The First Step is the Hardest
Anger and the Adventure of Life
“I am so angry. The ridiculous driver in front of me has no clue what a yellow turn light means.”
I am so angry. The ridiculous driver in front of me has no clue what a yellow turn light means. It is flashing again and again and there is no oncoming traffic. All they can do is keep their foot on the brake and block my way. “You only yield when there is oncoming traffic,” I yell, certain they can’t hear me. I hesitate to honk the horn because I may not be able to control how long my hand would stay pressed on the steering wheel. I want to get to the cafe and start writing the next substack post. But this white minivan is stopping me! The light stops flashing. The van jumps forward. The light turns red. The driver screeches to a halt. My anger grows into a ravenous beast blaming the driver for all of my problems.
I arrive at my destination, taking my anger with me, and get in line at a favorite coffee shop. There are two cash registers and two employees at Urth Caffe in Pasadena, but only one cashier is taking orders. Anger whispers in my ear, “If I were managing this place the service would be so much better!” I nod to myself, knowingly. The woman in front of me is asking questions. Her order is taking longer than necessary. She is finally getting her receipt and I think to myself, “It would be just perfect if she took my favorite table.” But I push the thought aside because it is my turn to order. Unlike other customers, I am focused. I give my order, pay with a credit card, and make room for the next person.
I turn to walk to my table. The woman did take it. Sheesh! I take a seat at my second favorite spot and open up my laptop. I have to figure out why I am so angry or it will seep into my “MakeGoodHappen” writing. I begin typing some reflections. “My anger didn’t begin with the loss of my favorite writing spot. It didn’t start with the customer who ordered before me or even with the minivan driver. These were all symptoms, not the cause. I can feel the cause lying just beneath my anger. It is fear.
I hit the shift button and begin a new paragraph typing “What am I afraid of?” The question is enough to coax the fear out of hiding. I am afraid of the 30-day social media campaign I’ve just started. “Why am I afraid of the campaign?” I keep typing: “Bottom line, I’m afraid that it won’t work.” With that, a whole host of fears appears. I begin typing questions furiously: “What if people are offended by my asking for financial support?” “Have they found it valuable enough in their own lives?” “Will they tell friends and family about it?” “Will they even gift it to others in this season?” Now my anger takes over. “Why are you so wimpy?” “Everybody has to sustain their family somehow. This is what you are meant to do right now. Trust God and go for it.”
I have found the source of my anger. It is the fear of doing something different. A lack of confidence combined with a fear of rejection and a fear of failure has come together to make me angry with a minivan, a cash register and someone who took my favorite table. Human beings are such funny creatures. Wonderful, but funny.
It is time, as my grandmother used to say, to “take the bull by the horns.” Step one: type out a couple of phrases describing the focus of the next 30 days:
“Let’s take on the adventure of life together in 2024. Join me on the journey to makegoodhappen with a paid subscription today.”
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