This post is about quitting. It’s about giving up, throwing in the towel, putting your gun down.
I am a lifelong quitter – I mean, I know the word has a negative connotation, but I’ve quit a lot of things in my life, and some were for good reasons and some for bad. For example, I quit my dancing lessons because I wasn’t getting joy from dancing anymore, and I was not about doing something that wasn’t adding value to my life. I can’t even count the number of books I’ve stopped reading halfway through because I felt as though I wasn’t benefiting from them.
But then there are the things I quit that I should probably not have. I quit trying in my Stats class a few years ago because I got too frustrated with the material. I quit doing calligraphy and artwork because I didn’t remind myself to do those things – and by the time I remembered, my skills had atrophied. I quit without even quitting, really.
I quit working out last semester because I just didn’t have time, and I’ve now lost a significant amount of muscle tone. I quit playing the guitar on a daily basis. I quit my acappella group because I had several jobs that were sucking up all of my time. I quit the poetry slam team because I didn’t have time to go anymore. I quit another organization because I hated the politics.
Like I said, I’m a habitual quitter – I don’t believe in doing things that aren’t adding value to my life, so when I find myself in the position of doing so, I quit. I just stop doing whatever it is that was pissing me off, and move on. I find something else that I feel will add value, and I start doing that instead.
Right now, though, I’m at this point where I’m not sure why I want to quit. I have a job that is frustrating, and I have tried all year to change things and it’s just not happening. I honestly feel as though this job is sucking the joy out of my life. But if I persevered for a few more months, would things change? Am I throwing in the towel because of this lack of value or because I’m frustrated?
I honestly believe that being willing to quit is one of the most important things people need to be. Everyone gets caught up in the money, or the prestige, of whatever they’re doing, and stop thinking about whether or not they’re actually doing something that helps them grow and change and learn and better themselves. But at the same time, I’ve grown up in a society that values follow through and commitment. I made a commitment to this position – and I only have two months left in it – should I quit now, or stick it out? And am I brave enough to quit? Or perhaps the true bravery is in sticking it out to the bitter end, and doing my best even when it feels like I’m fighting honeyed quicksand.
How about you? Are you keeping something in your life that’s not providing you with any value at all? If so, what’s keeping you there? Maybe it’s time for us to cut the shit together, and start adding positives instead of keeping negatives.