Friday, January 23, 2009

temperance...

It's worth mentioning, as much as anything is actually worth mentioning I guess, that I noticed today how much I've changed in some ways over the past several years, and how change like that can creep up somewhat subtly and just kind of smack you in the face when you least expect. The case in question is my temper. On and off, but for most of my life, I've had a really bad temper. Not violent, as an adult I've never gotten into a fistfight or anything (though I've been decked once or twice), but explosive sometimes. There was definitely a period of time four or five years ago where I was really blowing my top on a regular basis and having all kinds of public arguments. Finally, I got really sick of it, and things have gradually cooled off. It's taken work, and I haven't always been successful. Last year, for instance, I was on a medication that I didn't realize would make me more irritable and more prone to lashing out, but it did, and I went off on someone at work and wound up basically losing my job over the whole thing. Although the losing my job part had more to do with the idiocy of the people I was working for and arguing with than what I actually did, it was still my temper that lost me that gig. But in the larger scheme of things, it was a mostly isolated incident. I just don't have the same temper that I used to and when I do lose my temper, it's a fairly rare event, and it really just doesn't feel the same. Today I blew my lid, very slightly, over something stupid, something I was right about, but something I could have easily walked away from much sooner than I did. There wasn't anything exciting about it, as soon as I was in the argument, I wanted to get away from it, and eventually I did, and the whole thing just left me feeling regretful and icky. It used to be I would regret the things I didn't get to say, that I didn't completely put the other person in his place. Now I regret saying anything, and trying to put anyone anywhere. It doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter. Sometimes people do stupid things, sometimes I do stupid things, it doesn't matter. I'm not a crazy person, and I don't need to freak out like one over pointless, ridiculous shit. But realizing that makes today feel all the more like a defeat, because I know I should have walked away sooner, and let things continue a little further than that anyway, not out of any particular need or because it was bringing me any satisfaction or relief, but because of some kind of phantom limb of the way I used to handle myself. Stupid, and demoralizing. Fucking completely and totally stupid. And I'm going to be kicking myself for it all day. Because that's what I do. But anyway, I guess it's progress that I can see the situation with some clarity and realize, so soon afterwards, what my mistakes were. So, victory? A minor, bitter victory, but a victory nonetheless? Or is losing it some kind of defeat, is dwelling on it some kind of defeat? Or is it nothing, just something that happens sometimes, that I shouldn't really take as good or bad, or can take as both, because even though it was stupid, it revealed some progress. Funny enough, the incident itself was so minor that it really doesn't deserve a whole blog entry on it, but I've already written this, so, I dunno, fuck it. Maybe putting it on paper (or computer, or whatever) will help get it out of my head. Oh well, whatever, it's nice to see evidence of some personal growth somewhere other than my waistline, even if it did necessitate a minor backstep to realize it. Anyway, thanks my tolerating my self-indulgence here. Film, comics and pop culture to resume momentarily...

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