Letting Go

The time is now

So let go

You’re on your own

There’s something waiting for you

There’s something waiting for you

So let go

Of the world you know

There’s something waiting for you

In the great unknown

Jukebox The Ghost

Letting go may be one of the hardest things that humans have to do.

If you ask me, change sucks no matter what. (I remember crying hysterically as a child when I switched from bright red kid-sized hangers to slightly darker red adult-sized ones; change is not my forte.) There are different kinds of change, but I think the kind that hurts the most is letting go. It’s not sudden, it’s not planned, you don’t get to give up control and blame somebody else. Letting go is a conscious decision that you make to allow something that was once so important to you to make its way out of your life.

For example, let’s say you really came into your own in college. It changed you for the better, you weren’t ready to leave, and you didn’t have any control over the fact that you eventually did. After graduation, you could still pretend things were the same by hanging out with the same people, maybe living in the same area, whatever it was that defined college for you. You got your closure- your ceremony, your degree- but you still haven’t let it go. And nobody can make that happen but you.

But why is it so hard to let something go? I think it’s because you don’t know whether you can find anything that will replace it. Usually the reason we hold on to things is because we feel comfortable with them or they mean something special to us, and we don’t know if anything else can give us that same feeling. But at the same time, when the idea of letting go is brought up there’s always a reason. Maybe it’s something you need to grow out of. Maybe it’s someone who doesn’t treat you as well as they used to. Whatever the case, it’s possible to let go instantly but it’s also possible to hold on to whatever it is for an indefinite amount of time.

Take Titanic: “I’ll never let go.” And yes, haters, she does physically let go, but can we remember the Celine Dion lyrics? “Every night in my dreams, I see you, I feel you. That is how I know you go on… Near, far, wherever you are, you are here in my heart and my heart will go on and on…” Rose never truly lets go of Jack. She has no need. He was her first and truest love, and she keeps him alive inside her, despite the fact that she is able to move on and live her own life after his death.

But not all of us are as strong as Rose Dawson. Not all of us can move on without letting go. Often, not letting go means holding yourself back from what’s next. It’s like the season 4 finale of How I Met Your Mother, in which they all “take the leap.”

Imagine: you’re jumping from one rooftop to another. The rooftop where you started is safe and comfortable and, honestly, you love it. But deep inside you know that you have to let go and move on. So you stand on the ledge, look down at what may quite possibly kill you, and you jump anyway. You take the leap. And for that split second in midair, you don’t know whether you’re going to make it or not. That second feels like an eternity. But, what you don’t realize until you make it to the other side is this: you were flying. You felt scared and uncertain and completely, utterly alone. But what you can’t see until later is that, in fact, you were defying gravity. You flew away from what you left, and when you look back, you realize how insanely proud you are to have made it to the other side.

Letting go of what we know hurts. It’s scary, lonely, painful, and sometimes so hard that it seems impossible. It may take ages to be able to let go, if you ever do at all. And once you do, it may not be a clean jump to the other side. But when you make it, you’ve earned it, and there’s no feeling that compares.



One comment

  1. Pingback: Beginnings | Leah Rose

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