Lately I have been finding myself, on occasion, behaving in a manner that I never thought I would. I've always been a person who let things roll off my back. As I may have mentioned on this blog, I've actually always found it quite difficult to remain angry or resentful... to the point where I've literally had to remind myself that I'm upset with somebody rather than calling them to see what they're up to that day.
I've had mixed reactions to this. Some people have been fully supportive. Others- not so much. Plenty of people in my life have encouraged me to embrace a general upset at the situations or beings in my life who "wrong" me. These people are generally the ones who adopt that kind of attitude in their own lives. Unforgiving, un-sympathetic people who have always just kind of lived their lives that way. You'll recognise the type when you bring up something that might not "be their favorite thing," and they respond with an attitude that you can literally feel draining the life force from your day. I don't think that people like this are necessarily to blame for this kind of attitude, because it's generally a learned thing. Maybe a parent, or a group of friends or even a romantic partner can be influential over someone's outlook. I should know... I've been on both sides of that fence.
photo credit: unknown
I've always tried to be optimistic, mainly because there's literally no point in pessimism. You consistently expect the worst, and so at no point during your life do you experience hope or faith in goodness. And for the past few months, I've felt that hand of resentment creeping into my life. Resentment toward old friends who haven't been quality people to me, resentment toward pretty much every guy I've ever dated, and resentment toward a particular group of people who I've taken pains to avoid over petty stupid crap that doesn't even matter in the grand scheme of things. The funny thing is that it doesn't even feel good to be mad at these people. Sometimes, I think people get this high from the drama of being angry at somebody. There's always that sense of importance when you have something (anything!) to discuss with friends, especially the drama of how you've been wronged. It's not pretty, but it's true and I honestly think anyone who denies that is a bunch of poppycock. But whenever I've vented about the people in my life who have been jerks, I don't ever-ever-ever feel better afterwards. As a matter of fact, I usually feel worse! And I think that to some extent, I have continued to vent about it to people in search of some kind of peace that just never comes. It's so ridiculous!
And I came to a kind of epiphany this morning. It was one of those ones where you've removed yourself from your own life and look at it with fresh new eyes and your jaw drops as you *guffaw* and say, "What the hell am I doing?" (By the way: I'm bringing the word *Guffaw* back. It's entirely too underused.)
Resentment is so wasted, and anger is literally a life-suck on every possible level. I once dated someone who insisted that I get angry more often (no joke) and discuss things in the heat of the moment rather than when I've mellowed. But that's never been my way. I want resolution, not a temporary relief. I want to be in charge of my emotions, and occasionally that means allowing them to wash over me until they've subsided and my rationale floods into their place. And it's okay to be angry, some times. But rather than painting over who you are in thick opaque red, let it be a wash of color that fades in the sun. There's not much point in spending your life wasted on that kind of negativity. When life is great- savor it. When life is bad- discard the pieces of it that make you unhappy. Don't dwell or stew or fume about it... just let it go and move on. You're better than that.