holding On...

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Recently I’ve been struck by how easy it is to hold on to things, to people, to situations, to memories, to how things used to be. I’m sitting here right now in hotel room in Tulsa, Oklahoma fully aware that tomorrow morning my parents and I will return to Colorado, but my brother will stay here for college. I can honestly say that we are all happy for him and excited to watch him grow and journey through college and through life, but that doesn’t necessarily make the impending goodbyes any easier.

God knows its easier to hold on to the way things used to be than to realize how they really are. Take, for example, any old relationship you’ve been in, one that was really good, one that made you happy and hopeful, one that made you believe in happily ever afters. How hard is it to let that relationship go? Even if it ended poorly, chances are that you’ve looked back at least a time or two and wished that it hadn’t ended, things were so good between you. Its easier to hold on, to believe that someday you’ll get that back, that things will simply go back to the way they were. For that matter, its easy to believe that someday my brother will come back home and everything will simply be as it was, that college won’t change him at all.

Its easy to hold on to people. It would be easy to hold on to my brother, to not let him go to college, grow up, see the world. It would be easy for me to hold on to an old boyfriend, to stalk him (easy, not necessarily legal!) and keep tabs on him where ever he went. Its easy to hold on to people, its far more difficult to let them go, to say goodbye.

Its easier to look back on some time in your life when you were really happy. For many people, that time may have been (or perhaps is) in college. College was a time when they were footloose and fancy free, they didn’t really have any bills to pay, they didn’t have to deal with a boss that was insane or many of life’s big annoying issues. Its easy to look back on that time and want to hold on to it, to try and live that way even after they’ve left college (and heaven knows I’m guilty of that too!), to hold on rather than move on.

Its also easy to hold on to things. Its really not uncommon for girls to hold on to things after a relationship ends. I know more than a couple of girls who have a box or a drawer or a bag full of things from a relationship (or two or more!): movie ticket stubs, Christmas cards, CD’s they made for a guy that he never got for one reason or another, pictures of the two of them, mementos of happier times. Its easy to hold on because often times we want proof that the relationship really happened, that we were once really happy. But those things that we hold on to (and I can really only speak for girls here, I have no idea if guys do this too) often keep us holding on to something that simply doesn’t exist.

Holding on is easy. Letting go, well, letting go is hard, but so necessary if we ever hope to be happy again…


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