There's a space I go into sometimes that I don't really like what I do. I'll call it 8-mile mode in honor of Eminem. It's the time where I leave a situation that really makes me angry and I'm not quite sure what to do about it. If I'm wearing a hoodie, I'll usually throw up the hood and blast whatever music I'm listening to really loud. It's usually some sort of angry stuff. I like to think I'm feeling cool in that moment, but I'm really not. I'm still only Nick. I'm just a lot angrier that I'd like to be. I did that the other day after a particular frustrating evening. I wasn't sure what I was doing somewhere and I didn't get the exercise that I usually require. Just a lot of things boiled up after that. They all kind of just released in that moment.
There was a moment in yoga class the other evening that made me really think. We were doing some ab crunch things near the end of class. They weren't extremely difficult, but they took a bit of effort. The teacher said that this wasn't about exercising your abs, but more about learning how to make your mind right when you're dealing with a lot of stress. It calmed my mind as I was in the midst of doing the crunches. Sometimes I think it is really about acknowledging things and acting on those things. Some days it just helps to give everything a name and go from there.
I've started to notice those times that I get upset a whole lot more often. It's made things a lot easier. I know that I'll need to do some sort of physical activity after work if I want to be a productive (or relaxed human being in the evening. It's been nice to understand that and act upon that. But in all other forms of life it gets to be a little bit more complicated. I know what negative routes I can take when I get upset and I know what positive routes I can take. It's good to work on those positive routes: exercise, eating some healthy food, heading to a bookstore or library to relax, getting out of the house or just getting away from everything that is totally stressing you out.
I always wonder what other people think when they see 8-mile Nick. It's a little weird, it's not like me. Honestly, I think a good portion of it is just for show. Part of it might just be a little cry for attention. When I'm really upset, I usually shut down within myself and stop being a lively person to talk to. It feels like people understand that a lot more. I know there's lively angry Nick who makes a big show out of being upset. Most of those times I'm only slightly upset, but I'm magnifying it to a greater degree because I want the attention. In the ned, I don't really like 8-mile Nick, but I deal with him.