How to Let Go Gracefully: If an instruction manual ever exists on this topic, here is the prologue.


I pray for the day when I finally find the book. In a second hand bookstore, in a pile of books needing to be shelved at the library, abandoned on a table at a random coffee shop. I imagine the book would be paperback, the pages worn from so much flipping and thumbing. Some pages will have gone missing, as I know people would want to tear out the important takeaways that the book has to offer. I bet the book would be white, the cover embossed with bold black letters.

I would swallow the book whole right now, I would highlight each and every word, I would refuse to let anyone even touch the book if I were to have it in my possession. That is how desperate I am right now.

I am left here with empty hands. No Book. Stuck. Quiet. Confused. I need to learn the reality. The book with the title “How to Let Go Gracefully“does not exist and so I must try to find ways to figure it out on my own.

It seems almost cruel that an instruction manual on “letting go” doesn’t exist. I am surprised I have not received an invitation to the “letting go club” or an invite to a group on Facebook. We let go every single day, of countless amounts of things. Moments. Minutes. Objects. People. It may be that we never take notice of this art that is “letting go” until we are faced with the realization that we want to hold on, or that we are the ones being let go.

That must be it. We wake up one morning and see for the first time that it doesn’t always matter how much we struggle to let go. We are the ropes in a tug-of-war, and others have already realized that they must let us go, wave us off. Watch Us Leave.

And that is where I stand right now. I now understand exactly how my best friend felt when we dropped her off and said goodbye to her, waving her off to a foreign country. And then the three of us drove away and left her standing there. We let her go because we knew she was ready. We thought it was go hard to let her go. Now I know how much more heart breaking it must have been to be let go.

I am in her shoes. I am ready but to wish I wasn’t. I wish that God would stop me and tell me that I needed to go back and revise this part of my life as if it were a final paper. “Hannah, you need to stay back and edit this paper more thoroughly,” He would tell me. “You are missing some important key parts and you need to develop your thesis better.”

Instead I am hearing from all angles that I am ready. Instead I am starting to watch others do me some grand service by beginning to let me go. Little By Little. Small But Significant Changes. What hurts the most is that I have no control. People are going to begin to let me go regardless of if I ask them to or not. In a place where I am praying that people would just hold onto me, I am unintentionally becoming an example of what it means to let go.

And I am standing here, with 30 days left, wondering how do I let go? Where do I begin? Do I let go memory by memory? Goodbye after goodbye? Do I leave words with everyone until I have no more words left to give? And if I do all this, will it even matter? Maybe I should do nothing. Maybe I should just stand here. And I will realize eventually that others did the hardest part for me.

I suppose I must start. Start at step one of an instruction manual that does not exist. And see where it takes me from there.

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23 thoughts on “How to Let Go Gracefully: If an instruction manual ever exists on this topic, here is the prologue.

  1. First of all, beautiful post. Second, I feel like its just human nature that never wants to move forward, experience change, start something new. Excitement about the future can only take us so far against the driving force of our fears. Fears of leaving the place and people you know to start again. But instead of letting go of these people, memories, places. Hold tight to the ones that matter and take then for who they made you. It’s never easy to say goodbye but at least you know that there’s some people who will never leave you even if they will watch you go. New York City is ready for you. You’re going to do great.

    1. Thank you Car. It means the world to know that you are one of those people. You have always been there for me and that will never change, no matter the distance between us. Thanks for everything.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  2. Girlie, tell me about it. I’m afraid of change. Deep in my heart I just wish things never change and people around me never change so they can always be near me. However, they do and I’m left sulking and at the same time happy for them.

    Everything will be okay. You’ll do great and survive wherever you go.

    1. I am the same way. These days I just want to freeze time… But I know that I meant to move on, no matter how scary it may seem. Thanks for the encouraging words love.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  3. Change is a hard one for me too. Letting go of some things is easy, others are very difficult for me. It sounds like you are going to do just fine. You are conscious of your process. Soak in the feeling. Add to the chapters of that book.

  4. Letting go is so hard for me. I’m in the process of having to let go of my little two-year-old munchkins as I’m switch over to one-year-old munchkins in 2 weeks. I’ve been with these kids for over a year and have seen them all grow up so much so it’s going to be so hard to leave them. But I have to and I’ll get some new babies to steal my heart. ❤

    1. You are right, that some new babies will def steal your heart.. I think the scary thing is not knowing what will come next… so all you see is that you are leaving something behind. But God is good and I trust him fully. I cannot wait to see what will steal my heart next.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  5. BeFri,
    Getting left behind and watching the 3 of you drive away was so unbelievably hard, but Car is right, hold on tight to the people and things that matter to you and chances are they will hold on to you too. Thats what happened for me. Even though I am 4000 miles away, no one let go of me completely. And I am so lucky to still be so close to you despite the distance. You’re ready for Graduation and New York and everything that comes along with it, I have no doubt.
    Miss you more than ever lately. Long email coming (went to Auschwitz today.)

