This I Believe

Suzanne - Worcester, Massachusetts
Entered on November 29, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I Believe in Letting Go

I believe in letting go and letting people make their own decisions, regardless of the consequences. Letting go is one of the hardest things to do. It does not get easer with practice, no matter how many times one has to. I believe in letting go because I am not God, as much as I want to be. Sometimes one has to sit back and take what life throws at them. Accept, as hard as it may be that people leave and that people die due to the choices they make. Realize that the best thing to do is stand by them. I struggled the most with letting go when my friend Carl left for the Army.

My phone rang the day Carl left, it was my mom. She called to make sure I was okay. I told her I was, but I wasn’t and she could tell by the quivering sound in my voice that I was lying. My mom is one of the wisest people I know, she told me that, “my heart might hurt and that is okay, but this is his dream and he needs me.” She was right. I was selfish. I was too wrapped up in my own emotions to realize how happy he was, and to be proud of him. I had to let go, I could not control his life. It wasn’t about me. It was not about politics, or who is right and who is wrong. He was fighting for his country.

I think back to when my friend Mike left. I thought I had done a good job letting him go, but I hadn’t really. I wrote him real honest-to-good letters when he was in boot camp, I would call and talked to him, but then he left me again. He went to Germany, then to Iraq and by then we didn’t speak. I didn’t speak to him because I was afraid of getting hurt. I was afraid that if I continued to talk to him and he died, it would hurt that much more. I realized that, I was the selfish one. I was still angry with him. I needed to let it go, I need to for Mike. He is fighting for his county. He made the decision to so the day he swore in, and there was nothing I could do to stop him.

I believe in letting go because I need to be there for Carl and Mike. These next years of their lives are going to be hell, and they’re going to need me. I can’t wish them injured so they get sent home because that’s not what they want; it’s what I want. I am letting go so I can be a better friend. I am letting go so I can no longer be angry. I am letting go because their lives are not mine, and so I can support them in the decisions they make.