I know why “Atlas” has such poor posture.


 In a moment of self pity, I decided to look back on all the horrible times I’ve had in my life so I could prove just how awful of a run I’ve had.

Sadly, I couldn’t come up with much.

Oh sure there are times that I’ve been angry. There are times that I’ve been hurt. There are times where I’ve felt rage enough to verbally wish bloody diarreah upon someone else’s life.

I just can’t seem to remember mostof those times with any clarity.

I don’t know whether I’ve pushed them out of my mind because I don’t like to dwell on the bad stuff, or if I’ve pushed them from my mind because I don’t like to sweat the small stuff. Either way, they’ve nearly all vanished from my memory.

Most of the times that I can still recall being upset, I can now look back upon and realize that I was being over dramatic, and in some cases I can even find humor in those situations. There are a few instances that still cause my core to ache, but even those have dulled over time. Half of my memories in which I can recall being upset, I can’t even remember who or what caused my anger in the first place.

Anger is a funny emotion like that. It seems to come in spurts that are stronger than most of my other emotions, but in most cases, it seems to fade just as quickly as it sets in.

The times that I can recall having the strongest anger seem to fit into 1 of 2 categories.

1. When things don’t go my way due to people.

2. When things don’t go my way due to the ways of the universe.

When a situation falls into the first category, I tend to realize my bratty ways and get over it fairly quickly.

When a situation falls into the second category it gets a little more sticky. It’s pretty simple to forgive someone for having a different opinion or for not feeling the same way that you do. But when life throws you a situation that you never planned to have to deal with, it’s hard to understand why. It leaves me wandering if I did something wrong in my past… if karma has reared it’s ugly head to pay me back for something that I can’t remember doing.

This week I’ve been dealing with anger that stems from a situation that falls very neatly into both of these categories. It’s left me questioning everything from my ability to judge the character of people that I have let into my life, to my faith and my beliefs. This is an anger like I’ve never felt before. It’s crept it’s way into every part of my being, into my core. It’s caused a variety of other emotions as a result. I’ve pain in my heart that’s more real than the pain described in any country song, I’ve felt jealousy towards people I don’t even know, nor would want to know. I feel anguish and dispair and have had moments when I’ve loathed God or whatever being is in charge of my destiny. More than anything, I’ve felt anger towards myself for not knowing how to deal with an unwanted situation better, for not being able to make a decision, for not expecting the worst, and for feeling all of these emotions towards a situation that I cannot control.

I’ve spent every moment of the last week trying to figure out my next move. I thought about the ways I’ve dealt with anger in my past. With petty situations, I’ve used harshed words or childish actions to act out in an effort to fill the void that anger leaves in my soul. I’ve yelled and cried and through fits in my car. I’ve taken it out on people who have had absolutely nothing to do with my anger.

This time though, I knew egging a car or saying mean things to people I care about wouldn’t help. Even saying things to people who are directly involved with the situation won’t change anything. This one is all on me. I’ve found a way to internalize everything, which, as it turns out, doesn’t help any more than taking it out on others. I’ve spent the last week making myself into the enemy. I’ve pu and cried more than I ever have in my life.

Last night though, something happened. I was aimlessly walking through a grocery store,  staring at the 100’s of different types of teas, trying to find something that might help me sleep when a woman pulled up her cart next to mine. She was all up in my space. She laughed and tried to make small-talk about how there were “SOOOOO many different varieties,” “How will I EVER CHOOSE?” Then she selected a simple green tea, but before she walked off she patted me on the back and smiled a huge smile, and told me she hoped I had a blessed evening.

I didn’t smile back, but just sat there with frown. She paused for a moment with a look of worry, and I put my head down so she wouldn’t try to ask what was wrong. She finally took her tea and her cart and left me alone in the aisle.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that moment. I didn’t smile back… and it didn’t feel good. It was obvious that my not smiling back had effected her in some way and that is bothering the hell out of me. It irks me more than anything when I make the effort to smile at someone, and they don’t smile back. I mean… it only takes minimal effort to feign happiness, and it always makes you feel a little better.

I spent the entirety of today trying to smile at everyone I saw in an effort to make up for the lady I shunned yesterday at the grocery store. I made small talk with the gas station attendant. I tried to really mean it when I answered the phone with “Good Morning,” today at work. I even smiled at the dude  who took his precious time walking across the street this morning causing me to be late.

It kind of felt good. I’m still upset, and I’m still not sure what I’m supposed to do, but I do know that just by faking a little bit of happiness, I feel a little better about life. I’m feeling a little more positive, and that whatever I decide to do next, life will be ok. It almost always works out in one way or another.

My point is this. There is truth to the lyrics of the Charlie Chaplin composed song, “Smile,” even when you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. 


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  • http://www.kidtogrownup.com/ BobbiJanay@Kid to a Grown Up

    Hugs.

  • Mwa

    I’m sorry you feel bad.

