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.