Your hands must empty

I used to be a master at walking down the same street and expecting a different view.

I’d like to chalk it up to youth.

Dating the same boyfriend a second time. He had already shown me who he was. We had broken up. But back I went.

Knowing a certain management style and the havoc it wreaks and yet returning to the fold to be managed that way.

Trying to keep up a friendship for old times’ sake when the old times were not really all that satisfying, something I remembered the second time around.

Man hand try to grab something isolated on white backgroundOne of the hardest bits in life, for me, is that it expects you to let go of the familiar in order to welcome the new. Your hands must empty. That is the leap of faith.

If I let you/this/that person go, I am empty handed.

Our society does not applaud empty-handedness.

It is terrifying to give up love when no one else is on the horizon.

It is stomach roiling to say “no” to work you know will make you miserable when you do not have another gig yet.

Gut wrenching to realize you do not enjoy time with that old friend any longer and have no one else to fill the void at the moment.

You can stare into the abyss. Succumb to the fear and the screaming meanies in your head. “No love is perfect. Isn’t this love better than no love? You’re asking too much.” Or, “The mortgage/rent/car payment looms. The responsible thing to do is stay the course, even if you’re miserable. Take a chance and you could lose it all.”

Or, you can try faith. I consider myself a faith-filled person but sometimes wonder at choices that make no logical sense. When the voice in my gut says, “Leap. Go.” And the voice in my head says, “Are you flipping nuts?”

I have seen people who have made the “sensible” choice their entire lives. They usually are a dismal shade of gray.

They have never been empty-handed and so have not known the pain and terror of that state.

But they have also not ever known the feeling of an unexpected windfall, a fly ball coming right at your glove, caught solely because you just let go of whatever would have kept you from making the catch.

Hence the gray.

I choose color. Life may prove me stupid and vain. But I choose color.

I’ll let you know how it works out in a couple of decades. Meet me in front of the fire.

I’ll be the one with a warm drink in hand, sharing and listening to some great stories.

Or so I hope.



23 Comments Add yours

  1. sabayoub says:

    Absolutely love this. Needed to hear it today. I’ve been wanting to take my own leaps but have been too afraid to.

  2. I am choosing color. And its freaking difficult to do so.
    I look forward to meeting you with drink in my hand, chilling next to a pool. Because you i am sure will be there

    1. candidkay says:

      “Freaking hard” is an understatement, isn’t it? Here’s to the wild ride.

      1. Definitely! You are an inspiration!

  3. I really really liked this. I love the color. 🙂

  4. RuthsArc says:

    A lovely post. Perfect timing for me, as I’m in limbo, wondering why plans to change my life are not happening in the timescale I’d hoped for. But I still choose the change, the colour, the leap. Thanks for the reassurance.

    1. candidkay says:

      I am in a similar spot. If only we could be in charge, eh? Keep the faith.

  5. Letting go of the familiar IS scary as all get out, which is why most people elect to not change, or to *sort of* change. And in my life, I’ve found that jumping in with both feet was something I did much easier (even though it was still tough and scary) when I was young and single. These days, my jumps are tempered by the responsibility of family. So they are smaller, but still happening.

    This is the second time of my receiving this same message this morning. Perhaps the universe is trying to tell me something.

  6. trillie says:

    Saved for future reference. I also quite like the trapeze theory from the commenter above.

  7. Roy McCarthy says:

    I guess that’s the psychology that keeps women (in particular) in abusive relationships. The man is able to exert control only because the woman allows it for fear that the alternative is worse. It isn’t, but you’ll never find out if you don’t try.

  8. I love this analogy! I am learning to trust my gut and to take those leaps of faith. I have lived within the shaded grey area for too many years, and I am now learning to color outside of the lines. Will I regret turning down the job offer I received last week that would have led me right back to what I fled from last summer? Perhaps. Or perhaps I’ll catch that fly ball and enjoy the satisfying smack when the ball hits the glove. Wonderful read! Best, Karen

    1. candidkay says:

      I hope you hear that smack sooner than later! Bravo on your courage to walk by an open door that’s not right for you.

  9. markbialczak says:

    Your empty hand will be filled by something that makes you so happy, Kay.

    It took the fall and the dark and the empty for me to find my dear wife Karen, and you know how that makes me feel, as you commented at my place today. I am solidly in your corner here. Happy weekend, I see it coming for you.

  10. I love your empty hand theory. I’ve got a similar one, but it’s on a trapeze. In order to reach the next bar, you must let go of the one behind you. There is a moment when you’re holding onto nothing– in between the bars. It’s exhilarating, scary, and totally necessary to move on.

    1. candidkay says:

      What a wonderful way to put it! I like your analogy. And no wonder I’m not crazy about it–the hang time in anything is what kills me:). Even though it’s also the moment of opportunity and exhilarating.

  11. Nodding, ‘yes’. It is not only the ‘love’ (companion) that one needs to let go of (to get to that life of colour) it is all the other things that (in the beginning) we cling to of our old life… friends, work, home, routine.
    And it is only letting go of all of it that we can begin to dance again.

    1. candidkay says:

      Dancing again sounds divine. I’ll join you in that boogie . . .

  12. I choose colour too. And I find always that when I make that leap, take that chance, it all works out. The older I get, the braver I get about taking the leaps. And that old saying…when one door closes, another one opens. So often it is absolutely true! Great post!

    1. candidkay says:

      I love to hear that–that your leaps are ones in which you land softly. Gives me hope!

  13. Amy says:

    I love that you choose color, that you’re courageous enough to live your life empty-handed, ready to catch that pop fly. Wishing you a world of color and joy and fabulous new horizons.

    You inspire me, my beautiful friend. xoxox

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, my hand is out for that pop fly, Amy. Believe me:). Thank you, as always, for your kind words. You inspire me also and remind me of the beauty in those near and far.

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