The origin of the phrase “blowing off steam” is no mystery, and anyone with firsthand experience of the real thing knows that it is best not be in the neighborhood when it happens. Regardless, we all need an outlet from time to time, and although I am a big fan of the annual vacation, it seems that humanity needs a way and a place to release some pent-up emotions a little more often than once a year.
If you do not have said way and place, make it a priority.
As an encouragement, recall this famed passage from Melville’s classic, Moby Dick:
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth, whenever it is damp, drizzly November in my soul, whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet, and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.¹
Where is your sea?
¹ Garrison Keillor, Good Poems 284 (2002).