If you believe in Disney’s latest message, all we need to do in order to feel better and empowered is simply to “Let it go”. Even if incidentally, albeit accidentally, we froze our country and hurt our sister.
But, let’s be honest here for one minute. Has is ever been that easy to just forget about something, or leave behind your fears and/or anger? Have you ever just had something bad happen to you, just shrugged your shoulders and said “oh well, fine then” before proceeding to prance off without giving another thought?
And I’m not just talking about life changing events here. Most of us like to hang on to relics of our past, be it music, people, clothes or your old toy soldier collection. But it is this so bad? Isn’t it the things we live through that shape who we become? Aren’t we all the sum of our things and experiences?
I for example, find it hard to let go a lot of my past. Friends is one of them. I’ve grown up, I’ve moved away from home and I have met new people and made new friends. Yet I feel incapable of letting down the ones I’ve made for the first eighteen years of my life. Unless of course they’ve been mean or have made it clear they don’t want to be in touch anymore. This means I still talk to some of the girls I’ve met when I was but a toddler.
There’s the people you talk to all the time, then those you don’t see or hear from for months or years on end. But when you meet up again, it’s like you’ve never been apart. And that’s why I would never give up on them.
Another thing is my inability to move with the times when it comes to music. Yes, I like some of the things that are “in” now, but most of it just makes me want to put earplugs in (Niki Minaj I’m thinking of you). Most of my favourite artists are from the 80s (Phil Collins, Queen, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson etc.), and the rest arrange themselves neatly in the time periods around that, ranging from the 40s to the early 2000s (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bee Gees, Blue, Backstreet Boys, Enya, Coldplay, The Beatles etc.). Which is one of the reasons why I stay in the so-called “cheese room” when I go out. They’re more likely to play songs I know and love, instead of Radio 1 top 40 singles I barely know the title of. Let alone the lyrics.
Movies are slightly different, because amazing stuff keeps coming our way, but I always feel slightly taken aback when someone tells me they haven’t seen this or that movie. And I don’t necessarily mean black and white classics or obscure film noirs or something along those lines. Most of the times it’s simple things that I feel everyone should know (not only because they’re constantly on TV, like Die Hard or Lethal Weapon, but also because time-wise, they have no excuse for not having seen it, or at least heard of it. Take for example the Fifth Element. You may not have seen it, but you’ve heard of it, right? RIGHT?
There’s also clothes (I keep a tank top my best friend used to lend me when we were teens) and trinkets (anyone want to see my Kinder egg toy collection?), books I read as a child, postcards and birthday cards and old diaries and calendars and who knows what else. Mostly I feel like I live in Ariel’s treasure cove.
And what of past experiences? All those “what ifs”? Yes, you shouldn’t live in that climate, always wondering what could have happened if only this or that. But aren’t these experiences also a way for us to know what we like and what we don’t, what bugs us and what doesn’t, what felt nice and what didn’t? Granted, maybe that one date was disastrous. But maybe it taught you not to focus on looks so much. Or maybe you regret sleeping with that person. Yet you needed to get through that in order to see that they were a complete waste of time. And maybe you wish that one kiss would have led to more. But maybe that’s all it was: just a lovely kiss.
Don’t turn your back on everything that went wrong just because it went wrong. Similarly, don’t shy away from your emotions. Anger and sadness are legitimate feelings to be feeling and should be felt. Don’t start crying at work or shouting at your neighbour just because you’re having a bad day, but recent studies have proven that listening to sad music allows us to safely experience melancholy. I guess the same could be said for anger, so have a look at your metal collection from way back when.
And because I don’t want to be the only one baring my soul, I want to hear from you! What things can’t you let go of? Or don’t you want to let go of?