Thursday, February 28, 2013

Does Anyone Ever Feel This Way?

That's right. ANGRY. I took this self portrait on Tuesday as I was thrashing and screaming about my home. My poor mother experienced this animorphic transformation when I spilled her smoothie all over the ice tray in the freezer. (I think the ice machine took offense because it hasn't made any ice since...)

I was so angry that I did what any mature, self-respecting young adult would do. I threw a tantrum. Granted it was contained in the form of a journal entry, but I think at one point I even threw my phone across the room onto my bed. Luckily my phone is military grade. It was trained to endure much worse.

I know how unattractive it is to admit this, but COME ON PEOPLE, do you really think I will believe you for a second if you told me your face hasn't turned blue, red, and maybe a little yellow in a moment of irrational rage? Ok, so maybe I'm the only one. Luckily I didn't take my rage out on anyone but myself (and the ice machine). But after a two-day cool down I've learned a couple of valuable lessons. 

Anger is quite the same as a headache. It's almost never the actual problem. It is always the symptom of a different ailment. And trying to treat the surface ailment may help for a moment, but it will only leave the real problem nesting away in your mind/body. And that problem will lay it's cancerous eggs e'ry-where 'till it has consumed your whole soul. 

So what was behind my anger? Hurt, anxiety, shame, fear, frustration, disappointment, embarrassment, and a just a pinch of jealousy. Yes, that is 8 of the 11 sub-faces on my anger face chart. Which feelings came from what I felt were unfair, and oddly cyclical life occurrences. 

After that wonderful realization, I had to start asking, "Why?" A mentor-friend I have been working with told me to keep asking why until you get to the bottom of things. And can I tell you something? I uncovered quite the amount of gunk. Things I have been holding on to for a long time that I have been sweeping under the rug. 

I would love to sit here and tell you all of the frustrations I have been facing and what was actually behind them, but the truth is I wouldn't know where to start, and I probably wouldn't know where to end. And I'm not even sure it would be all that helpful. However, in an effort not to be vague, I will tell you this. My next blog post will be dedicated to a specific experience I had this week that truly humbled me. Like the "man-I-was-just-served-and-boy-did-it-feel-good" sort of humbling. 

But for now I will say this. Most of my life I have been living for other people. Not because they wanted me to, but because I thought I wanted to. I felt it was my duty to fulfill the potential I thought others saw in me. And I would feel extremely disappointed if I couldn't live up to it. Trust me, it's an exhausting lifestyle. 

After a wee bit of soul searching, and some unexpected counsel from dear friends and supporters, I've decided to LET GO. There are good things to let go of, and there are bad things to let go of. And I'm sure I'll learn to navigate my way through both avenues. But for now I'm deciding to let go of two major things. 1) Other's opinions, and 2) Outcomes. And I'm also going to let go of the fact that I am not where I thought I would be at this stage in my life. So what? If I can be happy here and now, that is going to give me the most amount of peace. 

I have some amazing blessings in my life at the moment. I have plenty if reasons to feel happiness. And I have every reason to do things because I want to. Not because I think others want me to. And by the way - that is not to be taken in a bitter connotation, it isn't anyone else's fault I was living for them. I've just decided for myself that it's time to stop. 

So there it is. And here I am. And we'll see where it goes from here.

(PS. Next week I'm going to experiment with natural stains on wood. It's going to be so fun and I'm so excited!)


  1. A very wise character in a movie once said, "You're supposed to be the leading lady in your own life, for God's sake!" I believe it was The Holiday.

    I love your blog. It's so fresh and real and you. These posts are great reminders to me, too.

    The past couple of weeks for me have been incredibly hard. It feels a little like everything that could go wrong is going wrong. I've been getting angry and a little melancholy, expecting things to be a little more... well, like I expected.

    The only thing I can hope and pray for is that I come out of it a stronger person. That I gain a new perspective or that I grow a little bit. I believe that if we got everything we wanted and if everything was the way we thought it would be, we'd cease to grow. And growth, as painful as it is, is what we are here to do. It ultimately feels good... when we find that peace.

    This is what I tell myself to fall asleep at night...

    I, for one, can't wait to finally grow out of this uncontrollable anger thing. I have the same rare tantrums as you! HAHA. It'll happen. We just need a little more brain development.

    1. Natalie! Oh my I love this comment. Isn't it amazing that we can still share these connections after, what, 15 years of being friends?

      I completely agree that hard times are basically a requirement in life. Especially the ones where you question if you will be able to pull through them. I'm sorry that you have had such a hard couple of weeks, but as many a friends have told me, the hardest times come right before miracles. And growth is always a miracle :)

      Who knows if we will ever grow out of it! One day I hope to put it behind me, but maybe the best way to do that is to get it out. Better out than in as they say! So maybe this will be my year of rage. Haha JUUUST KIDDIN. But if you ever need to vent, feel free to give me a call :)

  2. I remember going through very similar experiences! I feel like these things are so important in the journey of finding out who we are and what we want out of life. I also remember that, for me, the painful process of growth took years and years. Be patient with yourself and know that you will reach your goal!
    And as cheesy as it sounds, service helps this process so much! I remember volunteering at a clothing exchange and it was SO fun! I loved going to it each week! I also really enjoyed working at the temple. Each of these things helped me find out more about myself and helped me to let go of past hurts and hang-ups.
    Anyway, you are amazing! I love your candid honesty and straight forward personality!

    And, in reference to your last post, I am SO excited to get together and have a creative-idea fest! :) Heidi Perez wants to get together with us, too! It will be like the good ol days again ;)