The art of letting go. I can’t seem to master it.
It’s not that I don’t want to let go. I absolutely do. After all, who in her right mind would want to hold on to every word, event, situation, and person that has caused her pain, sadness, frustration, anger, and self-doubt?
But I do hold on.
Today has been a particularly difficult day for me. Part of it is because it is the day before I am going back to work, for the first time this school year. I am feeling the same nervousness I feel at the end of August on a “regular” school year. No matter how many years I have been teaching – this month it’s 17 – there’s still that feeling of butterflies in my stomach with every new year. It’s difficult to let go of that nervousness. I know it will be wonderful when I meet my students, and some of my nervousness disappeared last week when I saw some of my former students who were very glad to see me. However, there are other things that I cannot let go of and which are completely out of my control. Learning to let go of what other people – other adults – think of me is something I have been trying to do for YEARS, and, no matter how far I think I have come, I end up feeling self-doubt, confusion, and frustration, and I end up getting trapped in the middle of that emotional clutter.
Today has also been difficult because I am trying to let go of friendships that I can’t seem to resuscitate, no matter how hard I try. Here’s the thing about me: Friendships are high on my list of priorities and always have been. Making time for friends is important to me, and I will do anything for my friends. So, when someone decides that there’s no longer any point in having a friendship, I can’t seem to let it be and let it go. I worry about what I have done, what I have said, what I haven’t done, what I haven’t said, and on, and on, and on…until I drive myself crazy. I wonder how I can change this person’s mind, and if we’ll ever be friends again…someday. There are times when I think I am okay with letting go, but then, once again, I end up feeling smothered by all of the emotions I am experiencing and I can’t clear that emotional clutter.
Though letting go would most certainly make my life easier and make me happier, I just can’t seem to get a handle on it. And, quite honestly, I’m not sure it’s a “Shannon thing”. I guess time will tell.
Tomorrow will hopefully be a less emotional day for me, or at least a day with more positive emotions than negative. I can handle that kind of emotional clutter any day.