One thing about growing up: you learn how to let go of things, too. Sometimes it’s all happy, sometimes it’s bittersweet, sometimes it’s an ugly, ugly loss. Sometimes it’s “I let it go” and sometimes it’s “It was ripped away from me” – but it’s gone, and you have to deal with that.
What brought this to my mind today was the song Sycamore Tree by singer/writer/cartoonist Seanan McGuire. (You can listen to it here – scroll down to the bottom.) It’s shows a woman named Sarah Tapper looking back at a teenage love from … well, enough years to be able see “Sarah Tapper loves Harry Marshall” carved on tree and to say:
Sarah Tapper loves Harry Marshall
And that’s a lie, and that’s a fact
But I left those words in another lifetime
I’m a million miles away, and I’m not coming back…
Moving on happens. Sometimes it’s deliberate, but other times I’ve realized that, gee, I seem to have quit pining for an old love or an old friendship. This song reminded me of how I’ve moved on from exes, jobs, and old hurts in my past. I let go of the fantasy of being thin by degrees – first by deciding to not diet “for a quarter” while I focused on school. Then I decided to not diet “while I was in college”. My weight stabilized … it didn’t go down, but it didn’t zoom up, either.
Eventually I reached the point where I could look back and go, yes, I wanted to be thin, and it might make my life easier in some ways if I were thin, but I’m not, and that’s okay. I’m a million miles away, and I’m not coming back, because my life is so much better now that I don’t hate myself.