lost, for a little while

the quitting game
February 1, 2011, 10:38 pm
Filed under: plan, rant


When I was little, my parents were desperate to shove me off into an organized activity of some kind. (When I was little, my mom also worried that I was pretending to murder my stuffed animals, but that’s another story.) As a result of their attempts to get me to socialize and exercise, I have, in my lifetime, quit ballet, field hockey, girl scouts, lacrosse, competitive swimming, gymnastics, basketball, tennis, soccer, and ice skating. (Give me some credit, though: I did all of them for at least an entire season, minus that 2-week lacrosse camp. Girls lacrosse is hard!)

Then I quit quitting for a while. Built up some character and all that jazz. In high school, my only defiance was opting to stop at three years of French rather than suffer through another two semesters. I do not regret this decision at all. My sophomore year of college, I nearly failed my courses and passed out from exhaustion after trying to stick with my “job” as a design editor for the student newspaper (I don’t recall if I was actually paid for this). I made it through a month of going to class all day, going to the newspaper house at 7 p.m. and then getting home at 4 a.m. to do some homework. It took my roommates sitting me down and spelling out how wrong this was before I finally gave it up. I quit, and it was awesome to sleep and get my work finished instead of worrying about picas and sans versus serif.

Aside from that, there haven’t been too many cease & desists on my part in the past decade. Jobs and internships tended to end on their own or for valid reasons (summer’s over, softball season is starting, going to college, etc.). I had a couple waitress gigs that I managed to get out of by leaving a cordial note for the manager announcing my two weeks’ notice. But I’ve never really had that legit, well-sir-it’s-been-a-pleasure, sit-down, I quit talk before.

Until now.

There was no yelling. No lecturing. No expletive-laden proclamations of self-righteousness. There were some butterflies in the stomach, a slightly-embarrassing wavering of the voice, and, then, the feeling of a balloon being set free. But more than that was this inexplicable sense of maturity and confidence, like after a half dozen years of being stuck at 17, I finally graduated to 24.

How is it that in doing something I’ve been taught is weak and immature, I’ve never felt so grown-up and strong?


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

weak and immature? hardly. recognizing when something’s not right for you and acting on it–that takes courage, motivation, and self-knowledge. you go girl! :]

Comment by alyssacr

It is not a weakness but an internal drive. A chance to experience life. You are allowing yourself to open the doors, to a new adventure that is not organized or structured. Not many people can say that. Everyday is an adventure. Uncle Tom and I were just talked about me setting goals for myself. Striving to be better everyday by meeting your goals and developing new goals and challengs. Go for it. Don’t sit back and let life pass you by.

Comment by aunt karen

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