December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
I’m sitting here at my desk in the corner on the laptop I’ve turned into a desktop, music from my iPod playing from a set of speakers speckled with paint and far too old to charge the thing anymore. The lamp near my desk has no shade. Behind me, my dog, a runt of a Jack Russel Terrier, Drake, is watching me intently - I think he wants to go to bed. To my left is the extra deep closet that marked this as my bedroom, where I’ve set up a long table that I fully intended to keep neat and organized, but is now covered with paints, inks, fabric, brushes, a sewing machine, scraps, and my visual journal.
To my right, the sliding door that leads to a patio. If I wanted, I could wrap myself in a sweater and go outside.
I haven’t lived in this apartment two months yet. I haven’t lived in this state two months.
Of all the prompts to get this year, and I get one about letting go.
Sometimes, the idea that I picked up and started driving west at the beginning of October, that I pulled a trailer, pushed myself physically, brought along two dogs, and found an apartment in 3 days after arriving in the desert still feels like a dream. As though I’m living some other girl’s life. I recently read through some journals from the summer of 2009, when the idea of moving to Arizona was first taken from the realm of ‘someday’ and put in the ‘to do’ column, and this summer, I felt the aches and pains of a dream so close yet so far away.
And yet. Yet. Everything happened so fast. From reserving a trailer to installing a hitch on the car ourselves. Even the drive passed in the blink of an eye, and we took it nice and slow over five days!
What could be greater than letting go of the city you were born in, the city you loved? Of the house you lived in ever since middle school? The friends you’ve known for ages? Everything and everyone you’d ever learned or met or laid eyes on -
- all left as nothing more than decaying memories?
I let go of a few other things this year, though none as dramatic as the 1,800 mile move.
1. Or should this be 2? I let go of the notion of a traditional job. While this wasn’t exactly chosen for me, I could have freaked out, panicked, and gotten another part-time gig to pay the bills. Instead, I decided I was going to make it work and gave myself over to the idea of intangibility existing as a barrier between what was and what could be.
2. I let go of a friendship I really wanted to work for all the wrong reasons. Two of these, actually, even though one had been over for awhile. I had to accept that sometimes, friendships can harm, and that my over-thinking about every email I never heard a reply to or off-hand comment and what it meant about me wasn’t doing anyone any good. While I cherish the times we had, it was time to let it go and allow those people to re-enter my life when it was best for both of us.
3. I let go of reservations. I have always felt like a child, the one looked down upon, the unworthy one, and I’ve had enough of that. My friends have had enough of that. This only happened quite recently, but it counts, right? I’m just going to step into my power, and if I’m not feeling it, well, what do they say? Fake it ‘till you make it.
There is something to be said about not letting go when everyone else says you should. But I’m glad, in this instance, that I didn’t. Sure, I may complain about it at times, and vent, and wonder why the hell not, but in the end, there are shining moments that make it worth it.
And I’m writing that down just for self-reference the next time I slap myself on the forehead and wonder why I’m still putting up with it all. Sometimes, holding on can be just as hard as letting go, and just as beneficial.