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When I was a freshman in high school, I downloaded this Facebook app called “Honesty Box.” I often used it to write in peoples’ boxes to tell them who I was because I felt awkward being anonymous.

What I didn’t take into account, however, was that someone would actually write in my honesty box. And someone did.

I opened up the page, and there it was – the sentence that would become my mantra.

“You’re nice, but emotional.”

The second that I read that, I ran to my parents crying.

“Mom, Dad!” I bawled. “Someone wrote in my honesty box and said that I was nice BUT EMOTIONAL!”

My parents gave each other a bemused look and then started to laugh.

“Wha-what’s so funny?” I said.

“Claire… they’re right! You are!”

“But that’s not very nice,” I pouted.

“No, it is nice!” my mom said. “They were just being very honest. Because you are emotional, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! They said you were nice!”

“It’s okay, Claire-bear,” my dad said.

“Oh… okay,” I said and I sulked away, my parents still amused.

This has pretty much been my existence. I cry a lot. I cry privately and publicly and a lot of the time it will be in the bathroom stall (where I call my mom on the phone and people can hear me… but where else am I going to call her?)

I cry over dumb things. I cry over awkward things. I cry over frustrating things. I cry over legitimate things too, but those stories aren’t very funny.

It’s the stories of me in elementary school crying at not being able to make a basketball during a basketball game and telling myself “I will persevere!!!” in the middle of the court. It’s the stories of me in middle school crying so much when my teacher told me that I had a detention for being late too many times that she recanted the detention right in that moment. It’s the stories of me in high school and college when if some sort of social interaction baffled or confused me, I would just cry, further confusing myself and everyone around me.

It’s these stories that keep me going because why cry about it? It’s better to laugh.

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