Posted by: heartsleeve | August 6, 2007

“It’s easier for me now to let go of people.”

I spent all day yesterday with Shivangi in San Antonio. One of my favorite things about Shivangi is that I always know when I need to have a good talk, a serious talk, she will be the one that will have the best insight and advice. We talked about leaving Austin, and she said that for her, leaving Austin has been a good thing. It’s allowed her to grow up, to figure things out. She doesn’t feel so confused anymore about everything. She has become, in a lot of ways, someone else entirely.

She said she was glad I was leaving Austin, too, because it would be better for me, that I need to leave in order to grow. I’ve talked a lot to Shivangi about my fears of what would happen to me if I didn’t leave. I don’t want to go into them, but I’m very afraid of leading a life without meaning. I see too much potential in life, too many opportunities for unimaginable happiness, the infinite possibilities for change and growth and learning and experience, to settle for a life that is always the same, always confined to what is comfortable and already known. In some ways I guess it’s sad, because a part of this constant pursuit of something else is the leaving behind of people, places, and things that were important.

Shivangi said to me though, “It’s easier for me now to let go of people.” She said it’s easier now to recognize when a particular person or set of people no longer contribute to her growth, no longer bring something valuable to her life, and she does not feel that she always has to be sad about that, that she does not have to struggle to hold onto them. As terrible as it may sound simply to let go of people, it’s something I understand, something I think I started to do a long time ago, in subconscious preparation for what was coming next. That’s not to say that I’m letting go of everyone, that I’m going to sever relationships with people who have meant a lot to me and who I know will continue to mean a lot to me, but that it isn’t as hard to leave them now as I thought it would be. Anyone who is truly important will continue to care about me, be involved somehow in my life, regardless of how far away I am, and I them. At the same time, it is easier to recognize when some relationships have run their course, when some things won’t survive past their current context. You can’t let your sadness, when something ceases to have the meaning it once did, paralyze you. You have to keep moving.

One Art

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

— Elizabeth Bishop



  1. not a reply to the post (I’d rather just have a conversation about it some time!) but I LOVE the new layout 🙂

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