Crying in the Big Apple


Hey remember that time I started a blog but then never had time to update it so this poor little section of my website sat lonely and neglected until I finally hid it for a minute (a few months) until I was ready to repost?

Well I’m back! (Hi mom!) And today I want to talk about something on which I’m now an expert: crying in public places.

Crying is a funny thing. When I was a kid, my little narcissistic three-year-old self would run the nearest mirror or reflective surface as soon as my eyes started welling up, so I could watch in fascination as little salty rivers ran down my freckled cheeks. I cried a lot  as a young kid, but then… just kinda stopped. I wasn’t like Cameron Diaz in The Holiday though – I mean I COULD cry –it was just a super rare occasion. So, on the last day of camp, or at going away parties, kids would cry. And I would WANT to cry. But the tears just didn’t come. (They would come later-a couple days after the friend had moved and I missed them, or after the twilight of camp was over and I realized there were some buddies that I would never see again. But I felt like those tears didn’t mean anything because they were not shared with anything or anyone except my pillow and the latest Dixie Chicks album.

Then I went to college. And for the most part, I still wasn’t a big crier (which is kinda weird when you’re in theatre school and everyone else is great at accessing their emotions.) I was comfortable with my dry eyes by this point. And when having an emotional heart with a group of my pals huddled around a box of Franzia and a $10 large pizza and breadsticks from Cousin Vinny’s Pizza, everyone else would be teary eyed, but I’d just laugh and say “Oh yeah, I know, I just don’t have tear ducts I suppose LOL.”

Senior year it all changed. I was excited to leave school and move to New York, but also scared of all the uncertainty revolving around what was next. And I just cried. A lot. Probably like 4-5 times a week. In class, out of class. You name it. MESSSS

After school-I worked performed a cruise and then on a national tour and oh I don’t know, I guess I just cried like a normal person? Not too much. Not infrequently. Sometimes alone. Sometimes with friends. Sometimes while laughing.  Always while watching Grey’s Anatomy.

First fall in New York-same deal

First winter in New York- Cryin for DAAAAAYS.

Here are some great ingredients for a recipe that results in finding yourself in a puddle of tears on the subway

*Cold weather

*4 hours average sleep a night

*Missing your family like WOAH

*Lots of comparing yourself to others

*Long work days at day jobs that can make ya blue

*Not getting the part

*Cold weather

*The MTA being a silly goose

*Worrying that if a republican wins the upcoming presidential election we’ll all be plunged back into the dark ages

*Worrying about money

*No social life (due to a mindset of I must work so hard at absolutely every minute )

*Cold weather

…and repeat

I know. These are NOT huge problems. There are far greater problems in the world and I’m very lucky that something as trivial as “no social life” even made it onto that list. But ya know what-not getting to be with your community of loved ones because you’re working to pay bills to afford to live in the city where you hope to accomplish your dream-it can make ya cry. (Note-finding my community and realizing that nurturing my relationships is one of the many reasons I’m finding myself in tears on the 1 train waaaay less often. Also important-prioritizing time to actively pursue your own projects/creative works. Oh yea- like this blog heeeyyyyy)

SO now that I am an expert—here are my tips for how to handle crying in public:

-If it’s really bad-don’t try to hide it. It’s ok – you do you. You don’t have to apologize or explain yourself to anyone. If you feel like wearing sunglasses even if it’s rainy and cloudy-hey! That’s ok too! Do whatever will make you feel better in your moment of despair.

-Feel ZERO shame about walking into a store to pick up a Kitkat, Snickers, Magnolia cupcake, burrito, hot chocolate etc… You’re having a hard time. If someone is making you feel weird about your crying and buying chocolate that’s THEIR problem. You don’t have to explain anything if you don’t wanna.

-Be prepared with the knowledge that unfortunately tears and snot are not a deterrent for cat callers. I’ve gotten “mmmm gorgeous” and “hey looking good, red”  both whilst sobbing on 8th avenue. 

-Just have tissues in your purse or pocket or coat. Ya never know.

-If you’re listening to music – switch to a podcast. Cause if it’s a sad song, it’ll make it worse. If it’s a happy song….it also somehow might make it worse (“Here comes the Sun” by the Beatles is just about my favorite song ever, and it really should have a cheering-up affect….but if you’re feeling real low, it can sound a little cruel)

-Text or call someone you love who might give you the encouragement and kindness- or in some cases- the tough love that you need. I’m so grateful to have people in my life who love and support me, and also can give me a reality check when I need one.

-Know that you’re enough. You’ll get through this-and a million other people have also cried in this subway car, at this table in this restaurant, in this bathroom stall at Pearl Studios, in this mile long line at Trader Joes, pretty much everywhere for every reason imaginable. You’re not alone.

Tears are weird-but they come in handy when your contact lenses are dry-and sometimes they are a result of pure joy and laughter. So just know, my weeping pals in NYC, we are in this together. And if you’re ever near me when you feel the lump in your throat rising up-don’t worry-I’ve got tissues in my purse 99.9% of the time and I’m always happy to get a cup of tea and talk about feelings.


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