The art of letting go
Updated: Nov 20, 2018
I feel so grateful and blessed for all the comments I have received from you after my first post! Your words of encouragement and motivation tell me that I am somehow being able to connect with you, and my biggest wish is to keep on doing that. So thank you, thank you, thank you! This blog is for you, guys!
You are probably wondering what happened after I found out that I would be unemployed for an undefined amount of time upon my graduation. Well, you already know I cried my little heart out for a bit. Was I crying because I was sad? Probably. However, the funniest thing is that, upon receiving the news of my imminent unemployment, my immediate, instinctive reaction was relief. Wait a minute... relief? From what? Wasn't this what I'd been working so hard for and the reason why I had done an MBA in Finance to begin with? Wasn't this the reason I had been working my ass off for the past year, balancing a full-time master's program with a part-time internship, just to land that golden full-time job at one of the hottest firms most finance students in Montreal want to work for? Wasn't this the reason I had bags under my eyes and my hair was falling the hell out? It didn't make any sense! Could it be that I had been ignoring my heart all this time, putting other people's expectations before mine? Could it be possible that I had been so blind not to realize that I had been unhappy all along? I was determined to find out.
I remember that, on my last day at the office (and probably noticing the anguish on my face), one of my former supervisors told me: "You know what? You shouldn't be worried. I am not worried about you at all. You are a good person, and you are smart on top of that. That is a great combination. No matter where you go, you will be successful. You will see where you will be one year from now when we talk. You will call me and you will tell me how well you are doing". I swear, looking back I can say his words were prophetic. I just didn't know it at the time. In-between the grief about something that hadn't turned out the way I planned and all these questions going through my mind, all I could think of was flying back home to be with my family just in time for my nephew's 3rd birthday.
As I was boarding the plane the next day for Mexico, school done and my internship contract having ended the day before, all I could think of was how I would dodge the question my family would inevitably ask upon my arrival: "So do you have a full-time job yet?". Those of you who know me know that I am like an open book: I can't lie about my feelings; my facial expressions never allow it. That was my biggest concern at the time: being able to keep up my poker face while at the same time letting go of whatever was waiting for me in Montreal after my graduation 3 weeks later, and just relax and enjoy this well-deserved break. I think that was the first step I took towards becoming this renovated person who's writing these lines now: mastering the art of letting go.
Letting go appears to be so simple in theory, but it's so damn hard to apply in real life! How many times do we hold on to relationships, thoughts and/or situations that deep down we know are not good for us, but we're just too scared to leave because they provide us with the comfort of familiarity and certainty? I guess that's what was happening to me while being an intern: I had grown fond of my team and my colleagues, the place and the nature of the job were becoming ever more familiar, and I wouldn't have to go through the trouble of that grueling full-time job hunting process... right? The table was set. That's the danger of such situations: you settle without even noticing. You settle for an o.k. job, while you could have a great job. You settle for an o.k. relationship, when you could have a match made in heaven. You settle to fulfill society's expectations, but what about your own? In the process of settling, you lose yourself. If you're lucky (like I was, but didn't realize it at the moment), you wake up because you have no freaking choice while being shoved out of the train of your comfort zone. But what happens to the rest of us? We might end up remaining asleep all our lives, why? Because we weren't able to let go. So I let go: I enjoyed those precious moments with my family to the fullest, without even thinking of what was waiting for me upon my return to Montreal. I told myself: "F*ck it! I will figure it out when I get back. For now, let me just drink my Margarita and kiss my nephew like there's no tomorrow!"
Bottom line: you have to work with what you have. Let go of what you can't control. Up until that moment, I had seen this prayer many times but didn't quite fully understand its meaning:
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference"
I interpret this prayer as a subtle introduction to the art of letting go.