January 23, 2013

Holding On and Letting Go

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Over break, I was trying to decide what to make my first post for 2013 about while sipping hazelnut coffee out of the Tina Fey quote mug my friend made for me. I realized what I had to write about when the song, Holding On and Letting Go, by Ross Copperman came on my Spotify playlist. It’s a new year and a time when we are all given an imaginary clean slate. We can take all our crap from last year and dump it immediately back on the slate we were just given, or we can put it behind us and actually start fresh.

It might sound a bit drastic; “But I don’t want to leave everything behind.” Of course not. You can bring the old good into the New Year with you. But why bring the bad along? Leave it in 2012 next to the canned food, water purifier, ammo, alien self-defense tapes, hand-crank-powered radio and whisky you stored in your underground bunker, because, like the failed relationships and endeavors you’re clinging to, the end of the world didn’t happen either.

“It’s everything you wanted/It’s everything you don’t”

Like this song lyric in Holding On and Letting Go, some things of 2012 were everything you wanted (or at least thought you did), but they’re everything you don’t want now. You’ve learned your lessons, made some less than optimal choices and now it’s time to find new motivations and new passions.

“It’s one door swinging open/It’s one door swinging closed”

Shutting the door on anything seems scary. We don’t like finality; we prefer “maybes” and “what ifs.” But those are the things that prevent us from making real decisions that can change our lives in positive ways. If J.K. Rowling let the thought, “What if they don’t like my story?” hold her back, she might still be a secretary at the NGO Amnesty International, rather than swimming through her billions of dollars and living out her dream. What if Susan Boyle let the “what if” question keep her from auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent? You get the point. Let the door swing shut on the “what ifs,” and get ready to open the next one. You never know what potential is waiting behind it.

“Some prayers find an answer/Some prayers never know”

There are probably some things that went unresolved from last year. Most likely some things that you wanted to happen never did. You can’t waste your time dwelling on what didn’t, and instead focus on what can.

“Sometimes the one we’re taking/Changes every one before”

It just takes one moment, one breath, to change everything we once knew. Make this the year that you take that breath and find that moment that will change your outlook on everything, because there isn’t one of us who couldn’t use a new perspective once in awhile.

“Sometimes we’re holding angels/And we never even know”

Here at Cornell, we tend to let our minds fill with unnecessary clutter. It can be difficult to see what we have when we are allowing the silly things to occupy our thoughts. Push them away now so you can appreciate what you have, or risk regretting not doing it sooner.

So hold onto what’s worth holding onto, and start letting go of what isn’t, because the latter has no place in 2013.

Original Author: Rachel Ellicott