“One of the hardest/most important/best (<- your choice) lessons I have ever learned was…” Elaborate.
One of the hardest lessons I ever learned was the lesson of letting go. It seemed from early childhood I always tried to hold onto things whether it was the smallest paper note to clinging to those I loved. There seemed to be this inborn desperation to fight giving up on anything I felt belonged to me.
I didn’t learn this lesson easily. It began when my husband told me we would be leaving our childhood state of Missouri and would make a move to Texas. He had been without a permanent job for two years and there was an opportunity to return to the oil company he worked for prior to the economic downturn in the late seventies. It wasn’t even a choice to leave it was a necessity.
I remember arriving in Houston on a Friday night. We had left a tiny town of 1200 people where almost every car held someone I knew. I was in complete shock when I was surrounded by hundreds of cars driven by strangers. Suddenly the dream of a better life had me crying for the uncertain one I had left behind.
When we finally arrived at the apartment that was to be our new home, I relaxed a little bit. But that was short lived. It was then a flurry of unpacking as much from our U-haul as we could because my husband had to be on the job again in just a few hours. Weary when I finally crawled into bed my last thought was, “I don’t think I can do this.”
It was days and months of letting go of everything I had known. Our phone bill was huge because I was always calling my family trying to ease the loneliness inside. My heart was tied to them and it wasn’t I had to give up my love. It was having to give up not being able to see them when I wanted or feeling their touch or seeing them smile.
Letting go has been a hard lesson that still has me as a student. It is not just physical but emotional things I have clung too. It should have been easy to let go of a past that hurt me or a friend who proved to be false. For me I was always trying to be a savior, to change what was wrong while still holding on. There has to be that decision to let go and I am getting better at it. Life isn’t in my control. At times I feel I am the only person in that classroom. Perhaps I am just the only one willing to admit not every situation has received the stamp “lesson learned.”