What is the definition of maturity?

I am sick of so many things.  I have so much I want to say, but I know this is not the platform to act on those impulses (despite my previous post, because the material I am wrestling with needs to contain a bit more confidentiality than political discourse).

 Social media has become the perfect way for individuals to feel uniquely angry and feel a sense of common injustice (and not just social media like blogs and Facebook, but also through the all too hilarious and truthful memes and e-cards).  They look for empathy in the anonymity.  And also connection.  They think, if I am experiencing this, if I am feeling this, someone else may, too, and these nameless faces will be able to nod their head in agreement.  They look for justification and indignation at the stories they tell as a way to absorb some of the pain they are feeling.  Or rather than pain, the anger they feel at a given situation.  A part of me wants to say screw it and verbally abuse the hell out of the people who have hurt me, but the more rational, mature part of me says I should let bygones be bygones, I should not stoop to their level of pettiness, and most importantly, what does it say about my character if I hypocritically attack someone who has attacked me?  Maybe I wasn’t cut out for certain things.  I know when I can hold my ground, and surprisingly when I do choose to open my mouth a sense of calm passes over me that allows my voice to steady when inside I am shaking with unhinged anger.

I cry when I get angry.  I cry when I am sad, too, but I think the biggest reason I have shed tears outside physical duress in the past five years has been such an overwhelming sense of anger that rather than it remaining a metallic ball in my stomach it sprouts out my eyes.  It’s such a horrible thing, too.  I look like a wounded puppy, something inconsolable and pathetic.  Ironically, I am nothing like a wounded animal when my mouth opens and my thoughts and feelings spill out.  Rather I could verbally tear apart whoever and whatever is making me angry.  That’s why I stay quiet.  It doesn’t mean I am okay with a situation, or that I sympathize or empathize, it means that the mature decision is to shut up.  (Side note: that is not to say that if a given situation comes up and I see something truly horrific that I would not stand up and speak my mind, but certain things call for the less is more approach, like work-related or the I-hate-your-boyfriend-because-he-is-a-tool-bag-and-you-should-dump-him-immediately situations.)  Recently, though, I am finding it hard to keep quiet.  I have either witnessed or been told or overheard so many situations where I want to respond, but I know myself, I know my anger, I know the level of hurt I can cause with my remarks, and it’s just not worth it.

Though I must admit, there is a very strong and immature part of me that wants to let loose and verbally eviscerate a laundry list of people and items. I just know, in this case, that no good would come of it.  In fact I am positive that it would either fall on deaf ears or immaturity would reflect back at me in the ever-present joke that’s not a joke (you know the ones, where someone says something really mean and then goes, “It was a joke, geez”).  However, I will admit that I need to find a happy medium between every once and awhile saying something without falling down the rabbit hole and being a continuous instigator.  If maturity is taking the high road and making the call of when to speak and when not to speak, I want to get there.  Right now I remain silent 99.9% of the time despite feeling like I should say something, and recently I have felt the need to speak up.  I think the natural progression is moving from knowing when to remain silent if you can’t say anything constructive to then being able to stay constructive in comments and replies.  When anger flashes hot in me I need the space and distance to determine if I am taking something personally when it wasn’t intended as such, if I have irrationality overruling any rational thought, or if the situation is worth coming back to when I am calmer and have had time to consider the possibilities of a. what caused it, and b. what I can do about it.

More than anything, though, after weeks for one situation, and days for another, and hours for another (yes, because three similar yet different things are weighing on me) I realize that it just isn’t worth it.  Now if only I could just let go, then everything would be fine.



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