The white against green and the steady tick-tock of ball against racquet strings at Wimbledon is very calming for me this time of year. It’s the most pleasant background static there is. I like the precision and skill, the neat boxes and the ball bouncing right on the line. I like watching the tennis players’ lightning-fast reactions to a ball’s trajectory from the moment it leaves their opponent’s racquet, especially when they instinctively reach for the return even though their eyes can see that the ball is going to falter and hit the net. They perform like highly trained animals and I find them fascinating to watch.

I asked my boyfriend if I should write about Wimbledon for my diary this week, and he said, “Nah, no one wants to read about tennis.” I suppose he is right, it is kind of pointless if you don’t like or watch tennis. Thank you for indulging me.

It might be because I started the pill recently and my hormones have been affected, but I have teared up quite easily the last few weeks. I don’t mind it—in fact I think I like it. I used to never be able to cry, even when I felt the most intense frustration. Instead of letting it out, I tightened up around it.

I learned to quash my emotions at school. I remember crying within those walls only once, dripping hot tears into the keys of my computer during a German lesson because my workload was stressing me out. I never felt stable or safe at school, and never found solid friends. It made me close up so much. Stoicism became second nature, and it is a hard habit to break.

I still harden myself to friends and acquaintances, even ones I have known for years. I doubt I could cry in front of the majority of my friends even if I wanted to. Being in a relationship, though, I have learned to soften. I’ve already cried twice in front of my boyfriend in the two weeks we’ve been together, and for me that is a lot. This is a new kind of intimacy for me. ♦