General · Writing

Letting Go

I have always found it difficult to let go. I could probably describe myself as a hoarder… of things, feelings, relationships, jobs… I have a collection of currencies that I began when I was six, and a collection of boarding passes that I’ve started since 2007. I also collect cards, pens, notebooks, books and even broken gadgets. Once a thing acquires any sort of sentimental value, no matter how small, I cannot bring myself to throw it away. Once I become emotionally invested in something or someone, I can never forget about them or the feelings they’ve left within me.

I’m supposed to be on holiday now, taking a break from the stress of months and months of exhausting work. But I cannot stop thinking about it. I can’t stop worrying about what’s going on. I check my email regularly, I try to make sure everything’s going smoothly. I can’t wait to get back so I can grab the reigns again. It’s terrible. 

I recently went through a tough breakup, in which I did not only lose the person I thought I was going to marry, but I lost a best friend too. Though I know I should try to move on, I’m always thinking about what they’re up to, I can’t stop wishing we were still together, despite everything that happened at the end and despite knowing it would fail. Even now as I write this, I can’t stop tearing about it. This is my first breakup and I am not handling it well at all.

So I’m distracting myself and using the rest of my vacation to finish working on the second edition of Puppet Parade. Of course, even with this I cannot let go. Though I’ve already trimmed it down considerably and fixed many things that were bothering me in the first edition, and read the whole thing more than two times, I can’t help but think there’s still something left to be fixed. Since I’m going through the trouble of editing it a second time, I want it to be perfect… even though I know perfection and writing do not go hand in hand.

This has been my life in a nutshell over the past couple of months. I know I’ve been terrible at keeping up with the blog, but I am not in good place in my life right now. Still, I don’t have reservations discussing this here… I’ve often worn my heart on my sleeve. And I suppose it’s good to keep myself occupied with one thing or the other.

How easily can you let go? Are you obsessed with your work? Did you ever remain friends with your exes?

And if you don’t feel like answering any of those questions, I’ll leave you with a treat I had yesterday. Needless to say, I’ve been coping with copious amounts of chocolate.

A delectable tart of hazelnut cream, pecans and soft dark chocolate truffles.
A delectable tart of hazelnut cream, pecans and soft dark chocolate truffles.

23 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. My blog has been neglected for the past few months as well. It’s difficult to be everything to everyone. We always have to take care of ourselves, and then our projects in order to keep moving.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about your break up. A broken heart is one of the most painful experiences in life.

    I’m the opposite of you, instead of hoarding, I love throwing things away. One of my favorite activities is going through my things and seeing what I don’t need or use anymore and getting rid of it. My family laughs at this because sometimes I go a bit overboard and throw things out that I wish I hadn’t, haha!

    Take care of your heart these days, Zen. Read good books and eat delicious chocolate – you deserve to pamper yourself.

    1. It is. I really hope I never have to experience one again. Sigh. Thank you, Letizia – books and chocolate is definitely the answer.

      Haha, I can never do that! I guess it comes from the fact that I used to be like you, then I threw out something important that I still regret to this day. Can’t risk it again!

      1. I guess we need to find a balance between the two of us: not throw too much away but not hold on to too much either! At least you have those great Ikea shelves to hold all of your great things now 🙂

        1. That is true! Actually, I’m taking back with me many of my favourite books with me from my parents’ house, so I should be able to fill it up even more. 🙂

  3. So sorry to hear you’re going through a rough time. Broken hearts are always difficult to navigate. And I understand obsessing about work. I’ve been there. Even though my work was in a clinic, thanks to electronic records and the interconnected world, I always took it home with me and was never completely away. The one thing that always seemed to help me gain perspective–and still does–was a walk outside. Nature has a way of calming us. (And that’s coming from a pragmatist like me.)

    I hope things smooth out for you soon.

