Sometimes, things fall apart.
We’ve all been there and we’ve all tried to fight to keep those things from falling apart.
We fight for so many reasons: to keep things that feel familiar, to protect ourselves, to protect our way of life, because we think we should fight, from a sense of ownership or pride or stubbornness.
It turns into a game of tug of war, something we cling to, a rope we keep clenched inside of our fists. We say, No I am right, you are wrong. We say, This is how things should be. We say, I will win at all costs.
There are some costs not worth paying.
It’s not about winning or losing, but doing what you know is best for you, even if other people don’t understand or approve – maybe especially when other people don’t understand or approve.
You listen to the whisper in your heart and your gut that says it’s not worth it anymore.
But what is? What is worth it, what matters?
Q: Does the game of tug of war matter?
So why do we stay so emotionally invested in it – both sides fighting, both sides stubbornly clinging to the rope, both sides wanting to claim the victory of being right or being seen as right.
It becomes more a habit and point of pride than anything else.
Q: What matters?
A: Being happy
Sometimes that answer can be so hard to find – it gets buried underneath all of the things that we’re told matters and that we think should matter, but when all of that falls away, the only thing that matters is being happy.
What makes you happy? What are you ready to let go of? What do you want to stop fighting?
A few weeks ago I resigned from my job.
It was a choice, and out of all of the options laid in front of me, it was the best choice available, the only choice I knew would make me happy.
I could’ve stayed, yes, but the situation would’ve remained toxic and I would’ve remained unhappy. There was no happy ending with this one, and I wanted that happy ending here for such a long time.
I’m learning that it’s not a sign of defeat if you put the rope down, if you just let go and stop fighting.
And I don’t want to fight anymore.
I’m scribbling this letter to you in a notebook, to be typed and formatted and prettied-up this afternoon. It’s Sunday morning, I rolled out of bed, grabbed my notebook and camera and $2 for a medium-sized coffee from the coffeehouse by the beach. I’m sitting on a bench on the boardwalk, barefoot. The sun is warm, the ducks are loud, the fog is burning off.
I’m happy. I’m also overwhelmed and scared and excited, teary-eyed and wondering what the hell I’m going to do. A part of me is so utterly terrified about what will happen next, but my decision was the right one, I trust this, I trust in this.
I’m 33 and starting over – and you know how much I love tabula rasa. I have this rare and beautiful opportunity to recreate and redefine my life.
I’m grateful, I am so grateful.
I’m scared, I am so scared.
I’m happy, I am so happy.
Here’s to turning pages, starting new chapters and starting over. Here’s to being utterly terrified and scared and breathing through it and with it. Here’s to turning lemons into lemonade and turning that frown upside down. Here’s to trusting, to crying, to believing, to hoping, to listening to the quiet whisper in your gut and your heart that says it’s just not worth it anymore.
Here’s to putting the rope down, this game of tug of war is over.