Desperately seeking drama

Last week, I started a fight. Actually, I probably started a lot of fights in the last few years, and burned some bridges. You’ve done this too, even if you don’t think so.

It was last Sunday, when I’d woken up particularly grisly. My boyfriend and I had both worked over 13 hours the previous day, and I was agitated and caffeine deprived. At one point he told me, “I know we’re both tired, but if you want to start a fight can you at least make it something worth fighting over?”

I can’t even remember why I started niggling at him, which proves his point. Sometimes, I just want to fight because there’s no one else to take it out on. There’s nobody else to pick at, or to tear down my rationalizations. We all do this, we all pick at our loved ones because we can. I’m lucky enough that he can identify the times I’m being a bitch just for the sake of being one, but loves me all the same.

By now, we are a bit more finely tuned into the realities of adulthood. Many of us were unable to avoid the accidental slide into debt, and found ourselves as a permanent fixture in the rabbit hole of the post-graduation money mess. Many of us were faced of the realities of the job market, and the limitations of our education.

These are all things that we didn’t create.

I am not a victim, although you might think that I believe that. I may have felt that I stumbled more than anyone else, that I lost more than any of my friends did. That my talent became worthless. But I was left with myself, and for that I know that I am lucky. I didn’t lose my life. I have food, shelter, and things to be thankful for. But sometimes, I get a little angry with life and I need to create a situation that I know I can control.

I am very aware that there are several situations that I didn’t help, and that there are a few that I have orchestrated.

There have been times when I have been brutal in my backlash, and sometimes I have blown things out of proportion. These are usually things that don’t even matter, but they somehow matter to me.  I think that maybe we are too used to everything going wrong. We are accustomed to life’s penchant for being a dramatist’s dream, so much so that we expect everything else to be as explosive.

When it isn’t how we expect it, we create it.

It’s not because we need it to be exciting, or that we crave the misery that often partners with conflict. Sometimes, it’s because we want people to care.

We’ve all fought wars with our friends, confidantes, and loves. We have battled over what they said, or what they didn’t say. We’ve held silence over things that they’ve done, or places they’ve been. We’ve made them suffer and taught them lessons over careless remarks. We want to know that they won’t do it again.

We also want proof that they will fight back. What happens if they don’t care? What if they leave us shouting into a face that doesn’t flinch, what do we have left? We have the truth, which is often the one thing we run away from.

Maybe we need to know that we will fight. Maybe we need the bloodbath of war to see what we want, and what we need. We need reassurance from ourselves.

While we can cause damage by creating fights and arguments, we also go about a path of self-destruction. We may have done stupid things simply because they were stupid, we may have drank ourselves into oblivion purely for the stories to tell. We may have made life harder for ourselves just so we could feel alive.

When I was 22, I did a lot of things that I knew were wrong. I knew they were morally questionable, and I knew they’d come back to bite me, but I did them anyway. Because, why not?

I abandoned responsibility because I wanted to be free, and it did me no good. I was not helpless, but it was easier to be. Freedom was the one thing I didn’t have.

I learned very quickly that I had created an irreversible and completely avoidable mess. So, I broke up with my bad self. I dealt with my issues and made amends where I could. I stripped myself of negative influences, and I dealt with the realization that I was not a child anymore- and only children acted that way. Only children make a mess for attention.

There are inevitabilities in life. There are things that can’t be altered, that can’t be exaggerated or distorted. There are losses, deaths and broken hearts that won’t be controlled by our need for drama. They will succumb to dumb luck, and to the will of the world.

We can make our lives a little easier though, if we just let go of the little things and breathe. If we take time to acknowledge why we’re fighting, and why we’re looking for trouble. We are not the puppets of emotion, and we don’t need to act out. Fighting can be healthy, but not when you’re throwing grenades.

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