I had initially started writing this blurb in October as I was wrapping up my days in Westchester. The original title was going to be "When It's Time to Leave," and the intent was to convey much of the frustration I felt at the time, culminating in my change of scenery (cue the "I'm taking my talents to South Beach" clip). Well, I went back to pick up where I left off, but it was far from what I expected.
For being a person who doesn't shut up about only wasting energy on what we can control, I had done an excellent job letting every little thing emotionally drain me, which was glaring in the body of work. Seriously, I mean everything. It was as if I would wake up and say, "What am I going to let take me over today?" Quite a recipe for disaster.
Honestly, I'm unsure what I would have hoped for if I had continued writing in that direction. Were people supposed to read it and feel sympathy for me? Maybe I was trying to send a smoke signal. Either way, I realized my work was an enormous waste of negative energy nobody would like to hear. To quote one of my favorite bands, Fall Out Boy, "Nobody wants to hear you sing about tragedy."
I talk like I went on a spiritual journey spanning several months and have returned a new man. The harsh truth is that it was only a few months ago that I began to write the first version of this post in October. I still have a long way to go to get where I need to be. Often, it continues to feel like my efforts are like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. But, there is a marked improvement in my life in at least one facet, and it is a big one - letting go.
I say that the change of scenery has come with many positives and negatives, one of the unfavorable aspects being that a few negative external variables have not faded away as I had hoped. In hindsight, that was a foolish expectation. It's just the God's honest truth is that my life feels like a movie sometimes, which I understand is maybe not the best thing to admit publicly. But here I am, unapologetically me. I'm not sure why I thought it would all magically go away, but this has been anything but the case.
Don't get me wrong, I still have moments of vulnerability. I believe human nature is to fight for what we feel, regardless of who we are persuading. A part of caring deeply is feeling deeply, whether right or wrong. When backed into a corner, we will fight with all the vigor in the world. But, as strenuous as it may be, in our daily lives, fighting rarely solves anything. Even when things are entirely unfair, and you feel like the universe got you again - just let it go, man.
Even with all the reminders, famous quotes, and renowned sentiments from the likes of Bob Marley and Nelson Mandela, humanity still can't seem to get it right. It's funny; my personal favorite dates back to my Tumblr days. I came across a meme that, years later, I would identify as being from The Big Lebowski. Please see said meme below:
Do you feel like I am pointing out the obvious? Yeah, me too, as this clearly falls into the "Easier Said Than Done" category. For this reason, it is more important now to start learning how to let things go so that we don't attempt to blog about how much life sucks in the future. But why else should we learn to let go?
The most apparent logic is to preserve your emotional capacity for positivity. Negative emotions are draining and can cloud our judgment. Being able to let go effectively is the sign of an emotionally intelligent person. Diverse mechanisms exist that are proven to help relieve strong emotions, like positive affirmations or controlled breathing.
Many life lessons are not abundantly clear, nor can they be taught in the classroom. Those who hold on or dwell will not be able to tell you how letting go is often the first step to forgiveness, whether with ourselves or others. When we let go of the pain we hold onto, we free up storage space for forgiveness.
This matters, as we likely must be forgiving with ourselves to move on. Understand that it takes time, and you will not magically free yourself of all your problems. You will still feel strongly - the objective is to remove that power. You will feel the hate slowly subside while memories become less painful. Eventually, acceptance will come.
Peace is the goal. Felt with calm and stillness; only then can we begin to heal effectively. Creating amity will take the speed tape slapped on by the mechanic 30 minutes before the flight and turn it into a lasting repair. In hindsight, any attempts to undergo maintenance during a patch of turbulence will likely not produce a practical solution and can create further damage. Not only will you suffer, but so will those around you.
The Hard Part
It was not just circling back on an old post that got the creative juices flowing. Life has been bumpy, and I caught myself thinking earlier today how the most challenging part of life for me to accept is seeing someone for the last time, yet having no idea at the moment. This happens more often than we think, and in one way or another, it is inevitable. But, my, isn't it so painful? And, unfortunately, it is often so avoidable.
Think back to an instance you can recall (high school graduation is a good one). If you had any clue, what would you say? Would you do things differently? I hope you didn't, as this is a (lame) trick question to point out that no matter what, it does not make a difference. We can't change the past in the same way we cannot definitively predict the future. It is why nostalgia can be so dangerous and why the future creates so much anxiety.
As I wrote this version 2.0, I realized there is far more material for reference that I can dive into down the road. But, at the risk of being my neurodivergent self, today is just about improving our tranquility in the present moment. Letting go gives us the power to decide what is worth holding onto. So, take a moment to think: what can you let go of today?