Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Sunday 19th April

I think everyone is allowed some of ‘those’ moments – when things overwhelm you and the tears flow, or the emotions just need to be given their vent.

Dani, Sarah and I went paddling this afternoon. It was great fun, especially after a day of ‘iffy’ weather and things that had just seemed to get in the way of paddling. As it turned out, the evening was really lovely and it only began to rain, a little, when we got off the water.

I was paddling on my 3rd lap, I think, going steadily along the dam wall, when I had one of those thought trains that goes quite far, but takes about a millisecond to run. I don’t even remember how the thought-train went, but there I was suddenly having this ‘it’s not fair that it happened to me’ feeling and the tears did flow.

They lasted for not even about 100m of paddling, I think, and everything was fine again after that. I obviously needed to let those emotions out.

And so it will go. I can be perfectly fine for quite a while, then I seem to have a slump. I think this is simply a truly human process. We all know that life is about ups and downs, about facing what happens and making the most of it – and, all the time, dealing with normal, everyday things like getting dressed, eating, working and just being. I think we all have the ability to compartmentalise emotions, simply because it would be truly unproductive to go around giving in to overwhelming feelings and thoughts as often as they enter our brains and hearts.

Sometimes, though, we do need to let go – even if only for a few minutes. That’s what keeps us going.

Days are long and days are short. Times are difficult and times are easy.

Everything we do, everything we face, has so many different aspects to it that it is actually difficult to dwell on one aspect, on one emotion only. We humans are complex beings. We do need to simply cry, sometimes.

I learned long ago to allow myself to have the “crying jag” (as Scarlett O’Hara calls it in Gone with the Wind) when and how it comes. Just about all of the time, these moments are only for me. There are no witnesses, no shoulders to cry on and no-one to tell me it’ll be alright. Yet, somehow, there are all of those. Maybe it’s Mum and Dad who are there with me at these moments. Maybe it’s simply a feeling of being closer to God.

Maybe both.

At the moments of deep emotion, though, when I know I have to cry, I also know I am not alone.

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