Letting Go

I have stayed in bad relationships because I hoped they would get better.

Several times they were about to end, but I found myself pleading for us to keep trying - while being dimly aware that it was never going to work, it was only making both of us miserable, and I was pleading to avoid what would make us happy.

I've helped several friends move out of the homes they grew up in. They didn't want to leave, but circumstances were forcing them, and it was quite an emotional wrench. But the moment they shut the door behind them for the final time, they became suddenly happy, as though a weight had been lifted at that moment.

My previous laptop became progressively more unreliable until one day it just wouldn't switch on. It was annoying, but there was no sadness. Then, after taking out the hard drive to later on retrieve the data, there was the moment where I had to throw the dead box away. Yes, I hesitated, and yes, I knew it was stupid. But a few minutes later, no regrets.

When was the last time you listened to a cassette tape? An hour ago I had several big boxes of them - some old favourites that I now have in much better quality as mp3s, some that I never really liked, and quite a few that I never got around to hearing. Some were legacies of those bad relationships - when we split up, we wound up with some of each other's possessions.

I'd been hanging onto them for about 20 years. Not having the heart to throw them out, justifying holding on to them on the grounds that they might be interesting to hear one day. Promising youself a nostalgic experience in the indeterminate future - that's slightly perverse.

Now all but a dozen are in a sack, destined for a landfill. Throwing out your old junk is painful, but only for a moment. You just need to get through that moment.

1 comment:

  1. I just tossed my old Windows 95 computer. I hung on to it simply because it had X-Wing on it (the only game I've ever been any good at). Ah nostalgia. It takes up a lot of mental and physical space.