Moving on is a mandatory component of growing up.
Every year before Chinese New Year comes, I would spring clean. It’s amazing how much possessions you’d collect over just a year. Space is limited, so something somewhere needs to go because new things will always coming in, whether you like it or not.
I think that we are engineered to like new things. Maybe because there’s a sense of novelty, a tinge of freshness. Or hope. Hope that something new will provision us in a way that meets or even exceeds our expectations. Hope that this could be a worthy replacement of something we already own, or used to own. Hope that we could possibly possess something that fills a gap, a hollow. We are always so conflicted, because even though we ask for steadiness and security, we want adventure, we want surprises and we want little silver parachutes to brighten our days.
But even if new things descend upon us infinitely, we can really only open our doors to a finite number of them. We need to be selective, we need to be prudent. For things that we welcome with both arms, there are also things that we need to let go. It’s not necessarily one-for-one exchange, but there’s only that much we can possess at one go at any one time, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Letting go is a big part of growing up. There are things that we used to hold on to as kids but have to give up as we enter adulthood. I realized that there’s an expiry to everything in life. And it’s not about recognizing that they have a fixed expiry date. It is about recognizing that we set expiry dates on everything we possess and we have the autonomy to rule their expiry. In our hearts and minds, only we can govern when we choose to possess or hold on to something, and in the same way, we are the ones who decide when to truly let go of something – first physically, then mentally and emotionally.
Growing up can be hard, but it’s only as hard as we make it for ourselves.