Letting Go, Living Your Best Life
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I Don’t Want To Lose What Was, But I Can’t Stay Stagnant

girl with smirk in comfy sweatshirt

Tonight I’m in my own head. I think this is natural in moments of transition—we start to question because we’re walking in uncharted territory, because we’re afraid, because everything is unfamiliar so the little voice in the back of our minds becomes louder.

We scroll through social media, look back at old photographs and memories, try to figure out where we are now in comparison. We remember people and places we should have tucked away long ago. We sit and wonder what could have been.

And this hurts. Oh, it hurts. It hurts to picture the trajectory of our lives suddenly changed, to imagine ourselves in someone else’s arms, to realize that each and every moment we move forward, we’re slipping farther and farther away from what was.

This is what happens as we grow; we leave little pieces behind.

And that’s where I am tonight, sifting through old images wondering whether things will ever be the same, reminiscing on the relationships I built, on the people I worked with, on the life I had before—and wasn’t it a beautiful one?

Yet, change was calling me, is calling me still. As much as I loved where I was, I had to move forward. Don’t we all at some point? Isn’t this our purpose—to move, to grow, to shift, to change, to discover what and who we are?

I’m struck, tonight, by the paralyzing fear of the unknown, by the nervousness of stepping forward into a new place with new people, no longer tied to everything that’s always been mine. I’m scared of losing the ones I loved, the opportunities I had, the ways life made sense.

But just as equally as I’m scared, I know I cannot be held back.

I know that this is my time to explore and be free and I cannot stay stagnant, stay rooted to one place. There are memories that will forever pull at my heart; there are people and moments I will forever look back on and smile. But I simply cannot stay. I must grow. I must grow. I must grow.

Nights like these, we decide what we want for our lives: Do we wish to stay in the same place, clinging desperately to things that have forever been the same? Or do we want to release and step forward in faith, to take on whatever comes, even when it’s unknown?

My heart aches looking at old pictures, reading old captions, seeing people I cared about living their lives. I feel foreign, like I’m looking through a stranger’s eyes at what used to be mine. It pains me to know that with every day, I am further and further away from that old life, that old version of me.

Yet the draw of the future calls me, welcomes me with open arms. As much as I long to stay comfortable, my desire to grow far exceeds anything else.

No, I don’t want to let go, to leave my past to collect dust behind me, to lose what I had. But I am not willing to stay, to be still, to wonder but never step, to hope but never go.

If it is a life of comfort I trade for a life in the unknown—I will choose the unknown.

Featured Image Credit: Joshua Rawson Harris[

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Marisa Donnelly, M.Ed., is a writer/editor, credentialed teacher, proud bonus mama, and CEO of Be A Light Collective, a coaching and content creation business and digital marketplace. She is the Director of Donnelly’s Daily Apple, a flexible learning/tutoring and educational resource platform, and the lead voice for Momish Moments and Step by Step Parents, verticals dedicated to sharing and advocating for non-traditional parenting journeys. Marisa currently resides in San Diego, California, with her fiancé, kiddo, and their two rambunctious Pitbulls. ❤️

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