Letting Go

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This past weekend we were driving to Montreal to watch the Formula 1 race and on the drive there this one thought kept circling back in my mind.

“How wild it was, to let it be”.

This is a quote from the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed – a great read if you’re looking for new books to add to your reading list. Anyway, it was a long drive (9 hours will leave you with plenty of time to think!) but a great opportunity for uninterrupted thought and a deep introspective look. I couldn’t shake that quote out of my mind. As we kept driving past other people picking their noses in their cars, cows grazing on roadside farms and kilometres of highway, I started to slowly realize how unhappy I’d become lately. Worse was the realization that I was the cause at the root of the problem.

I was putting too much pressure on myself. Pressure to measure up. Pressure to be more than I am. To do more than I know how to do. So I’ve decided I need to let go, in order to regain some of my sanity back and bring back happiness and mindfulness at the forefront of my life.

I’m letting go of this crazy need to be perfect in every aspect of my life. I need to allow more room for grace and for making mistakes. I’m letting go of this notion that if I make a mistake, I’m a failure. That I won’t bounce back. I’m letting go of trying to do everything in one day. Some things just aren’t priorities and I need to realize that. I’m letting go of allowing my outer appearance to dictate how I feel about myself and make me believe that I’m less beautiful or worthwhile than someone with a size 2 waistline. I’m letting go of the pressure that’s built up around my neck and behind my eyeballs from trying to do everything and be everything, all at once, of course. I’m letting go of the people in my life that suck the energy out of me. I’m letting go of expectations, from me and from the people in my life, and choosing to give instead. Give love, give time, give attention. I’m letting go of trying to be the perfect partner, because I’m not. I get up and do my best, everyday, and that’s all I can ask for.

I’ve done a really good job of breaking myself down, of speaking to myself in a way I would never dare to speak to another (not even the person I’m most comfortable with). I’ve done a really good job at belittling my efforts and laughing at my attempts to do better. I’ve done a really freaking good job of scrolling through social media and feeling so bad about myself because I will never look in a bathing suit the way those girls do. I’ve done a good job of looking at other people working differently than I do and equating it to working harder. I’ve done a good job of telling myself that this is all I would ever amount to.

Well, maybe it took a roadtrip across the province and some much needed distance from my daily situation, but I’ve come back (a little sore and sun burnt) with a new appreciation for my life and the efforts that I put in to be my best self everyday. And sure, I’m not perfect, but why was I ever trying to be? Who is perfect after all? Who has it all together, all the time? Not even Oprah does.

If you’re also feeling this way, I hope this blog post can encourage you in some way and help you breathe a little lighter. We’re all a little messed up and we all just do our best, the way we know how.

Allow yourself to get messy. Allow yourself to find new ways to work and be creative. Allow yourself to take a break when you need it. Allow more room for grace.

Until next time,

Vanda