By Helena Rodriguez: Local columnist
I was crying in the shower the other night after a bad day. I needed a good cry. But as I watched my tears dissolve into the water around me, I thought, “Why am I crying?”
I really didn’t know.
When I was a little girl, I would often cry to get attention, but when you cry in the shower, it’s an oxymoron. It seems pointless because all your tears wash away, and it’s definitely not to get attention because no one can see or hear you.
And yet I felt that need to cry in the shower because things were not falling into place. In fact several days had passed in which I felt like I hadn’t accomplished much. It was very frustrating despite the fact that I know one way or another all of this stuff will be done by deadline because it has to be.
But then there was also that demon of uncertainty haunting me and I finally realized I was crying because I wanted some kind of change in my life and yet I also tend to be scared to death of change.
There will undoubtedly be a lot of changes coming in my life soon as I prepare to graduate with my Master of Arts degree from Eastern New Mexico University in May. There’s a lot of work to get done before then, but that’s not the part that frightens me. It’s the “what happens after” part. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I won’t know what happens after that until around March, when I find out if I’ve been accepted into a doctoral program in intercultural communication in Albuquerque. Even when that happens, there will still be a lot of logistics and other uncertainties to work out — finances, moving, etc.
So as I found myself yearning for change, although afraid to take that next step, I realized these were really tears of joy falsely disguised as tears of sorrow because of that demon of self-doubt and fear of the unknown that tries to torment us. I finally realized these are good fears to have because the only thing scarier than change is the frightening thought that things will stay the same.
I told myself, these fears inside of me are just small hurdles I have to jump over along the way because I’ve already made it over the bigger ones, and each one has brought me closer to realizing my dreams.
Again, I thought, these were good fears and frustrations to have right now because without them, I would still be in the same unhappy situation I was in for 13 years, before I mustered up the courage to quit my full-time newspaper job and further my education. Then I also had to laugh and thank God for the uncertainties in life because that is what makes life interesting and that’s what allows us to live by faith.
I told him to surprise me and I’ll eagerly watch to see how things fall into place, which I’m sure they will, just probably not in the way I would arrange them, which again is a good thing.
So as the water started to turn cold and I stepped back out into the real world, all my tears washed away now, my body cold on the outside but warm inside, I thought to myself that the shower is a great place to cry … especially when you’re not sure why you’re crying.
Helena Rodriguez is a columnist for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. She can be reached at: