These Days of Anger in Our Lives (My Silent Struggles)

Happy Monday everyone.  For all of you across the world that may be reading this, happy Tuesday or Sunday.

SSP

Sometimes, I would like to burst out in anger against the unfairness of it all. Of the wounds inflicted in my life. Of all of the things that make me cringe, cry, weep in my little dark corner.

Despite me coming off as a pretty clever, witty guy (and yes, I can assure you that I am a guy), I do this to cover up my fears and my wounds. My inner anger. Because I am really angry.

At myself. For not being able to do more. More to help others. More to not let my team down.

What. Am. I. Missing?

Today, I was trying to prove a point in an English  class. It was one of those debating-type things that you may have done in college or high school, where you research a point and back up your case with the best that you can scrounge up.

It was on happiness.

Ironic, isn’t it.

Now, usually, when an opportunity comes by like this (a debate kind of thing, that is), I would take it, debate my heart out, and just sit back and watch the outcome. I wouldn’t care if I was more persuasive or if the other person made their points correctly. I just wanted to feel the excitement in the air and celebrate with the victors when all of it was over, hating the feelings of rivalry and side choosing in the room during the debate. I only did it for fun. Didn’t care.

But this one was different. I felt that this debate, this topic on happiness, paralleled completely with my morals and my own struggles. I believed so strongly in my own hopes through my struggles that the topic of happiness, to me, seemed like the easiest thing to argue for. In a way, it was.

Putting my heart into it, I applied my heart, soul, and life into every point I made. I, normally being the quite but witty guy in the corner, crept out of my shell, made my stand, and blasted fully the points in my head. Because I had known that what I was about to say was probably not what anyone would expect, except for my own group members. I had to win. It was for me. My silent struggles. All of my days of anger lead to this climactic moment. My points had been points which, if you analyzed a bit closely, revealed a bit of my troubled past. Too bad no one bothered to analyze closely and formulate conclusions.

What. Am. I. Missing?

After the fight, popular opinion in the room favored me. My response that happiness isn’t a standard, but that it is a perspective. I acted like I didn’t care. Deep inside, though, I was seeking to overcome this struggle of struggles, to fight this fight which had made itself apparent in my growing list of troubles.

Then came the tiebreaker between me and my opponent, despite the fact that there was the common thought that I was going to win.

What. Am. I. Missing?

The question was asked. Only 20 seconds to prepare in our heads and 10 seconds to say it. I linked mine back to my original argument, feeling strong. At peace. I was there, then-

What. Am. I. Missing?

That was when the judge favored the opponent. There were shouts. An uproar. Everyone looked at me, some saying things like, “What’s done is done. Don’t worry, Jason,” while others exclaimed, “Jason should have won! What is up with that!?”

I turned back to my team and did what I had thought that I wouldn’t be able to do without looking fake: I smiled. “I couldn’t have asked for a better team. You guys had my back the whole time. Your dedication made this team run. Good job.” And I had done something even more unbelievable- I had meant it.

What. Am. I. Missing?

My mind didn’t explode, I didn’t suddenly become psychopathic or suicidal or anything like that. Not even remotely close.

I was disappointed. More than that, I was saddened.

Saddened by the fact that no one would understand these silent struggles. These moments when I simply want to just erase everything in my life and start over. Have you ever felt that way before?

Again, it may look like I AM mentally crippled or emotionally unstable. Believe me, I’m not. I’m just using my blog as an outlet for my emotions, that’s all.

What. Am. I. Missing?

I felt in that moment that I was so close to explaining to everyone what my views of happiness, a conscience, and our creative freedom should mean to them. How things shouldn’t be taken for granted. How we are all free, even if those superior to us may say otherwise. How with this freedom practically our society may be destroyed but there is still hope.

What. Am. I. Missing?

All tumbled.

Down.

The.

Drain.

Because of a decision of a third party.

I got home, sat there on my couch, and started to play the whole argument back in my head.

What. Am. I. Missing?

And I found that I was calm the whole time. At peace with myself. When I was in the moment, I was having fun, poking jokes at some of humanity, treating everything as a joke, yes, but engaging the whole audience and even the third party in my laughter and humor.

So?

What. Am. I. Missing?

Even though I may have lost that opportunity of triumph, over my struggles, over what people call “their problems”, I had found my safe haven. As an optimist, I would usually say that there is a tomorrow. But that’s not how my optimism works now. Even though I continue to deal with my struggles, I can now say that my optimism has changed. For the better. Because now, I don’t ask myself-

What. Am. I. Missing?

I can rebuke that. Defend myself. Resist. Feel as if, even though I don’t know what I lack, that I can say-

I. Am. Missing.

Less.

 

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10 responses to “These Days of Anger in Our Lives (My Silent Struggles)

  1. I don’t do one on one debates very often in class. Usually I do a half class versus the other without a real winner. When you have a Superbowl or championship you have 30 unhappy teams and one happy team. It’s like a raffle, one happy person, everyone else bummed out. It’s almost better NOT to have a raffle because people are more bummed at what they DON’T get then happy about what they do get.
    Beyond happiness we have the students’ willingness or unwillingness to participate. Some of that comes down to a perception that people (including their teacher) might not like what they have to say. But at least in a discussion there is doubt. In a debate there is no doubt.
    I did this activity as an experiment. There were some cool moments for sure. For every person who felt robbed you should have seen the look on the face of the person who felt they pulled out a great win.
    A part of me feels like I shouldn’t do this again. That I shouldn’t subject my smart nice students to such pressure, to such unfairness, such subjectivity. Maybe kids shouldn’t play baseball with a human umpire, or basketball with a human ref. Maybe humans shouldn’t be in charge of hiring or college admissions because their decisions could be unfair or hurtful. Maybe I’ll be the nice teacher and protect you from a world that can’t wait to bounce you on the knee of cruel mother Fate.
    I just have one question? Did you learn more and grow more from “losing” than you did from a potential win? Is the experience about class perception and “winning” or learning?
    I’d write more, but it’s your blog, not mine.

    • To tell you the truth, I didn’t really feel as if it was a win or lose situation. It was more like one of those moments where everything in my mind just fell into place. I didn’t feel as if it was a win or loss. It was just a moment when the messiness of my life suddenly organized itself in my head. Even though it was a shame that I had lost, I feel that either way these struggles wouldn’t go away. But it’s the journey that helped me understand myself more. During the whole process and not the end I felt like I was more complete. I felt the true happiness there, standing up in front of everyone and expressing myself and what I believe in. Ironically, all of these years I had avoided what I had advocated so much: the power of expression and intellectual freedom. This helped me rediscover and unlock that inside of myself. So the bottom line is that the argument itself, the process and the speaking from both sides, and not the outcome helped me grow as a person. Thank you for that, and for allowing me the opportunity to find at least part of myself.

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