When I was little, I used to pride myself on not being emotional. “I’ve never cried during a movie,” I thought. “Except for Titanic.” But who could blame me there, really? She had to let go!
When I was a little bit older, I wondered if that was right. My friends cried over movies, over music, over breakups. They would sit around crying with each other over how terrible life was (we were teenagers, after all), while I would leave the room. I had a privileged life, not a whole lot of hardship, but even when tough or sad things happened to me, like my grandparents dying within two days of each other, I pushed through. I might have cried briefly and moved on. Found my way back to humor.
To this day, my friends tell me that Chandler is the Friend that I most resemble.
And that’s fine. I don’t mind being less emotional. It’s a lot less to worry about, and makeup is never a problem.
Except, I have become more emotional as I’ve grown up. I don’t cry at sad things, necessarily. But I cry when I am stressed out. I cry when I see my students performing in their school play or at the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I cry when my favorite actress finally wins her Tony Award.
And I cry at goodbyes. It’s a trait passed down to me by my uncle, who is famous in our family for crying whenever a big goodbye happens. And now I do the same.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not hardcore sobbing or anything. I just get choked up.
Today I said goodbye to the men and women at the school I have worked at for the past fourteen months. These people have seen me at my best and my worst. They’ve made me laugh and given me so much of themselves. It’s thanks to them that I am the teacher I am today, that I am confident in and love what I do. I can’t imagine not seeing them next year, not knowing what’s happening in their lives. It’s hard knowing that I won’t get to see my classroom anymore or tease my friends. Yes, a new chapter is starting in my life, but I am going to miss this old chapter so much.
And yay marriage equality!