Moving On & Letting Go
Now that we are a week into 2019—does it still count as the New Year?
There’s something special about entering a new year. For many of us, it signifies new changes and new possibilities. And for many others, the new year is like getting a new chance to fix everything that went wrong in the previous year. You can call such attitudes towards the new year idealistic but I think it’s always better to be hopeful than hopeless. Hope drives us into the future and the lack of it just leaves us stagnant.
One of the things I’ve promised to do this year is to leave whatever that no longer works for me behind.
It’s simple, really. But is it easy to do?
Let me tell you a story of my favourite turquoise headphones.
A few years ago my beloved headphones of 4 years died of old age. All those years of devoting itself to giving my ears sweet music took a toll on its delicate body. I already saw the signs: its plastic body started becoming more and more brittle by the day with bits of plastic falling off. One fine day, I lifted it and it all fell apart.
You might be wondering why these headphones are so special to me. For starters, they were a huge part of 'my look' back in my uni days. Whenever I made a new friend on campus, they would always tell me how they recognised me as the girl with the turquoise headphones because I was never seen without them. They were either over my ears or hanging around my neck.
When the plastic around my headphones started crumbling, I knew it wouldn't be long until I had to say goodbye to them. So there goes something of mine which I really liked. Our possessions have expiry dates and sadly, so do some of the relationships we forge in our lives.
When I was a teen, whenever I grew apart or had a fall out with someone, I'd be affected by it for months. Now that I’m entering my late 20s, *gulps* it doesn't have the same hurtful impact on me anymore, at least not as bad. My sister who's 4 years younger than me, told me that she's surprised by the people in her life who she has grown apart from.
The Pieces That Don’t Fit
I told her that the people in our lives are like jigsaw pieces and life is one big puzzle. The people in our lives are the jigsaw pieces that actually fit into our lives. Our interests, personalities and lifestyles just fit together somehow. But over time, either we change or they change and so the pieces don't fit anymore. When the pieces don’t fit, our puzzle is left with a few blank spaces but with time, and a bit of searching, those spaces are filled up again.
We are constantly being moulded by our life experiences; sometimes we change so much in a short period of time that it only becomes natural that the people around us might not ‘vibe’ with us anymore. It doesn’t mean they’ve gone bad or you have, it just means you’re no longer of the same wavelength anymore.
Back to my turquoise headphones: it took a while for me to discard them. Even though they were the definition of useless—I couldn’t use them anymore—I kept them on my desk for a good few months. I just couldn’t let go right away and I never stopped to ask myself why. I’ve never really pondered much on why people in general find certain things hard to let go of.
I realised now that ‘things’, as well as people, are symbolic to us. People aren’t just people, just how places aren’t just places. People, places, objects have meaning to us: they trigger something within us. When we look at them, we are reminded of not only memories but emotions and sometimes, even when those emotions aren’t entirely positive, it’s still not something we want to let go of. Maybe it reminds us of a younger more carefree us that we don’t want to move on from? Or maybe it reminds us of a time that brought us peace and stability.
Then, it hit me. Bear with me—I’m no psychoanalyst—but I think, we find certain things hard to let go of because we are afraid we will never get the same experience we associate them with, again. Have you ever held a piece of clothing in your hands and thought twice to give it away because you keep thinking of all the good memories you had while wearing it e.g graduation, birthday, anniversary, etc.
Sometimes we can’t even let go of people who aren’t good for us because we remember the times that they made us happy even if they were short-lived and are greatly outnumbered by the times they caused us distress. We are emotional beings and we form attachments to things, places and people. Attachments are good, it’s how we connect with our environment on a deeper level.
But attachments to the wrong things aren’t and we have to learn to cut ties with anything that doesn’t help us grow or become the best version of ourselves. Whenever you find yourself not being the best that you can be, besides reflecting on your own shortcomings, see what it is around you that isn’t sparking anything positive within you.
It’s ok when there are parts in our lives that are no longer working for us even after countless of times to work it out. It’s OK to leave that job or the industry you’re in. It’s OK to end a long-term friendship with someone who was your buddy for life. It’s OK to move on when relationships no longer work after giving it your all.
Get rid of what is holding you back because life is a veryyy long and arduous journey—you can’t get far with excess weight on your back. You can’t go to the next chapter without flipping a page. You can’t be the person you want to be while holding on to the person you once were.
Move on and brace yourself for the exciting new places that He is about to take you.