It’s been a strange sort of 12-month. We’ve seen the shape of our regular world change and change again.
From coffees and weekend with friends, we’ve gone to Zoom chats and distanced shouted conversations. From a kiss on greeting we’ve moved to elbow bumps and Bluetooth hugs.
But in among all this we’ve seen global and local events take the narrative for a short time. Black Lives Matter. Not All Men. Yes All Women. Don’t Cage Children. Trans Lives Matter. These are still important, sadly everyday issues.
A good friend, who makes *badges* among other things, in response to the murder of Sarah Everard asked for suggestions for inclusive and appropriate badges. Badges are good. They express strong sentiments in user friendly terms, and, as bonus, can include rainbows. Rainbows are always good.
Some of the suggestions were amazing. Mine less so, and I apologised because they came from a place of anger.
No, he said.
Be angry, he said. You are allowed to feel your feelings.
Oh. My. Gods.
I don’t think I have ever been encouraged to feel anger before. It’s a negative emotion, after all. It reduces us to our basic atavistic selves.
But, by the very heart of me, I cannot tell you how liberating this invitation felt.
We are ALLOWED to feel angry. Our anger cuts through the bullshit of manners, of politics, of social expectation. We do NOT have to accept the status quo. We do not have to accept being diminished, being muted, being ignored.
I’m exploring what this means, for me. I have lived with a default state of anger for I don’t know how many years, and have always hidden it because, you know, we should be considerate and polite and conciliatory. The idea that I’m allowed to be angry vocally and publicly feels… liberating. Scary. Do the people I know want to see the unexpurgated person I am? Will it have any benefit to any cause close to my heart?
I don’t know, in all honesty. I don’t know how much of my anger I will make public. I don’t know how I can use this permission, from myself, to be angry, to make any change in how I react to the world, or how I interact with the world.
But this is a journey that I find exhilarating.