Hyperbole and a Half
For the last 6 weeks, I have been engaging in daily conversations-some with myself, some with others about the process of letting go. When I feel I am especially struggling with the act of it, I will often come right out and ask ,“but how do I do it?”
I’m not adept yet at what I am discovering is the very fine art of letting go. Somedays, I think I’ve got it. On those days, I try to focus on trust-trusting that things will work out; trusting that things have worked out in the past; trusting to move with the flow of life. Trusting that I will be more than okay. Trusting that I will rediscover my joy and sense of happiness.
Other days I find myself acutely aware of the death grip I hold on certain aspects of my life: how things used to be; reference points that worked in the past; things that used to ground me; things that used to bring me happiness.
In maintaining my grip, I know I am not allowing myself to create space and opportunity.
I’m trying though.
I’ve recently rediscovered the all-encompassing joy of reading. I was lucky enough to be blessed with a great father who instilled his love of literature in me at a young age. Dad and I would read together often. Whereas Saturday mornings for some children meant cartoons, Saturday mornings for me, were mornings where my Dad and I would read together. Of course we’d usually do stories and books before my bedtime, but there was something special about Saturday mornings. Perhaps it was the limitless feel of them. Evenings before bed had a certain time cap on them and so there was a finite quality to them, as much as I enjoyed them. Saturdays though had the possibility of stretching out. A lot of books and stories could be fit into a Saturday morning.
I liked reading well enough as I moved through my teenage years, and also must have liked it well enough when I decided I would major in English Literature at university. Over the years since though, my reading habits, and my engagement with books has seen a decline. Perhaps it stems from the busy-ness of life. It could also be that I wasn’t finding the right fit with books-nothing that held my interest or captivated my imagination. I’ve always felt a bit like a fraud, as with my background in English Literature and stacks of books in my own personal library to boot, I figured I should be a voracious and well-varied reader.
I haven’t been though.
Interestingly enough, it has only been more recently, where I have cleared out and donated a great many of the hundreds of pounds worth of books I have been toting around for the last 10 years, that I seem to have rediscovered my love of literature.
Even more interesting, is the fact that it’s taken a Stephen King book-one that I skimmed through at a much younger age, partly because the historical backlogs didn’t interest me, and the remainder of the book scared the beejesus out of me-to hook me. I picked this book up a week ago-in large part due to the current hype and excitement about a film adaptation of the piece-and quite literally haven’t been able to put it down. I wake up most mornings eager to pick it up from where I left off the evening before. I’ll go about my non-routine-routine of the day and look to breaks where I can sit down and move through a few chapters. I have been able to completely lose myself in the book. My thoughts actually shut off, and I can fully immerse myself in the story, allowing my imagination to create pictures of what is going on in the plot. I can let go. I can let go of my expectations and plans. I can let go of all of the shoulds. It is one of the few occasions, I am learning where I am able to just be.
I don’t really know what I’m doing, during this period of transition. I asked Ian earlier today, if he thought I was doing it right. I still have expectations for this time off, which I recognize really comes down to control. For now though, even though I feel I am blindly flailing around trying to find my way most of the time, I am able to find the present in a book, and I like that.