“What’s happening!” I shouted over the whoops. Turns out it was someone’s last day and they were being sent off with a goodbye fit for Kanye. “Makes me want to work for Apple,” I said and he just smiled. Apparently, this was a normal goodbye for someone who had worked hard and was moving on to their next venture.
It had me thinking about the power of letting someone go – this applies not only to the workplace, but to friendships and relationships. Because there’s growth (and beauty) in the breakdown.
Break ups are hard. All kinds. For example: leaving your place of work for a new opportunity is a bittersweet moment. You find yourself “breaking up” with your boss, your supervisor(s), your favorite colleagues and work friends through a “letter of resignation” which could be seen as the text message equivalent. Searching on Google for perhaps some sort of online support leads to articles on how to leave your job “gracefully” or “on good terms” or “with dignity”, signifying that this is a negative thing. And when you do go through the process, you find people asking “why?” rather than shouting their congratulations. It’s odd that the parting is strained when I believe a good working relationship should mean well wishes all round. You have to let me go.
Again, break ups are hard. You break up with someone, only to find them texting, tweeting, calling (you know men never delete phone numbers), and always appearing. They act like it’s completely normal and you spend every day just worried they’re going to show up unannounced, again. You spend time confused because when you break up with someone, you expect it to be a clean and swift break. You plan for him to be ripped off like a band aid, but instead you find that sticky residue on your arm, asking you to hang out, or hugging you at a party when you least expect it. More break up conversations ensue, and all the time you were supposed to have spent healing, was spent going through the motions of an awkwardly long break up. You have to let me go.
I’ve been trying to figure out how one can have a clean break up. From closure conversations to exit interviews, it can all just get very messy. But after a post by my girl over at The Ella Project and a tweet from the ever-fabulous Bevy Smith (via the teachings of Demetria Lucas and her new book A Belle in Brooklyn), I decided the answer relies on your own strength.
When I began writing this post, I intended to place all blame on the “other party” whoever or whatever that may be. In talking to my mother about this recently, I complained about the options, none of which seem all that great. Leave a company and find yourself blacklisted. Leave a boyfriend and yet, you can’t ever really let go. Her response was a brief one, “Those things aren’t the point, Maiah. You have to make it work for you! Just you.“ So, I suppose the title, “You Have to Let Me Go” is not just to employers or ex-boyfriends, but to myself. Because if I can’t let go, I’ll never get on.