I recently read a post on Facebook that said, “If you could write a note to your younger self, what would you say in only two words?”
Two words is really a lot for me. Well, I guess I mean not a lot. I’m a minimalist when it comes to everything except words. But if I had to cut it down to just two, I think they would be, “Let Go.” When I look back on my younger years, I’m shocked at the ballsy decisions I made and that ability to just let go. So, it’s not the younger me I would give that advice to, but more the me that was a bit older. At just 22 years old, I packed up everything I owned, threw it into storage and moved to a city I had never even visited before (New York) to pursue my dream of being a writer. I landed a job at a magazine, slept on a couch, made a whole new group of friends and had the time of my life. And then I woke up one day and realized that wasn’t where I was supposed to be in life. It was a hard decision, because I had always envisioned myself living, working and thriving there, but when I knew it wasn’t the right decision I allowed myself to let go without a shadow of doubt.
And then, as life got more complex, I started to second guess myself. I stopped letting go, and I clung. And we can all agree clinging isn’t productive. There are so many times when I simply should have just let go. Of jobs, of people in my life, of fears, of hang-ups, of baggage. But I held fast and in doing so, I became afraid to trust my intuition. I started to doubt myself, started to question my worth, my abilities, my instincts. I started letting other people make decisions for me. I stop relying on myself. All along, what I should have done was just let go. I knew when the time was right to make my move, but I let the fear of the unknown hold me back.
I’ve finally reached a place in my life where I’m a little bit older, and I’d like to think somewhat wiser—though I’m the first to admit I still have miles to go—but I’m not afraid to let go anymore. I’m not afraid to trust my gut. These days I cling to what works for me, and when it doesn’t, I walk away, I let go.
So, if I had to tell my younger self something, it would most like be, “good job.” But that quarter-life me, well, she had a lot more to learn. To stop being so cautious. To trust herself. To let go. I can see my progress in my past year of posts, where I challenge myself to do something that scares me, outside of my everyday. And I remind myself from time to time when that old me starts to make an appearance to not be afraid to let go. There’s a lot that comes from putting your guard down and just seeing where life takes you. And thus far, the adventure has been one that proves letting go isn’t the end of the world. It’s the beginning of a new one.