The Art of Letting Go

The Art of Letting Go

Hi! It's nice to meet you. Again. And Again.
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Well, if I were you, I'd be wondering... what the flying fladoddle does an 18-year-old suburban girl know about sacrifice and self-imposed good-byes?

Yup, you are not mistaken. I don't.

In my tucked-in universe, full of rainbows and giggles and occasional thunderstorms, I've been fortunate enough to have only ever really seen hellos and see ya laters. Enveloped by stagnancy and reliable routine, I am reassured that I am doing something right. Right?...

--

Sleep, shower, eat, school, any extra-curricular teenage Margaret finds interesting in that moment, homework, study, essays, eat, YouTube videos, facetime calls, sleep (x365)

--

Commitments at my age are loosely established, since my youth breeds my indecisiveness. I leap from one activity to the next, seeking for the next thrill and learning experience. However, as fickle-minded as I may be, once passion and interest kicks me in the shin, I am unstoppable. I am sucked in. Blinded. Hellos are constantly yearned, and goodbyes are erased from my mind completely.

Once I find that spark, letting go is quite literally let go.

Now that I found my passions in writing and politics and history, there was a point in my life where I said to myself yes, this is it. This is me.

But as I took full advantage of such opportunities, I lost interest in the unknown, as uncertainty seemingly became a thing of the past. I assumed my hunger was satiated, that all my self-doubting questions were answered. And boy, was it the greatest feeling.

There, in the humble abode of my computer, as well as shaking politicians' hands, I peeled my layers one by one, maturity seeping through. In the process, however, my evolvement became one-dimensional; and somehow, I thought it was the end.

In reality, that is me. But I've come to realize, that is not all of me.

There is so much more of me I am not yet aware of. Passions, instead of stopping growth, should merely enhance my character. My life, our lives, is a lifetime of self-discoveries.

We will be re-introduced to ourselves over and over again. Our passions, tastes, and ticks will transform, change, and take on different shapes.

Go on, set them free. As free as Ed Asner releases his house into the vast sky (Up did not only make me tear, my eyes were also swollen the same time I found inspiration).

That doesn't mean I will stop writing or end my political activism completely; instead, I will continue on, but never allow them to define me. Well, not just yet. I will let other opportunities to manifest, allowing myself to soak them in.

I will always write. I will always inject my political opinion. But most of all, I am a piece of clay--malleable, dynamic, and ever-evolving.

As I am about to enter a new phase of my life in less than five months (ahhhhhhHHH), college will catapult this clay into action. She will take shape in various endeavors, countries, internships, classes, social groups, and maybe, even sports *gasps*.

Once I take form, I'll meet her again. And hopefully, her smile will luster the same way it sparkles when I craft a beautiful and emotional sentence.

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Though this art of letting go may seem to solely accommodate my current personal endeavors, don't fret, for as I see it, such a mindset is universal. Letting go doesn't necessarily mean farewell, for that experience or memory will remain perpetually engraved in our very existence.

We are our past, present, and future, but they do not dictate our potential, our intricacies.

High school Margaret, this isn't a goodbye, but a ticket to meet many more Margarets.

Take letting go as an invitation, not as a sign of weakness. It welcomes us to experiences, people, and feelings anew, enhancing our original ticks in a completely different light. Accept release as a blessing.

The newest chapter to our never-ending novel.

As always, au revior.


Cover Image Credit: http://kingofwallpapers.com/

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.

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This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

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