A lot has changed within the span of a month’s time. I graduated with my master’s degree. I moved into a new apartment; my first solo apartment. I let go of toxic relationships and built stronger bonds with positive ones. I went home and reveled in a few weeks of no commitments or responsibilities. I took the time to actually celebrate my accomplishments without diving head first into a new task. I reflected on the woman I’ve become, laughed more than I have in years, and felt the weight of expectation float from atop my shoulders.
As I held up a decorative frame to place somewhere, anywhere on the plain walls of my new apartment, my mom firmly told me, “Ci, you have to learn how to let things go.” Her reasoning was that it didn’t match the decor, but the words seeped into my soul as something much greater than a simple item that no longer had a place in my living space.
I don’t know how to let things go. Whether it be people, ideas, fantasies, dreams, or actual, tangible items, I find myself ruminating over its necessity and convincing myself about why and how it still needed to be a part of my life. I’ll create stories in my head about how they will fit into my future, rather than address the situation that’s currently in front of me.
I’ve always had this idea in my head of who I was supposed to be and what my life was supposed to look like and to be honest, it wasn’t here. I would have never imagined that I would be dancing around a living room in Maryland to 90s R&B jams while my parents assembled my furniture(thanks mom and Alvin!) I never imagined that I would be teaching and be completely geeked out over starting a Ph.D. program. I never imagined that my life wouldn’t be carefully planned out to the minute, leaving only enough time to sleep and eat. But I’m here and I’m happier than I ever could have planned for. In order to make room for full-fledged, uncontrollable happiness, I first had to let go of the idea of what my life should and would look like.
Underneath fear lies vulnerability. It’s easy to fear. It’s easy to cling to ideas that are comfortable and make sense. It’s easy to fall victim to the lies you tell yourself. What’s challenging and scary is to stand outside from behind those stories and expose yourself to the reality that not everyone and everything is working in tandem with what your life is destined to be. Your stories are just that...stories. The stories you tell yourself become your reality.
Letting go of people is a process that can break your heart. And that’s okay. We can get so comfortable with relying on others to build us up and to fill all of our cracks with their love that we sometimes forget that the love we fill ourselves with is enough for the cracks. The rest is just overflow. This may be the hardest for me because I am hopeless when it comes to wholeheartedly seeing and lifting up the light in people even when their darkness drains me.
I trust with a burning passion to always see the good that it blinds me to the negative. When the lights go off and you are surrounded by the silence of your own company, it’s just you. Trust that the careful beating of your heart is in rhythm with your steps towards living your best life. Not everyone is meant to stay on the bus, some are just on for the ride to get to where they are going. You need to quickly wave goodbye as they get off or else you might be distracted and miss your own stop.
Today I’m lighter because of the things I’ve had to let go. I’m nowhere close to where I’m going to be, but now that I’ve let go of some of the luggage, I’m able to move into the space that I need to be occupying in this season and able to move on to what is actually meant for me, even if I don’t see it quite yet. As I keep my heart open to the endless possibility of life, the universe is reciprocating that love right back to me in the form of opportunities that excite my soul and the support of family and friends who overflow my cup with endless love.
As for my frame? I had to let it go to make room for something better.