I lay in my bed and stared at the prismatic colours on my wall that were coming through the blinds. I was trying to figure out whether or not this meant the sun was shining.
5 minutes earlier a dead silence woke me up. An unfamiliar calm, a heavy stillness. Submerging from my unconscious, I remembered.
Just like I have been remembering every morning for the last two months.
He’s not here anymore.
What was once a bed not big enough to hold those who lay in it, was now a bed that felt vast; A large tombstone with the memory of weight and expired dreams engraved upon it.
It’s been two months since he left my life, my dog.
Yes, a dog as opposed to a human. Loyalty as opposed to betrayal. Unconditional love as opposed to conditional love. Comfort as opposed to hostility.
My dog gave me everything that humanity couldn’t.
I looked down at the bottom of my bed, and in place of where he slept for the last 17 years was a little wooden box with his name emblazoned on it. ‘Rico’, it read. His ashes.
For 17 years ‘Rico’ was the name that echoed off the walls. I would shout it loud, to rival his playful bark. Now his name is whispered, to match his silence.
Forever, that’s how long I’ll love him.
Someday, is when I’ll see him.
Never, is when I’ll let him go.
I’ve let go of his body, but the memory remains. That is enough for me.
To hold on to him, to his memory strengthens me.
To hold onto other things, weakens me.
After meditating on my love for him, I got up from my bed and I started.
Something in me starting buzzing, an enthusiasm, a motivation.
I started to clear away.
I de-cluttered, I deconstructed, and I declared that everything must go.
I pulled every irritating piece of clothing off the clutches of its hanger, threw it in a bag and continued on my rampage of evicting every piece of fabric whilst the quiver of the now bare wooden hangers were the soundtrack to my epic mission.
“Don’t think about keeping it anymore, just let it go” I murmured to myself as I held up a dress that had been worn a couple of times too many.
Of course I had many brilliant nights, and yes perhaps that dress was a symbol of my young, wild years. Now I choose to enjoy the memory, but don’t cling to it.
We cling to the times that were good. In our older years we find it hard to let go of the social life we once had, and will never again have, for it was our youth that made it so. So maybe it’s not letting go of the short dress that is the problem, perhaps it’s what letting go of the dress means.
We struggle to let go of the notion of what we think our life should look like.
A wardrobe full of good-intentioned dresses for the much fantasised glamorous parties will not serve us well when we have to get work done, or run to get to the bank before 1pm on a Saturday.
To let go isn’t to forget, it’s to allow room for change.
Change is what we fear.
It’s because we’re afraid we won’t be able to ‘cope’.
We are not just one person. We have many ‘selves’. Like a Babushka doll/Russian doll we are made up of different versions of ourselves. These versions of our identity can adapt to new environments and situations, we just don’t realise that we’re able to because we don’t expose ourselves to change. We hide from it. We stay within the confines of our comfort zones.
But, change is necessary. To be human means to grow and to grow is to require change.
Put it this way. We outgrow our clothes and yet we find ourselves hoarding them and keeping them for what they signify. Time outgrows us, and yet we cling to everything that is reminiscent of that time.
But holding on to an expired time weighs us, and stops us from the process of change. Holding onto worn clothes takes up room, and inhibits expansion of our developing style.
We shed our clothes, and we shed our skin. Yet, we throw neither away.
Change is inevitable. We can choose prepare ourselves, or we can choose not to.
Either way, it’ll come. And whether or not you want to, you’ll find yourself adapting to this change. So why not embrace it?
Like trends in fashions, change comes in cycles.
To change is to let go.
The future scares us because it means change. We fear that who we are not is not able for the future. However, who we are now will develop, grow and transform into a person who can deal with the inevitability of the future. It’s hard for us to comprehend that person now.
But we can’t be our future self if we don’t let our present grow.
And to do that means letting go of expectations of what you think life should be, de-cluttering your life of everything that was once important, but no longer serves you.
Clear your space of old reminders and it’ll clear your mind. Shed your skin and it’ll shed your old perspective to reveal a fresh perspective, ready and ambitious for change.
Let go of all that once was, and embrace what is yet to be.