» claw marks & letting go
  • claw marks & letting go

    Jul 06th • Posted in love, personal, writing

    Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.“- David Foster Wallace

    Foster Wallace hit the mark when he wrote about letting go. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a person who teeters on the edge of codependency in the majority of my relationships. I attribute this to my inherent “Libra”-ness, but I also think that I (secretly) enjoy human interaction and behaviour, despite my awful affinity for social contact. I don’t know if I’ve ever truly let go of someone. If I have– as Foster Wallace said, those people defnitely have claw marks all over them. Once I care about someone, it’s difficult for me to stop. That’s what makes letting go the hardest. Letting go has never been my strong suit, nor do I think it will ever be– but I’m working on it. However, I devoted this next post to the subject of letting go of unhealthy people that you are have toxic relationships with, but I’ve written loads and loads about the person in question and didn’t want to give him the time or energy.

    Sometimes the best thing to do when you realise you’re over someone is to exist and enjoy the present. I’ve spent many months praying to get a sign, to try and get over this person who has been terrible to me that the last thing I want to do is dwell. After months of inching towards the right direction, I’ve reached a place where I can breathe again. I found myself stuck and lost in a haze that was full of heartbreak, miscommunication and disappointment. But now, I can breathe again and thank God for that.

    At this point in time, I’m enjoying my life and the time I have here at home. A couple of things happened this week that have rejuvenated me. I’m re-examining a lot of things in my life, but I’m glad that I’m not clouded by this fear or apprehension anymore. Life is wonderful, so I’m just going to write about how I feel and go with the flow. I apologise that this post may be a bit random and rambling, but I sort of like to write my stream of conscious as it comes to me because if I don’t get it out now, I won’t ever do it.

    These beautiful pictures were taken at Kailua Beach, where I spent the 4th of July hanging with relatives that I don’t see all too often due to them living on the other side of the island. We usually spend holidays/big family events together at someone’s house, but decided on spending it together at the beach to try something new. Unfortunately, not everyone was off– but it was still fun to hang out with everyone. This was also the last day I spent with my older brother, who is headed off to medical school in Missouri. I’m sad that he’s going, but I think that enough time has passed that we’ve mastered the art of being good siblings at a distance. But I’m also thinking that I’m comfortable with the relationships I hold in my life right now, including those I have with my immediate family. Or maybe it’s because I’m settling into my own skin. It’s a weird thing to think about, but it’s true! For the first time ever, I went out and didn’t feel completely vulnerable in myself. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was uncomfortable with my body and the way I presented myself– but the other day, I went out in my bathing suit and just worked it. I felt like myself and that’s something I’m extremely proud of. I didn’t care that my belly showed, or that fat spilled over some parts in my swimsuit. I felt comfortable in the swimsuit, so I walked around in it all day. Why did it matter if anyone else saw me? I loved myself and the outfit that I wore. That was something that hit me and sparked this beautiful appreciation I had for myself in that moment. Self-love is difficult to remember, and for the first time in a long time, I felt it. 

    I think a lot of this has to do with the relationships I’ve held with people. When I remember to love myself, let go and just enjoy the moment– I am at my best self. And while this has attracted more people, I find myself not wanting to settle for anything or anyone.  I am savouring the moments I have with others in any capacity. From waking up at nine in the morning just to drive out for the best acai on the island (seriously, Tropical Tribe. Look it up if you’re ever on O’ahu) with my brother. To sitting on the beach with my (no longer a baby) cousin, answering her questions about everything and anything pertaining to dating and sex. I’m even having productive conversations with my mother, a human being that I endlessly adore, but sometimes feel like I love better from afar. And I’m grateful for my ability to love unconditionally from afar as well. I miss my best friend in Nebraska, and the rest of my other friends scattered across the globe. I even appreciate the ongoing flirtation with the Dutch man from Amsterdam. But life is too good to settle for anything less than what I deserve.

    And at the same time, I think letting go of toxicity has caused me to appreciate the fact that maybe it’s OK if I don’t know what I want right now. Maybe it’s OK that I don’t know what I truly “deserve” out of anything or anyone. Maybe it’s quite possible that I could just let life take over and see what happens. Que sera, sera… Whatever will be, will be. I just want to appreciate the new people that come my way, and if something happens– then it will. For now, I’m taking my time.

    • Stunning photographs!

      I’m biased, but I think DFW has written or said something I can pretty much apply to every facet/emotion of/in my life.

