an impulse to punch

how do fits of anger mold into non-violent beliefs?

it’s elementary to pride oneself on forward-thinking values concerning conflict. i completed a peace studies course a couple years back and it changed the way i think about disagreements, whether that be over a song or geographical dominance. the stressed message was to count on diplomacy to work through conflict. if we prolong the discussion until common ground is found, peace can be maintained and lives can flourish instead of flounder like fish in a barrel stuffed with explosives.

the topic not covered in that class, perhaps mistakenly, was inner-conflict. can we be patient in our resolutions with others if we can’t handle our own? i for one shred my empathetic understanding down to the nub during personal crises. forget about commitments, i’m just struggling to contain the storm. the clouds are a fog, the rain an outpour of negative thoughts, the thunder an aggressively resonant idea, and the lightning a physical crack. depending on the severity, real damage can be done under this high-pressured atmosphere.

despite these conditions, is the first gust of this tropical storm anything other than a selfish sense of injustice? to be dissatisfied with personal matters is to be unaccepting of the linear passage of time. my discontent is with the past and the present, not the future. however, isn’t the future the one segment worth focusing on? history is a tool of learning and its current unfolding moments are a product of our last decisions, but the unknown road ahead is a spring of possibility. it’s tragic to think i’m snagged by the arms of a clock not because they reach out to grab me, but because i run into them.

the pity-party angle is a tough parenting style to host as guardian. listening to and acknowledging complaints against my prior judgement would definitely garner loftier praise from my professor if it were properly enacted. but i’m afraid each surge of violent discourse weakens my resolve to be the change the world needs. screams and jabs step on shift to replace deep breaths and cracked knuckles. clenched jaws and tense muscles swap out dog walks and writing exercises. the degradation of rationality is strikingly apparent.

as tolerance lowers, roadblocks erupt like a national emergency. music feels like too inadequate of a medium for channeling bitter tastes. workout routines no longer counterstrike the emotional waves; instead they amplify them. even the boxing bag minimizes to a quick breath of fresh air before being dunked back down into a drowning red sea. this is more than young-adult testosterone. it’s enragement against the cycle of cemented habits paved by altruistic upbringing. to excavate this further, it’s disgust with my performance when compared to general standards. why didn’t i score higher grades? why didn’t i write yesterday? why do i fail my most important priorities?

maybe it’s my expectations sucking the life out of me using a naive understanding of circumstance. when i’m threatened with an impulse to punch, who deserves the punishment? is it my actions or is it my aspirations?

– D K T


life ends. why pretend

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