Written by: Rhea Smith
Every month, we’re going to take one of our tender hearts and get to know them a little better. It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know some of you, so here’s hoping you all have the same sentiments! Hers is one of the most inspirational, creative hearts I’ve had the honor of speaking with – Read on to learn more about Caroline Linford.
How old are you, and where are you from? Do you have any nicknames? What’s your favorite color? Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself?
Caroline: 42 from Poole, Dorset, UK. My friends usually call me Kitty. Pink is my favourite colour but I am a rainbow lover... Nature wombling, vintage flower-power lover.
Q: What does being a Crybaby mean to you? When did you first realize that you were a Crybaby?
Caroline: I’ve always seen myself a bit like a clown. I try to keep spirits up, lift people and survive by using all my positive energy, but sometimes it drained me behind the scenes a little - so I would cry a lot over all kinds of things, and it helped to recharge me to get up and start all over again. I never really considered it as a negative until my boyfriend of seven years left me in January using it against me, as if it was a fault... I've realized since that the fault was with him not being able to handle or care for me properly or the way I deserved. I found the Crybaby Club at pretty much the same time that he walked out on me when I was feeling at my lowest and with the help and support of so many wonderful ladies I have rebuilt my little life and done so many amazing things in only nine months!
I always KNEW deep down that it was okay to cry and that it didn't mean I wasn't tough but the Crybaby Club reinforced my beliefs and has helped me in more ways than I can list really.
Q: If you had to sum up the Crybaby Club in a few sentences to someone who had no idea what it was - what would you say? What does it do for you?
Caroline: It's a safe place for your feelings. We know the strength in a tender heart. It makes me feel I have a cheering squad with me no matter what I do and no matter how scary. It's like good friends holding your hand.
Q: Couldn't have put it better myself. Back to you! What is your favorite thing about yourself?
Caroline: My positivity and imagination.
Q: On the flip side, what are some things that you're working on/want to work on about yourself?
Caroline: I’m working on my anxiety still.
Q: Understandable. As someone who also copes with anxiety from time to time, what are some tips and tricks that you find helpful in coping and calming yourself down?
Caroline: I’ve really started pushing myself into trying new things and jumping out of my comfort zone... I let myself have a little reward for doing well. In my spare time I’ve taken up crochet to calm and relax me. And when I start to panic I have scents that help me on my sleeve. I just keep pushing myself no matter how hard because I know deep down I can do this.
Q: That’s a great way to look at things. Can you tell us one moment you ‘cried but did the thing anyway’?
Caroline: When my eldest cat had to be put to sleep this year, I was heartbroken and didn't think I could cope but I took her on a last special cycle ride day together. Sat at the top of the hill with her and held her in my arms. I cried over losing her, saying goodbye and then because I was so proud that I had been brave enough to do that for my special friend.
Q: I’m sorry to hear that, definitely brave, agreed! What kind of crier are you - blubberer? Silent? Wailer?
Caroline: Depending on what it is... If I lose someone – person or pet – I’m a wailer for sure, but anything else I’m a silent snivvler.
Q: If you had to pick the most epic crying moment of your life, good or bad, what would it be?
Caroline: I’ll go for my son being born as the most epic happy crying.
Q: Aww! That’s beautiful. Who is someone in your life that inspires you? Particularly to be yourself, love yourself, or better yourself?
Caroline: My Mum without a doubt. She's one tough, brave, strong lady. She could be the poster lady for the Crybaby Club... The only reason she tries not to cry is because she literally wouldn't stop!
Q: What makes you truly ‘you’?
Caroline: My positivity and bounce back attitude. My daydreams and sense of humour... I ALWAYS carry my own sunshine and I'm happy to share.
Q: If you could give advice to a younger self, any age - what would you say?
Caroline: Probably from when I started high school. I'd tell myself that there's no need to change, by being exactly who you are you'll attract the right people and the others just don't matter. It's going to be awesome being different one day. Don't worry, enjoy it!
Q: Alright, lastly - do you have any advice for fellow Crybabies or future Crybaby club members?
Caroline: Wave those hankies in the air so your fellow Crybabies can find you... And NEVER be afraid to feel, just ride the ups and downs but never give up. It will get brighter little fighter. We've got your back.