Essays

Letting go

When I was younger, maybe 10 or 12, I thought the greatest combination in the world was blueberry soda and orange sherbet with vanilla ice cream.

Uh huh, are you thinking what I’m thinking now? Gross!

I loved that flavor combo. I loved that soda milk shake from hell and that was my go-to. And then one day, I stopped making it and having it… I stopped being a fan of soda during high school, and ice cream didn’t agree with my stomach as much, and that shake went the way of the dodo.

The me of yesteryear could not have imagined ever not wanting that specific taste. The me of today acknowledges that version of myself, but has no desire to recreate those moments or to be that person again.

Moving, the process of packing up your life in one place and porting it to another, brings these feelings to the surface.

Last week, I had joked to my brother that the me of my 20s must have thought she was going to eventually move into a mansion and entertain the Queen because based on the flatware, dishes, and all the frou-frou I had purchased during that time, in expectation of ‘moving out’, there could be no other conclusion. Service for 12, tea cups and soup bowls and–

I can only laugh at myself. It is amazing the vision of the future you can create for yourself and then when you reach that ‘point in time’ and you look around the landscape, they are completely at odds.

The truth is that you didn’t create this vision fully by yourself. You had help and and company along the way, and sometimes they have a stronger sense of the you that you were versus who you are now. It creates a tension. I am finding myself at loggerheads with my mother and at loggerheads with some of my friends and even at loggerheads with the no longer present version of myself who wonders:

“You may throw a party and really need that frosted glass pitcher and if you don’t take it with you, what will you do then?”

I don’t know, buy a new one? Do without? Is the presence of a frosted glass pitcher going to make or break my party, really?

The me of yesteryear had no sense of negotiation and no true sense of including an actual, fully-formed person in my life. Oh, I certainly had an idea that another person would eventually be there, but sort of like how you pick up a photo frame at the store, cut out the heads of the stock family photo in the frame and replace? Yes, exactly, not quite actual, fully-formed people with their own desires and tensions and flaws and strengths.

That me also thought it perfectly reasonable to buy all of that formal china in preparation for a life that hasn’t quite sorted out the way I expected, thankfully, because nothing worse than seeing a cookie-cutter Truman Show life play out in front of you is actually living it.

No, the me of yesteryear was somehow both a little too smart and stupid at once, definitely too far head in some areas and way far behind in the important ones, and while I acknowledge her, I am glad to not be her anymore. I also don’t like blueberry orange sherbet vanilla soda shakes, anymore, because they are gross, but I’ll say yes to an orange sherbet cone any day, because parts of you do stay with you, no matter what.

I am learning to let go and it is a weight off of my shoulders, not having to be held down and back by the expectations and visions of a person who didn’t know any better. If you don’t let go of old things, you don’t have the freedom to take hold of new things. If you stay captive to who you were, you don’t have the freedom to change and grow.

If you spend too much time at the train station tracing out your journey on the map and guessing what you’ll find when you get there, you will never leave the station. And if you never leave the station, you never arrive at your destination.

I am all about letting go now and it is freeing, so much so. Now, for the other people in my life not too keen on that…

 

 

 

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