When I was young, I was angry.
In retrospect, it probably wasn’t as bad as I think it was. Almost everyone was probably angry as a child and especially as a teenager. My anger came in flashes and was against having to do things. In the purest sense, it was against the lack of choice more than an anger at authority. The anger was more noticeable to myself in high school, but I think there were enough pressures and distractions through my young life to not allow the anger to stay for more than brief periods of time.
In my mind the break between my current self and my old self is visible only when I look back and assess my anger. And if at my young age, my anger was one of my defining characteristic, then the culmination of my old self occurred my senior year of high school.
My understanding of the world in high school was fairly simple. My family was not rich and could not afford college, but with enough hard work I could get scholarships and financial aid to help me pay and attend college. So I studied hard, did well in school, took SATs, participated in extracurricular activities, and stayed out of trouble. I applied to colleges and was accepted. The trouble came when I received the financial aid packages from the schools, particularly my preferred school.
only enough money is my parents took out 20k in loans. quickly decided it wasn’t worth it, but what I didn’t immediately know was that offer shook my life perspective. I was playing by a set a rules that said I could get the thing I really wanted if I did XYZ. I did those things and was denied my reward. I knew the world was unfair. I knew society left some people out, because to have winners there has to be losers. If anywhere, I had seen it in Mexico. But now I was the loser in that equation, and worse, I was loser because I was screwed. I felt it there had been an injustice and for about a year after that, I was angry and frustrated. Fortunately, I didn’t pick up any addictions or do anything crazy, but I had a strong life doesn’t matter, what’s the point mentality. It’s worse than that. I would look at people who were happy and looked like they got what they wanted with an envy and almost a disdain.
That wasn’t right. It wasn’t their fault. I had a failed understanding of the rules. It was also my fault for thinking the world was fair.
I don’t know how long that phase lasted, but by the time of my grandmother’s death 2 years later, I don’t remember being that angry. I remember thinking, “Hey it’s ok. People die. That’s life.”
Wednesday, I saw another injustice that reminded me of my earlier angrier phase. It was the Mexico vs Panama semi final game of the Gold Cup. There were some shit penalties called for Mexico that stole the game from Panama. It sucked so bad. I completely empathized with Panama. The players were about to walk off the field and I agreed. It was one of those times where you just want to leave. You say fuck the system. I can’t work within it, so let’s fucking leave. Leaving makes the strongest statement.
It was a damn shame. It was a shame on football. There were no winners in that game. There were only two losers; Panama and football.
Mexico plays on Sunday and for the first time in my life, I hope they lose.