Life, Anger, and Hope

Sometimes, I wish Life was a person so I could smack her in the face. But maybe that’s Anger in me, trying to take over.

I’m not a violent person. But I know how to punch. And sometimes, Life is just so unfair that I wish I could express how I feel in more than words.

I keep reminding myself that anger is OK. That it’s OK not to have it all together, and it’s OK to be honest with people about that. It’s OK to cry in the middle of class one day because it’s been rough, it’s OK to cry on the shoulder of your roommate because you’re tired, it’s OK to lay around and watch Netflix because you don’t want to think about anything else.

I try to accept it — that it’s OK not to be OK. But then, Anger shows up. I see her, and then I am her. I am Angry. Angry that my dad won’t be able to walk me down the aisle or hear my kids call him “Papa Daddy” or help me buy my first house. Angry that my dad is the one that has to die and not someone else’s. Angry that I’d even wish it away from me and onto someone else. 

And Anger grows in me. I’m Angry that my fiancé is thousands of miles away. Angry that a man might be paid more than me for the exact same job. Angry that sexual assault is rampant on college campuses everywhere and there is seemingly nothing we can do to stop it. Angry that my best friend had tomatoes thrown at her house when she was young because her moms are lesbians.

Yes, Life sucks. And I’d like to punch her for it.

But, God. I have those moments — those moments when Hope emerges from the behind the chaos. She is steady, unhurried, leisurely. She appears when Lee, someone I didn’t know a year ago, sits with me while I call UNL Counseling and Psychological services to get the help I need. She smiles at me and looks me in the eye while I make the call — and when I’m done, she says she knows how hard it is to do that and I should be proud of myself for being brave and strong and courageous. She hugs me, holds my hand, tells me I’ve conquered something today.

Hope presents herself again when someone puts a chocolate chip cookie on my desk, just because. Or when Malarie walks into my room and I ask what she needs and she says she just wanted to tell me she loves me. Or I run into Andi on campus and she hugs me and invites me over for a homemade meal. Or Dani tells me it’s OK to skip my run one day because sometimes sleeping is more important. Or Jon texts me out of the blue, “You’re my favorite person in the entire world. I love you.”

So I breathe in deeply and pray that Hope will stay for a while.

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