    Your StEnd

    1. Hi St End,

      Thank you for the comment… I look forward to the email! I know I am ready and I taking you all with me. It will be ok. Miss you love.

      Best,

      Be Fri

  6. Beautiful post! I definitely need that instruction manual more than anything….maybe we should all get together and write it! Who better?

    As for your question, I am on Okcupid!

    BTW- Thanks for all the comments, as of late. I’m just catching up on them now and am adding your fab blog to my reader 🙂

    1. Thanks Jess! I will totally start an instruction with you!

      And don’t think twice about the comments love, I adore your blog. Praise given where it is due..

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  7. Letting go is never easy. We hold on because we are afraid of losing the past and moving onto the future. Truth is, the future could very well be wonderful. But it’s important not to lose yourself in the process of “letting go” and keep your eyes and heart open to the world of possibilities.

    “Sometimes the hardest things and the right things are the same.”

    I know you’ll be fabulous wherever you are.

    xoxo

    1. Thank you Kate for those thoughtful words. That was exactly the message I needed to hear on this Monday morning so thank you for that as well! I hope you have a great day.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  8. Hannah Katy,

    You are such a beautiful writer. Moving on does NOT mean letting go. You’re moving into a new part of your life and are bringing everything you’ve learned with you. It’s a naturally tough time, but you will look back and say “this is good. I’m at where I should be at and I have just my future to look forward to.”

    New York City was never where I actually thought I’d be. Now that I’m here, and the road to get here was the bumpiest and most complicated road ever, I just praise God that he has put me where his Will took me. We should get drinks/dinner when you’re here. I’ll help make the process a bit easier!! xoxo

    1. Brittney! I absolutely adore you! Thank you so much for the reassuring advice, it is definitely scary but I know that God has placed me in this city for a reason and I am ready to excited to go there. It is ultimately up to me to make sure that I don’s lose people in the process and I am growing more confident in that every single day. And yes, I would love to meet up and some point! Ah, I look so forward to it. Thanks once again, have a great day.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  9. Hannah..you will never be “without words”. It was so great to see you this weekend! I had a rough day yesterday….but reading your blog really made me understand that even though I will never be all things to all people…I will always be something to some people. Thank you for all you have been to me and done for me. Miss Sharon… PS…I’m really glad you donned your “big girl panties”! If you hadn’t…I might never have had the pleasure of knowing you! Can’t wait to see what you do next!

    1. Sharon,

      Ah, it made my day to see this comment waiting for my moderation! I loved seeing you this weekend, it meant the world to me to be around everyone and to get to talk to you for some time. You inspired me and filled me up this weekend, exactly what I needed and I am so happy to know that I was able to do the same for you. I hope we can catch up sometime soon when I head home for the summer? That would be awesome. Hope to hear from you soon.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  10. So, clearly, I’m catching up on your blog, Hannah…it’s April 30th and you wrote this post April 16th. Better late than never.

    Letting go. I’ve had to do it several times now and not once has it been easy. But I guess it’s not meant to be easy. We are relational after all, so letting go of people and the places that ‘hold’ those people can be excruciating. I felt that pain when I graduated from college and ~ for the last 10 years ~ I’ve felt it when I have to let go of graduating seniors that I’ve grown so close to. That’s an especially difficult letting go. I remain at Assumption and it’s they (you being one!) that leave Assumption behind to begin the next chapter of their lives. It’s hard not to feel you’re being let go of too. But things, relationships especially, change. That’s just part of the deal.

    As you know, I graduated from college and headed for NYC as well. It was a wonderful adventure and that’s why I’m SO excited for you! NYC ~ the Bronx, the UN, etc. ~ will be so exciting and life-giving. I can’t wait to watch it all unfold…and to watch how our friendship unfolds at the same time. 🙂

    1. I agree Steph, I am certainly taking you with me on this adventure! You have been such a blessing to me, helping me through all this… I got my letter to God in my mailbox today and I was smiling with the fact that my prayers were answered, that he made me o.k. to leave this place..

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

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