Letting Go Of The Anger

hide and seek1As I sit at my computer today, I am feeling a deep sense of bitterness, anger and disappointment.  With myself.  Not with my new-found self, but with the self that I owned in my earlier years.  My young adolescent self.

The young adolescent self who did so miserably in school, for no real logical reason.  The one who had the potential, but who chose not to make use of it.   I suppose I could make excuses for her.  I could say that she was shy and deeply introverted and unable to communicate her thoughts.  I could say that she struggled with a lack of self-esteem and confidence and that she was never encouraged or supported in her studies.  I could even say that she fell into the wrong crowd.   All true, but not good enough.

As I look through my old school transcripts I am overwhelmed with anger at that young girl who had so much potential, but chose to throw it away.  Hindsight can be excruciatingly painful.  We review our lives and see things that could so easily have been made different.  We see the choices we didn’t make that could have changed our entire life direction, but which we now have no power over.

Ironically, for most of my life, I have had an inescapable thirst for knowledge.  An all-encompassing need to know, to understand, to discover.  An unrelenting passion for learning that refuses to go away.  Perhaps I am trying to make up for my younger self’s lack of drive, her disinterest and her apathy.

Yet, despite the anger and disappointment I feel compelled to try to understand and to forgive.  I wish I could meet my young shy self today.  I would tell her that she is capable, and that she has worth.  I would give her all the support she needed and desired.  I would give her unconditional positive regard to build her self-esteem and confidence.  I would tell her that I knew she could do anything and be anything that she wanted.  And I would gently draw her out of her bubble and introduce her to the not-so-frightening world around her.

Personal growth is not only about accepting and loving the person we are, but also the person that we were.  And as difficult as it might be, letting go of the anger that we direct at ourselves is a necessary ingredient in loving all of the parts that make us who we are.  This is what will make us complete and what will help us grow and move forward in our life-long journey.

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12 Responses to Letting Go Of The Anger

  1. I say this with the same sentiment. Did your younger self make excuses like, “I can’t get a university degree”? I feel like I make the same excuses I made when I was younger. I latched on to this part of your post, because it’s hard to rid oneself of actions one committed over and over. This is not to say we can’t reverse the curse.

    • lthibault11 says:

      We can most definitely reverse the curse. We just need to learn to believe in ourselves. I’ve come a long way since I was my adolescent self. Things are very different for me now. But I didn’t understand then, what I understand today. We can pretty much be or do anything we want; we just need to believe that we are capable. Confidence and a healthy dose of self-esteem can go a long way. I never actively thought I couldn’t get a university degree, it just never even entered my mind to think about getting a degree period. My father was a highly educated man, and he strongly believed in education, but he put his efforts into pursuing those ideals for my brother. He had the old-fashioned mind-set that we girls would be “taken care of” and didn’t need to worry about pursuing higher education. It was unfortunate stereotyping.

  2. Nina Renee says:

    L, thank you for sharing your story. Hindsight can really be painful, but the good thing is that you’ve learned from the mistakes of your younger self. You don’t have to be ashamed of her, because she’s who helped you become who you are now. She needs your forgiveness.

    You might think it’s unrealistic for you to pursue a degree given your past, but maybe it isn’t. I think it’s just a matter of using what you do have, like incredible writing ability and keen insight. A masterfully crafted essay–plus, just as you say, confidence and belief in yourself–can get you in door.

    • lthibault11 says:

      Hey Nina, thanks for the encouraging words. I had a huge migraine yesterday and was in a foul mood, lol. My grades weren’t ALL bad, but I know I could have done so much better. My worst was math; I sucked at it, big time. I hated it and didn’t even try (learned helplessness)lol. One of the courses I have to take to get into the program I’m interested in is Statistics. Just the thought of it makes my blood run cold. I’m not worried about anything else.

      How are you feeling these days?

      L

      • Nina Renee says:

        You’re welcome. I know exactly what you mean. Math has never been my strong suit, but I did surprisingly well in stat. It may not be as bad as you think!

        I’m feeling well. Light therapy has been great for me this winter! 😀

  3. Irish Katie says:

    Ahh … tis hard not to berate yourself and think of the ‘what if’s’ that abound. And admittedly, a little dose of it can help you realize the lost potential.

    Still, regretting overly much can eat at you, and keep you from focusing positive energies to getting where you wish to. I know it’s easy to say to forgive yourself … but I think it is something we all need to try a bit..lest our disappointment at ourselves drive us mad.

    So…math …are you having some problems with it at the moment?

    (And by the way, its nice to see you again *smiles*)

    • lthibault11 says:

      I was not in a great mood when I wrote that piece. I’m over it now. Nothing like writing to get things off the chest, lol.

      I do suck at math though and there is a Statistics class I have to get through. God help me, lol.

      I can’t really complain too much. I’ve done pretty well in life, so far 🙂 Things might have been a little easier if I had done the right thing, at the right time, but I managed well despite it all. I suppose we could all find things we’d like to have done differently – it’s the nature of hindsight. Nice to hear from you Katie. Hope you are well.

      L

  4. Zen Greenway says:

    I’m impressed that you were able to write anything with a migraine. So there’s that. Also, if you had not been who you were, you would not be who you are. Whenever I’m asked if there is anything I would go back and do differently, I say there is nothing. I wouldn’t want to take the chance of changing who I am now. Of course, there is plenty that I regret. Everyone does stupid things and not just when they’re young. But if I had it all to do over again, I’d keep the stupid stuff. It’s part of me. None of this is meant to invalidate your anger, however. Just don’t beat yourself up too badly!

    • lthibault11 says:

      That was so nicely written Zen. I like who I am today, so I guess I also wouldn’t want to risk changing the past, for fear of changing the present. In any case, there is no way to go back so there isn’t much we can do except to forgive and forget. I don’t want to give the impression that I was some sort of loser kid. I wasn’t. I was just a bit lazy and uninspired in my teens. It just ticks me off because today I am so the opposite of that. I guess I should be grateful for that, lol. By the way, I wanted to thank you for posting that infinity triangle on your blog. I would love to be able to tell you that it all makes perfect sense and that I get it, but I must be honest and authentic at all costs..:) So I have to tell you I have no freaking idea what its about, lol. I am deeply impressed with your mathematical mind though.

      L

      • Zen Greenway says:

        I did not get the impression that you thought you were a loser. And I’m glad that you are happy with who you are now! Sorry the Koch Curve does not trigger the same flash of existential insight for you that it does for me. But I’m confident that you have your own fabulously creative ways of ruminating on your soul and substance! After all, what’s introversion for?

      • lthibault11 says:

        I would welcome a flash of existential insight so I just might pay a little more attention and give it another shot, lol. I must admit I didn’t try too hard first time around. My math phobia made me give up at the mere sight of all those triangles..

  5. I clicked through to your blog from the Gifted Adult website. I’ve read a few of your posts, they’re really good and I can totally relate.

    I was a perfectionist at school, pushing pushing pushing, trying to please teachers. I got lots of good grades but I was doing it out of a place of insecurity and low self-esteem, rather than anything wholesome.

    As you say, you did the best you could with what you knew at the time. And it’s an ongoing process. Thank you for sharing

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