I used to see anger like rolling thunder—precluded with curling, spitting skies, and a rumble so deafening your heart would quiver. A warning, a war cry, a natural effect of collision. A countdown to the final blow. I've been a bag of emotions lately. The predominant feeling I'm longing to tackle is this anger, but I have found that it's something of a nine-headed beast that isn't always easily identifiable—namely, it's been my method of coping and dealing with everything, no matter the true emotion lurking meekly beneath the fury. I have come to find that it's quieter counterpart to thunder. It's splitting strokes of lightning, young threads pulsing through my own currents. My actions are an attempt to discharge it, and I only cause more collisions, more bolts swirling in my dark matter. I yell, say words that sting, unhinge my jaw and sink my teeth unto the helpless—and I create more friction, therein, I never feel better. This isn't a pity party, although I am apt to throw one of those a little too often. In my existential quest to attempt self-discovery and find my ultimate purpose as a microbial being living on a dust mote in this expansive, never-ending universe—I've found a little something at the crescendo of these furious storms. A birds eye view of my past, my present, and even a smudge of my future. Is it indulgent to say that this all started with my own parents? A little, because I would like to think that it's not my fault. Yet, so would they—nothing was ever their fault, they don't remember, it was out of their control, and if they did mean it, you deserved it. In my childhood, you obeyed anger, but you were never allowed to be angry. If something bad happened, you forgave and never held a grudge. My present has been a hallowing and humbling look at cause and effect. There are twenty-seven known human emotions and I am still so angry. I am angry... When I am marginally inconvenienced. When I am anxious and don't feel safe. When I am failing and frustrated. When I am not feeling heard. When I am in pain. When my boundaries are crossed. When something is wrong. That's when I've realized that maybe I'm not actually feeling angry all the time, but rather, reacting angrily when I am on red alert. It's not bad to be angry, although it can be a mistake to react in anger. Anger tells you that something isn't right, it jumpstarts the fight or flight instincts in you and forces you to make a choice. We can't always see through the storm, though. Sometimes, we have to make a plan and wait it out. Intuitively, I know that I need to move myself out of the path of destruction. This means realizing that I need to take responsibility for my actions, for my feelings, and for the way I treat others. The time has passed for a relationship with my parents, but I can draw from our interactions as a guideline on how not to treat others. I can learn that forgiveness and boundaries happily co-exist. That being angry can drive change, but reacting angrily drives people away. I'm deciding to replace my hostile words and reactions with grit. When I am failing, frustrated, or inconvenienced, I will persevere. When I am anxious, not feeling heard, in pain, I will have courage. When boundaries are crossed, when something is wrong, when it's not safe, I will follow through and do the right thing. When I eventually find all of these things to be difficult to do, I will be resilient. And maybe—just maybe, I'll discover shimmering pearls swirling underneath.