Letting Go

It’s funny, the things you learn from unexpected sources.

We’ve all got a metric crap-ton of baggage that the universe has dropped on us, and some of it is weighty and difficult to carry. And sometimes we need to carry that baggage for whatever reason. One of the things I’m learning in a million different ways on The Making Lemonade Road Tour is that some of it – not all of it, or maybe even not most of it, some of it – is stuff I just don’t need to carry.

I disposed of almost everything I owned. Some went to my two children. Some went to Jez. Most went to the landfill. I added a few books to the local ‘My Little Free Library’ in Soundside Park in Surf City.

I put some stuff in my 5′ X 5′ storage unit in Hampstead that I rented for the purpose. My camera gear and camping gear and bike gear got loaded into my car, and I hit the road. – excerpt from my Journal of Impossible Things


Sometimes that baggage is physical stuff. I had been lugging a lot of that crap around for decades, place to place, and some of it nearly killed me to let go at first. But at some moment I reached an inflection point, where it went from painfully necessary to wonderfully liberating.

And sometimes that baggage is social or emotional stuff. Learning to let go of what’s unimportant or unnecessary is a lesson that’s not always as easy to learn as it sounds, and definitely not as easy as letting go of the physical stuff.

My friend Meghan and I have been trying to get together to do a shoot for …jeez, well over a year now? Almost two years, maybe? But beyond just scheduling, Meghan had to learn to let go of a lot of shit. And she did it. And we finally got to shoot the other day in the most perfect barn for what we wanted.

And she inspired me.

I still have a lot of shit to let go, but I’m working on it. For now, I’m happy to have come so far with that so quickly, and I’m feeling lighter and freer than I have in a long time.

I’m letting it go, and it feels good.


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Louis Shackleton is an intimate portraiture artist and wildlife photographer formerly based in Wilmington, NC. After 3 years of traveling the continent in his 2001 VW Passat, he's now settled in Seattle, Washington.

Head on over to the About page to read more about him and his work.

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