25 Years of Letting Go

“[Life is] designed to be consumed, used, spent, lived, felt. We’re supposed to fill it with every mistake and miracle we can manage. And then, we’re supposed to let go.” (Community, The Psychology of Letting Go)

Letting go has always been my greatest weakness. I still mourn the loss of two shoeboxes worth of “tex,” the briefcase full of my drawings, the fake Crush Gears, and the Christmas card that won me my first award when I was a little kid.

I have a box full of mementos, including a piece of string our neighbor gave me and two two-inch sticks my college classmate gave me just because. These are examples of the littlest things I can’t let go, what more the most important things to me.

Today is my 25th birthday. In retrospect, I simply can’t believe I’ve already spent more than 9,000 days in this world. I may not remember a big chunk of those days, but the moments that matter most stay deep within me. I think my fear of letting go is the reason I remember such rich moments in my life.

After 25 years, I realized that what we have for any particular moment is all we ever really need. Even our longings, desires, aspirations, and goals are part of those moments. They make our heart beat for more. Even the pain, bitterness, resentment, and emptiness are part of those moments. They make our brightest days shine brighter. The good and the bad make every moment we spend here so rich. Life is so rich. I’m in a state of astonishment right now, just thinking about mine.

I’ve had quite a lot of conversations with friends about being afraid of our future. “What if this is all we’ll ever get?” is a question that pops up frequently. Rightfully so, because who knows what the future holds? I’ve come to realize, though, that living like that is wasting life.

As I turn a year older today, I’m letting go of that fear. The fear of not reaching my full potential; The fear of being left out; The fear of not getting the future I want for myself; The fear of not making something out of my life. All those are rational fears, but only when you let go of them can you move freely.

When you learn to let go, you learn to appreciate more of what remains and who chooses to remain. The more you let go, the more you let life take over. The more you let life take over, the more surprises await you. Live in the moment, keep praying for the promise of the future, and just keep swimming (Dory <3).

The moment letting go ends is the moment life ends. We let every moment go. We exhale every breath, we release a word and prepare to say the next, we move from a footstep to another, and we see a new sight each time we blink. Life is letting go and getting something new.

At 25, who am I to tell you what life is about? All I know is that I am so happy to be here and I will always be thankful for another day. I’d like to believe I have freedom for the many more years I hopefully have left in this thing we call life, living it as freely and as happily as I can.

Thank you for being part of mine, truly. Here’s to richer days ahead.

(Featured Photo by Dan Carlson)

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