      I’m glad letting go of toxicity in your life- and I know how that difficult that is- has allowed you to return to yourself, to feel yourself again. <3 x

      • DFW is probably one of my favourite authors of all time. Despite the fact that I still haven’t read Infinite Jest– I love his other work. And thank you! My younger cousin is quite the “artistic” amateur instagrammer, and made me take pictures of her all day. I thought she could return the favour. Plus the beach was too gorgeous of a backdrop to pass up! :)

        It’s a weird thing to feel like myself again. A weird thing indeed… but it’s nice :)

    • I’ve not yet been in a situation where I’ve had to let go of someone like this but I can only imagine that it must be difficult.

      It’s great that you felt good in your swimming costume. I always find this the ultimate test of body confidence. So if you feel good then do it. :D

      • I’m a person that tends to love pretty much everyone once I get comfortable with them. With some people, the feeling is instantaneous. I’m very aware of how people will affect me the moment I meet them– so it’s easy to tell whether or not I’ll be attached to someone. Unfortunately, that only hurts me that much more because I’ll end up idealising most people, and it hurts letting them go in the end. I figure in the end, it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

    • I’m totally the same way when it comes to caring about someone. Even if I’ve just met someone, I’m usually attached somehow in some way. I’m also a Libra. Do you know your Myers-Briggs personality type? I love your photos! I’m happy that you felt comfortable in your own skin (and swimsuit!). A lot of people, mainly girls, really struggle with that. xx

      • Because I was a Psych major, I don’t take Myers-Briggs too seriously (except for, perhaps, the first two letters.) However, I’m an INFJ, and have found that I can fluctuate between J/P- though I steer more towards the ‘J’ these days. I’d say I’m pretty similar in forming attachments, though I’ve learned to be more cautious with that. Despite all those walls, I still manage to get attached to certain people and ideas of things. It isn’t exactly the most fun situation to be in, but I’m adjusting accordingly. :)

    • Sometimes, it’s best to “let go” of people who are a negative influence/impact in your life. I’m glad that things worked out for you at the end :). Since you’re in Hawaii, you have every reason and resource to go out and relax! It sounds like you enjoyed your 4th of July celebration. The beach looks so nice! The water is really blue and everything!

      Do your best in going towards the right path. It takes one step at a time :)

      • Yes! If you ever have a chance to come to Hawaii, I’d recommend Kailua or Lanikai Beach– clearest waters on the island, absolutely GORGEOUS. And thank you! Yeah, letting go is really difficult. Especially for me. But I’m learning and loving every day as it passes.

    • Lucy Lees

      This feels like such a poignant and heartfelt post. It’s a brave and difficult thing for us to feel confident in our bodies and rise above toxicity
      Life inside the Locket

      • Self-love, self-care as I always say! :) And as a wonderful man once said, while people may naturally be unhealthy for us, it is us who creates the toxicity in our lives. It is therefore, our own job to cut that person out. It was sort of weird in the circumstances in which he said it to me, but struck a chord with me. I’ll always remind myself of it now :)

    • I wrote a little bit about letting go or moving on from the past today, and I’ve found the most helpful thing for me is to literally move. When I get ready to move, I throw away away 90% of my things, keeping only stuff that is beautiful or sentimental (in the good way). This includes relationships with people, which sounds a little harsh typing it. But it allows me to concentrate on my new life instead of concentrating on everything that happened/could of happened but never was.

      I know that we can’t all move whenever we want to get over someone or something, but I started to think that maybe mentally we could? We pack up all the best bits — the lessons, the memories — and then you just move into an entirely different mental plane, where that person just isn’t invited to visit.

      • I agree with you– and that’s partially what I did (I left Chicago, and moved back home. Mostly due to family persuasion, but I’m sure I could have finagled my way into staying for most of the summer if I chose to.) But with technology there are always ways to wriggle your way back to someone, especially when it’s someone you love. I think literal and figurative distance are really the best ways to let go of someone. For me, it was both that really helped me let go. And no worries! I understand. I am a sentimental person who tends to hold onto things, despite them having no place or value in my life any longer– but that’s just me. As much as I try to maintain things, relationships with people (platonic or otherwise) are always a two-way street, so if one party isn’t reciprocating, I can immediately gauge whether or not to cut them loose from there.

        I think with some people the mental moving works, but there are some people that stick to you so tightly that you can’t let them go (whether it was of their own volition or not.) So while I’ve cut ties with this person, I carry that set of baggage with me wherever I go. Eventually (with time,) I’ll look back on the best bits again, but right now I’d just like to store it up in the attic to decay for now.