Hello friends! Here’s another guest post from Amanda. Enjoy! – Jeff Havens
Growing up I was convinced that being a quitter was bad. Even the word “quitter” sounded terrible, like “moist” or “underemployed”. And I didn’t want to be a moist, underemployed quitter. Quitting was so not me – or so I thought.
I remember the first time I wanted to quit an activity at the beginning of high school. My schedule was packed with marching band, fife and drum, and Spanish club, and I wanted to try something less nerdy. So after weighing the relative nerdiness of all my interests, I decided to quit fife and drum. Being bi-lingual is great for business, and several universities offer marching band scholarships, but I just didn’t see my fife-and-drum career likely to lead to any endorsement deals. My mom, however, was not happy about it and told me if I wanted to quit I had to call and tell them myself. That’s when I realized that my mom was mean and didn’t truly love me. But I still needed the shelter they were providing, and so I called my fife-and-drum overlord and asked if I could, maybe, you know, come to practice once a month or something? It was a fun conversation, asking them if I could stop coming without quitting, but they didn’t give me that luxury. I was either in, or I was out.
So I was out.
I felt a little sad at first, but then I found more time for other things I enjoyed – trips to the beach, cooking, boyfriends, and all the other glorious things people do when they aren’t wearing tri-corner hats. The dorky pictures still haunt me occasionally, but overall I was happy with my choice. And then I started to realize that I actually had quit other things before. Wearing diapers, for example. My parents were pretty happy that I quit doing that. So maybe quitting wasn’t so bad after all.
End of story, right? I learned, I grew, and I lived happily ever after, right?
Almost. Except that like most humans, I am tragically stupid and needed to learn this lesson more than once. Something about my personality allows me to find whatever excuse I can not to quit. Which is why I stayed with a soul crushing office job for way too long because I kept looking at the bright side and saying things like, “It’s not that bad! I’ll be fine! Happiness is overrated! And sometimes there are donuts!”
No matter how positive I tried to be, I still felt depressed every single Sunday night for no reason other than that Monday was coming and I had to go to work. I finally lined up another job and got the nerve to quit the soul crusher. It was amazing. The rain cloud that appeared on Sunday night and hung around until Friday at five was finally gone! (I’m not alone in the “Sunday Blues”, by the way. A poll on Monster.com shows that that 78% of respondents reported feeling down on Sunday.)
So what’s the solution? To quit more often. There are plenty of times where I have quit and I can’t think of a single quitting example that I regret. Bedwetting, fear of ghosts, bad relationships, teething, falling down while trying to rollerskate, crying when 7th-grade boys didn’t ask me to dance – I have quit all of these things and more, and my life is better because of it. Plus, there aren’t very many things that you can absolutely never go back to in some way or another. Except maybe gangs, but if you’ve joined one of those you’ve got bigger problems.
The point is, it’s time we stopped thinking of quitting as a bad thing. Quitting is awesome. It can free up time for us to do what truly makes us happy, such as not waiting for a 7th-grade boy to call. And as the hokey pokey tells us, that’s what it’s all about.
So what’s one thing you’re proud that you quit?