Sunday, January 20, 2013

Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run

I can't think of a time when I have ever regretted quitting something. I have quit quite a few things in my life and I don't look back on any of them and think "Man, I wish I'd stuck with that."

I've quit tee-ball, figure skating, gymnastics, dance classes, cheerleading, and playing the flute. I quit a job at a clothing store. I dropped multiple classes in college. I've quit diets, exercise programs and activity groups. I climbed almost to the top of a mountain once, then, with the peak in sight, decided I'd had enough.

People always make such a big deal about quitting something. "Don't quit," they tell you, "you'll only regret it." Or, "What a quitter! I can't believe you!" But I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Why continue doing something you don't like? Something that isn't making you happy, or leaving you with a sense of fulfillment?

It didn't matter to me if I made it to the top of that damn mountain or not. It still doesn't bother me now. I despised figure skating. I had no qualms about leaving that behind. Quitting isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of being in tune with who you are and what you want.

Of course, there are some major things that can't be quit so easily. They might require planning and strategizing. People might be relying on you not to quit. Sometimes you have to stick things out even though you really don't want to. As we get older, life becomes more and more filled with things we have to do, even though we don't want to. That's why I think it's so important to get rid of the things we can. The annoyances, the chores, the drudgery.

It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately. What can stay in my life, what can go. What I want more of, what I want less of. The conclusion I've come to is that sometimes it's okay to be a quitter.


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