The Power of The Phrase 'Let it Go'

I’ve been told a lot lately that I live in the past, or I’m too nostalgic, and it’s been getting to me. It has caused me to reexamine myself and realize that perhaps I do tend to live vicariously and have little regard for the present.

When I transferred to Temple last year as a second-semester sophomore, I came from a small town, a close-knit family, and a small college. I didn’t know how to make friends or put myself out there for things because I never really had to before. Most of my friends I’ve known for nearly the past ten years, were always a phone call or short drive away. But when I first came to Temple, I basically spent my first semester here waiting until the next time I could go home. I used this as a challenge to myself, seeing how long I could last up here before I couldn’t take it anymore and missed my friends and family too much.

All the while, I didn’t even realize that I wasn’t trying to make the best of my life here at Temple, a life that I have worked so hard to attain and yet was not enough for me. I used my introversion as an excuse to not hang out with people, or even hold significant conversations with them in group settings. Instead, I would isolate myself and withdraw from those around me here, and inevitably, wait until the next time I could go home and be comfortable with the way I am.

The phrase “let it go” is so simple, yet rings so true. It’s so important to let go of what happened yesterday, even if it was good or if it affected you negatively, because yesterday is over. The past is done with, and all that remains is what is left to come.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the situation), we can’t change the past. We can only mend any scars we attainted. If life becomes too much sometimes and you find yourself yearning for the vacation you took in 2008, just think about what positive change you can bring about in your life today. Making each day as worthwhile as you can while you are living through it is key, even if it’s through the smallest things. Sometimes, when life is rough, that’s all you can do. When I was in a very low point of my life in high school, I used to use the ‘next time I got to eat a meal’ as a source of excitement to help me through those times.

A meal is something that is almost always guaranteed to most of us, yet taken for granted. Just think about the small things as little sources of motivation.

Lately, it’s been hard for me not to live vicariously through a time months away that hasn’t even happened yet. I have a lot of fun things planned for the summer like a trip to the beach, concerts, music festivals, and spontaneous adventures with my friends. I can’t focus on school and the dreary weather of January when I can’t stop thinking about the Harry Styles concert this summer.  

Again, although these events are going to be thrilling, they are also a long time away. You don’t even know what the rest of today will bring.

Just take each moment as it comes. You might even have to let go of the future sometimes, too, in order to focus better on what’s happening in front of you.

Letting go can also come in other forms besides thinking broadly of it in terms of time. Sometimes I tend to harbor negativity about little annoyances that happen to me during the day. Or, I hold on to relationships that are deteriorating. Being a sensitive and clingy person, I feel very much at once.

It’s nearly impossible for me to hide a single thing I have ever felt, and sometimes I allow these emotions to continue for too long. It’s especially difficult for me to let go of things not only because of this, but also due to my complete inability to multitask.

I have to go hard at one thing and one thing only. Get over a boy and read a book? *Kill Bill sirens ensue* The main point is that I’ve had my fair share of emotional problems associated with letting go.

What has worked for me is engulfing myself in other interests of mine. Going to the gym is one of my main outlets besides writing. So, think about you; your passions, what makes you tick, what you find yourself getting lost in; and try to do more of that.

––Sydney McFadden