People who know me a little know that I can get quite frustrated. Growing up I would get so angry and vent this to everybody and my father would usually conclude: I think you are mostly angry at yourself. Well, thanks, daddy, the kind of wisdom that is to true to be fun. His suggestion that I am mostly angry at myself was not because there were no upsetting external factors, but because I could often excuse everyone else in the situation, but still stayed mad. I would be mad because I failed to do something that other people asked of me but I didn’t want to do- I would get mad that I was in a situation that made me uncomfortable, it made me angry that I cared. These days every once in a while I get upset again with how the world is, how my actions have consequences I didn’t sign up for, or how I get upset about how other people do things, whereas it is their own life. I have some very strong pre-conceived ideas about how people should treat others and themselves and if they don’t they get upset.
Since I figured that that is not the most sustainable way to do things- it’s not really nice to be angry and frustrated all the time + dump that on strangers, I started doing some research. First- what kind of things would upset me? These were often things that I felt were an injustice, towards me or towards others- or they were things that made me feel like the world is not even an ugly but a limited place. It would upset me that not everything seemed possible. I would feel threatened in a way by things that were beyond my control. So perhaps it is right to not say that I was upset simply by that there seemed to be limitations, but rather that there are limitations to what I can control.
The second part of my research was to reach out to a like-minded person- not in the sense that we think the same way about everything, because then maybe I wouldn’t get upset, but I also wouldn’t be challenged. Rather I reached out to a person with a similar mind, knowing the frustration of that the world is not how you want it to be. Luckily, I knew just the friend to ask. So we talked about what upset me- or rather I talked about these things. Not only the external factors but also the ‘angry at myself’- how actually I wished I would just not care/be different so I wouldn’t get so upset. At the same time I didn’t know how to achieve this, and also didn’t want to stop being myself. I was looking for some kind of framework that could help me channel my anger and frustration. And so I decided to ask her what she does when she gets into these mindsets. Her solution was three-fold: First, she said- I complain. Second, I write an article about it and publish it somewhere, which is great because then it’s out there in the world. And then, since complaining and writing don’t necessarily solve the problem, I do something about it. I make a resolution for myself, instead of waiting for other people to do it, or complaining about that other people don’t do it. So here I am. After complaining I’m writing putting my frustration out there.