Ashley Inside My Head

Embracing the Ugly Cry

January was one of the weirdest months I’ve experienced as an adult, and it was, without a doubt, a terrible way to kick off 2016. I should’ve known – my horoscope for the month was pretty clear: “Communication will be impossible this month,” and “people will misunderstand not just your words, but your actions as well…” I thought, psh, I’m a great communicator. Bring it on.

The misfires and layers of miscommunication were awful. Five days after my husband and I lost our beloved dog, my parents and younger sister (who’s 18, a senior in high school, and obviously still living at home) decided to welcome a brand new puppy to the family – same breed as the adored puppy we had just lost. Having never had an indoor pet (I’m not counting the random fish or multitude of hamsters I had as an only child until the age of 8), this whole thing was highly unusual for my family. To make matters worse, I had waved the red flag and said, “please don’t do this, it’s going to come with a whole crazy level of hurt for me.” They did it anyway. The only saving grace? They live 600 miles away.

At work, our team is adjusting to new ways of working, new ways of thinking, and new teammates. Tensions are high, but in a good way. It’s the way you know something great is on the horizon. But it doesn’t mean it’s been easy, and when the conflict came to a head, we got everything out in the open and dealt with it.

What I learned from all the grief, misunderstanding, and growing pains January brought was this: you’ve gotta embrace the ugly cry. I’m talking the red-in-the-face, crinkled nose, snot bubbles, congestion-inducing ugly cry. There is definitely a time and a place for the ugly cry, but when appropriate, it feels pretty damn good. Most of my “time and place” for the ugly cry in January was in late in the evening, on the phone with my grandmother, likely sitting in the staircase at my apartment complex where no one dare goes. (I’m a closet crier, clearly.)

I felt so cleansed moving into February. I’m sure it’s close to the feeling most people had moving into the new year. And now that Mercury is moving out of retrograde, this Capricorn is waving goodbye to the ugly cry for awhile.

– Ashley Respecki

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