“Let’s imagineer a narrative.” ***
Wherever you are, try to grab as many things as possible with one of your hands. When it’s full, try to grab one more thing, were you able to hold it? Or was it overwhelmed with the task?
As a child, my mother would lovingly inquire why I held on to her so tightly. When she’d lay me down for a nap I would cling on to her neck for dear life, deathly afraid that she would let me go forever. I would grasp my dad’s hand so tightly he wondered if I was afraid or angry. Most teen sisters would be annoyed by the near constant presence of their loud baby sister. I became their proverbial cling wrap. I was so afraid of loosening my grip on people and of losing control.
As an adult, that constant need for emotional intimacy has translated into a string of bad relationships, both platonic and romantic, and all miasmic. If my life were a scrapbook, there’d be whole pages with trash adorned with stickers and glitter. As an Army brat, I’ve always had a difficult time letting go. I need people, things, and information to fill the void inside me. I’m not a bad judge of character, I’m just so extremely afraid of feeling the cold, stale air of that void on my skin, that I surround myself with irrelevant relationships, things, and distractions. That impulsive reasoning has come at a cost.
But times they are a changing. This time last year I couldn’t imagine my life without my soon to be boyfriend and one of my closest friends. As 2015 creeps nearer, those positions have been left vacant. At first, I did what I always do, grip tighter, hold on harder, and pray to God that I wouldn’t lose anyone. When that failed I tried to haphazardly find things and people to fill their place. I went on date after date, made out with guy after guy, and tried to forcibly convince myself that that was enough. It wasn’t.
Then the uncomfortable truths came up. That cold, stale air surrounded me and I realized that every detrimental thing I held onto had cost me something beneficial. Why? Seeds can’t take root in poor soil. Flowers can’t bloom in a garden overrun with weeds. Let go of the bad so you can embrace the good. My self-esteem, self-worth, goals, drive, all got put on the chopping block because baby girl was dickstruck, heartbroken, and afraid to be alone.
But now that more time has passed, I realize that my fear of being alone kept me from learning how to be comfortable with myself. The internal problems I was and am struggling with cannot be resolved with external solutions. It isn’t the fact that I had a defunct relationship but the fact that I attracted, sought out, and pursued one. I needed it because it made me feel whole. But the only person responsible for my fulfillment is me. I can’t expect people to love me the way I need to be loved if I don’t set the precedent by demonstrating that to myself first.
I’ve spent my whole life searching for the missing piece in trivial, superficial things. I’ve invested in shitty relationships, my closet, my whims, but rarely have I invested in myself. By refusing steadfastly to let go of bullshit I’ve gathered, my collection has evolved into full on fuckshit. Anxiety, insecurity, perfectionism, dwindling self-esteem, fragile self-image, and a knack for lowering my standards for anyone who pays me the slightest attention. That shit ain’t cute.
So how does one let go? It was much easier than I thought. You just:
1) Recognize your grasp
2) Identify the contents
3) Sort it out
4) Let it go
I’ve followed this for the past month and have cleared out a lot of bull. I went through my phone and deleted guys I knew there was no future with, the friends who I always contact and never seem able to contact me, and the people I haven’t seen or heard from in years. I cleaned out my email, my social media, my car, computer, and I’m about to start my closet. All the while I felt my mojo return, my confidence shoot through the roof, and my focus re-align on my goals and vision. It wasn’t easy but it was definitely worth it. The simplest solutions are often the most difficult decisions you can make, but you have to let go of the things that are holding you back if you’re ever going to moved forward in your life.
What are you holding onto? What are you ready to let go of?
***Watch The Thick of It. Malcolm Tucker’s reads are Drag U worthy.