Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Letting Go

I really didn't want to like Disney's Frozen. The Snow Queen is one of my favorite fairy tales and I was annoyed at how their "inspiration" only meant giving Elsa snow powers. Where was the mirror? The robber girl? Gerda, who was a great heroine to look up to because she was strong and smart and faithful? And, of course, the awesome Snow Queen herself, with her sled and ice puzzle. Heck, I even dressed up as the Snow Queen for two Halloweens, all icy makeup and snowflakes (and my blue medieval gown) because I love the story so much. Let's not even get into Disney's problematic limited use of people of color, especially since they quote the source material as reason why the characters need to be white, but then throw the rest of the source material out the window. /rant

I'm rhinestoning my skating dress with snowflakes.
Elsa's gown maaaaay have been an inspiration.

But, then, enough people convinced me to watch it. And while a few things annoyed me about the story, I fell in love, especially with Elsa's character and struggle. As the oldest daughter born to incredibly practical parents who didn't quite appreciate her artistic bend and "not quite normal" (aka, fun and interesting) way of dressing, the writer they insisted become an engineer, I totally identify with Elsa. Be quiet, don't make a fuss, don't try to stand out (unless it's with straight As and academic awards, of course.) Heck, I think Elsa is a very identifiable character. Who hasn't had that feeling of freedom when they've let go of prior preconceptions and fears to embrace themselves?

(I may have gone overboard on the makeup and doing things like medieval society in college. Nothing breaks you out of your shell like wandering around campus in a gown designed to look like it's from the 1100s or 1500s.)

Letting go doesn't always mean running away (oh, Elsa.) Letting go sometimes means facing your fears straight on, because leaving behind the things you knew is terrifying at first. You open yourself to unknowns and failures. It can be paralysing.

Letting go also means believing in yourself even when you might be the only one who does.

Two years ago, I blogged about dying to the things in my life that I need to let die, like Faukes the phoenix on a dying day. These themes are related.

Lent is coming up for those of us who celebrate it. Maybe this year, instead of just giving up on chocolate or pizza, try letting go. Try being conscious of those tattered things and ideas in life that aren't letting you fly. Try embracing your strengths, talents, and dreams.

Twoish years ago, I died to the idea I couldn't write any more. I let go of my fears of failure and rejection. I'm slowly getting closer to realizing my dreams.

So... Let it go-- the past is in the past.

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