Letting go, Moving on

Anyone who has worked on a special project knows how attached you can get after a while…it becomes a part of you, a part of your heart.

This has happened to me many times.  Each time I work on a new video, it becomes part of who I am, and part of me goes out with each DVD that sells.

My projects are so personal to me.  This one was the first one we ever filmed:

 I worked so hard on it.  I learned how to edit video by working on it.  I recorded my own music and went through tutorial after tutorial.  After many long and difficult hours, I finished the project.  I was so proud of it, though it was far from perfect.  I had invested large amounts of time, effort, and money (on software).

Matt was concerned about it.  Though he recognized my hard work, he was worried about some of the glitches, camera work, and unprofessional music.  But I had worked so hard and was so attached, I couldn’t let this huge part of me go.

Later, I began work on this one:

Also a lot of work, this one had major improvements.  The filmwork, performance, and editing were all better.  I invested what was a lot of money for us back then on professionally done music.  I was so proud of it, and deeply attached.

Once I saw the marked improvement, I finally, painfully, let the first video go.  It was like letting part of my heart go.  I submitted the prenatal video, as well as another one, for publication.  It was painful not to submit the first. But I knew I had to take what I had learned and to let go of it.

The new videos were well-received, with one major problem.  The audio would have to be completely redone on both.  Though it sounds like a simple thing, I was crushed.  I had just been through a grueling birth, and my life was very fragile at the time, for lack of a better word.  I felt I didn’t have any more of myself to give away.

I felt like giving up, and forgetting the whole thing.  I felt like I had now failed three times.

But Matt, once again, stepped in and gently, lovingly helped me try again.  He bought me new equipment and literally sat next to me for hours as I re-recorded, re-mixed, and re-edited all of the audio for two DVDs.  As pathetic as it sounds, at that time in my life, there is no way I could have finished without him doing that.

And finally, we tasted success.

Much has transpired for our little company since then.  We have been overjoyed at the fulfillment we have found from the hard work we have put in.  Each new project has brought joy and pain with it.

Take this one, for example:

The location was perfect.  The film we captured was stunning.  I was overjoyed.

With one little problem.

The wind came up so strongly half-way through that it kept literally blowing me over when I stood in more delicate poses.  I was so deeply attached to the location that I was determined to keep trying to do the poses over.  And over. 

Only to keep getting blown over again.

But so deeply attached was I…I was certain I could fix it.  I could make it work.

I worked and worked, and finally presented the finished product to my chief QA man.  He knew it wasn’t what it could be.  (It hurt him deeply to tell me that, by the way…it always does.  It’s not something he enjoys.)

Once again, I was crushed.  I had worked so hard, and I was so deeply attached.  I was ready to quit again.  But Matt kept encouraging me, reminding me of the reason I had started this particular one in the first place. 

So once again, I scraped my little heart off the floor and we set out to try again

The original location was overgrown and unusable.  It took hours to find a new one.

And once we did find a new one, we had to film scenes in between incredible lightning storms while hiding in the van with the kids.

(Yes, that’s really a picture from that day.)

But Matt, my patient, patient Matt, once again got us through both the literal and the figurative sunshine and rain of that day, and we emerged successful once more.

 Once again, here we are.

After years, I found myself needing to let go once again.  I could feel it was time for my old prenatal video to be replaced.  Once again, the pain of letting go of a dear part of myself was felt.

But, we started again.  And this time, we did things completely differently.

Which I thought sounded fun.

What it really meant was struggle, attachment, and learning all over again.

And though I’ll spare you the long and painful details, this has been one of the most painful letting go processes of all, as this project has been re-done and re-evaluated hundreds of times.

And Matt has been there through the whole thing.  He doesn’t let me get away with less than my best.  And at times, that’s so very hard for me.  But he loves me, and he helps me, so many times, to move past the letting go and on to the moving on.

And the result is always better. 

“Remember when you were little and played on the jungle gym?  Jungle gym bars are perfect to help you understand the difference between letting go and moving on.  You’re ten years old, you’re holding onto the high bar with both hands and all your might.  Your hands are gripping the bar, they’re turning white at the knuckles, your arms are aching, and your body is getting heavier, pulling you down.  Now your hands are getting sweaty and your grip begins to slip and slide, and then, before too long, you let go.  Plop.  You’re lying in a heaving, exhausted dusty heap on the ground.  The recess alarm bell rings.  You get up, dust yourself off, and start walking back to the classroom, laughing with your friends.  That’s moving on.  You hold fast, let go, fall down or apart, then get up and move on. 

The holding on/letting go struggle is passive (although you feel it with all your might) but it’s inertia, because it’s getting you nowhere.  In contrast, picking yourself up off the playground or putting your life back together after a crisis is passionate, because it’s forward motion.  One tiny step, one tumultuous turning.”

-Sarah Ban Breathnach, Moving On

Finally, I am beginning to learn that when we let go of a lesser part of ourselves, however dear it may be, it makes room within us to move on to the greater, more beautiful part.

Is there someone who helps you let go and move on?  I hope so.  Give them a big hug.  Their job isn’t easy, and you may not always want them to do it, but it is so important for you.

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