"You should be more judicious about what you choose to shed tears over."
He said it condescendingly. Patronizing. Mockingly.
He didn't understand that injustice against another human being, no matter how slight, was something I took issue with. Of course, he had to make it small, because he was small. A small selfish man with expensive suits and fancy shoes; with catered morning breakfasts and hired cars to take him home at night. The comment infuriated me. It was meant to sound, I think, like a peace offering of some sort. A careful reminder we were on the same team somehow. But it was exceedingly hollow. It only showed how far apart we are.
A chasm I'm not willing to cross.
I fight the tears. They come most easily when I'm mad; and here, in this place, they tease the corners of my eyes often (but rarely escape). I see them as a weakness. As a girl-ey thing to do. I feel they seem a sign I am to be taken lightly, treated as a child. That I am incapable of controlling something as small as a tear. A microscopic collection of salt water.
But that evening it changed. Something in me changed. With that one comment he turned all the things I feared about shedding those tears upside down. I suddenly became proud I was "so easily brought to tears."
It meant I still cared. I still knew what was important. I still had retained, through all the madness and politics and game-playing, myself. My core values.
I had not been caught up: I had been let down.
And as much as that hurt, it felt good, too. I'm not afraid to hold this sword in my hand. And I'm less afraid to raise it. And will - time after time, moment after moment. Even if lifting it brings tears to my eyes. They embarrass me not at all now.
6 years ago