What to do with this octopus? The worn, fuzzy beanie baby doll from my middle school years. Nana sent it home with me from the Farm last time I was in Michigan. It doesn’t fit with the chocolate and cream decor in our living room. It falls off the shelf and the dogs think it’s a great toy. My father in law felt bad when he was letting them use it for tug of war. It’s tie-dyed cloth skin and cutesy eyes that look up just get tossed from room to room. What is it with this thing? I can’t throw it away. The tag got ripped off by one of the dogs. It’s tentacles get caught in the vacuum. Maybe in the bedroom? Or a windowsill?
For every question mark this funny little toy brings into my mind, it has grown into an adorable nuisance. Our kitschy Korean couple in hanbok piggy banks don’t have white elephant in the room status. Neither do the knight in shining armor and damsel in distress figurines I brought back from Edinburgh. What is it about this bean filled sea creature doll?
I gave the Octopus, I believe his given name was “Googly” before the name tag got shredded by our puppy, a final chill out spot at the bottom of our stairs near a porcelain doll that used to hold a chocolate chip cookie and ride a rocking horse. That, too, was put in my suitcase by Nana as a memorabilia from home. I was struck by a niggling urge to write about his plight. His plight has become mine. Googly wants me to let him go. Or, if he could talk, I think that’s what he’d say. But not let go in the throw him away sense. I feel that Googly represents something that adults go through as they approach the big 3-0 digits. My 30th birthday is tomorrow. So here I share 5 ways an octopus can help you let go, today!
1) Don’t carry around items from your past from room to room, where you can stare at them. Settle them in somewhere nice and go about your business. Similarly, sweep old insecurities and doubts into the dustbin with the other rubbish where they belong. Give them a resting place and let it be done.
2) As things age, they will break. Whether broken by forces beyond you (a puppy chewing the tag off a toy, or your health and well being going through adjustments). Slip into this idea as you would an old flannel shirt or pair of comfy jeans. Take refuge that age can also afford more time to rest, in a way. Be easy on yourself and adjust your output of energy as needed.
3) Realize your Googly. What is your Googly? A relic? A thought? A relationship? We all have one. Sometimes they will be given to us (thanks, Nana) and other times we will create them. Stare into the eye of the Googly hurricane, don’t let it fester. The courage of letting go is small change compared to the first step of facing what it is you need to let go of.
4) Letting go is inconvenient. Googly just didn’t fit in with my decor. He hunkered from room to room. The process of moving him was a weird way of forcing me to be done with the nonsense when I didn’t have the fortitude to be done with it on my own. Dashed inconvenience. Proof of forces greater than my shallow decor scheme at work. The inconvenience of letting go is that it’s an achy process with bumps, trips, scuffs, pulls etc. That may be why it feels like it’s out of your control- because if you knew the minor or major inconveniences to be experienced, you may not make a move in the direction you need to go.
5) It will always be there. Once something exists, it always carries karmic energy. Googly’s colors may fade, maybe his threads will rip and the beans will spill out. I perhaps will have to bin him. This circles back to number one. Since it will never truly go away, why not give it a resting place and let it be? Bye bye, Googly. Bye bye.