Prompt: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
This one’s pretty easy to answer—and also hard.
This year I let go of three different regular writing gigs, two of them paying gigs, with nothing lined up to take their place. I was pretty sure that the season to work on those things was over, and that other opportunities would arise, but I wasn’t sure about that. One never is.
Many many years ago, at the beginning of my career, I was talking to a friend, also near the beginning of her career. She’d been asked to lead a conference—she didn’t feel it was hers to do, but was afraid of saying no because Maybe if I say no too often, people will stop asking. It’s scarcity thinking and comes from a place of fear, not trust. On the other hand, I have witnessed this first-hand. Once in a while, someone will go out on a limb for the uber-selective person who says no to things a lot. More often, it seems, if they want a sure thing, they will ask the reliable go-to person who’s likely to be an easier yes.
There’s a sense when you’re just starting out that you say yes to as much as possible for the experience and the learning. Also, in my religious tradition, we believe that a person’s call is confirmed by the community, so when someone asks us to do something, we really pay attention to that: If they asked me, they must think I’m the right person…
So… there was some baggage associated with letting go of a lot of stuff. However, since nature abhors a vacuum, I felt it was important to do, and even a bit exciting. It’s also good to say no to things just to prove to yourself that the world goes on without you.