I’m moving right now, and I’m moving fast. More now than ever in my 23 years of living on this earth am I moving and chasing and dreaming and doing. I’m finally seeing results and creating change. I’m finally, well, happy. Truly.

But despite flying high and having found the courage to actually believe in myself that I can do these BIG, mountain-moving, wild and crazy and meaningful things, there are other pieces in my life that which I haven’t quite been ready to say goodbye to.

I wonder, when we’re moving forward, how do we know which pieces of our old life to say goodbye to, and which pieces to keep with us?


It’s almost as if you’re on a mission to declutter your home of all the material possessions you no longer truly need so you can either fill that space with other pieces that will teach you more, or inspire more, or challenge you more, or spend more time using the pieces that are already there that were put on the back burner.

Then, despite all  your momentum and all the trash bags of your old cluttered life going out the door, you come across those few things that you just can’t seem to part ways with.

And it’s always the sentimental stuff. It’s a movie stub from your first date with that guy you loved. It’s that stuffed animal you’ve had since your first Christmas. It’s old yearbooks and the notes in them written by friends you loved but haven’t talked to in years.

It’s the stuff that weighs little in your hands, but weighs more than you can bear in your heart.


And so you sit there as you pack your things up staring at this tattered up memory in your hands reminiscing over how much it meant to you. You smile at it.  You want to put it in a safe place where you can protect it and come back to it whenever you need to. You want to hold onto it forever.

But here’s the thing… you can’t always go back once you say goodbye.

You can’t always pick it up, and hug it, or read it, or talk to it once you put it away. Sometimes those old pieces of your life don’t have a safe place to be kept. Some fade too much with time. Some can’t stay because they too belong somewhere else. Some resent you for putting them away.


Now you’re at the moment of decision. There you sit with 3 boxes beside you: 1.) Goodbye’s to your left, 2.) Hold Onto’s to your right, and 3.) Take Along’s in front of you. What box does this piece of you belong in?

Remember, you’re moving forward and you’re moving on. This is about you and your journey and your mission. And because of that, there’s a chance that you won’t be able to switch boxes along the way.

So how do you choose? How do you know if it’s time to say goodbye? How do you know if putting it into that Hold Onto box is the right or wrong thing to do? How do you know you won’t desperately miss  it once you decide not to put it in your Take Along box?

For me personally, I’m at a point in my life where I’m 95% finished packing up these 3 boxes. But that other 5% – the part that weighs the most – well, they’re still spread out on the floor all around me and I’m stuck staring at them in bitter sweet wonder.


The truth of the matter is, you don’t always know. You just can’t. And so all that’s left is trusting yourself, your gut and your heart, and remembering that you’re going where you’re meant to be going.  If a piece of your old life is meant to come with you, somewhere down the road, be it now or much further away, it’ll be there.

Because that’s the difference between packing up stuff and packing up pieces of your life. Stuff you throw out. But the pieces of our lives, be it memories or people or passions, well, they transcend time, hurtles, challenges, breaks, and even goodbyes.

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About Lauren Rains

Hi my name is Lauren Rains. I write about the human experience. Through thick and thin, I’m dedicated to growth, adventure, integrity, and love. The Mad To Live is based on my pursuits, experiments, research, and lessons of challenge and triumph in all areas of life, including being entrepreneur, a writer, a philosopher, a traveler, a teacher, a student, a creative, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a significant other, a stranger and the list goes on. At the end of the day, I believe human beings are here for two reasons: 1.) to love one another with total acceptance, and 2.) to see what we’re made of as we create the possibilities for an abundant life for ourselves and for others. No more bullshit, let's just enjoy our lives.

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