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Some things lift, others pull.
Let go of things that pull.
Thank them or throw them out but get rid of them fast.
Everything you hold is something you also carry.
Carry less to move quickly.

At the end of my journals, I write my discovery as an imperative. That’s the bit above. But here’s the unadulterated journal entry for context.

Entry: Clarity

With pride, we keep every failure in. And with pride, hold onto the sinking. — Clarity, Jimmy Eat World

My musical education took place washing dishes at a coffee shop. On occasion, I’d close with a young indie gal — who’s name I’ve since forgotten.

She was maybe 19 and I remember getting lost in watching her quietly and cooly tolerate the world. Her one delight was locking the door, playing an under-celebrated album, and enjoying it with whoever happened to be around. Many nights, that was me. I crushed on her in that impossible way that one might crush on a best-friend’s older sibling.

Her musical taste informs mine to this day. Amid that glut of albums was Clarity by Jimmy Eat World*. I have never and will never again experience an album that transformative.

And with pride, we hold every failure in

I went to bed on new year’s eve with this lyric shaking the corners of my brain. I want 2021 to be about clarity, focus, and freedom from clutter of years past. In rushed this song from the start of my adult journey.

Progress hides behind failure.
It’s birthed from failure.
We can’t separate one from the other.
Jekyll always comes with Hyde and our efforts to separate them only amplify their presentations.

And with pride, we hold onto the sinking

The older I become, the more I retain.
More weight, more insurance, more cables, receipts, proofs of purchase, tactics in surviving work amid a sea trying personalities…

I was free when I heard this song.
I owned literally nothing.
So it hadn’t occurred to me that 20 years in the future I’d be drowning in all that stuff I retained.

If you can’t take it with you, what is worth keeping? What should I remove now? What around me represents only the shadow me — the one that didn’t survive? Do I hold onto hopes of those shadow? What aspirations have I placed in new things that will become new, faithless artifacts?

It’s time to let go and let go of the sinking.

* It was actually Keith that introduced me to Clarity. But that’s a less sexy story. The nameless introduced me to The Anniversary — my favorite band, with the greatest sound of all time.