Monday, December 5, 2011

A Little Creed

For my Comp 101 this past semester I had to write about something I believe in, with all my heart. On that assignment, I should have recieved an F, because I completely failed. In the effort to write something good, I completely cast aside the need for honesty and instead just wrote what I wished was true. I now own-up to my dishonesty, and should my fraudulence to the world: this is what I don't believe in, at least not entirely.

Never Ashamed

Ryan Conover

English Comp 1


I believe nobody should ever be ashamed to cry. This is a belief I have held for almost a decade, but not always followed. When this belief first started to circulate in my mind, I was about eight years old. It was Christmas Eve. Sometime near two in the morning, I had snuck downstairs to see what was in my stocking and under the tree, but there was nothing. As I drudged back upstairs to my bed, I started to cry remorseful tears for looking; for daring to think that there would be something there. Other tears were shed for my humiliation-feeling so weak for crying-even though there was nobody to see. After a while my parents came up and consoled me that it was ok I had looked, there would be something for me the next day, and I did not have to be ashamed about my hysterical sobbing.

That night I learned a few important things: my parents really did love me, I would be taken care of, and emotion is not something to be covered up like dust under a rug. The first two have frequently changed through the years, but the last one has been engrained in my mind ever since. Now when I see someone mourning a loss, celebrating a victory, or anything in between; it does not make me feel uncomfortable. Not unreasonably so at least!

This is not to say, however, that I think it is acceptable to let your feelings hang out all the time. Emotions are beautiful and marvelous things, but how could we accomplish anything if they ruled our lives? This is also something I’ve learned from experience; the hardest way.

Last year I started my first job, and I really loved it; at first. It started well; I “prettified” the shelves of a local grocery store and made coffee there, it was a relatively fun job, especially if you have someone to talk to! However, it’s difficult to keep chipper when you’re getting sick, it’s winter, and your whole day has been rough.

One that particular evening I was fixing up the shelves of the freezer department, beauty products, and meat section. Due to my budding illness, I was working slower than usual; and ended up staying a quite bit later than scheduled. Now at this point I had two options: let my emotions take control or do my job and “git ‘r dun”. Sadly, I made the wrong choice. Naturally, I chose to get angry and frustrated, but this of course never helps a bad situation! At the time, it seemed like the only option. Although, looking back, I understand if I had reacted better it could have made a lasting impact.

Often times, Especially when I am feeling down or emotional, I anticipate with more vigor the good things I would like to happen. In my past, it was seeing my Dad for a couple days. In the present it’s things like going to some awesome sushi restaurant with my Mom, or seeing my boyfriend on his college breaks. Many times when I do not get to do such things, I’d let my emotions grab hold of me. It was horrible for a while; I was even medicated for a few months. Just the tiniest things would throw me over the edge. For example, at camp this past summer I had hysterics. It was humiliating, and I hated feeling so out of control. It was like someone else had taken over my mind and body.

After a few months of being medicated though, I noticed no difference; so I stopped taking my pills. At this point I had decided to finally take control of my emotions on my own terms, to be my own person, and not let other people mandate how I feel. Thus far I’ve been coping well, and realized that out of this as well there is something to learn. Everything I felt- pain and anger and hysteria-they are mine. They are a part of me! I have nothing to be ashamed of about myself-because I’m human-and we all struggle with something. There is always room for improvement, but why feel shame if you learn something and make the initiative to change?

Obviously, there are times when it is a great thing to cry. Maybe a funeral for a close family member or friend, when someone you love hurts you, or even for something good, beautiful, spiritual, or all three. Tears are part of the mourning process as well as experiencing great joy, and both are acceptable to anyone. Whether they be male or female, child or adult.

About a week ago at church, I stood in front of the congregation and told them about a vision or epiphany of sorts. After I was done, I went back to my seat. Not surprisingly, I was shaking from the nervousness. Once the sermon was over a lady from a row or two forward came up to me with tears in her eyes. After a moment though, I realized they were tears of joy. At first I was dumbfounded! Never before had I seen someone cry for a positive reason. She was crying because she was so touched that I overcame my fear and spoke. It was flattering, but it still amazes and astounds me that they weren’t tears of sorrow. It wasn’t embarrassing for her; it was just an expression of emotion. She was fine with that, and that takes strength. The kind of strength I strive for!

There was a time on my mission trip to Arlington, Texas this summer that I also cried for the right-yet different-reasons. It was sometime during the middle of the week, and my group had been in a poor apartment complex playing with and teaching some kids there. All week long I had been praying and hoping God would give me someone to help. Finally, I got the opportunity to bond with a little girl; her name was Gretchen. She told me about her life, and it broke my heart. That night I cried for her and her brother, her sixteen-year-old brother who can’t even talk anymore. There is never any shame in crying over a loss like that, especially when that little girl was being so strong for her family.

Even through the positive and negative ways I’ve reacted to emotional situations, there is always a ray of sunshine; this is another reason I believe you should never be ashamed to cry. All of life is a learning experience! Through the people I have seen and the way they show their feelings, their strengths and weaknesses: the things I have felt myself and the way I have shown them; I have learned. The way we react to any situation can impact us forever, but if we learn, if we grow, it’ll all be okay. No matter what things may seem like at the time, never, ever be ashamed to cry. This I believe.

Oh, now, I wish that I had written with truth in word and thought. That every tap of the keys weren't a strike against man and God. I am a liar, a sinner, a hypocrite, and a work in progress: this I actually believe.

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