The Trouble with Letting Go
I have trouble letting go.
Getting rid of objects isn't a big problem, even though it’s hard to get rid of silly keepsakes and books. Relationships, activities, past passions and professions and habits are the things I hold onto. And that’s the tricky stuff that turns into emotional luggage.
This isn't new for me. I remember feeling guilty as a young teen for exiling my stuffed animals and toys to the closet. So I’d tuck them all in and give them a special goodnight, every night, for a year. And holding on isn't all bad. I have wonderful friends that I've known for over 20 years, and have found ways to forgive old hurts and re-friend people from long ago. My stubborn nature makes my work possible. Holding on can be positive. But there are some things that aren't worth holding onto.
Letting go is cathartic. It feels great to empty out an old room and create a new workspace or finally knock off the last items on a to-do list. And like massages can release toxins that make you sick, the process also opens up a lot of old pain.
I’m starting physical therapy and personal training now, to get rid of old posture problems and tackle my tendinitis. I’m also starting vocal training again, to regain some techniques I've lost and to learn to speak (and sing) better. Both types of training come with exercises that force me to tackle areas where I’m weak and areas where I've held myself back. And it hurts. A lot.
Physical habits are tied to emotional habits. Sounds trite, but it’s true. Retraining myself physically is bringing up a huge amount of emotional baggage. My habits helped dictate my work posture and my professional poise. They've become part of how I see myself and present myself to the world. And some of those habits worked very well, thank you. Years of slouching over a sewing machine have given me great skills.
But some of the old habits are getting in the way of my new ventures. I need to be able to speak out more, present my work better and stand taller and stronger. This means it’s time to let those habits go. Sure, it hurts now. It will be better later. And being stubborn really helps.
So I’m getting rid of my Etsy site and ending 2 years of constant vending. You know what? I really don’t like sales. Away with the years of bent-over posture and the bad work habits that gave me tendinitis. My body and my hands need endurance training for years of new creations and collaborations. And I’m done with holding my voice back. The folks in the back of the room need to hear me explain how staple draping will change their outlook on consumer culture.
It’s not just about being heard. It is time for me to hear myself.
A. Laura Brody
I re*make mobility devices and materials and give them new lives. Sometimes I staple drape.