I’ve been meaning to write this for a while now. I just went through a box of writing. That sounds odd, but that is quite literally it.
When I moved to England my parents came over to visit and brought a lot of my stuff that I had stored at their place when I left Germany. That included old diaries and a ton of writing I had done in the past decade. Mostly notebooks filled from end to end with stories, ideas, writing exercises. You name it.
I’ve been meaning to go through the box and decide what I wanted to keep. So far I have kept it, wondering if I may ever go back to any of it. Maybe there was a good idea in there somewhere or even just a good paragraph, a sentence, a character I may want to keep.
Today I found that I don’t need or want to keep most of it. None of it is precious enough for me to want to keep it. Most of it I have just decided to throw out. It’s baggage that I don’t need. There’s no sense whatsoever in keeping any of it.
I’m letting go.
All of it meant something to me at some point, but I’m not the same person any more. Surprisingly I have moved on.
Also, I won’t ever make the effort of transcribing my notes onto my computer. What’s written stays written in whatever notebook I chose to write it down in. But it won’t ever type any of it up to be stored on my hard drive.
Obviously I’m keeping my journals. One day I’ll want to read them again and give myself over to some nostalgia.
At this time in my life I am still blessed with a very good memory. Granted, it is as biased as everyone’s memory, tainted by my perception. There’s very little I can do about that, because brains and thus our memories work a certain way that we can’t really change. It helps to be aware of it, though.
I cherish my memories, good and bad. I cherish my writing, good and bad. But I don’t need to keep it around. It just doesn’t matter that much any more. There’s more current stuff that is much more important.
I’m generally not someone, who lets go easily. Not at all. I can fight like a lion (or make that lioness), if I choose to hold onto something or someone. But there usually comes a point, where it is better to let go and let things run their own course, or let someone go on their own way, because there’s nothing I can do to hold them back.
I needed people to let me go in the past as well and I will need to be let go again in the future.
Some things I have a harder time letting go of than others. It was indeed surprisingly easy to throw all those print outs and notebooks with my old writing out. I’m not attached to it anymore.
But I still can’t let go of my Greyhounds. Joe’s been gone for over two years now and Grace nearly two years. Yet my Facebook profile picture still shows my babies. I’ve changed it the day Cate told me that we lost Grace. I’ve not changed it since.
My profile photo on this blog is one of the two of them.
I still miss them every day. I would never have thought that they would ever mean so much to me. I can’t change my profile picture either. It would mean that I will have let go of them.
I know that one day I will, but not yet. Maybe once enough time will have passed that they would’ve passed of old age. Grace would’ve been eight years old this year, Joe ten. I’d have given them twelve years, if all had gone well for which there was never a guarantee anyway.
What I definitely don’t hold onto are grudges. I can be angry at someone, very much so. Sometimes at something. But ultimately I can’t hold a grudge and I can’t hate. It’s not worth my energy, let alone my happiness.
But whilst I don’t hold grudges, I don’t necessarily forgive easily either. It depends on the “offense” if you will. But I’ve been hurt deeply enough to take a long time to get over it and sometimes I’m still not sure that all’s “forgiven and forgotten”. Especially since I tend not to forget, what with my bloody good memory.
Instead, I move on. It’s not the same as forgiving. But some things are better left behind and dwelling on them won’t do anyone any good. It’s just not worth it. There are other things that are much more important and life is too short as it is.
I don’t know why, but people seem to keep forgetting that. Maybe they get too caught up in their daily goings ons. I don’t know. But ultimately, whatever we do, life it too short to put up with any sort of crap. It’s too short to hold grudges, too short to hate, too short to dwell on the past or on pain.
All our experiences shape us into the person we’re at this very moment. That is inevitable. But if you don’t like the person you’re right now or think that there’s something wrong with you, then you’re going to have to try and let go of some of those things that shaped you more than you ever wanted them to.
I can’t tell you how. It is hard to describe. I just know that when you let go, whatever it is you’re holding onto, a weight comes of your shoulders. That’s what it feels like physically. Emotionally it feels like a weight was lifted off your soul.
Take a breath, hold it for a moment and then breathe out again and let go at the same time. Push it out of your mind.
It can be as easy as it sounds (if you think that sounds easy), it can also be difficult. What matters is that you keep trying.
Sometimes it helps to do a good Spring clean and throw a bunch of stuff out at the same time. Things that may be connected to memories, old notebooks, clothes, any of the stuff that we keep collecting around the place. The physical act of throwing stuff out can be quite liberating as well and maybe it’ll help you in letting go of other things.
I for one will continue to get rid of things I have no need for any more. I like to travel light. It makes for a much more enjoyable journey.