I wrote this piece inspired by Rookie’s theme this month, ‘Getaway’. While it’s too late to pitch it I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
It’s hard to know when to let go. There’s always a pull, a feeling. A feeling that you may one day look back on with regret and chagrin.
My best friend spent her 20s with a man whom she thought her life belonged to. She grow old of the soul with him, they bought cats and completed their lounge room and made plans of comfort and intimacy. But he was seeking solace somewhere else and eventually his soul fractured from hers and left her drowning in a whole new world.
Having given my life over to others before I couldn’t help but feel her pain. It felt oddly haunting to see the loss we shared. My experience involved a whole family, with sisters and nephews and dogs galore. I had settled into this life with an ease of comfort I had not felt for a very long time. I truly believed I belonged in this place, in this time, with these people. But falling in love with a man and with a family are two different things and there came a time when I experienced life outside of this bubble and found that I couldn’t quite fit back in.
Never being one to handle things with grace or the subtly I desire hearts were left broken and bonds were fractured. I came back to my own mother and cried on her shoulder for the first time in 20 years.
I spent much of the winter after sobbing over my decision and falling in love with the friendships that formed. I built up a makeshift tent out of my scattered family, my too far apart friends and new people who I wanted to share my life with. I realized that although my soul may be flying around looking for a home there were people willing to help me tie it down.
I wrote a letter to my friend telling her:
“I’m never going to find anyone I feel a connection with again.”
She replied in true bestie fashion
“I’m here for you.”
Eventually I realized that standing still was going to get me nowhere. It wasn’t only people I had to let go of but the part of myself stuck.
Researching made my heart flutter, the options stood out as amazing and never-ending. London, Soeul, New York, LA. They all sounded so sweet, so full I could already hear the memories. I looked to my family, my friends and wondered how I could now let go of these people who made up my life.
They smiled, they laughed and reminded me that distance was but a tiny thing compared to the strings in which we were entangled.
Leaving for the other side of the world at the start of this year was strangely the easiest decision I’ve ever made. To reuse old clichés, it just felt right. I said my goodbyes with a smile on my face and adrenaline in my heart.
But before I left I felt a need to touch base with the same family I had left. It amazed me to find them with arms still wide open. I remember thinking that this is how I want my future home to feel, covered with comfortable pillows and accommodating people.
Now I’ve found new people that feel like home, that push my boundaries and it feels free and wild and fulfilling.
It’s impossible to know when to let go, but doing so has helped me realise what I was scared to lose and how my future life may feel. Living in LA, with a wide-open bedroom and one other unresponsive roommate, I can’t say I am where I want to be but knowing what I want keeps pointing me in the right direction. And knowing there are my tent people on the other side of the world waiting for me to come home, to wrap me in blankets and provide me with comfort, certainly helps.