There is something so difficult about letting go. And I’m not even a fan of making such personal connections in the first place, but once they are established, there’s something so strangely impossible about letting them go.
I am trying to learn though. I think I’m learning the subtle difference between a connection – a real bond – and a history. Because these connections fade and someone you once adored becomes merely a familiar face when you pass on the street, and then what you have between you is no longer a bond, but a history. It may be a beautiful and varied history, it may span great periods of your life or only a short time, but that’s what it is either way. A nice story to keep with you. Something that may or may not have shaped the person you now are.
The strange thing is, when you really think about it, letting go is so much easier than holding on. Holding on you strain and you hurt yourself and you work for every inch and you’re physically and emotionally exhausted by holding on. There is no energy left in you for anything besides that one act. And letting go? You simply… let go. You learn that you can breath again, and that life doesn’t have to be as hard as it has been. So, why is it that something as simple as letting go seems to take everything out of everyone?
I’m getting better at it; it has been nine months since the break up of doom and I am glad to say that my ex and I have become friends and there is very little bitterness or hurt left over from all of that, if any at all. The real question is whether or not being over the hurt means that you’re ready to take a chance on being hurt again. Dating nonchalantly is a nice go between, and it’s been great to meet new people and be out on the town with friends. But when does one start asking bigger questions? I’m not sure, I suppose it’s another level to this place of Limbo I’m so snug in.
A character that I wrote once, Len (a literature PhD candidate in DC dealing with the implications of an affair with a married man and the aftermath of 9/11), figured out by the end of the book that most of the time life is simply easier alone. Truthfully, I adore my friends and I don’t know what I would do without them, but my goal this coming fall is to take those other connections that aren’t so healthy (the ones that are the hardest to face, the old ones that get into you over the years and just sort of set up shop) and put them aside. For good. For real. I should have long ago, I know, but this is me admitting that they still get to me in some odd ways, and I’m finally getting better at not being bothered. Finally able to see the histories for what they are.
What are you holding on to? How have you learned to let go of the things that hold you back? I’d love to learn from you all.