A friend stops me on the street to ask me, “What are you holding on to?” He does not refer to whatever I have in my hands. What can I not let go of, but should?
I’ve shed so much this year that I finish the year empty, lonely, uncertain, simple, slow, present, and gentle. I still hold on tightly to that sloughed skin, as it may be my only accomplishment for the year. Odd that I discard and yet still hold on to talus pile. Why do I need so much to signify what has been removed to identify where I am now? Doctors don’t send home cancer patients with their excised tumors wrapped in boxes.
Concerning the break-up, I hold on to guilt coupled with a perverse need for forgiveness. I slap with one hand and extend a handshake with the other. Not so cool. I hold on to remorse, uncertainty, nostalgia, and fear. I try to hold on firmly to the dwindling feeling of coupled.
One and half months after that dark December Day, I still hold on to Greg. It’s crazy, but I hold on to fixing him, that he can change, that we can start again fresh, different, open, and new. I can’t let him go. I need to, but if I let go, I let go of memories, kindnesses, potential future, and perseverance.
I hold on to self-doubt of whether I’m a good person, whether I’ll find work again, and whether I’ll hibernate instead for six more months.
At the other extreme, I hold on to my narcissistic specialness, that my adventures mark me as blessed, that I’m above work, complications, and wants.
I hold on to my routines, privacy, and sadness. I complain of loneliness but decline invitations to dinner because I need to cook, write, or create.
Time to let go.