Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Tantrum Will Set You Free

smash Pictures, Images and Photos

When I was a little girl I threw tantrums. I ran away too...

My mother, forever patient and amused, simply sent me to my room and allowed the destruction to ensue. A knock on the door and a pretty smile later let me know I had to clean it up or never see the light of day again.

For clarity I will explain the extent of the chaos. See this: small for my age (but clawed), by the end of my rampage my mattress laid bare my books everywhere, my lightbright confetti my Lego carpet. The curtains came down tied in knots with clothes off their hangers. Apocalypse. No exaggeration necessary.

It got so bad my mother's hippie friends made me a pillow out of denim. Triple stitched and labeled "Suzanne's Mad Pillow." The purpose was to give my belongings a break. As IF.

I grew out of the tantrums. The world wore me down. Somewhere along the way I became a "yes" person. My six year old self tantrumed inside my head, knocking the left and right brain together. "It's too hard to clean up the mess!" I yelled. And then secured her lippy, sharp toothed mouth with duct tape. (that's what happens to oppressed tantrum throwers, we go a little loony... quietly mapping out the destruction of all things stupid.)

Fast forward. I am a mom, a wife, a teacher. On the fast track to all things American Dreamy. House, dog, garden. yeah yeah yeah blah blah...

And then... I have a tantrum. And the tantrum comes out on the keyboard. And the tantrum creates a novel. And two and three and....

And the tantrum will set you free.

I am one happy lady now. Sending opinions and pens flying. Pencils stuck in my hair and notebook paper bombs scattered everywhere. I scream in my car and I laugh( a real laugh) with my kids. My six year old self is proud, and my writing has never been better.

How about you? Had any productive tantrums lately? Ahhhhhhh.... I think. I'll have.... one...right...NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

24 comments:

  1. lol,,I followed your words with clarity. You are a masterful painter when you "let loose".

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey congrats on having an agent seriously taking a look at your work!! That must be super exciting! And I love that your daughter is supportive!

    You have such a great perspective on writing, Suzanne! I keep thinking of your Baribie illustration! And now your temper tantrum analogy is going to stick with me too! My writing is not only my play world but also my way to vent all of my feelings!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes! I love this post! I had one two days ago; it resulted in a new chapter for my WIP. Let's hear it for productive tantrums!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey, if you're going to throw a tantrum, I think this is the best way to do it! Some of my best posts come from tantrum throwing. =]

    ReplyDelete
  5. I usually throw tantrums when my characters make me angry and they're all the better for it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I used to throw tantrums too. It was worrisome for my mother, since my father's grown-up tantrums had alienated her (and all of us) from friends, churches, and places of business (even now I live with the stigma when people in town find out who my dad is). She tried to be patient, but finally, after my 15 yr old self had broken several porcelain objects by throwing them against the wall in a fit of anger (in my room), she came in, and told me that I had a choice to make. I could keep letting my emotions rule my actions, and end up ostracized from most of the world as my dad had done to us. Or I could find a more constructive outlet for my anger, and hopefully live a far more peaceful life as an adult.

    I opted for the more peaceful road, and am infinitely glad I did. My tantrums now are quick, mild and private. Perhaps that's why many of my characters are passionate and dealing with much angst. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's so perfect--I'm always telling people to put their "stuff" down on paper and set it free.

    ReplyDelete
  8. i definitely need to have a tantrum at the keyboard. life's been coming at me too hard lately. i'm inspired, though, to just make some time and pound away.

    jeannie
    Where Romance Meets Therapy

    ReplyDelete
  9. Writing is the best outlet I know. When I'm throwing one of my tantrums, I work on emotional scenes. I think my emotions spill out onto the paper. Sometimes I have to edit because it's over the top, but I feel better. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. OMG!!!!! I LOVE this post!!!!! Yeah, I have little tantrums. I am working on it though... they are getting less and less...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Man, none of my tantrums are this productive! I need to examine this phenomenon more closely...

    Maybe I just need a tantrum pillow?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hmm...now that I think about it my blog is like one long temper tantrum. Nice!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Who Knew a tantrum could be so productive :o)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Um did my comment disappear? I'll have to come back later and see if moderation is taking place ;) (It was a good comment through).

    ReplyDelete
  15. OK I see it was a word ver issue. Thank you Suzanne for your permission and suggestion of the productive tantrum. I'm off to have one right now, things aren't going my way at this moment... grrr....

    ReplyDelete
  16. Scream girl scream! Love it. I thought I was the only one who liked a whopping good fit. I too have stuffed these babies inside my head. Maybe I should let one out... maybe I already do... in the writing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sometimes I wish I could throw a tantrum, I am so boring ..... I am calm, always thinking through things, and though it is hard to believe it is very true, I seldom get angry. Just won't use my energy on this emotion....I think having a temper tantrum just might be fun in a strange way but I love loud belly laughs instead.......:-) Hugs

    ReplyDelete
  18. The tantrum will set you free. Love it! Might have to post that at Yat-Yee's Grab-a-Line Monday :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have found throwing internal tantrums to be MOST helpful - mostly before workouts.
    "No! I don't want to do push-ups! I hate push-ups! You can't make meeeeee!!!"
    After a few minute of that, my grown-up self assumes the role of my personal trainer and says "OK, are you ready to do your push-ups?" and I meekly submit ... and feel great about it afterwards.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Suzanne, I wanna throw, pitch, and just have a feel good tantrum too. And then write, write, write. :) Super post.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I never had a tantrum, I was too scared. I bit the fleshy part of my finger instead. Then I met DH at age 17, he encouraged my waste of time...writing. He still does, but now he has to cope with the woman who realises it is ok to have a tantrum now and then.
    BTW I only have little ones when my MC does not do as she is told ;0

    ReplyDelete
  22. If only we could turn it on and off so easily.... Have a great weekend! :O)

    ReplyDelete
  23. My mom had hippie friends too, Lots of them.

    ReplyDelete