Wednesday, I spent some time with my best friend Solange, and her daughter (my goddaughter) Caity. Caity is three and mostly hilarious. She is also currently hooked on the TV show "Go Diego Go". When told that tv time was over and she needed to have some play time, I witnessed Caity totally melt down over a Cartoon. She is generally an even tempered three year old, and I was surprised to see her totally melt down over something so minuscule. She worked herself into such a fit that she was crawling along the hallway with her forehead pushed to the floor, sobbing with her face upside down. Solange and I tried our best but we couldn't stop laughing. And then, as suddenly as the fit came about, she was done. She realized that mom wasn't going to give in, and flipped the switch off, obviously feeling much better for expending the emotional energy. I remember thinking that I still have moments where I'm metaphorically crawling, pushing my forehead on the floor and sobbing great upside down tears. In fact, I think that every female I know has experienced that - where it's not the TV show itself that is the cause of the emotional stress, but just the trigger. That last thing that pushes us off the emotional cliff. And once you've irrationally sobbed it all out, you feel recharged and present, free of whatever it was that was sitting so heavily on your chest.
So, of course, I had a similar moment of my own the very next day. Jason, Indy and I went to hike in Griffith Park here in LA. After climbing straight up for an hour, I just didn't want to go any further. I could not make myself take any more steps up. And then the tears came. And the wallowing. And the metaphorical forehead on the floor. It wasn't the climb that I was upset about. The physical exhaustion just opened the door for my pent up emotional junk to pour out. And when the tears were finished, and people were no longer giving me strange looks, and we had started back down the trail, I felt refreshed and ready to go. I'm still not sure what the tears were really about, but my subconscious mind isn't nagging at me anymore. Everything feels like I've worked it all out, whatever "it" was.
And it turns out that the moments of insensible tears are really as cathartic as I believed them to be, although my husband is still baffled.