I have met many interesting and influential people in my short life from senators to celebrities, but as far as life lessons go, Chris stands out in my mind. Resplendent among the din of the bar, he stood 6’4 with curly red hair, a floor length ball gown and a tiara as big as my head. As I stared mesmerized by his disco ball earrings he sat down next to me. Drunkenly opening up about his life, he offered me this, “You just gotta let it go.” After a fabulous discussion and a few drinks, Chris and I parted ways. The next morning all I was left with was a disco ball earring and his advice. While I normally would have written this off as the ramblings of a coked out tranny, I began to realize that there was a lot of truth to what Chris had told me, I just had to let go of the little things that were holding me back.
One of my best friends in high school was never able to let go of anything, and it eventually destroyed her. Our senior year she had a mental breakdown and was forced into the hospital. As she would explain to me later, it was partly a result of the accumulation of perceived slights that she had endured. Many were things that no one could remember happening, but had festered within her for years until they boiled over. This is a prime example of how holding onto emotions and painful memories can be a detriment to your life. While I am not advocating total amnesia, I do believe that I need to accept what has happened as the past and move on towards the future.
I am far from a type A personality, but I do have tendencies towards paranoia and every day I struggle with feelings of inadequacy. When I begin to become overwhelmed, all I can do is to put my life into perspective, and let everything go. Frequently, I remind myself of the serenity prayer that I was taught in Sunday school. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
While I in no way have this skill mastered, I truly believe that by letting go of social slights and heartbreaks, I can make every day a little bit brighter.