I could recreate every single moment of disappointment that felt heavier than the weight of the greater burdens that were always ahead, or I could let it go.
I could recall every single fight and mean thing that was said in heated conversations; all the moments that seemed disproportionately unfair and hurtful to the situation at hand, tearing away at the larger life two individuals were living, or I could let it go.
I could think of all of the ways in which it could have been different; all of the different roads my life would have taken “but for” the detours that nearly drove me insane, or I could let it go.
I could let the pain and injustice eat away at me; create a list of the people and moments and events and places that left me and my emotions and my tears in shambles; relive the loneliness and suffering those memories are forever imprinted with at the frequency suited to the temperament I’m seeking to achieve, or I could let it go.
I could think of all of the words I should have said, and all those I shouldn’t have; every single gesture that was insufficient or excessive, ill-timed or over-powering, each and every moment that didn’t quite “fit” or “turn out right,” or I could let it go.
I could wish for my life to be other than it is, in a place different to where I am, with people who are not those I know now. Friends, partners, family members, acquaintances, coworkers – a universe of individuals to whom I’ve never quite belonged. Imagine the life we could have led together, in pursuit of interests I’m only faintly familiar with; outcomes less brutal to the imaginary timelines I’ve spent my life creating, monitoring, and inevitably redrawing, or I could let it go.
I could hold on to every single heartache and failure and disappointment, the endless moments where I so desperately wished it would have worked when it couldn’t have been less well-timed. For all the people I ever reached out to, to have reciprocated; for each altercation to have been met with the same desire to just find a way to communicate, and contemplate all of the ways in which I could have said it better or differently, been softer or more aggressive, found the right way, or where there was none, created it, or I could let it go.
I could be a bitter woman, spiteful of the wrongs done to me and indifferent to those done by me. A person acceptant, tolerant, and apathetic to the continuing need for life and kindness and love to go on, for people to care about the future, not the past. An individual so entertained by their own story, they neglect the reality that none of it is really about them, or I could let it go.
I could let the emotion kill me, slowly, from the inside out, as the hate and anger and frustration remind me daily of just how wrong it all is. How shitty the circumstances and reactions were and are, how inadequate the solutions available and the people involved are to the real pain I feel. Truly foster a resentment for so many variables playing out so differently to how they were intended to be in my mind; feel a true coldness towards the world as it is, or I could let it go.
I could pretend to let it go half-heartedly; tell myself I don’t really care, that with time I will move on all on my own. Hide the remnants, large pieces, of emotions I didn’t want to fully feel; become frustrated with myself when inevitably it surfaces yet again, or I could let it go.
I could spend a lifetime in my head, convincing myself it’s really okay, and that I’m being silly, and that it’ll pass, and that being emotional is a state of being that maybe someday I’ll overcome. Creating the story; telling and re-telling it; living it over and over again, or I could let it go.
I could argue with myself about letting it go. Tell myself it’s too early or too hard; that the issue is not the clinging but the events that led to the emotions themselves. Convince myself that the pain is real, and that all of the circumstances had conspired to put me right here, in this moment right now, wondering how many wrong turns I took to feel this way. Design a thousand plans to do anything but let it go; avoid the thing I need to do most, in favor of trying every other method that allows me to still stay, “it’s been a little rough;” repeat how rough it’s been until hearing about the roughness makes me nauseous, or I could just let it go.
I could be the strongest and most stoic human being embracing the suffering and make an art out of it, pretending to accept that it’s simply my way. Embody the external world in my internal being, and mirror all its hang-ups as my own – or I could just freaking let it go.
I could just accept life as it is, and be happy. And then have nothing to let go.