When I last “let go” of something major in my life, I was walking away from my office after returning my work laptop, almost giddy with excitement and wondering wide-eyed about the possibilities in my future. My sister, who is one of my close confidants, role model and best friend rolled into one, had repeatedly warned me that “this is not the fix-it solution to your life’s problems”. Looking back, I couldn’t agree with her more. It was just the beginning.
Before I go any further, let me just say how grateful I am for this time in my life that allows me to stay still, introspect and come to major realizations. This August, while on vacation in the French Riviera, we visited the city of Eze which promised us panoramic views of the mediterranean coast from its hill top garden. As we took in the stunning view from different levels on the hill, I couldn’t help but think that just like that walk up the hill brought us to this view, my break was allowing me to view my life and its experiences from a heightened perspective. Sometimes it takes that trek up a hill to be able to see your life experiences as the beautiful vision they are meant to be seen as.
An important lesson that my break has taught me is how essential it is to “let go”. When I “let go” of my career and decided to focus on me I was freeing myself from my own expectations and expectations of society that a career is the center of my existence. But I wasn’t done “ letting go”. In fact, I was far from it because going on a break had added on a ton of additional expectations around how I will spend my time, what I will achieve during this time, what I will feel like and how my friends would perceive me when they met me. It took some dark moments and soul searching to come to this point in my life where I finally acknowledge that I am not done letting go.
Arianna Huffington, in her Super Soul Sunday interview with Oprah, mentioned that when she turned forty she undertook an extensive “life audit” and decided to let go of projects, activities and goals that no longer served her. By doing this, she says she rid herself of the “anxiety of perpetually unmet expectations”. I too have, like many others, suffered needlessly from the burden of my expectations and I have begun to recognize the futility of hanging on to them anymore. I am, as I write this, letting go. Whether it is giving up a really boring book, abandoning a workout that I loathe and dread or being decidedly mediocre at something I have to do but cannot or do not want to give up – I find that letting go always feels so, so good.