In defense of commuting
Commuting is no longer in my vocabulary. Thanks to Covid-19 my job is now completely remote (& thus spurred this little #vanlife trip). (And I do realize this is a very privileged position to be in: to have benefited from the pandemic. Know that I’m grateful everyday (both for this & for every other way I’ve been blessed in this weird little life.))
And before working from home – I was fortunate enough to WALK to work. I live(d) just a few blocks away from the office & dang was that a nice walking commute. (Except during those 105 degree summer days…)
Being able to walk to work felt especially nice since at my previous job I had to drive 25 miles each way to work. (25 miles!!!) (Which took me 30-minutes on a good day… Though I fell into the trap of only telling people what my commute time was in IDEAL conditions. I of course never admitted that it regularly took me 45 minutes to an hour to get home. No, no – rather I’d say, “it’s only 30 minutes without traffic!!!!”)
All to say: I’ve had all sorts of commutes & even though I prefer both the walking & the no commute variety – the one thing those options don’t allow is:
the commute cry.
I think it was just my 2nd day on the job – the new one where I got to ~*walk*~ to work instead of drive – when I came to a stark realization that my commute cry would be changed forever. If I wail on my walk home from work – people are going to notice. Gone is the privacy of my car. Gone is the therapeutic ugly cry. There’s only so much that sunglasses can hide – and nothing can hide audible sobbing. Oh no!!
While in a car, the commute cry is perfect for when you’re frustrated, sad, mad, upset, etc. & just want to feel sorry for yourself for a short while.
Depending on your commute – you can have roughly 10-45 minutes of uninterrupted (semi) private wail time. This is enough time to get a good cry in, and the promise of arriving home is enough of “deadline” & change of scenery to stop your tears.
Usually I realize in the moment that what I’m crying over is stupid, but the commute cry allows just enough time for me to feel sorry for myself & wallow in some self-pity before getting home to make dinner.
(I know they say “don’t cry over spilled milk” but honestly sometimes it feels good to cry over spilled milk. Even/especially when you know it’s stupid…?)
Different from the work bathroom cry – during Commute Cry™ you don’t have to worry about your coworkers hearing you. (Though – you MAY have to worry about them being the car next to you & looking over. (Note: this worry is also applicable if you regularly change in the car at stoplights between work & your golf league….))
And different from crying at home – the commute cry offers drama (it’s inherently dramatic to cry behind the wheel of a car). It’s also just a nice change of pace than your “normal” home cries.
Though nothing replaces the commute cry, I will say the pandemic offered a sort of privacy while in public that was previously unknown to me. Crying in sunglasses does indeed offer some privacy, but add a mask to that situation? You can stealthily silent cry WHEREVER YOU ARE. The grocery store, coffee shop, walking down the street.
I don’t, however, have a fool proof solution to the sobs & wails. At least with a mask it’s a bit harder for others to distinguish where these sounds are coming from?
That said – the commute cry is the only real solution.
P.S. Anyone else have any crying tips/tricks?
My boss gave me a good one a while ago: if you cry in the shower you eliminate the need for tissues.
P.P.S. I definitely cry the exact normal amount. This is not a plea for help. Please don’t worry about me.