When I read the posts now, they barely make sense to me. There seems to be this sense of inchoate rage permeating the words - and without that feeling inside me, they fall apart like bricks without mortar.
It's been more than 10 years separating that point in time from this one. But, seeing that angry teenager railing against the world on livejournal, I can see the roots of many of my decisions.
I don't think I would have taken as many risks in my career if I did not feel a sense of ambition that was rooted in anger. When I started working all I wanted to do was make giant amounts of money, quickly. I quit a job many of my classmates would have killed for because I wanted (no joke) to be a billionaire. Why did I want to be a billionaire? Because I wasn't popular enough in high school, lol.
If you had asked me at the time, I would have said - no, I'm not angry, I'm calm, I'm just focused and I want a better life - but that would have been a lie. Deep down inside, my motivation would have been to make a ton of cash and show up to my HS reunion in a car no one recognized because there were only 10 of them made that year. (AKA the worst reason to start a company, ever.)
I don't feel that sense of anger anymore. I've seen what my ambition, borne of anger, can do to me - and those I love.... yet I'm still ambitious. This ambition, though - it seems, at least, to come because the world has given me something to love and cherish, instead of an empty pit seeking fulfillment and validation through wealth.
Basically, I love her and I love the world, and I want to make the world a better place and to give people who want to change it the means and support to do so.
I think all of us, when we are young, feel that sense of anger, and sometimes, it motivates us to do great things. But it's worth considering switching that to a sense of love - love of life, love of the people around us, and love of those who mean the most to us. You'll feel better. I do.