The art of letting go.
"You'll never start the next chapter of your life, if you keep re-reading the last." -Unknown
I have a confession to make: I am a hoarder. I'm not a hoarder with actual physical items, like the people on that
amusing terrible TV show, but with emotions, memories and mindsets. I still have text messages from people I haven't spoken to in over six months. I agonize for weeks over changing my laptop's desktop background. I can give you a detailed list of every heartbreak I've ever had, right back to when my fourth-grade crush failed to notice my new Gap pants.
If there's one thing I'm awful at (other than math), it's change. Or rather, accepting the concept of change. As far as "letting it go" goes, I am the absolute worst.
College is one of those major life events that brings a plethora of change, even into areas of your life that you thought would stay the same forever. When my parents redid the floors of my childhood home and declared that they would probably move out of it within the next few years, I lost it. It seems trivial, I know, but I had always assumed that vessel of my childhood would be intact forever. Four years seems like a lifetime.
I clung desperately to the memory of my adolescence, the way things were "back home" for the first two years of my college experience, probably more so than others did. It wasn't like I missed high school or anything, or was some big shot trying to relive my glory days — it was just hard to let go of the simplicity. I missed the lack of responsibilities that I had growing up, and I thought the only way to keep it alive was by maintaining the mindset I had possessed back then, all that time ago. It wasn't until my junior year here in college that I fully accepted that that part of my life without responsibilities was over and that I needed to give myself a chance to grow up. I discovered the power of a good emotional cleanse.
I think what helped was the realization that change was an unavoidable occurrence for everyone, and that everyone else was finding a way to move on in spite of me. Whether we like it or not, the world keeps on turning, and time doesn't stop for anybody. Without change, without shedding our old mentalities, growth is impossible. I learned to like fresh starts. It was healing, it was cleansing, it was powerful. Letting go is like a snake shedding its skin. It's plunging into bright sunlight. We always have the power to reinvent ourselves, because destruction is the first step before reincarnation.