The Stubborn Art of Letting Go

Jan 17, 2022

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote one of these. End of 2021 has been total chaos and its completely taken me off my feet. But as I sit here in my little 2001 Toyota Corolla because I refuse to purchase a newer car if my little baby isn’t broken, waiting for the local Walgreens to text me that my order is ready for pickup so that I can hero my way to my partners and supply him with some much-needed meds, I can’t help but wonder – if I’m so against purchasing something like a new car because it isn’t broken, to what degree will I refuse to upgrade other parts of my life just because the one I have is working just fine.

And so, I will write. 

I know I have issues with quitting or letting something (or someone) go. It is probably my biggest flaw. Not that I regret or second guess myself in my vehicle purchasing tactics, but I am beginning to accept more and more the act of standing witness to my staggering inability to simply let go of the things that no longer serve me. Whether that be material goods like shoes and clothes or more important things like relationships with people and/or work.   

Now that I am back home and have returned, in many ways, to my old life I’m beginning to discover the gaps present in things, people, and life and am stuck facing a new challenge of HAVING to let go. How do you move when you’re feet don’t work? Well, most would suggest using a cane, wheelchair, or other assistive tools. And some might say, JUST MOVE YOUR FEET! So, without using any assistive tools other than alcoholic therapeutic sessions with close friends, I am learning or more so forcing myself to move my damn feet and rip (rather slowly) the band-aids of things that no longer serve me and muster the courage to finally do so.

I’ve begun with little things like letting go of arguing with people whom I’ll never win with. You can’t change people, and it takes more energy trying to prove your point or waiting to be heard and have your perspective respected than just letting go and quit trying to speak your mind in spaces or to people that aren’t equipped to listen. This one was tough. Almost every day I’m faced with contrasting views or having someone chime in about my health choices, diet choices, or a rather passive-aggressively mention that the reason I am this or that is because of this or that. So, after many arguments, stressors, and a few new grey hairs, I’m learning how to let go of trying to defend my perspective to others. Some people just don’t want to listen, or they believe they know better. I know sometimes they can and do know better, but the advice isn’t always warranted – and when it isn’t, I let it go. The stressors lasts a lot shorter than if you would have paid any mind to it. I think by the end of this year, my life will look very different just from this alone. 

Another thing I’ve begun letting go of is compromising my boundaries to fit other people’s habits. I saw an Insta repost of someone’s TikTok (which I stubbornly refuse to get- that’s a conversation for another day) once that said, “I would rather adjust my life to your absence than adjust my boundaries to accommodate your disrespect” and Woah was that a blow to my head. I was learning about these things through therapy but this was so concise and sharp. My problem is – I’m a people pleaser. And it’s not that I’m a pushover, I do stand my ground when I need to but I much prefer to let things slide than paying attention and having a difficult (but necessary) conversation. I don’t like to stir the pot and if it’s something I can get over, I quietly do. However, over the years it’s become very unhealthy to my mental health and has resulted in not establishing my boundaries to myself, let alone to others. So with the art of TikTok and very patient family, friends, and partner and an even more patient professional, I’m learning to let go of my passive ways. I no longer need to deal with the things that don’t serve me. I have boundaries, hear me roar. 

In all this personal space to learn and outgrow my toxic old ways, one that presents to be the absolute hardest is letting go of – my things! I know I know I advocate and try so hard to be a minimalist. Of course, this definition is nuanced and there isn’t one recipe to minimalism that fits all. I think I’ve done great work thus far, however moving every other year and letting go of cherished items is never easy. Now that I am back in LA, have more access to things I’ve been wanting over the past few years, and plan to stay here a little longer than my usual 4 months, it’s started again. The buying. Although I’m getting much better at not buying clothes and accessories (no thanks to Instagram) in general, I’m finding that my minimalism journey is catering more towards zero waste rather than absolute NO PURCHASING. That is, for the past year, I’ve bought nearly every “new” clothing item, shoes (yes, shoes), and purses secondhand. And the best part of this journey is that yard sales and thrift shops have unique house deco and clothes garments that fit my style, OLD. 

I absolutely despise this saying but, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” and welp, I’m a proud treasure finder. I choose to keep it this way. 

And so, let it go – and you can make space for other things/people. And as for the treasure finders, you’ll make us very happy too. 

Author

Author

Natalie Amezcua

Natalie (she/her/hers) is a humane educator and solutionary writer living in Los Angeles.

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Natalie is the author of sonatsays – blog. She is a solutionary thinker, dog mom, writer, and advocate for animal protection, environmental conservation, and human rights. Natalie has recently moved to her hometown of Los Angeles after living in Asia for several years to focus on her studies.

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