Today, I did something I rarely ever do. I got very mad about something, and then I moved on.
Shocking, I know. Sometimes when I get angry, it’s so easy for me to fall into a pattern of irrational rage and self-pity that lasts for days…okay, months. Maybe I’ve given myself too much credit in thinking that I have actually “moved on,” which is entirely possible. I could very well be disillusioning myself into thinking that I am alright, when in reality I’m mad as hell. But what does being mad as hell solve anyway?
Why is anger such a taboo emotion? We are so quick to become angry in response to very real and rational emotions. Anger is such a public display of a very private series of emotions. I feel like anger so often manifests itself out of more personal experiences of loss, grief, pain, terror, or regret.
Lately, I am trying to direct my anger more towards groups, systems, and institutions than people as individuals. What’s going on in my life feels so insignificant compared to the things I observed in Mississippi and things I continue to observe in the rest of the world. Seeing schools without books seems like something much more worthy of my anger than, say, a tiff with a friend or something else going on in my personal life. I believe that I am more at peace with my own life because I am less at peace with the world around me. This summer brought so many questions and thoughts and new ideas and new understandings of the world. Sometimes I feel foolish because I come back from a new place as a changed person, and I often expect home to change as much as I have. I get frustrated when things at home or things at school are blissfully and painfully ordinary and run of the mill.
Mississippi taught me a lot of wonderful things about healthy mobilization of anger. It also taught me a lot of wonderful things about entitlement. My initial response was to brood on these feelings. My calculated response is to act on these feelings at lightning speed.
Maybe I’m growing up.