Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"I'm ready to fucking murder someone"

That was a text I sent to my friend this afternoon. I would never describe myself as laid back- I'm excitable and unable to relax. That being said, I'm not prone to anger. Sure, I get annoyed...but rarely do I feel anger.

What I felt today is the kind of anger that keeps massage therapists in business. Its the vitriol that starts where your shoulders meets your neck and decides that this is a good place to practice knot tying.

Normally, if paperwork is late, I chalk it up to laziness. The people I work with are busy and most of the time, if an item is late, it does not really matter. This time was different. I had been called about the paperwork two weeks ago- paying a foreign national isn't easy, and someone wanted to get a jump on the process. After checking with my boss, I let the person on the other side of the phone know we'd need a budget form before the end of the week. Two weeks ago. I got it today.

And it wasn't that I got it today. It was thrust at me by someone who looked like he hadn't slept in weeks, someone in tattered clothes, almost yelling. I got defensive, perhaps in error. I was told I had to take the paperwork. When I explained my side, again, too hastily, the person on the other side of the desk whipped out a cell phone from my college days and called the same person with whom I had the original conversation.

I was defensive, but then my opponent in this battle decided that if he didn't get his way, he was going to hassle the "offending parties" until they listened. That's when the knot built. The rest of the conversation revolved around this man telling me how I was doing my job wrong, that he could do it better, and me saying I would bring his concerns to my supervisor.

But it was the anger that I remember. Not because it was anything special- it was far from righteous and probably justified...but I haven't felt that angry in a long time. There was a time in my life where I would feel it with regularity. The presence of tight shoulders and a pressure that forced me into a super villain stoop was a regular companion of my life. I do not remember when I stopped experiencing it with frequency, but it slowly left my life.

Until today. More than the anger...more than the frustration and the extra work...I hated the anger. It was vile. I was white hot, a super nova, and all over what- someone who was just listening to a superior. Sure, they weren't listening to me...but in the grand scheme of things, that doesn't really matter. Anger is a part of life, and I had to feel it...even if I detested the feeling.

That same friend told me to breathe, and that's what I did. And unlike before...unlike the halls of high school and the familiar taunts of bullies...this time I was able to untie the knot in short order.

I guess that's growth.

Friday, April 6, 2012