Something I have found to be interesting about the act of self-innovation is the dismissal of things where old sentiments were long attached.
I love painting in the abstract. But I can make a shitty ass painting from time to time.
Does that mean the painting should be appreciated?
Sure! Of course, the act of doing what you want and channeling your thoughts into expressing yourself is great.
Does it mean you should hold onto it forever?
Probably not. Let's be honest, at some point you run out of wall space and need to start making more room for the winners.
When I consider this, I cannot help but be drawn to my experiences of surviving headcount reductions where I work.
The decision being made is impartial at best. There is only so much wall space and so many paintings to choose from.
Each of these paintings has its own meaning and value. There's memories and thoughts and feelings attached to each of them.
So what does one do as recourse for having to say goodbye to what were meaningful, valuable, and significant contributions?
We express gratitude.
Life doesn't always afford us what we want, so when we don't get what we want, life instead hands us a new opportunity to practice gratitude for what we have.
By having to make a choice, you set an example to those left that there is a minimum standard needed. Or else one will meet the chop inevitably.
What this does for people is put them into a constant state of panic.
Behaviors you see on channels discussing matters of animal survival are what I can liken some experiences to.
Discussions that fall within the realm of survival of the fittest become frequent.
The act of placating the experiences others have with each other that come with the tension created of having to survive in the workplace is a job on its own.
Given that, what I notice we miss among the quabbling, beratement, and frustrations, is the aspirational desire to make things better for not if, but when it happens again.
I grew up in a world that seems to be hitting its ceilings with respect to what it can sustainably carry with respect to human population, resources, and growth.
There isn't much room for getting to have it all in a world where you're forced to make a choice between new clothes this month or having shoes to walk in next month.
When you're forced to make choices that entail letting go, honor those choices.
You're making an active choice when you come into such situations and there is power in the choices you're making, even when it feels like it comes with a catch.
A natural consequence of choosing to paint in my free time is I will inevitably have a house full of paintings.
I wasn't backed into a corner with having to make the choice to get rid of any. I just don't have the room.
As Marie Kondo teaches us when we get rid of clutter, we must appreciate it for what it provided us with.
This is what I feel makes it hard for us to let go of things, we want to somehow honor or memorialize our struggles, triumphs, and passions, heartbreaks.
But nothing is permanent.
In having to come to terms with such a fact, gratitude again is what emerges as the practice to follow in saying goodbye.
Truly honor the past by leaving it in the past. Carrying forward everything you've gone through is literally the weight holding you down.
Honor the person who went through those experiences, whether they were traumatic or trivial, by upcycling those experiences in your present.
Rebirth is our concept of reinvention within a new plan.
Every day in that case is therefore a chance at rebirth.
If today didn't go well, make a choice in creating a better tomorrow.
But in doing so, consider what you must let go of today in order to enable or create space for what you want tomorrow.
The catch is, it's a choice you have to make.
But it's also a choice you get to make.