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!)