Tales Corner – Letting Go
As a child, I was very clingy to things and letting go for me was a scarce commodity which I could not afford. Five years old me woke up from the wrong side of the bed that fateful morning. I did not want to go to school. Of course, my mother would not agree to that.
Reluctantly, I brushed my teeth. She bathed me and dropped my breakfast in front of me and helped me to sit down. It was my usual bread and tea. ‘At least, something feels normal this morning’, I thought.
Once I finished eating, mother hurriedly dressed me up for school.
She worked as a Secretary at a Law firm in Akoka, Lagos where we resided. She did not want to be late to work. My father had earlier left for his office as it was farther than my mum’s.
After the meal, the mother packed my bag and asked me to bring my pencil which I used to write my homework the previous evening. That was when tragedy struck in my little mind. I could not find a pencil.
It was my favorite amongst all the pencils I had used. It had the picture of Spider-Man, my favorite superhero artistically placed on it. I could not bear the thought of parting with it. In fact, I had clung to that pencil and did not want to let go.
After searching for some time and being able to find it, the mother promised not just to buy another one for me but to also look for the pencil when she comes back. I refused and wailed in a loud voice. A bad day became worse. I continued to wail and cry, even neighbors came out to know what was wrong.
While they were trying to calm me down, my mother searched frantically for the pencil. She could not find it. Despite the pleadings, I refused to stop crying.
My mother, on the other hand, could still not find a pencil. By that time, she was already tensed up and angry. For one, I was the person who used the pencil to write my homework and probably dropped it in the wrong place.
Secondly, I’m still the one who refused to accept another pencil except for that particular one. To crown it all, she was already running late for work.
One after the other, the neighbors left, wondering what sort of child would refuse to listen to their words. My mother stood in the middle of the living room, hands akimbo.
Seeing her like that, I started crying even louder. I told her that I would not go to school until my pencil was found. This made her go berserk and she pounced on me.
My mother who rarely beats me did so that day. No one told me to keep quiet, no one told me to stop crying. I gave myself that advice. She dragged me out of the house, brought out her bag and mine, and locked the door. She took me to school and bought a new pencil on our way.
Guess what? That pencil was later found under the cushion in the Parlour that evening. I realized that there was nothing exceptional to it. My mother even got one more beautiful than it.
Looking back, I figured out that sometimes you need to let go, to free yourself. In life, we cling to so many things which are really not worth it. We cling to people who we have been in a relationship with. Perhaps love went sour or there was a loss of interest. We refuse to let go.
We prevent ourselves from opening our hearts to other people. We see what is not there: hope that the one we cling to, one who has already moved on with his life will come back.
We cling to material things like clothes, shoes, etc. No matter the number of clothes we have, we refuse to give out to others. ‘I love the cloth and I can not give it out’, ‘The clothes are beautiful ‘, you say. While they lie around in your wardrobe unworn for months.
We cling so hard to other people’s shortcomings and refuse to give them another chance. You are not perfect, yet you seek for perfection in others. When another offends you, you bundle and throw him or her to the prison of your heart. You do not want to forgive nor forget.
You hold on tight to the anger, the disappointment so that you will not let go.
We cling to a bad experience, giving it the reins to our life, allowing it to eat deep into our life. You were raped or sexually molested. You were abused.
You were embarrassed. It’s been years since the incident. You are yet to heal yet refuse to get help. You dwell on the experience. You feed it. Fanning the embers of its flames so that the pain will not die off.
We cling to lost opportunities and failure.
I had once mourned a lost opportunity for so long that I missed subsequent ones. When you hold onto something and refuse to let go, it does not change anything. What has happened has happened, what is lost is lost. When you fail, you should get up and forge ahead.
We cling so hard to the things that we miss; having a better love than we had, buying better clothes, the opportunity of meeting great people, the chance of creating beautiful memories, other greater opportunities, the future!
Never forget, there is a time to let go. When that time comes, do not hesitate to do so. If you do not, you are only tying yourself down.