Life as an Extreme Sport

keep your injured looks to you we’ll tell the world we tried

I’m very angry. It’s a difficult phrase and feeling to admit to – it’s not something I feel very often. Sure, I get flashes of frustration, but one of the better things about Buddhism has been learning to accept the frustration, let it flow through me, and away. Feel the emotion, let it go. Or at least, feel the frustration and then let it go.

In a lot of ways, that’s really helped. A lot of the anger I used to carry with me was just un-vented frustration, pent up and kept inside, allowed to ferment. And in other ways, Buddhism has helped me to understand that most of the time, when I’m angry I’m actually afraid. So I’ve gotten better at taking back that layer of anger to see and deal with the fear.

But this time, I’m just angry. And it’s not one thing, which may be why it feels like such a setback. It’s several things, some recent and some not, and they’ve all added up like straw on Proverb the Camel’s back. I’m angry at things I can’t control, at things I don’t know how to control. I’m angry with people who called themselves my friend and then behaved in extremely unfriendly manner, and I’m especially angry with one in particular, because for all the promises of being there when the going was rough, when the going got rough, said “friend” ran. Yeah, who knew my mother being so ill would be worse than getting divorced – I mean, what a shock. ‘Cept for the whole not thing.

I’m angry with myself for still caring, for still smiling at memories and thinking of these people who made it so clear their lack of interest in supporting me, who dared get in my face because I wasn’t what they wanted or expected (and to do that after the ex-husband and all his accusations of the same).

I guess I’m just angry at a lot of situations I’ve found myself in, and for not knowing how to handle them and not having the people around that I would rely on to help me with it. I can’t be perfect all the time – even most of the time – and this still irks me, going on 31 years. You’d think maybe eventually I’d learn I can’t be perfect, but it just seems to be one lesson that won’t stick.

I feel like I’m operating, for the first time, without a safety net, and I don’t like that feeling at all. …which maybe is the fear, after all. That I’m going to fail, I won’t be perfect, and as I fail I’ll fall, and no one will catch me.

(Do me a favour and don’t assume you know what this is about. You don’t. It’s one of those lovely things where there’s no one, major thing. It’s little facets of everything flying together into a perfect storm, emphasized by the fact that I’ve flown back to Oregon once more.)