Tearing Egg Cartons

My friends and I used to joke that there should be a room on campus where you can just go and yell until you can't yell anymore or until you've forgotten why you had to yell in the first place. I definitely still wish that room could exist, though I do understand that the idea is a little impractical.

Sometimes you find yourself filled with all this aggression and no good way to release it. Punching pillows gets old, writing passive aggressive notes you're never going to send isn't helping anyone, and ACTUALLY sending those notes would manage to be an even worse then just writing them.
The corner of the table where we ripped up cartons.
You can sort of see some of them off to the left.

Last year my friend Trich and I spent a solid hour and a half ripping up styrofoam egg cartons. While I understand that this might not be the most environmentally conscious move, it sure felt great. We sat in the co-op, which is the campus home of all the hippies and health freaks and people who can cook way better then I know how, and ripped and ripped and tore and vented our frustration in a way that probably looked a little bit terrifying to anyone who saw us.

It was cathartic. It offered a release of all of the emotions and feelings we had no way to let out. It was dumb and it was reckless in way that was safe and unassuming. It let us feel a little violent and a little angry. It let us feel the kinds of things that normal life never gave us a safe space to feel.

That night was in the middle of a very rough week. Things were going weirdly for all of my good friends for a wide variety of reasons. We spent a lot of time sitting very close together and yelling song lyrics with abandon and cooking much too much food as a coping mechanism and then forcing it on anyone we could find. We talked much too late in to the night and went to class droopy eyed and only semi-aware of the world around us.

Coping skills can be hard to come by, and sometimes the world seems overwhelming. And while my cries for a campus screaming room have still gone unanswered, there are a few things I can always do. I can scream and dance angrily to ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’, I can blog about my feelings or take walks when it is, technically, much too cold and much too dark for me to be outside. I can vent to a friend or write bad poems or punch pillows or cook disgusting amounts of banana bread.

Or I can tear egg cartons. I can tear and rip and split and hack away until the pieces are much smaller than all the emotions I’m feeling. I can take the frustration and manifest it in a physical way. I can get the anger out and I can freak out anyone who sees the ever growing mountain of styrofoam pieces on the table in front of me.

I can tear egg cartons. 

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