On Letting Go

When I turned 15 I walked away from my home, my family, my sisters and a circle of friends to start fresh and new with my divorced father. I followed my gut instinct, and to this day I know it was the right choice. When I turned 20 I applied for a job in Alberta, thousands of miles away, loaded what I felt was most needed in a huge trunk and again, left my home, my family, my circle of friends to start fresh on a “maybe”.

Two years later I felt compelled to return home. This time home meant where I grew up. Where my mother and sisters still lived, and where new nieces greeted me with anticipation and smiles.

When the time was right I’ve always had the capacity to walk away. And not look back. The walking away is a breeze, the not looking back is a challenge. Lately I’ve come to realize I’ve been struggling with this skill. Both parts of them: walking away and not looking back.

Ever seen a dog playing with a ball? He’s holding on to a goopy and saliva covered tennis ball in his mouth, refusing to let it go. When you toss him another ball, he runs to it. He stops before the new ball and looks down upon it. His disgusting slime ball is dripping in his mouth and yet he looks at the new ball on the ground waiting for his tender love and affection.

He can’t hold both balls in in yapper. Because he hasn’t got thumbs (or so Brian Griffith told me he hasn’t been blessed with thumbs) so he can’t pick up the new shiny ball with his paw. And still, he stands there with a slow whine of anticipation wanting the new ball and yet holding on to old-droopy in his mouth.

Then he barks. He wags his tail, walks around the ball, once, twice, hops up and down and circles around a third time. Now he looks at you and if he could speak he would surely say “Are you trying to kill me here?” As much as Fido wants the new bouncy ball yet un-slimed by his drooling mouth, he refuses to let go of the old one. The one that lost all bounce.

That dog is me. But don’t you dare call me a dog, unless it’s MurrDawg like an old colleague called me. MurrDawg – that was a cool nickname.

And I need to picture myself as this Fido to back away from my situation and laugh at myself. Yesterday I received what I consider the nail in the coffin – Trader Joes declined to invite me for an interview. I looked at that letter over and over again. And then I thought to myself “I could go all ‘Oh-woe-is-me’ over this, or I could just go to Tahiti!” Incredibly enough, sailing to Tahiti is the consolation prize to a job at Trader Joes. And that’s when I finally started laughing at myself. A good deep belly laugh.

I dropped that stinking old tennis ball and walked towards the nice new shiny one.

Sit Ubu, sit. Good dawg!

I saw this quote on Christine MacDonald‘s FB wall last week. It’s been running over and over in my head ever since. It’s all about the timing right? And man, does this ever ring true to me.


22 thoughts on “On Letting Go”

  1. Well as all my blog friends know I am part of large close knit family and I can not imagine walking away from them………………damn I find it hard to go on a holiday and leave the family at home so I don’t know how people like you do it………..


  2. Hey Murrdawg: I think you should write a thank you note to Trader Joes. It would begin: “Dear Slimey Goopey Tennis Ball People, thank you for facilitating my trip to Tahiti.”. Have a great trip. Lumdawg.


  3. TJ’ s loss is the South Seas gain. Hit the Toamotos along the way (spelling is not my thing), that was my goal at one point. Had I done that, I probably wouldn’t have known Leo and you.


  4. What a blessing to be able to go… hmmm, get a job that likely won’t really fulfill me, orrrrrr… sail to Tahiti.
    What you’ve been blessed with, and what you continue to acknowledge is a keen sense of intuition–you’ve always known (judging from what you write here) what is best for you and what you need. This job thing has been gnawing at your bones for a while now. And you have finally stopped questioning that gift of yours and said “Nope. Now’s not the time.”

    Oh, and Trader Joe’s is dumb. I’d have invited you… haha I just got an image of us sitting on some pile of inventory in a back room, chatting and stuffing our faces with organic potato chips and dried banana chips…

    Ok, I’m rambling. Sail, girl, sail. You are enjoying your adventure, and I’m so excited for you. 🙂


    1. It just bugged me to death that all I managed to secure was a temporary contract. With my f’in experience? But I need to trust that it’s just not meant to be – me in San Diego now. I need to stop forcing the square into the round hole. And I need to let go and I can’t figure out why I’m struggling so much with it!


      1. I’m willing to bet these places didn’t call you back because you’re overqualified and they figure you’re just looking for something to fill the void until you find something more suited to your skills. You’re TOO GOOD, rather than not good enough.


  5. the whole dog comparison was just perfect to illustrate that feeling of letting go, Marie. sometimes the price is to high, sometimes the getting one´s ass off the chair is too hard…
    l give you a round applause for being so brave. 😀


  6. Wait – Tahiti?!? I need to go tank a Trader Joe’s application…

    I’m also good at the walking away. And except for the occasional “whatever happened to…” , I’m pretty good at the not looking back.

    And you get to go to Tahiti. So that’s not bad…


  7. Sometimes you stumble upon a post so right for you, a post that really makes you think, “Wow, that’s a sign”. Fantastic post, it hits home and it’s a post that I think everyone can relate to. Thanks for being so smart!


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