    1. Thanks, Carrie – I never thought I’d experience it myself, but… I guess there has to be a first for everything.
      I’m the same way unfortunately; in translation work can corner you anywhere you are. I would take a walk, but these months in Dubai the heat and humidity are killer!

  4. Man, sounds rough, sorry to hear all that. Breakups suck, but at the same time, it’s one of the most helpful experiences in life, pushing you forward if you let it. Not saying it doesn’t hurt because it does, but there’s a light at the end of that tunnel. It’s hard for me to let go because I don’t like change. I drown my sorrow in pizza. And as for the book, if you’d like another pair of eyes, my wife and I are freelance editors and I’m a writer myself, so it may be helpful if you wish. Best of luck either way.

    1. I’m not quite sure if I’m quite ready to let it push me forward yet, but… thank you. I’ll keep that in mind. Mmm… pizza sounds good right about now. Thanks for the offer! I’m about done with the book (and it already had more than one pair of eyes), but I’ll consider it with my other books. 🙂

  5. I’m sorry Zen. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while, so it’s sad to hear about your relationship. In my case, I’ve never had the option of being friends with someone I once loved. And letting go is seldom easy. I don’t believe you ever stop loving someone, regardless of how they leave. You just pack up the feelings you felt for them, place them into a box, and tuck it neatly inside the corner of your heart, revisiting them form time to time, and remembering how, for a certain period, you were blessed by happiness.
    I don’t know if this advice will be any good, but, in my opinion; don’t let anyone see you cry. From my experience, no matter how close someone is to you, and no matter how hard they try, often, they seldom understand. All pain is different. All love is different, and because of these different feelings, their are different wounds. I agree, it is good to talk about your emotions, but the person you loved, was yours for a time, and only you will know when you can look at something and not be reminded of them; when you can think about them and suddenly not be overcome by tears; when you are truly happy with yourself and willing to move on.
    Don’t force it. Let everything come naturally. The pain will gradually fade, but it will never disappear completely. However, I can assure you Zen, if you really are as awesome in real life, as you appear on your site, one day, maybe a year from now, maybe two, you will find someone who will not make you forget about your loss, but who will redeem your faith in love.

    1. Heey Derek. Thank you so much for your comment. In my case, I was given the option of remaining friends, but I don’t know if I can handle it in my current frame of mind, or even ever. It’s just so hard to stop loving someone, as you said, and I don’t think my feelings will ever change.
      Thank you for that advice and for your very kind words. I don’t know about being as awesome in real life, but I appreciate what you said. At the moment I really doubt I’ll find anyone else, but life has a funny way of working things out, I guess.

  6. Aww, honey bunny. So sorry to hear about your heartache. It’s been a very long time since I’ve experienced a breakup, but I remember they were always terrible for me too. It’s okay to wonder about that person and keep a piece of them in your heart. I still wonder about some of my exes sometimes, and wish them nothing but happiness.

    My suggestion right now is to do some really nice things for yourself: massage, yoga, maybe a new look (hair, wardrobe, etc.)…in addition to reading with chocolate. xo

    1. Thank you, Britt, and I doubt (and hope) you’ll ever experience it again – you and Mr. H always seem very much in love. 🙂

      And that’s the plan. I am going to catch up on a lot of reading and writing and hope that takes my mind off things.

  7. Yes, yes, yes and yes (especially to the chocolate). I can relate to every word. Last week, I decided to start a Buy Nothing Year and team it up with decluttering. I’m learning to let go… slowly…

  8. I kept lots of stuff until I had to move for the third time in two years. That’s when the box of college textbooks bit the big one, followed by a lot of her stuff. I finally understood that not everything was precious if I hadn’t even opened the box it was in from the last time I moved. That was eye-opening. The number of things dearest to me, the stuff I’d grab in a fire, was very small. I junked a lot of my stuff but I like that I can open a drawer and see my most prized possessions in one small place.

Talk to me! I won't bite. Unless you're made of chocolate, then I promise nothing.

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