Questions to ask yourself when wondering if you should let go (PART II):
- What will I do when I find myself alone in my room, scrolling through old photos saved on Snapchat or wishing I hadn’t deleted text threads so I could go back and laugh at the funny messages?
- How will I cope when my natural inclination is to FaceTime a certain someone, but I can’t because I know that relationship isn’t good for me?
- Who or what do I turn to when I miss a friend but I know we aren’t meant to be in one another’s corners right now because we’re growing in different directions and it isn’t conducive to the better picture?
It’s easy to ask yourself if something is helping you grow. It’s harder to determine that it in fact isn’t, and that it’d likely be best for you to move on from it. It’s hardest to remain unwavering in your decision and not turn back to things and people who you love, but aren’t good for you.
Letting go is hard. Even when you know you should, it’s a constant battle of reassuring yourself that you can and will maintain.
I published “How To Know When to Let Go” not even two weeks ago. I wrote about how great it feels to be in this “Decluttering Stage”, and how not clinging to joys or sorrows of yesterday gives me control over today. I said those things, and they were true. Yet there I sat about an hour ago, in class and sad as all-get-out. All it took was an email to put me there.
I was checking my school-assigned email as I usually do during class, switching back and forth between reading mail and taking notes on the lecture, when I came across an email that triggered the thought of a person I care about, but have had to let go of. An email from my university (which he does NOT go to by the way) that had nothing to do with this man led to me sitting there, in class, reminiscing and honestly making myself go backwards. After seeing the email and being tipped off, I did a bit of searching around the internet and on social media (via a friend’s accounts) and, before I knew it, found myself scrolling through memories saved in “My Eyes Only” on Snapchat. I thought to myself, maybe I should unblock him on snap and just say “hey” (since I of course have wiped any possibility of me calling or texting him from my phone). I mean, it’s not like anything really happened for me to block him in the first place. There was no straw that broke the camels back. I’d just done it. But, of course, I’d done it for good reason. And I know that. Even if I can’t articulate it to anyone else. I’d blocked him for the better me. So in that moment I didn’t let myself unblock him, but it was a sad tug of war with my feelings to ultimately stick to that decision.
That was just the first hurdle. That quick ordeal brought me to think about a different person who three months ago would’ve helped me make the decision. I miss that person a lot too, and trying to find out their whereabouts on the internet proved more difficult than the first person, so I eventually gave up and sank into myself. Here I was, sitting in class unable to stop thinking about two people I care about, who I’ve had great times with, though sometimes up and down/on and off, and always could reach out to up until I started this new journey. Making the decision not to unblock or not to reach out was hard. And it won’t be the last time I’ll have this fight with my feelings. That’s life.
I can write all about how good I feel having cleared my life and space of whatever but I’d be telling only one side of the story. I’d be making it pretty. It wouldn’t be real. I’d be lying if I omitted the part where I get in my bag and wish things were different. Even now, having learned what I’ve learned about myself and sharing experiences with all of you, I sometimes feel like I want to go back. It’d be easier to turn back to what was comfortable, to what I’d become use to. I’d never feel alone if I kept the convenience of those relationships. But I can’t grow that way, at least not in the way I want to. It’s okay to be sad about it though. I once made a post on Snapchat captioned “have you ever missed something or someone you shouldn’t 😩” (I was in my feelings about something different, maybe a year or so ago- anyway). I want to rephrase that. I miss somethings and some people who naturally have left a mark on my life, however I know that regressing to the life I had with those people would not be beneficial to its current future. Missing them is not the thing I shouldn’t do. It’s the submission to that feeling which compromises my journey that I must continuously avoid.
Certain places, shows, songs, etc. trigger memories of these people. Good memories. Memories I’d love to hold onto and even create more of, but I know I can’t- at least for right now or maybe never with those people again. I have to be patient and wait, even if it’s on the unknown. We have to clear things out of our lives to allow room for what is to come. I have to remind myself that everything in my life has a time and place. Everything comes in my life for a reason and may likely have come for only a season. That is okay.
“You can’t hold on just ’cause you don’t feel like starting over”
– Eric Bellinger, Somewhere
I know I haven’t answered the three questions I proposed. I don’t yet have the answers, or this would be easy and I wouldn’t have spent all this time on the issue. Don’t look to me for the answers. I have to learn for and sometimes even from myself. I am still learning. I’m human. I’ll think I’ve come to conclusions, that I’ve learned my lesson and figured it all out and that I’m on a good path, and then I fall. The cool thing about it is I know I’ve been able to stand, so getting back up won’t be so hard.
I get caught up in people. I hold on to things. I dream of futures with some I’ll have to leave in the past. I run willingly and strap myself in to these emotional rollercoasters. And when it’s all said and done, I have a hard time completely letting go.
Letting go is beautiful. Letting go is ugly.
– Jade M Ernest