It's been nine long months since I last posted here. So much has happened since then. I started, and completed, an employability skills training program, during which I regained a ton of confidence and self-respect that I hadn't realized I'd been missing. In April, I started a diploma program, my first foray into the world of student loans and post-secondary education. It's going really well, and I'm feeling all kinds of positive about it so far, but the real nitty-gritty doesn't start until the end of June, so we'll see how I feel about it then. Meanwhile, I'm maintaining honours-level marks and am ahead of the game when it comes to progress, so, as they say, it's all good. I'm working on a few different projects right now, with different deadlines for each, some self-imposed and some externally-imposed but not mandatory, which is making things interesting.
Words are such powerful things. By stringing them together into sentences, we can change the course of someone's day, often unintentionally. One simple word, said at just the wrong time, can send someone into such a tailspin that they go off half-cocked, and who knows if that one little word was the actual reason for the outburst, or just the catalyst? How do you apologize to someone if it was just the catalyst? Will they accept the apology? Will they recognize where things went awry?
I've been guilty of getting angry over something that was actually completely unrelated to what was really upsetting me. The problem lies in the inability in that moment to find the words to explain that it's not the target that's the problem. The problem exists between my brain and my mouth. Give me a keyboard, and I can expound upon why I'm upset all day long, including the inciting incident, but don't expect me to verbalize it while I'm still steaming mad.
In light of this, I've learned to take breaks, breathers, when I feel my ire rising. When someone else's words are starting to affect me to the point where I know my words will affect them, I try to step away for a few minutes, an hour, however long it takes, and do something more productive. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. When I'm finding that it's still not working after an hour, I figure it's time reassess what caused me to become so upset in the first place. Who was involved? What did they say or do? Why did it affect me so much? How can I change my reaction? If I take a more logical approach to it, I can usually make a better evaluation of the situation than I can when I'm still emotionally charged.
I know my methods won't work for everyone, and maybe not even most people, but I figure that as long as I'm not coming at people with a knee-jerk reaction over something that is, in the grand scheme of things, silly, I'll be a better person in the end.