Years ago, a then-friend encouraged me to adopt a kitten that he was keeping at his home and trying to find a family for. I was uncertain about having a kitten (I've never had a pet of my own) but i was willing to at least consider the opportunity. After all, the kitten was cute enough, and how hard could it be? But one night, after a few beers, I stayed over at the said friend's house and the kitten attacked me during the night. She bore her claws into my nose while I fitfully tried to sleep in that tiny guest room bed, and, when I opened my eyes to see what the hell was going on, she practically scratched out my eyeballs. I retaliated by throwing the beast out of my space and announcing to my friend that this animal was not the right pet for me. Dramatic? Perhaps so. But the kitten had officially pissed me off. And my friend ended up finding the kitten another owner. I knew I'd made the right decision.
But the notion of "giving up" on something, particularly on something living, has not always been an easy pill to swallow. Nowadays, people hear phrases like "Never Quit" constantly. In fact, I think back now to an Offspring song with lyrics that declared "the more you suffer...the more it shows you really care...right?" I clearly remember my mother saying at the time how the lyrics were bunk, and not to take them to my teenage heart. My mother knew I'd have a hard time letting go of things. She was the same way when she was younger, after all. Of course, we both liked the song (hey, it was the nineties) but she did not want the lyrics to influence me.
Throughout my life, it's indeed been difficult for me to walk away from friends who don't boost the well-being of my soul, lovers who do not understand me or love me in return, acquaintances who will not make the effort to become friends, and so on. I have a tendency to cling to those people until something outlandishly hurtful happens, similar to the kitten clawing at my eyes.
And it's not just me. I know at least a few other people who have the same issue; they keep something or someone that is best just discarded until it practically cripples them with dead weight.
So, I'm taking this opportunity to tell myself --and all of you-- just to stop. Go ahead and delete that person that you don't talk to, go ahead and delete that text message you were saving from the one night that you heard from your drunken college lover at 3 a.m. Learn to get rid of seeds that won't ever, can't ever grow. This nonsense is stifling your, and my, garden.
I won't even be offended if, after reading this, you decide not to speak to me again.