March is for ‘Moving Forward’: Or how I learned to let go in my way

Let It Go Dog GIF-source

I’ve always struggled with letting go. It’s a really strange and difficult concept for me. I think partly because it seems like … so sad in a way to me. Rose should’ve NEVER let go of Jack, just saying.

My struggle with this concept of letting go (which incidentally means I also struggle with acceptance, but that’s another post for another day) keeps me holding on to the past well past it’s expiration date. This makes it really hard to live in the present. I end up spending the bulk of my time either reliving the past or trying to envision a brighter future versus just being right where I am in that exact moment. My friends have all noticed this, counselors too. The advice? Let go. Let go of the past. Stay in the present.

But … how?

Seriously.

No one really has an answer for that. It’s unique to everyone I suppose.

Letting go of the emotions attached to a previous experience is especially difficult for me as I am a deeply feeling personality type. This means when I do relive the past, I relive every emotion associated with an experience. If it’s a pleasant one, then that’s great! If it’s a painful one (which, let’s be honest … the painful ones are the ones most people struggle to let go of), I am basically recreating the exact same awful emotions I felt the first time. It’s a cycle of repeated suffering and torture and it’s mostly self-inflicted.

There’s the ick part. The good part is I may have found a way to stop the cycle.

March had a lot of changes. The first being that I moved to a new place, a few miles away from my awesome loft in Deep Ellum. This was kind of a big thing for me … that loft had meant so much, had been my dream place to live, but I knew I needed to give my little doggies a yard, so I started to look for a new place to live in early March.

That’s when it hit me – for some reason ‘letting go’ of the man who broke my heart seemed weak and heartbreaking to me. It almost felt like admitting defeat. Beyond that I just didn’t know how to do it. But MOVING forward? Moving out of the apartment we spent so much time together in, moving away from the neighborhood we’d frequented often. Moving was the last step in really letting him go. The two are intertwined.

I can’t hold on to someone while I’m moving as far away from them as I can. The rope, the tie has been broken.

Moving forward. That is a concept I can get behind. Letting go is confusing to me, but moving forward? That …that is something I CAN understand. It’s an active motion. It isn’t passive or ambiguous. It implies action, direction.  And that is what the month of March was dedicated to. Forward motion.

First with my home. Second with my job.

I recently accepted a new position at a company in downtown Dallas. This decision wasn’t easy as I have loved where I have worked for the past nearly 8 years, but … I’ll admit, I’ve grown complacent. My company loves me so much that they give me a lot of slack, but I’m beginning to realize it might be TOO much slack.

All that to say, it’s time to take on something new. Time to stretch again, outside of my comfort zone. I’m going to be a creative manager at my next job and that thought TERRIFIES me. This is not something I can phone in. There is a strong potential I could be awful at this. Regardless, it will require me to be sharp, alert and bust my ass all over again. And I’m ready. I’m so very ready.

In my current job, my complacency didn’t mean I did a bad job, but it did mean I developed some bad habits, like showing up to work and meetings late. They were so gracious to me about it, knowing I had a commute. But this new job (with NO commute) allows me the exciting chance to start building new and better habits.

Habits are key to happiness I’m learning. And another part of ‘moving forward’ I realized was necessary was finally cutting ties with some unhealthy friends. Perhaps cutting ties isn’t the right term … more like, putting serious boundaries in place. These are people I did and do love and will still likely hang out with from time to time, but people that are not the best continual influences and aren’t supportive of healthy habits. I.E. those people that want to peer pressure you into doing destructive or unhealthy things maybe because it’s not really a concern for them or perhaps they really want you to just stay where you are, in the same boat as them. A true friend will be supportive of good choices though, even if it means you spend less time with them. This is the type of friend I want to be and the type of friend I want to attract into my life.

This last little bit of moving forward has been a tough one for me too … I don’t like the idea of losing a friend or even losing the closeness you’ve shared with one, but it is true that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time around. I’ve been trying for some time to be more mindful of that influence, because I have dreams and visions and goals and quite frankly, I want to be around people who have that same ambition and motivation. Again, I’m not ‘letting them go’ but rather moving forward in the direction of my best life, the best version of myself. Hopefully this won’t mean I’ll lose them entirely, but if we’re really friends, we will want the best for each other, right?

I’m ready. To make some big changes. To conquer the rest of my adult life. These past few years have been incredible, truly. My time living in Deep Ellum, right in the heart of all the bustle and crazy, has been filled with colorful story after colorful story.

But it’s time for the next chapter.

And with that I’ll close with a quote from my favorite writer, Cheryl Strayed:

“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.”

Here we go.

 

Come On Ad GIF by Nike-source

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