January 13, 2020

The One, Single Way to Know it’s Time to Let Go.


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It’s time to let go. And, truth be told? You don’t need any signs.

It’s time to let go of that text message you were thinking about sending but couldn’t, that “friend” whose calls you’ve been dodging, that number that remains on your phone “just in case” you find yourself lonely and want their attention.

It’s time to let go of the job that you dread in the mornings, the financial situation you don’t want to be in, and that relationship that feels like cliff-jumping just before the final, gut-wrenching attempt to go against your survival instincts and throw yourself over the edge.

Yes, it is time. But there’s a catch.

I’m going to tell you what I tell all my closest friends when they need to know if it’s time to let go—the thing that I tell them when they want someone else to tell them what to do.

I’m going to tell you what I often remind myself of when I know that I’m somewhere I don’t want to be, but can’t seem to take the first step towards where I need to go:

It may be time. But you’re not going to let go until you’re ready.

Not when you think you’re ready. Not when someone else or you, yourself, tell you that you should be ready. When you are truly ready.

I know I said that you don’t need a sign, but here, I’ll give you one: it’s time the moment that you find yourself looking up the “How to know” articles of the interwebs. If you didn’t already know deep within, you wouldn’t type out those words. There’s a voice in your head or heart that knows, and you’re looking for validation.

See, we can know it is time to delete that text that makes us feel needy, or the one that we know will hurt someone else. We can know it is time to stop entertaining a “friendship” that, for whatever reason, makes us feel poorly about ourselves. We can know it is time to stop returning to a phone number that belongs to someone who doesn’t value us enough to pick up the phone and contact us.

And we can know that it’s time that we start enjoying life more than 40 hours a week seated at a desk with a view of a fabric wall, or that it is time we stop enabling ourselves to feel like a slave to the corporations that both give and take our money. And we can know, in our heart of hearts, that it is time to let go of that love—that it is time to jump off that cliff.

But there is a difference, my dear, between “is it time,” and what I can almost guarantee is what you really want to know—what you’re really asking, what you meant to type: “am I ready?”

And that is what neither I, nor any article, nor any book can answer for you.

Only you will know when you are ready, and that is when you’ll take the leap. Only you will know when you have taken the steps to ensure a relatively smooth jump off of that cliff.

Here’s how I experience that knowing:

I have approached my metaphorical cliff multiple times and I have asked it questions. Why do I want to jump, or send the text, or not send it? Why do I keep that number, or keep coming back to it? Why this job and not some other, and what is holding me back from financial freedom?

But it’s not just the cliff we have to query, it’s the waves—how’s my timing? It’s what’s beneath them—is that imaginary or real? It’s my body and the consciousness encased in it—is the leap worth the inevitable discomfort?

When the answer to that last one is yes—when I feel it in my soul the same way that I feel the muscles in my calves prepare to fire me toward the cliff’s edge, when I feel the yeet build in my belly in preparation for release on the way down, when I am prepared for the crash of the water and to bear the consequences of my decisions, however poorly or well-researched—that is when I know.

And so, yes, it is time. You wouldn’t be here if it weren’t. And, honestly? That time might also come to pass. Time is, after all, ephemeral, as are our minds.

But we can take solace in the discomfort of these temporary moments of knowing. We can use them as an indicator that it is time to ask ourselves the one, true question that we really want to know.

Are you ready?

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