Two Reasons: #2. Eliminate to Release
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Passion to the Third Degree .
I’m troubled about something but really have no one I can discuss it with. Or at least, no one I feel comfortable discussing it with. I tried in earnest but discovered I was talking to absolutely the wrong person. It made me realize that it was time to release some things I’d been holding onto for a long, long time.
I’ve been a part of a writers’ online community since back in the “electronic bulletin board” days 15 years ago, but tonight, I finally decided to eliminate my participation in it. Time to release it and not look back, whether I wanted to or not.
I didn’t do it in some grand dramatic flounce and announce that I was angry or hurt or whatever. I just simply deleted a couple of posts I didn’t want to leave behind and then bowed out silently. It will probably take some time before they even notice I’m no longer there as my involvement had grown scanty in recent weeks.
For a long while now, I haven’t felt really part of the community but much less so in the past year. I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong. A lot of the writer-pals I used to chat with both on and off-line have been exceptionally quiet toward me in recent months, and some simply stopped communicating with me at all.
I shared something very personal with the group—the kind of thing we’ve done for 15 years—and heard nary a word of response. That’s more than once that’s happened in the past six months. Even a single utterance would have been nice in this case.
Finally I was let in on the secret. Some of the community—people I’ve shared writing dreams, failures, and successes with for years—thought they needed to take sides in an argument that was never an argument and never discussed in the community. It had nothing to with the community. It had nothing to do with writing at all. It was just a personal matter that, as far as I knew, no one in the group was even aware of.
I was never asked for details. Assumptions were made and sides were chosen, without me even knowing. But it explained a lot.
Mainly that I need to leave my old community in the past and move on, even though they’ve been a big part of my life for a long time. What I realized in tonight’s transaction was that the majority of the interactions with the group in the past few months have left me feeling…bad. Certain people in particular, but enough to overshadow my experiences with the group as a whole. Some, I’m sure I’ll continue to talk with privately as I always have, but the bottom line is that I can’t let myself stay in a place where I feel bad about day after day.
And that’s where things had gone in recent months, with me feeling like I was showing up for either my shunning or my beating. I don’t need that. This isn’t said in anger or retaliation or vengeful glee or anything of the sort. It’s simply…said…as my own way of releasing it to the winds of change.
It’s time to move on and not stay with something out of either habit or tradition when it’s no longer something that nurtures my soul. It’s time to release it and let myself go.