When someone or something you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure. But at some point, we have to let go.
Aristotle referred to “entelechy” as ‘that which turns potential into reality’ and believed that everything happening to you today has a purpose because it turns you into the person you are becoming.’.
I didn’t pluck this from the air, of course. It was from one of Ideapod’s old emails and this article ‘Everything happens for a reason: 7 reasons to believe this is true”.
I recently (not quite but, yes) learned how to throw things away without looking back. Anything that didn’t serve me anymore or is/are exhausted of their resources. This is a hard step for someone who values almost every scrap in my life because of the memories attached to them and how they’ve been around during certain (tough/happy) periods of my life.
There was a time that I was hanging onto so many things that I had no inkling how to start over. I felt stifled but bound by them. This could be shocking to some people but I tend to keep clothes from 30 years ago and wear them because they’re….still wearable. I could not find reasons convincing or absolute enough to throw them away. Yet.
Some people take pictures of themselves and compare how they look to their younger-day pictures only to end up feeling old, ugly, wrinkled, haggard, unattractive, and long in the tooth. Ancient.
I feel that too, sometimes, but I cast those worries aside because there is no way I can go back to the same person I was 20 years ago.
Even if my facade made people believe that I was born with blessed genes, I know, deep down inside, I am no longer the same person.
It’s weird but I honest-to-God felt that starting over meant defeat, or admission thereof. It meant I made a drastic mistake. It stings of disloyalty, abandonment, and careless decisions.
But that’s just human. It’s what humans do and we sometimes need to start over… Again and again, until we find the right combination and equilibrium.
I still value loyalty above all else and I get sentimental when I have to give things up. I can’t help it.
However, I now recognize the feeling and have a stronger ability to pay homage to them before I let them go. I think of them often. I reminisce. I worry and remember them fondly because they’ve helped me along the way.
Aaahhh… So this is the way of the world, huh? I thought. There’s no forever and it’s purely a romanticized version of reality.
But still, it doesn’t change me on a deeper and more personal level. I am a romantic hopeless dud.
Letting go can sometimes be a part of that romanticized reality too because, at the end of the day, it’s how you remember something or someone that shapes who you are today.
On another note, 2020 has most certainly NOT gone ‘our way’, has it? It’s a mighty comet that’s effect is still dominating not just the news but also our lives. During a car ride, I asked my boys how online learning was for them because I was worried that their ‘new way of learning’ was not really the ideal one.
Partly, I was sad that their so-called ‘college life’ is confined to the seat of their chairs. And I felt regret, despair, and weariness that there was nothing I can do about it. I wish there was something I can do to control the situation and outcome and avoid the devastating feeling of loss and disappointment.
Compared to my own college life.
But you know the above bit about how hogging stuff was a habit I wasn’t exactly proud of? The moment I start letting people and things go in my life, the door to freedom starts opening up to me. New possibilities. It’s not the end of the world. Curiosity takes over.
Although the ‘new habit’ was forced upon me by circumstances at the time, I have come to fully appreciate the sheer power it possesses. I still miss almost everything that I’ve had to let go of (that’s the sorry personality that I have – sentimental unicorn) but I’ve learned to deal with it.
“The world is so unpredictable. Things happen suddenly, unexpectedly. We want to feel we are in control of our own existence. In some ways we are, in some ways we’re not. We are ruled by the forces of chance and coincidence.”— Paul Auster
This year, I am sure a lot of us have had to let a lot of things go – be it beliefs, principles, habits, routines, work, family, people, things, circumstances, status, SOCIAL LIFE.
I just want to encourage people to look hard enough for the reasons behind it. And then embrace that instead.
Featured image credit: Tanner Larson on Unsplash