Today, Beattie writes about one of the ironies about letting go. Let’s say you acknowledge that there’s something you really want or need. Let’s say that whatever this is has been something that, in the past, you said you didn’t need or want.
But now, you’re feeling better, and you’re like, “GIVE ME THAT I WANT THAT.”
And then it doesn’t happen.
And you wait. And you wait. And you wait. And spring turns to summer, which turns to fall which turns to winter, and you think maybe for Christmas, Santa will bring you your wish. Or Jesus. Or it’ll be one of your gifts for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.
And nothing fucking happens.
Irritating, right? Right.
A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling really low. Like lower than shorty in a Flo Rida song. It seemed like I was observing all these great things around me, but I couldn’t really understand how to get them, myself. I was feeling sad and dejected. I was blaming Facebook and Instagram for all their random demonstrations of happiness and love.
(Yes, sometimes I engage in “all-cylinders-on-crazy” reasoning.)
The good thing about experiencing those feelings, acknowledging them, was that I slowly began to consider what would make me happy, and what would continue to make me unhappy. It sounds pretty basic, but sometimes… you really have to think about these things in order to make the proverbial lightbulb go on.
Almost a week ago, I wrote my editors an e-mail explaining that I felt our working relationship had, at this point, gone as far as it could go. Out of consideration for their product, and the fact that I felt my writing had gotten stale, I decided to leave. I’d been writing for them for four years.
Here is what I expected: I expected them to tell me that they were sorry to see me go, but that they understood, wished me the best, etc. etc.
Here is what I got: Nothing. Neither one of them e-mailed me back.
I found myself going into overdrive, like… “What did I say? What did I do wrong? DID I do anything wrong? I think I was respectful…” And, just to make sure it wasn’t me, I texted one of the editors, following up and making sure I didn’t need to do anything else. Again, I got no response. I wished the other editor a happy birthday and carried on about my day as normal. And… nothin’.
It was one of the strangest feelings I’d ever had… I had been so sure about that decision, and because the outcome wasn’t what I expected, I felt SO BAD about it.
After some more mulling over, I decided that their decision not to respond to me wasn’t really a reflection upon me. It’s their deal. I said what I needed to say, as respectfully and kindly as I could. There wasn’t anything I did wrong. I was making a decision for me.
I realize that I’m going to encounter a lot more of these situations along the way. I will get frustrated with myself, by my limitations. I will cultivate my strengths and work on my weaknesses. I will engage with people who encourage me and let go of those who don’t.
Is it selfish? I’m starting to think it isn’t. And if there’s something that I want or need that hasn’t happened, I will trust that maybe one day it will. It’s like Ingrid Michaelson once sang, “The only way to really know is to really let it go.”