When do we know it’s time to move on, time to shed our attachment to an idea that, though magnetic and alluring, isn’t realistic or achievable? If the idea were a relationship, it might make sense to follow the wisdom that “when it hurts less to leave than it hurts to stay, it’s time to move on.” But if the idea is not a relationship—if it’s a longing for something that never grew beyond desire—those words of wisdom are not applicable…or are they? Some people might carry the concept over to their yearnings. They might say, “if the pain of hoping for something that has no chance of happening is greater than the anguish of recognizing its impossibility, it’s time to move on.”
But that really doesn’t make sense, does it? The time to move on is not at the point at which there is imbalance in the pain; it’s at the point at which one recognizes the unalterable truth that a dream or desire is unattainable. Allowing oneself to wish for the impossible is tantamount to giving oneself permission to be willfully insane. And that, I think, is self-inflicted pain. I’ll have none of it. Time to move on.