Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On Endings, Letting Go, and Trying to Grow Up (still)

Sometimes I think if I could change one thing about myself, it would be my aversion to change. I've never dealt with it well I always hold on to things long past their expiration date.

I call myself sentimental sometimes. After all, I started a blogging event called "Book Blogger Appreciation Week" I often feel insuppressible affection when people are just being their normal selves, I hold on to physical items that remind me of special times. But I don't know if that's the right word exactly.

Even the happiest moments in life are covered in a sense of loss. Nothing lasts forever, how often do we hear this refrain, so much so that even when we feel happy and satisfied, we can also feel a tight longing--a knowledge that this life is temporal and always shifting. If we look on our hard times and say, "This too shall pass" it's only sense making that sentiment covers our good times as well.

I have a hard time going with the natural flow of change. I hold on until it's abundantly clear I should have let this thing go long before. Nothing is made to be permanent and that's good for the most part. We are creatures of evolution and change. I hate the part of my nature that fights it so much. I wish I could relax into the rhythm of life and let go when all signs point to an ending.

But every once in awhile I try to predict it and I make the charge and end things early. Not because it's a natural ending point, but because I fear still being there, still holding on when I should have moved on. Every once in awhile I try to be proactive in this way, but it usually doesn't work out the way I think it should.

I feel like I'm getting too old for this. Surely I've lived enough life now that this should be easier, that I shouldn't feel a sense of shame when I realize I still care when others have moved on, I shouldn't mourn every passing thing, I should know that's there always something else out there, something more, something else and even if it isn't exactly the same it will be right for the time. I remember when my sister and her husband had to get a new car. They were living in Costa Rica at the time and visiting the States and when they told my niece, she cried. She didn't want to say goodbye to that other vehicle that had been in their family so long, that held so many memories. But it didn't work right anymore, it couldn't be what they needed any longer. It had done its job and they needed to move on. If the old doesn't clear itself out, there's no room for the new. But when I saw her tear stained face, all I could think was how much I understood. But surely I'm not like a seven year old girl anymore, surely I'm beyond that...

There's this line in "You've Got Mail" a movie I love, when Kathleen decides to close her store. And her friend Birdie says, "closing the store is the brave thing to do...You are daring to imagine a different life." I think about this line often (the whole movie is so gorgeously written, a lot of lines come to mind often!) About the brave thing to do. About imagining that things can be different. About imagining that things can be better than a thing you already love so much.


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