I have been thinking about “letting go” a lot recently. More to the point, letting go to return to my roots. As mentioned in earlier posts, I have made the decision recently to completely strip my life down to the core, allow my heart to rule my head again for a change, and follow my dreams…wherever they may lead. In case you haven’t read earlier posts, after taking a good shit kicking in 2017, I had the epiphany that now, right now…as in from this second forward, I needed to begin living authentically as much as possible. Since that moment of clarity, I have been working on letting go of the stranglehold that I have allowed pride, ego, control and fear to place on my life.
Make no mistake, I have a wonderful life, filled with many blessings and people that I love with all my heart. I just felt strongly, right down to my bone marrow that I was out of sync with my “best” self. I realized that I was spending most of my time striving to be the Robert that others expected me to be. At some point I had become a slave to an altered version of myself, and the energy required to maintain this marionette dance had exhausted me completely. It was not a bad version of myself, pretty successful and happy actually, but somewhere in the distant corners of my mind, an earlier, wilder, more creative version of me was yearning for something more.
Somehow that free spirit, filled with wanderlust and awe survived, in spite of being banished to the furthest corners of my mind. At what point exactly did I decide that this beautiful, wide-eyed child was no longer appropriate or needed? Was it when I began to focus on career and climbing the corporate ladder? Or perhaps when I took on student loans, a mortgage and car payments on the Mercedes. Time to grow up and get serious, right? Retirement savings account, check. New stainless steel appliances and granite counters, check. Aching back and broken sleep, check. Climbing the ladder higher, check. Heartburn and Champagne, check, check. The little, forgotten voice from the dark recesses growing louder, check!
How did I finally realize it was time to get off the merry-go-round? Loss is a funny thing. It affects everyone differently, but it can also be a gift if we let it. Losing my beloved Mom to cancer in 2017 was the greatest loss I have ever experienced, and I am not a stranger to it. I lost my Dad at 18 years old, and in years that followed my grandparents, uncles, aunts and friends , but losing Mom shattered me completely. She was truly the one person that I couldn’t bare the thought of living without, so her battle with cancer and then passing has left me split wide open. It was through the subsequent grief journey that I have come to realize, sometimes the only way you can rebuild something better and stronger is to break it first, split it wide open.
I am trying to put the pieces of myself back together better then before, taking this huge shift in my life as an opportunity to create positive changes, that I wouldn’t have ever had the inclination, motivation or strength to make had I not had to rebuild my life. Maybe now is the perfect time to call my precious inner child back into the forefront again. Maybe I should let go of my white knuckle grip on the steering wheel of life for a while and let him play? I think perhaps we should all allow some of the wonder, innocence and unlimited possibility of our inner child to come the surface. Begin to say “yes” more to playfulness, freedom and joy for joys sake…take ourselves just a little less seriously?
So with these revelations simmering just beneath the surface, and my inner child’s voice now strong and clear, I have begun to let go. I am slowly trying to let go of my grief, and replace the white hot pain with happy memories and loving thoughts. Yesterday I let go of my position as a hotel General Manager, a position 21 years in the making, and one that has been a huge part of defining who I am up until now. Next month I will embrace this new found freedom and leave for Europe, letting go of the security and routine of home. I am working on letting go of the control over life that I seem to need, and just living in the “flow” of the moment instead. I believe this is the hardest part for me to master, and when I do, it is always when magic seems to happen. Lastly, I am letting go of all things large and small that will no longer serve me on this new journey.
I really don’t know what to expect or how I will feel next month when I wind down my job, and then wake up in my little apartment in Paris for the first time. Or how I will react to having nothing ahead of me but unlimited possibility and a blank slate for the first time in over 20 years. I have a hunch that it is going to be one hell of a ride, and if I can just learn to let go and live in the moment, I think it will be pretty darn magical. I hope that you will come along for the ride too!