So, I got a little behind with my Writing101 challenge because I had to do an assignment at the last minute and have it done by midnight last night. This was difficult, because apart from having had several weeks in which to do the aforementioned assignment, I basically procrastinated it until there were just over three hours in which to write, reference, proof read and submit the thing. It was, I will freely admit, a very poor effort. I wouldn’t be surprised if it brings down the grade for that subject significantly.
Instead of doing the day nine prompt, about taking perspectives, I’m going to write about misdirected energy. I procrastinated that assignment because I was afraid. I didn’t really know how to approach it, I didn’t feel confident that I could answer the question. I had been to the library (as in actually physically attended it, and borrowed real books) and got out a selection of relevant texts. I had had a cursory look through them, I’d done a bit of online researching, but all of that didn’t really help when it came to writing the essay. I’m not even sure I understood the question correctly. But for some reason the idea of putting it off was much, much more attractive than starting to write or asking for help, or choosing a different topic. I redirected my energy and my focus onto all sorts of other things, mainly watching and rewatching TV series on my computer.
I felt like I didn’t have control and that scared me, so I did everything I could to avoid thinking about it instead of doing something useful. Any that has prompted some pretty strong feelings of disappointment with myself.
Consequently, I spent quite a lot of time over the last few days thinking about anger, and in particular my anger. I don’t deal with anger well. I seem to be incapable of expressing it usefully, and so instead I internalise it, or I redirect it at something else. Especially when it’s a friend who says something that really gets under my skin, instead of saying, ‘hey that’s not very fair’ or ‘I don’t agree because…’ seethe internally and say nothing. It becomes very black and white, I start thinking I can’t be friends with that person anymore and I feel sad, like I’ve failed.
I don’t want to be the sort of person who is constantly filled with a big ball of fury (and guilt), but that’s what I feel like sometimes. There is a quote that’s made the rounds on the internet a bit that has been resonating with me.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
From what I can find it’s attributed to Carrie Fisher. I know that holding onto my anger is hurting me and that people are not black and white, they’re a beautiful spectrum of everything in between. I know that I need to either my resentment go, or find a way of constructively letting it out. Sometimes the object of my anger is not an object with which I can safely or usefully engage, and so I have to learn to let that go. Other times, I can engage, and don’t because of a fear of conflict, or more likely, an inability to ask for what I need. Times like this make me wonder what the point is of trying to change, they make me feel like all the therapy I’ve been doing is not helpful, it just keeps bringing up different shit that I have to deal with; a constant treadmill of self doubt and pain.
I guess I could also mention that since I quit my job, a stable and secure, but ultimately unfulfilling and frustrating job. I’ve been feeling like I’ve walked straight off the cliff and into the abyss. I’ve leapt out without any real safety net (again) and I’m terrified. I know it’s the right thing to do, no one grows without challenge, but god damn it’s hard to remember that when you’re worrying about where your rent money is coming from.
Maybe I’m just having a particularly challenging week and I should just give myself a break. I’m pretty good at catastrophising and making stuff into more than it really needs to be. If I try to think about the changes I’m about to make as correcting myself back onto the path I want to be on, rather than as having to start again that might be helpful. If I try to remember all work I’ve done over the last few years to get me to where I am today, that will help. If I try to focus on all the amazing opportunities in front of me, like all the writing and performance I’ve been doing, and about the great people I’ve met through it, about the encouraging and kind feedback I’ve had that helps.
So to conclude, having gone almost all the way around, I will leave you, and myself with two things to think about. One is from Yoda:
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
I am going to try to be fearless, or at least, more fearless, because I’ll never be a famous writer if I’m afraid. The second one is from a speech Jim Carey gave to a university management class, it’s just an excerpt, but it’s powerful:
“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.”