    I know about losing the bad stuff – I lost a couple of years of my childhood completely. Probably for the best. It’s the same with pain – people have no memory for it. Which is nice, really. Otherwise people wouldn’t have more than one child, or dare to walk again after the first time they fall down.

  • http://twitter.com/RedHeadedWriter J

    I think it’s been scientifically proven that smiling actually helps us feel better.

    Although I’m sure you have your reasons to be angry. Don’t beat yourself up for that, either.

  • Nikki

    Hello positive attitude! How are you?

    I wish I could help lift some weight. But I think you’re headed in the right direction.

  • http://meandthebee.wordpress.com/ steff

    it’s super hard to be pleasant and happy in the face of such adversity and crap being thrust upon you. it’s good to hear that you know what you need to do to make some sort of peace with your current pain despite its difficulties.

    i remember reading something about groups of people in India getting together and having “laugh circles” or whatever. they just meet up and manically laugh from the gut like they’ve never been so amused by anything else before. supposedly its works exceptionally well at keeping the mind and spirit positive regardless of the hardships in their lives.

    i would try it. even if it’s just you alone. it might help. if nothing else it could be a more positive way to channel anger and hopefully turn it around into something good for you.

    in your honor i will do it myself in my car on my way home from work today despite how insane i might look to other drivers.

  • http://www.TheConstantComplainer.com The Constant Complainer

    This was a powerful post. And I don’t know about anybody else, but it really made me think about my life and ways that I’ve acted too.

    For instance, I’ve worked very hard over the years to not hold grudges, to not obsess and to learn how to let things go. I’ve always struggled with that. LOL. I’m semi-OCD. LOL.

    So it’s normal to re-think things or self diagnose. And it’s OK to be pissed off at the store and feel bad about it later. We’ve all lashed out at an unknowing person at one time or another.

    Just take care of yourself, know that friends and family care about you and keep living a better life. In this crazy world, I think it’s more about how you live now than what others think or how you lived before. Hang in there!

  • Anonymous

    *Big hugs*

    I hope you are okay, hon.

  • http://www.growingupginsburg.com Christa

    This is moderately relevant, but I find grocery stores to be the most depressing places on the planet and have no idea why. I’m sure that wasn’t helping your mood.
    But “smile, smile”! It’s so pretty :o)

  • http://www.ftcs.wordpress.com/ Clevelandpoet

    let us try this again shall we? First I’ll start by saying grocery stores are pits of despair. Also since the losing of this I’m not sure what the real point was so forgive me.

    I never liked to smile. Rarely did. I would tell people that I didn’t smile (no matter why) because it gave off the impression that I was happy. What a dick I use to be.
    anyhoo then…there was this girl I went to high school with but we were not really all that connected. We’d see one another and maybe chat and what not. Well one day I was trying to write some where in the park and she showed up near there. She didn’t acknowledge me or I her. She started to cry at first a loud sob and I thought to myself damn this is bothering me..how can I write with this…then I thought I had writers block I’ll go over and talk to her and see if that helps. (again what a dick) so I go over. We talked a bit and I could tell she really wanted to get rid of me. So I was about to just leave when I dunno something in her eyes looked like this pretty shade and suddenly this line popped into my head and I wrote it down. I wrote: “She drew circles in the sand and called it life.”
    She asked me if she could see what I wrote I said no (what a dick again) and she looked so sad that for some reason I tore the piece of paper off and said here this is for you. and smiled. she smiled and took it.

    a few days later she found me in school and told me she was going to kill herself and handing her that line and smiling stopped her. so yeah some cheer or fake smile for others can do everyone a world of good I guess…..sorry this is long and pointless…..got nothing but love for you tho….keep on keeping on and all that

  • http://www.ftcs.wordpress.com/ Clevelandpoet

    let us try this again shall we? First I’ll start by saying grocery stores are pits of despair. Also since the losing of this I’m not sure what the real point was so forgive me.

    I never liked to smile. Rarely did. I would tell people that I didn’t smile (no matter why) because it gave off the impression that I was happy. What a dick I use to be.
    anyhoo then…there was this girl I went to high school with but we were not really all that connected. We’d see one another and maybe chat and what not. Well one day I was trying to write some where in the park and she showed up near there. She didn’t acknowledge me or I her. She started to cry at first a loud sob and I thought to myself damn this is bothering me..how can I write with this…then I thought I had writers block I’ll go over and talk to her and see if that helps. (again what a dick) so I go over. We talked a bit and I could tell she really wanted to get rid of me. So I was about to just leave when I dunno something in her eyes looked like this pretty shade and suddenly this line popped into my head and I wrote it down. I wrote: “She drew circles in the sand and called it life.”
    She asked me if she could see what I wrote I said no (what a dick again) and she looked so sad that for some reason I tore the piece of paper off and said here this is for you. and smiled. she smiled and took it.

    a few days later she found me in school and told me she was going to kill herself and handing her that line and smiling stopped her. so yeah some cheer or fake smile for others can do everyone a world of good I guess…..sorry this is long and pointless…..got nothing but love for you tho….keep on keeping on and all that