Learning to Let Go

I wrote the above poem a couple years ago and as I was flipping through my “Ideas & Musings” binder earlier this week I discovered it again and found myself in a most peculiar emotional state. 

I remember writing the start of this poem (“I know why Alice fell down the rabbit hole – escaping into the unknown”). As I lay on the ground staring at the textured ceiling, my mind started to make images out of the smooth and rough patterns above me. One image, a girl in a dress, reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. My beautiful mind then did what it does and formulated the beginning of this poem.

The rest of the poem came later. But I don’t remember being in any particular emotional state when I wrote it. As I come back to it, in this current iteration of myself, it makes me stop and ponder my life – my past self, current self, and future self.

As I continue the journey of becoming the best version of myself, I find that I’m consistently revisiting the theme of letting go. It is no secret that, in order to grow, we must let go of old behaviors, patterns/habits, and beliefs that no longer serve us.

The process of letting go involves some self-reflection. It involves getting honest with ourselves about where we are and where we want to be. It is us asking:

What do I want my life to look like?

Am I willing to do the work to get me there?

These two questions are important because we need to decide if it is really something we want or something we think we need in order to fit society’s box of what we’re supposed to be/like/do but have no interest in ever becoming.

But letting go also means deciding what we need to add to our lives:

  • You let go of worrying about what others think of you and you begin caring about what you think of yourself
  • You let go of treating your body like shit and start loving it and treating it with kindness
  • You let go of being run over by people and start setting boundaries in your relationships
  • You let go of old patterns of thinking and you replace them with new patterns that serve your true self
  • You let go of thinking that you are not enough and realize that you are enough, just as you are

So here I am again at an impasse – an intersection of who I am today and who I want to become – and decisions must be made.

The morning before I discovered my poem again I had been triggered and my mind was trying to process why viewing someone else’s Instagram page made me feel, for all intents and purposes, jealous. But Alice wouldn’t be jealous, or at least I tell myself that. And if I wanted to move forward then I needed to figure out why I felt the way I did.

Then it came to me in the shower (as many of my breakthroughs do): she embodies that which I wanted to be.

What that means for me is, from what I can tell, she seems to be a free-spirit, someone who lights up the room just by walking into it, and someone people want to be around. I, on the other hand, like to think I am a free-spirit but have never seen myself as someone who lights up the room (but that didn’t stop a girl from dreaming).

I recently went to a Power of You live event hosted by Mel Robbins and her team, and in the talk, Mel asked us a question she was asked in an interview: If you walked into a room, what is the one word you would use to describe yourself?

My first thought was “calm”. But I immediately rejected that idea because calm to me is synonymous with “quiet”. And even though I have learned to embrace my quiet and thought I was fine with it, it turns out that I’m not as fine as I thought. 

What I have come to realize is I haven’t let go of the quiet girl whose first job in college was a bagger at a grocery store. The girl who was told by one of the cashiers (true or not) that the manager would make me a cashier but didn’t because I was quiet.

Or the girl who worked twice as hard as a busser (compared to the other bussers) but didn’t get a promotion like her co-worker who was buddy-buddy with the manager. 

The quiet one. The good one. The nice one. The one everyone loves but can’t get ahead because she’s always underestimated even though she gets shit done and has a super strong work ethic.

And that is the girl, and the belief, I have to let go of.

I must unpack and throw away the belief that people like me, the quiet ones, can’t get ahead in life. I need to let go of the belief that my quiet voice is worth less than the louder ones because calm and quiet are also needed in this crazy world.

I need to start living like Alice, to dare to live for something, instead of living life afraid.

What about you, what’s something that you need to let go of? 

This week’s featured song is Linkin Park’s “Iridescent” 

One thought on “Learning to Let Go

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