I hope you're all well this morning. I am. That said, I've been thinking a lot about things of late, and one of the things I think about a lot is my own emotional state. Though I've calmed down a lot since high school, I've realised that I'm quite an angry person.
I also have distinct memories of being angry that I happened to be a girl. It wasn't that I felt like I shouldn't be a girl; that I felt like I had been given the wrong body (though I often joke that I should have been born a boy). It was that I saw and felt the limitations imposed externally on my gender. I saw all the cool stuff that my male peers were doing and allowed to do; cool things that I wasn't welcome or permitted to participate in 'because I was a girl.' I saw that all the heroes in the culture surrounding me were male, and was flat out told once that women couldn't be heroic. I was angry because whenever a boy did something uncoordinated or stupid, they were told they were behaving like girls; because girls are lesser, don't you know? I was angry that I was being treated as lesser, when I knew for a fact I was just as clever as the boys.
As I was so interested in all the adventure sports and sword play and speculative fiction type stuff and no so much in the make-up and boys and romance type stuff, I felt I didn't really fit in with the girls in my class (I pretended to be really into boys just so I would have something to talk to my peers about... it didn't last long. Romantic relationships have never been high on my to-do list). I had no place with the boys, and none with the girls. And that would make me really angry. I would literally sit in a tree and cry, I was so angry about it.
Eventually I just stopped trying. My last year of high school was me just giving up on everything.
By the by, if you're wondering why I'm so ardently feminist, look no further than me spending my entire childhood angry because of idiotic ideas about gender and interests, and how I wasn't allowed to pursue mine because I was apparently the wrong gender for them.
This has echoes to today. People have assumed I was gay because I happen to be really involved with and interested in traditionally more 'masculine' pursuits. I get angry about that as well.
My sister once remarked to me that I "was born angry." It might be true, I don't remember not being angry while I was growing up.
Not much has really changed.
Anger is the first emotion I feel for most things. If someone jumps out at me, the first thing I feel after the initial flight or fight response is anger. Then I usually become amused, because the only people stupid enough to jump out at me are my friends, and they know that they can get away with it. We have a good laugh about it after I rein myself in.
If something bad happens to someone I love, my first response is anger. Then it's sympathy. To clarify, I get angry at the thing that happened, not at the person it's happening to.
You get the picture. Anger has always been my first emotional response to any trauma, however slight.
So, yes, I'm an angry person. I still get angry - really angry - at the stupid gender thing. The recent 'girl's' aisle and 'boys' aisle in toy stores really grinds my gears. I get angry when I see injustices of all kinds. Is someone I don't know calling out someone else I don't know for completely idiotic reasons? I get angry about it. I jump in. I shouldn't, but I do.
I get really, really, really angry about wilful ignorance. There's no excuse for it. None.
The thing is, I don't know why, precisely, I'm so angry. Other people aren't. Other people can just shrug and go about their lives. I, however, get angry. I wish I didn't. It's exhausting!
However, unlike a lot of angry people, I almost never let that anger get the best of me. It has been a long time since I've flown off the handle and punched/kicked a hole in any walls (a fairly frequent occurrence in my teens). I haven't struck anyone in anger (I do at training in play, never in anger), though I have been sorely tempter several times. If I'm having a discussion, and I feel myself getting too angry, I will cut it off. I will hit delete. I will walk away.
You see, I don't think anger is anywhere near as terrible as people make it out to be - provided it is respected and treated delicately. If handled correctly, anger is a very useful tool. It can provide the fire a person needs to get up and change their world. Anger gave women the vote. It freed slaves. Anger was the fuel.
Anger, like jealousy, can also be the fuel for horrible things.
I suppose I view "negative" emotions the same way I conceptualise magic in my fiction - it is what is done with them that determines whether they are good or bad.
So, to my fellow angry people, get angry. Use that as fuel to make the world better, and your anger will not be for nothing. It's when you let your anger control you, instead of the other way around, that it becomes an evil thing.