The shower had been on for what seemed like forever. Steam had long since taken over the whole bathroom, rendering the mirrors useless. I was still standing under the shower, letting stream of water envelop me. My whole body was wet; my hair was drenched. The frothy foam had disappeared without a trace. Yet, I remained still.
My eyes felt warm. I didn’t know if it was from the shampoo or from the constant stream of water. Before I could guess, my body shook violently I was gasping for air. I heard the most uncanny wail piercing the steamy air. My hand instinctively covered my mouth; it was as if my body and my brain had reversed their roles, and the body knew what to do before anything registered in my most vital organ. Despite everything I told myself, despite the pep talk I delivered to myself in my mind, there I was, sobbing my heart out while my body was getting numb.
I don't know how actors do it. I don't know how they manage to look so heartbreakingly good and convincing when they do a crying-in-the-shower scene. When I did it, in real life, with real feelings and no cameras, I sounded like the screeching noise that was my pathetic attempt at playing the violin. I don’t play the violin; I wouldn’t be able to even if my life depended on it. So you get the idea.
Crying in the shower is definitely not as romantic as what has been portrayed in films. In fact, I chided myself after I managed to stop sobbing. My eyes were burning from my own tears and the water from the shower. Come on, girl, if you’re going to cry, why not make sure the freezer is filled with pints of ice cream first and then throw yourself onto the bed and cry into the comfortable pillows? This ain’t your first time crying.
The worst part was when I finally dragged myself out of the shower. I wiped the fogged up mirrors only to find this woman with swollen eyes that could barely open staring back at me. And no, there weren’t any defining moments like in the film ‘Moonlight’. There weren’t any sudden epiphanies or life-changing decisions. There was only sadness that now took up residence in my swollen eyelids. Sadness and regret. Why did I almost literally cry my eyes out? But then, after regret came relief. It was as if those tears had been waiting to be released since forever. It felt damn good.
Maybe I needed that. Reality bites; no matter at which stage of life one might be, no matter where one lives, no matter how little or how much experience one has. Realizing that setbacks are inevitable is a humbling experience. Knowing that those setbacks don’t kill me adds another protective layer to my skin.
I don’t know why crying is somehow seen as a sign of weakness. If shedding tears is what it takes to be stronger, I will not resist it. I will welcome it with open arms, embrace it hard before eventually waving goodbye as I proceed on my ever-changing pathway.