The other day, I broke down.
And this wasn’t a cute, pouty, great hairstyle break down.
It was a snotty-nosed, hopeless, hair-stuck-in-mouth break down.
Before the disgusting climax point of breaking down, I attempted to calm myself and called my mom. She was my reasonable voice, the one to help me remember the good and relax. She answered with a “Hey! What’s up?” And I immediately started dry-heave crying. “Mom? I – heave – am – heave – having – a – heave – bad day…”
After hanging up with my mom, I went to my boyfriend, Austin, who let me lie down and finish my cry. He rubbed my back while I poured my soul out, lamenting my end-of-the-line crisis into his chest that was turning damp. Eventually, the talking turned into deep crying, that eventually turned into soft crying, which eventually turned into heavy sighs as I tried to catch my breath. Breaking down burns a lot of calories.
Still rubbing my back, Austin silently held me, hugging me and kissing my forehead in remarkably well-timed moments. As my last couple breaths signaled the end of the crying portion, Austin looked at me with all the love in the world, and softly said “Babe. Stop taking yourself so seriously.” And then, to emphasize his own point, he farted.
We both started laughing.
I like to laugh, it’s a huge part of who I am. I’ve made a pretty successful hobby out of taking whatever happens to me and finding a way to laugh rather than sulk or get angry or be sad. It’s worked wonders for my mental state and dealing with my problems, and it feels good to not only laugh but share in the laughter.
But there are moments when I don’t think it’s possible to laugh, this break down being one of them. I was so distraught and caught up in my downward spiral, I did not think it possible to bring me back. And yet, there I was, laughing with tear-stained cheeks still tight from crying while Austin continues to let out another fart or two.
To give more credit where it is due, he also gave wise words of encouragement, like “you’re so strong” and “it’ll be okay.” But they were drowned out by the punctual statement of not taking myself too seriously, and the prompt flatulent outbursts. We laughed until our stomachs hurt, a unique moment to any college senior suffering from senioritis.
Don’t take yourself too seriously, guys. That statement might not mean a lot in this moment, but trust me, it’s not worth it. Just breathe, fart, cry, laugh, do whatever you need to do, and keep holding on.
Also, whoever is reading these, thank you. I’ve had a wonderful time writing them and I enjoy the thought that they perhaps make someone reads them and maybe even smiles a little.
Have a beautiful day! Cheers!
Kat Lizarraga is a senior creative writing major from Los Angeles, California.