“If you quit ONCE it becomes a habit. Never quit!!!” – Michael Jordan
“Things can always get worse, but only quitters quit!” – Nina Sakura
It’s a pretty clear message right? We have all been raised in a society where quitting is pretty much an unacceptable option, much like choosing Alex over Nikki (not that I’m bitter or anything). When you quit something, people often assume you’ve taken the easy way out; that you have no fight, no determination. It’s not exactly how anyone wants to be perceived.
It’s very true that things can always get worse, but why should we stick around waiting for that to happen? Is there some kind of medal to be won for stubbornly remaining in a less-than-favourable situation? It’s not just me who thinks that sounds crazy right? Yet, we all seem to have this inbuilt “quality” which makes it almost impossible for us to walk away from things. I think it’s fear. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. At least, that’s what it was for me.
After two years in London spent discovering a new me (or, the real me as I see it) life flew me across the pond to Sydney for a new challenge. My entire perspective on life had transformed over the past couple of years and, despite not being quite ready for another move, I was actually excited at the thought of a new adventure in yet another new city.
Sydney was far from an easy transition, with the first few months being some of the toughest I have ever faced. I went from being surrounded by friends to not knowing anyone, from knowing the ins and outs of my job to having to start almost from scratch. My family was tantalisingly close and yet still so far. I was scared, pure and simple.
One year. I just have to make it through a year. That was my mantra for those first few months. When I felt completely alone and as though my life had been flipped on its head, I pushed on. I dug in my heels and simply refused to quit. Then, as they often do, things got better.
The story could end there really, but here’s the thing: things can get better and still be “wrong”. That’s what it felt like in Sydney…wrong and yet, I just couldn’t give up. I could not quit. I couldn’t be that person.
It was during a trip to see my family in Melbourne that the other shoe finally dropped. You see, there is another facet to quitting, and that is surrendering. It’s when you realise that this thing you’ve been fighting so hard for has changed you. Slowly but surely, it has chipped away. First, the pieces are so small you barely even notice. Then, in the blink of an eye, you realise you no longer know the person staring back at you. Much like a toxic relationship, this is the time to get out (if not sooner). When you decide that you want more, deserve more.
Osayi Emokpae Lasisi, author of Impossible is Stupid, put it best: “Quitting is not giving up, it’s choosing to focus your attention on something more important. Quitting is not losing confidence, it’s realising that there are more valuable ways you can spend your time. Quitting is not making excuses, it’s learning to be more productive, efficient and effective instead. Quitting is letting go of things (or people) that are sucking the life out of you so you can do more things that will bring you strength.”
So forget society and what everyone thinks we’re supposed to do and just remember, it’s your life and nobody else’s. Besides, there is an ‘I’ in quit 😉
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