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Time to Let Go?

Time to Let Go?

Endings are the inevitable result of beginnings. Though many people at the beginning of anything cannot or do not want to envision the end. Trust, it’s there, waiting. The old saying goes: There’s only two things you can count on, death and taxes. I’d add a third: Endings. Everything has a expiration and dealing with that may be one of our greatest emotional challenges as we navigate our way through our lives. We are conditioned to seek and find. We are not taught when it’s time to let go.

One of the problems may be that we have been taught to view an ending or a “letting go” as a form of failure. You often hear someone who is divorced or otherwise out of a relationship say that it “failed”. One one hand, yes, it did fail in terms that it did not meet the “till death do us part” promise. However, by virtue of the fact that it existed at all was a success. Try focusing on that fact after a breakup. You’d have an easier time nailing a custard pie to a wall.

What happens when we are faced with a blank wall, no more partners on the path, our metaphorical sherpa long gone?

dark-path-970882The same can be said for careers. Again, we are trained like little automatons to get a job and turn it into a career. The expectation is that we will find ourselves on a mostly upward trajectory throughout the course of our career, achieving more position, respect and money. Of course, that is rarely the case these days. However, somewhere pecking in the back of our minds is that old thinking telling us we are not achieving enough.

Careers are important life partners—and they change with time. Sometimes they stay with us for the long haul, other times they leave us or we leave them for another. When you’ve been on a career path for decades and you suddenly find yourself on an unfamiliar road that is sparsely populated with opportunities and you can see a wall emerging in front of you, do you keep walking forward, or do you cut a new path? The answer seems easy but in truth, it is very unsettling and upsetting for most people to reach this point. It may be time to let go of something you found comfort and trust and security in for decades. That’s a tough place to be.

The only real ending is death. There ain’t nothing you can do about that ending. Let it go.

shadow-people04Learning when to let go is not a skill we are taught. We are taught to stick it out and persevere and often times we do just that to our detriment. But what happens when we are faced with a blank wall, no more opportunities, no more partners on the path, our metaphorical sherpa long gone? We are alone and abandoned on our road. Is it time to let go of that journey? Well, it just may be. And that is one of the scariest places to be. It can be devastating to our egos and our confidence.

Letting go of something is not the same as giving up. Ok, maybe that’s semantics, but there is emotional heft to those modes of thinking. Giving up is equated emotionally and societally to failure. Letting go is coming to the realization that something has come to its natural conclusion. That conclusion may not take place on your schedule, but and ending is an ending. And that ending is not a failure. Endings happen all the time, and as long as we can face them with some sense of self and self-confidence and belief in ourselves, we can get through those life transitions. The only real ending is death. There ain’t nothing you can do about that ending. Let it go.

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Andy2 copy 3Andrew Vails writing career began in Halifax when he was but a child. In Grade 4, he wrote and produced his own series of comic books entitled “Freaky The Frog”, the on-going tale of a little misfit frog and his pals of the pond. Marvel Comics never came knocking but Andrew knew he loved to create and tell stories. Since then, Andrew has worked in advertising, PR and publicity; has interviewed politicians, rock stars and very interesting yet not-so-famous movers and shakers. He has published articles in a variety of local and national magazines and websites. Andrew is currently working on the project queer50.com.


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One Comment

  1. What a fabulous read!

    Andrew, you poignantly outline the many facets we encounter when the gravity of a situation stares us head-on. This is most definitely food for thought. Thank you!

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