Lately I’ve been thinking about how much of my frustration in life has been caused by my inability to let go. Sometimes it’s obvious what I have to let go of, like a relationship or maple bars. Other times it’s pretty subtle. If I want to have a girlfriend then I have to give up a certain amount of control over my life. If I want a job that pays more money I have to give up the low stress life that my current job gives me.

Worse were the times I gave up something because I thought I had no choice. More than once I gave up self-respect to be with someone who treated me poorly because I thought no one else would want me. Ten years ago I gave up writing and performing because I thought I’d never find an audience who cared to listen to what I had to say.

In a world that teaches me to always want more I’m starting to think that clinging to certain beliefs, ideas or people is what holds me back. There are women I used to think I couldn’t live without that I’m pretty certain now that I actually can live without. I used to think I could stay healthy without exercising or eating right. I had to give up that belief a few years ago but when I did I discovered I actually like exercising and I’m proud of all the meals I can now prepare without looking at a cookbook.

The most important thing I’ve given up is my need to look like I have it all together. That may be have been the most damaging thing of all. I had to let go of the idea that just because I was halfway intelligent that I wouldn’t make some dumb decisions in life and have to deal with the consequences. The energy I spent trying to look like I wasn’t fumbling through life was enormous. I guess you could say that I finally had to give up trying to look like I knew what I was doing. Such freedom!

What have you had to give up that you never thought you could? A person? A way of life? A belief system? Maple bars? Seriously, if anyone knows how to give up maple bars I really need to know that.

But that’s the kind of story we’re looking for at our next show, May 25, at Roy Street Coffee and Tea. The theme is “Stories of living without something you didn’t think you could.”

Remember to keep it clean and under 8 minutes. Here are the rules and guidelines for telling a story at FGS:

Practice out loud in the car or in the living room on the cat. Let me know if you have any questions.

I hope to see you on the 25th.