They say—and I do too when I’m being preachy--
to write about what you know.
What if I haven’t experienced enough in my lifetime to
paint you the landscape I can see and feel in my head?
It’s a drippy one; the acrylic has barely dried and I
notice it remaking itself
endlessly. But oh, it’s beautiful and far more
creative than anything
my days could create.
Would you like to know what’s in my head?
Let me spend years with you, sipping coffee
in the living room like we’re old friends,
I’ll reminisce about the lifetimes I’ve never lived
and the moments still waiting to be unwrapped.
Together we’ll write the “oh my God, this is it!”
dangling off the edge of my tongue,
afraid to let go and become a reality.
Instead of the truth, let me tell you about
a painting of mountains.
There’s one in my dreams, a watercolor silhouette of who I’d like to be someday--
strong, delicate, and formidable.
All cliffs and grey brush strokes fading quietly into the canvas around.
Let’s take a breath together and be one with the world and dream about what it’s like to feel as if nothing can shake you.
Are you listening? Good.
So let me tell you about mountains.
According to daysoftheyear.com (which appears to be a very official listing of random holidays, days of celebration, and the like), tomorrow is Let It Go Day.
No, I’m not talking about Elsa and her wonderful song, but if you want to sing it, feel free.
Let It Go Day, according to the description, is a “national day when…you are taking the brave step to cast away all…hang-ups from a previous chapter in your life. Let It Go Day is the perfect occasion to stop wasting your energy on negative feelings from the past and instead focus on building…a positive future.”
It sounds so freeing (and easy), doesn’t it? Just to let everything that hums around in your mind out the window—poof! It’s gone!
In practice, it’s so much harder to just suddenly forget things that happened in the past. Nor do I advocate erasing cringe-worthy moments from your life entirely. Past occurrences, whether good or bad, help shape us into better people. The negative seconds of your life are part of your story, and there’s no use in pretending they didn’t happen.
So why am I talking about Let It Go Day?
Because there is merit in letting go of things that don’t serve you.
Societal expectations that only make you feel worse about yourself. Things people said to you or about you that weren’t true.
Anything that doesn’t advance your character development or serve as a fundamental building block for you—it’s time to say goodbye.
And so tonight, in preparation for tomorrow’s day of celebration, I’m thrilled to bid adieu to the following:
I may not have my published book sitting on the shelves of Barnes and Noble, and I certainly am not the perfect example of a Polished Young Lady. But my goodness, I am fierce and determined to make myself a better person than I was yesterday, so who cares? Let. It. Go.
We can start a revolution—one built on self-acceptance and learning to move beyond negativity. Join me, will you?
Now this is where I tell you I don’t know what I’m doing.
I put the pen to the paper and let it bleed.
Or is it me?
I’m waiting and hesitating for the meaning
of this all to become clear, but
the marks on the page keep drying faster than I can
form the letters.
I thought by now I’d feel like less of an imposter,
but I can’t seem to shed the skin of
a tired winter coat that’s kept me
too comfortable to discard.
The quiet of night offers no solace;
I turn out the light and my past creeps
across the ceiling--
don’t forget me, don’t forget us--
how comfortable is our embrace?
This is where I insist
I don’t know what I’m up against in my head,
but it’s past my bedtime--
my thoughts and the pen are in a steady race
to drive each other to exhaustion.
“Our life is frittered away by detail…Simplify, simplify.” – Henry Thoreau
Hi, my name is Victoria, and I’m a social media addict. You probably are, too, and just haven’t admitted it to yourself.
The rise of social networks took off when I was in high school and evolved as I did. First it was spending hours on MySpace, trying to figure out the right emo-looking profile picture to match my perfectly curated background and profile song.
Then came Facebook, which at the time was pretty sparsely populated. I poked at it but didn’t really do much with it. Over the years, I spent increasingly more time with my online friends and less with my real friends. I began to get itchy if I went more than a few hours without logging on the site, and immediately became disappointed when the red notification icon didn't appear.
I didn’t realize I was developing a problem that would take me seven years to kick.
This year, I’ve become increasingly aware of where I can simplify my life and make every moment count. When it came time to cut things out, I knew my addiction to my cell phone (which is where most of my Facebooking occurs) needed to go first.
So to get an idea of how bad my habit was, I downloaded an app called QualityTime that tracks time spent on your cell phone, as well as time spent on each app. It then compiles a weekly report of your usage.
After tracking for a few weeks, I looked at my report—and was staggered to see that, in a single week, I had spent over 25 hours on my cell phone. And most of those were on social media.
Over one day spent looking at status updates. Over one day spent ignoring my family and friends. Over one full day spent letting my goals and dreams gather dust.
Without another thought, I embarked upon a social media detox. For one week, I didn’t touch Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or Buzzfeed—deleted the apps from my phone and removed the bookmarks on my computer.
Let me tell you about last week:
When the hiatus officially ended today, I deleted my Facebook account, over seven years after starting it.
It was that boyfriend that was terrible for me, but was too scared to break up with. And it was so much harder to end that relationship than it should have been.
But let me tell you, I don’t have one ounce of regret.
The older I get, the more I realize the importance of every second. We only get one shot at life. These minutes and seconds are all you get.
Make sure you’re spending your precious time in a way that makes you happy.
Writer, editor, and storyteller living in the Twin Cities.