I was a very happy child.

Then I turned 11 and something happened. I have no doubt it was something to do with puberty but there was an anger that would build up in me from time to time.

I don’t think anyone saw it. No, I take that back.

The few times they saw it they were taken aback because that wasn’t me.

But it was.

I developed a chip on my shoulder for no good reason beyond the fact that I wanted one. Maybe it was what I needed to motivate myself.

Which was silly because I wasn’t getting picked last. In fact, I was often the best.

And maybe that was the problem. Things used to come easy to me and when I started to face challenges I took that as an insult.

How dare life become more complex. What do you mean I can’t have what I want?

This is bullshit.

I remember in high school playing a soccer game. It was the playoffs and this kid kept kicking me.

Eventually, I snapped and kicked the shit out of him. I got a red card. I deserved it.

But I still felt slighted. It wasn’t my fault I kicked him. He was kicking me the whole game without any punishment.

And for some reason, I continued to carry that feeling through most of my life. If I wasn’t getting what I wanted it was because of something else.

It was never because of me.

Red was always blocking me.

Fast forward to age 35 and I’m broke again. This might be the 13th time. I’ve lost count at this point, but this time it’s different because now I’m married.

Being broke by yourself is one thing. That was always easy.

Being broke with the woman you swore to take care of is something else entirely.

But it wasn’t my fault. The Red was to blame.

Did nobody else see the Red? Why was everyone else having success? They must not have any Red in their life.

No. No, that wasn’t it.

They embraced the Red. They knew that when the Red appeared it was because they made it appear.

They took responsibility for it.

Maybe I should do the same I thought.

And so I did.

Now when the Red appears I smile. Dammit, I made it appear again.

What did I do now?

It doesn’t matter. I take responsibility.

I am still that happy child.