He was right. The guy from my university art class who said my final term project would end up in a box, forgotten.
He wanted to buy it from me, was persistent about it, but I kept turning him down. I had spent countless days and nights working in the studio, I wasn’t ready to let it go.
But he was right. I completed my fine arts degree and moved on to the education program, graduating in 2003, the year I also got married and was hired to teach second grade at a nearby school. Life continued while my art project sat in a box, stored in the basement at my parent’s house, collecting dust.
Fifteen years later, it’s still sitting in a box.
How did that happen?
Fifteen years ago I told him,
No, you’re wrong.
But he already knew something I didn’t. Part of creating is letting go. My work was done. I had poured myself into that piece, but it was done, and I needed to let it go.
I wonder what would’ve happened if I had sold it. Would I have defined myself differently? Would I have valued myself as an artist and not some imposter? Would my work have been seen, maybe to offer inspiration to another?
The gift of creating is to express, the gift of letting go is to trust.
It was never my job to decide the role my art would have in the world, it was only my job to create and let go.
But instead it sits, collecting dust.
This is a reoccurring lesson in my life, learning to let go of what no longer serves me, learning the gift is in the experience, the process, and the doing. Learning that holding on, when its time to let go only creates a shadow in our lives, disconnecting us from our true nature.
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These lessons show up in many ways. For me, it shows up as hesitation before I share my writing. It shows up in the stack of storage bins of old lesson plans and baby clothes. It shows up when the things I inherited from loved ones are forgotten in closets instead of passed on, displayed or used.
It fills our spaces under the pretence of dealing with it one day, a day that never seems to come. It fills our thoughts with feelings of incompetency.
It shows up, always to offer a choice, do I hold on or do I let go? It’s time to look for the dust collectors, it’s time to shine our light on the shadows and let go.