Rage fuel: it’s your friend.
Greetings, Dear Readers! Why Is Everything Capitalized Right Here? No Idea.
I want to tell you a little story on this fine Wednesday morning that, were it to reach only one reader, would be worth taking the time to tell.
In 6 weeks’ time, I will have my bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration. My area of focus is Cybercrimes. I am 42 years old.
It has taken 3 ½ years of late nights at the couch with my laptop as the babies slept. Cram sessions while making waffles and wiping sticky faces. Volunteering at my children’s school after 4 hours of sleep. Going to work, running errands, and driving kids to practice on mental and physical fumes after a night of writing papers, doing endless research for said papers, and eating tostadas at extremely undignified hours.
I will be the first to admit that in the early days after Honey pulled his disappearing act, I was angry. No, that’s not accurate. Angry doesn’t even begin to cover it. I was balls-to-the-wall infuriated. The feeling of anger within the human body is a strange and potentially dangerous thing. It compels you to action, but…what action?
There are choices we can make in anger that either compel us towards a better life, or towards prison. Burning things on someone’s lawn is still against the law, so far as I know. Honey is lucky he fled the scene so quickly. My initial ‘wait, come back!’ posture only took a couple of days to morph into rage. His headlights and windshield were saved a violent end, to be sure. I was out of my mind back then, and not myself. Rage DOES things to an otherwise sane and prudent person. It lies to you, tells you you’re justified in bending his antennae until it snaps the hell OFF. In reality, when the anger fog clears, what are we left with? Regret.
I knew early on that no matter how much I wanted to buy a plane ticket, knock on Honey’s door, and kick him square in his cash and prizes, that this would accomplish nothing in the realm of propelling the babies and I towards a better life. It’s chaff in the wind at best and fodder for arrest at worst. Give me something I can DO with this anger.
In my case, I let it propel me towards taking on the task of getting my education. I was inspired by a dear friend I met in the divorce support group that I now help to teach. She and I had oddly similar situations, and I watched in awe as she enrolled in school while parenting 3 boys alone and working full time. She was nothing short of a badass. Her example helped to dissolve all of my excuses away, and I enrolled.
It has been hard. There have been times I wanted to quit. I cried more than once while alone at 2am eating said tostadas.
But what, then, would all of this excellent rage fuel have been used for?
In addition to being inspired by my friend, I also found an excellent motto early on that solidified my resolve on those nights when I wanted to chuck my laptop out onto the lawn and finally just get some damn sleep.
When the anger fog clears, what is it that you want to be left standing with? Find a way to tap into the sweet nectar that is rage fuel. Identify the direction of your goal. Harness that sucker like a wild bronco and ride that beast into the sunset toward your awesome new life that has nothing to do with the disordered human being in your rear-view mirror.