mental health, ryn

To quit or not to quit?

Unpopular opinion time… I believe in the cathartic power of quitting.

Being a “quitter” is seen as weak. People love to act like sticking with things makes them a martyr, like they’re somehow better or stronger for refusing to quit. Whether this be a hobby, a partner, a job, quitting things that aren’t working is the source of a lot of guilt. But here’s the thing – you don’t owe anyone or anything your time.

Let’s start with the easy examples. Have you ever kinda hated a book you were reading, but felt compelled to see it through to the end? Or have you ever watched a movie all the way through because you felt obligated to once it started?  How many cumulative hours of your life on this planet have you spent begrudgingly finishing things you weren’t enjoying, just for the sake of it?

A harder subject is leaving relationships. Whether it be a romance, a friendship, even a relationship with a family member, it can be really difficult to admit that you once found joy in a connection that has passed its expiration date. But that’s the thing, we grow and change throughout our lives. It’s okay to decide that though someone has been precious to you, you’d both be better off spending your time nurturing new connections with people better suited to your current selves. Just because you have loved and cared for someone, does not mean that you owe them the rest of your life. Most people end up wasting years and years of their lives unhappy, just because they feel guilty cutting ties that aren’t working for them anymore.

Have you ever quit a job and felt an almost euphoric flood of relief? It’s a feeling akin to cancelling plans. Like at last, you are finally free. (People don’t feel free when they stop doing something they actually want to do, PSA.)

I’ve always felt this way. It comes from my deep curiosity and desire to experience new things. Because I am constantly learning new skills, trying new hobbies, and meeting new people, I can’t possibly devote my time to every single thing just because I started it. I need to make room for the things that unearth true passions in me, and for the people with whom I form deep, mutually engaging relationships. Something can be fun while it lasts, and remain a great memory that you get to keep forever.

So, to quit or not to quit? It’s not even a question. If something isn’t working for me and I feel meh about it, I’d be better off spending my time elsewhere. In all likelihood, so would you.

– Ryn

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