On Expensive Train Tickets and Anger I

I have been ruminating recently about starting a blog. I have gone back and forth and then back and forth again because I wasn’t sure whether blogging was something I should do. I have no problem writing – I write a lot, but I am usually my only audience. I wasn’t sure if I should share my thoughts with anonymous people on the Internet. And even now, I’m still not sure. But something happened today that caused me to throw all caution to the wind and just start this blog. Strangely enough, what happened today has little or nothing to do with blogging. I live in Lille (for the moment – I am effectively a nomad), but I was in Paris yesterday. I went there with a friend, but I had to figure out a way back. It was either train or co-voiturage (sharing a car with someone who’s travelling in the same direction). As I don’t have a lot of money, covoiturage would have been ideal, but I didn’t have enough time (or internet) to reserve one, so train it was. Train tickets in France are expensive. Even with the so-called discounts. When I woke up this morning, I was sure I would buy a ticket at the train station. Yet I recalled that very often in the past when I’ve taken the train between Lille and Paris, no one checks the tickets and because of this quite a few people take the train without buying tickets. I thought I’d try this out myself to save what little money I do have. It turns out that today of all days, the train officials decided to do their jobs and actually check tickets in the middle of the trip. And of course, yours truly didn’t have one. In the end, I had to pay double what I would have paid if I had simply bought a ticket before boarding the train.

I was angry. At myself, mostly. But also at my (broke) situation that compelled me to even think of freeloading on a train in the first place. I don’t look down on people who do this habitually. Life dey hard sometimes. And I think I understand just how hard it can get, if not from personal experience, then from the experiences of the people I interact with. Still, though, I couldn’t help feeling frustrated and a little mortified that I had gotten myself into that situation. But I also felt… ignited. All of a sudden, I had the impetus to do all the things that up till now I’ve only been thinking of doing. And among these things was setting up this blog. So there you have it. A blog birthed from anger.

Though, anger is not always a bad thing. There are different forms of anger, but they can be largely categorized into productive and destructive. Personally, I experience the latter more frequently than the former. This could be because productive anger requires (sometimes a tremendous amount of) effort. It is active.On the other hand, destructive anger doesn’t require you to do much besides let it consume you and dictate your next course of action. The way I see it, anger is like fire. Or steam. It wells up inside you and courses through your body looking for an outlet. It builds up and up and different things fuel it so it grows even bigger. You must let it out, and herein lies the fork in the road. If you are able to channel this power into something productive, then, all the better. Fire, when controlled, is incredibly useful, and the human race could not have made any of the progress it has without it. However, if left unrestrained, if the anger is left to build up until it bursts, it could be damaging .Therefore depending on whether or not we are able to master our emotions, anger can either be a fuel, or a source of destruction. .

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