Photography and Words by Vanessa Lamb
“Letting Go.” Those two words have been an ongoing theme in my life the past two years, while my partner and I have been planning to live and travel nomadically in our Westy, Geronimo. The phrase kept coming up in one way or another. In conversations, I found myself talking about how I was starting to feel stagnate. Even though I was in a great place in my life, I was craving something bigger.
In my yoga practice, my intentions were always some form of letting go, whether it be physically or mentally. Consistently pulling ‘ The Hanged Man’ from my tarot deck got me to stop and really think about all my hang-ups. All those things that I just needed to cleanse from my life. I felt like the universe had been screaming at me, “Just let it go, already!” So, I listened, I followed my intuition and made the decision to just let it go.
Ironically, when this plan started to form, I was in what I thought was a beautiful place in my life. I lived in a little home with a backyard and a garden right in the downtown area. I was a walking distance from all of my favorite coffee shops, restaurants and little vintage stores. Being able to walk the Farmers Market and buy local produce on Thursdays always gave me a sense of being a part of my community.
My job, working in a photography post-production company, was right in the field I wanted to be in. My office was only a three mile commute from home and right across the street from my partner’s place of work. We would ride our bikes into work and get lunch together most days. What I’m trying to say is, I was happy. Really happy, right where I was, not in a place that I thought needed to be readjusted, but a place to continue to plant my roots deep into my surroundings.
My intuition, though, was telling me that, yes, my life did need to be readjusted. I needed to be able to move forward and “upward.” Coming to that conclusion, I thought that because this was “what was meant to be,” that it would be simple. Letting go of my home, my job, my community, I mean. If it’s “right” then it’ s right, right? And everything will be so perfect and happy and wonderful if I do what my heart is telling me.
But I was wrong.
This journey has not been as simple as I once thought. It has more or less been like a rough break up. Saying goodbye to something you love ferociously but knowing it’s for the best.
This journey has not been as simple as I once thought. It has been more or less like a rough break up. Saying goodbye to something you love ferociously but knowing it’s for the best. The up and down rollercoaster of feelings, like: “What am I doing?! I should stay right here, I’m in my comfort zone”, to the: “How can I aspire to progress if I am just stagnate and comfortable?” So many emotions I honestly didn’t think I would come across. But, even with all these unwanted emotions, the fact that my intuition was lining up with all these signs from the universe gave me confidence to keep pushing.
Letting Go of Space
Our first process of letting go was about 6 months ago when we started seeking out a roommate. This would enable us to save up some money and invest in fixing up our little home on wheels. This is when it first hit me, really. Just letting go of a small part of my personal space was so hard for me, I couldn’t believe it. I wept the night before for how much I loved my space and how I enjoyed the freedom of it being all mine to do with as I pleased. I was so heart-broken to give that up but I just had to keep reminding myself how important and necessary that transition was.
Letting Go of Possessions
I wasn’t only letting go of the personal space, but physical things as well. Having a roommate was our first step in downsizing our belongings to prepare ourselves for living in 80 square feet, and strangely enough, it was so easy for me. We had a minor yard sale, selling all the things we didn’t need or never used and I was so happy to let all those things go. Seeing other people buying the stuff I didn’t need or want and taking it to their own home to utilize was so uplifting for me. It was a boost of confidence, knowing I can do this and that I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.
Letting Go of Commitments
Things really started becoming real for me when I gave my job and my landlord a month’s notice. I was so anxious about it because it made everything so raw, there was really no turning back after that. I had knots so heavy in my chest the day before giving my notice(s) that I don’t even know how I got to sleep that night. All I kept thinking was, I will feel so much better after I let these things go! But after work that day, and after getting off the phone with my landlord, those knots were still there. Weighing heavy on my chest. It was so surprising to me, I really thought I’d be walking on clouds and I was so disappointed when I wasn’t. Instead of clouds, a shadow of fear began to creep over me.
Letting Go of a Lifestyle
Little did I know, that was only the beginning of my struggles. Giving notice started a rapid increase of pace toward the end of an era. Letting go of things that, I felt, helped define me. The yard sale was first, just one week before we moved out. This time I was letting go of everything, all my little trinkets with the memories attached to them. I had to suppress telling everyone stories about the items they we’re buying, even something as simple as a bowl or a dress, it didn’t matter. I felt some sort of attachment to that thing and I was letting it go.
I’m not sure if it was the lack of sleep that day or that we had some incredible friends stop by during our yard sale, but after it was over I felt good. I felt comforted for that last week of living in that little house. It wasn’t until moving day that I really broke down into tears and mourned all that I had let go. But it wasn’t really just sadness. It was a mix of so many strong emotions, fear and excitement of the unknown, all the incredible memories that happened at that house, remembering good times and the messy ones. The pure happiness, actually, of all that I planned is starting to come into play.
I realized that to be able to fully experience light you must first know the dark. I’m finally feeling that cleansing feeling I had been longing for while in this process of letting go, shedding all the useless layers and keeping only the ones I still need. Realizing I’ve gained so much knowledge, and have now outgrown my surroundings, it’s time to pack my bags and move on to the next adventure!
How did you know when it’s time to let go?
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