of the day someone, anyone, would say thank you.
My work, and the community that comes with that work, are deeply personal – something I’ve conveniently closed my eyes to. It takes a bit of vulnerability and pain to continue to learn what this kind of work means to me, and ultimately I think thats ok. I have to recognize that today, tomorrow, and the next day are not a 9 to 5 endeavour. It is a full feeling, lines blurred, adventure of ambiguity.
This doesn’t mean I’m ok with crying the office. Or ok with my feelings being hurt. I am, however, ok with knowing that this is also a part of maybe becoming a bit more adult-y. Whatever that means anyway.
… But maybe you already knew this?