Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Art of Letting Go: A Year of Loss

How do you bounce back from a year of L's?

Let's face it, 2020 has been the year of letting go. I've let go of my hair, my books, my desire to always purchase books, my desire to "own" more stuff, and the employment trajectory I saw myself on for the next year. We've lost countless Black lives and countless heroes. And it feels like I'm in a constant state of loss. Sometimes we decide to let go of things because they are not serving us anymore and sometimes things or people or dreams are ripped from us unexpectedly. 

When I decided to cut my hair off I was at the point where I was ready to let it go. Coco Chanel said, "when a woman cuts her hair, she is ready to change her life." I was 100% ready to change my life. And my life has been changing ever since. I cut my hair about six weeks ago and then again about three weeks ago. I kept wanting to go shorter. To get rid of more hair. I've kept so much negativity in my hair for my entire life and when quarantine hit I told myself I would give it another chance at life by not subjecting it to any heat or scrunchies, but most of the time that meant I was going to look like a crazy woman. So, I cut it all off and dyed it blonde. It needed to go. The girl that felt embarrassed by her hair needed to go. I CHOSE to let go of my hair. 

By books. My massive book collection. Before a couple days ago I owned over 1700 physical books. Some here in NYC and some back home in Cali. Needless to say, the amount of books I owned was overwhelming. And from the books I owned in NYC I've probably only read about 7% of them (I'm working on this) and trust me that is not a lot. I've always had this obsession with buying books. My mom likes to call it my crutch. I bought an insane amount of books during quarantine (a decision I've lately regretted, but more on that in a later post). I think I did it just to cope with the absurdity that was and is COVID and quarantine. This crazy thing is happening in the world right now and we're all forced to stay at home. Some of us forced to leave our jobs. Forced to not see our friends or family. Forced to cancel vacations. It's a strange, frustrating, and scary time. So how did I cope? I purchased an insane amount of books. Why? Maybe to keep up with the Joneses or maybe to make myself feel better. Either way, it all become a bit too overwhelming and so things had to change. Initially, I just wanted to move around my apartment to make more room for my books and in that process I realized that I had to many books. So I touched each and every one of them like Marie Kondo tells us and sent over 100 books to their next home. I CHOSE to let go of my books. 

What I didn't choose and probably the hardest thing to let go of this year was my job. I had two jobs at the beginning of the year. One I had recently got promoted in and one I was about to get promoted at and now I have zero jobs. Not only did I lose two sources of income that were putting me on track to be out of debt this year, but I lost a working family. People I saw almost everyday and built relationships with each day, working together to make it through each shift. One of the biggest things is with the loss of my bookstore job I feel like I have lost my connection to my bigger job dreams. I moved here to get into publishing and I was working in a bookstore to work my way up to the publishing industry. And now, that link is gone. And honestly, I don't know what the next steps are. I didn't choose to let go of my jobs, they were taken from me unexpectedly. 

We've lost countless Black lives, #BreonnaTaylor #GeorgeFloyd #ahmaudarbery #tonymcdade and countless others that aren't on the news everyday and heroes like John Lewis and the devastating loss of Chadwick Boseman. Not to mention the countless lives lost to COVID-19. 

I'm fortunate enough to still be alive but to say this year has been the year of loss is an understatement. We've been forced to confront our inner demons and the demons of the world. Just to make it out of bed each day is an accomplishment. How do you handle loss? How do you let go of things you're not ready to say goodbye to? How do you grieve for these losses? 

How do you bounce back from a year of L's?


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