I've spent a lot time this week listening to artists like Alannis Morrisette. She was such a staple for the younger, angrier me but I was listening to an interview where someone asked her if she was still angry after all these years. She said yes and I felt her answer to be refreshing in a way. The difference, she said, was that she had a much healthier way of channeling that anger. I thought how beautifully honest. I thought about my early twenties, my mid twenties, hell my entire existence and I think about now. I asked myself the same question. Am I still angry? And the answer is yes. I am absolutely still angry but the way that I would handle it then is way different than I handle it now. I look at my kid, still at the beginning of her life. I feel her anger, understand it completely, and just hope that she figures a way to channel it, too. We do though. We all do. Alannis wrote one very angry song and it labeled her this angry woman but she was simply expressing what we all feel at that particular time. Anger can be poison but it can also be this lovely motivation. Like all powers, it comes with great responsibility.
We learn that as we grow and become who we are. There are days I would like to throw tables at people, curse their names, and say hateful things to make them feel like they make me feel. Younger me? Yeah, I would have done that in a heartbeat but I am so grateful that older me knows better. We all have this rage inside. The world is in such a bad place right now and people lack so much empathy for each other. We're all somehow stunted people who think of only themselves because, well, it's easier to be that way. And all of it stems from the things we do to each other. Someone somewhere at some point in our lives hurt us and now the entire human race has to pay for it. So, we put up these walls and we throw our grenades and we toss judgement around like confetti in a parade because that anger that we are putting out doesn't hurt us, right? It protects us... but it doesn't and we know it. We're all just too broken to admit it. So, we sing these songs of rage when we are young and it becomes an anthem of sorts, pure silly angst that soon we realize has no place in our lives. Yes, the people who hurt us ought to know but then we have to learn to let it go.
My anxiety and depression are a daily thing I battle. Many people over my life hurt me and I carry the effects of them with me still. It's OK because at this point they no longer control me. Still, I hear the "you aren't good enough's" and I feel the hands on my wrists and there is this deep part of me that still feels this unbelievable anger. I once thought this anger was all that I was. I was completely engulfed by pure rage and it was the entire worlds fault. I couldn't let them know enough. Sometimes I get so angry, so unbelievably angry. It's the boil in the bit of my stomach and my head feels fuzzy and I have a hard time breathing. The thing is this rage that wants to take over no longer has that power over me. I understand that these triggers are part of a big insecurity that have nothing to do with what is happening in that moment. That anger is still my soul trying to heal, trying to make sense of the things that hurt so deeply, and I have to allow myself to heal but that doesn't mean I have to let it ruin the beautiful things in my life right now.
Over the last few years, I've looked back at my life and I've understood so much more than I have before. I still don't know shit but it's OK. Am I still angry? Sure but I would much rather focus that energy, that power on making my life better. We can all look back at our younger years and wish we were where we thought we would be but it's dumb. We aren't who we were then, angry or not angry. Life happened the way it did. We can be angry about it, sure, but we also have the ability to adjust, to pivot, to choose to do the work. I will always love listening to Alannis but what people didn't hear was even in her angry song was this lovely vulnerability in her words. If we took to the time to stop being so angry, we would see that we're all just trying to survive. Be angry. There's nothing wrong with feeling these very real feelings. Just remember that behind that anger, it's just a hurt trying to heal. Use that energy to better yourself, not hurt the people around you. Who we are changes and what we thought doesn't always come to fruition but who we become is up to us.