Be a quitter. It’s okay. If you aren’t enjoying the book you’re reading, go ahead and shut it, never to pick it up again. Really, the world won’t fall apart. You could even go bigger than quitting a book. You could quit the hobby you don’t enjoy any more, or quit hanging out with people who no longer have a positive impact on your life. You can quit eating food that isn’t good for you. You can even quit your diet. How about your job? Is it draining the life from your body and soul and wasting years of your life?
I recently made a decision to quit a certification program in surgical technology. In the beginning, I was very excited to start a new adventure in the medical field…a field I always wanted to be a part of. I yearned for it. I quit a job that I loved, so I could do something new. It was a huge risk. My husband and I made the choice to live on a measly disability paycheck that he gets every month. It was a risky move, but the idea was that I could ultimately get a better paying job, doing something I loved, within a year. I enjoyed the academics of school, but when it came to working in an operating room, it slowly dawned on me that I didn’t like it…at all. The operating room is very high stress, I found myself looking at the clock every five minutes while at the hospital, wondering if it was time to leave yet. I absolutely dreaded going in to the hospital on clinical days. So many people were happy for me when I decided to go to school and it was so great in the beginning. People would ask me if I love it and I would say yes, while thinking to myself that I didn’t think I did. It took me awhile to admit to myself that this wasn’t right for me. How could I spend the rest of my life doing something that I already dreaded? Four months into the program, I quit. I didn’t consult with anyone about my decision. I made it myself. It was okay to quit. Guess what? The world hasn’t fallen apart. In fact, I’m at peace knowing that I no longer have to live with the regret that I never went into the medical field.
I left school with a game plan. I would apply to substitute teach in the school system that I quit working for to return to school. While doing that, I would look for something permanent. Again, it was a risky move. The job market isn’t great, and substitute teaching is only as needed. So far, it has worked out. I look at this time as a transition period. I am working, and waiting for the right job. I’m 46 years old and don’t want to settle any more for what’s available. I don’t want to settle for a crappy job that bores me. I don’t want to settle for a job that other people think I would enjoy or a job that I should take because I’m not working a permanent job right now. I have three kids and a sick husband to think about. While I need something that can pay the bills, I refuse to be miserable to do it. Some people may understand that, some may not. I don’t need them to understand.
I am now in a place in my life where I realize how short life really is. This is MY life, and while it affects others, I am the one who ultimately has to live it. I have responsibilities to my children and husband. I would never sacrifice their well being in a selfish way. It’s better for them to have a happy mother and wife, not a miserable one who is living like a robot, doing what everyone else expects of her. I’ve spent most of my life, doing what is expected by others, all at my own expense. I am now choosing to live authentically by doing what is right for me, based on my own feelings, desires and needs. If I do that, my husband and kids will be better off. I will have more energy for them. I will be happier, so they will be happier.
I’ve heard so many people say so many times that they “can’t” quit something that no longer serves them. They started a book, they don’t like it, but they feel they have to finish it. They started a karate class, or learning how to knit, or training for a new job, and they can’t quit. They are hanging out with someone who brings them down, or treats them as if they are only a friend of convenience, or they blow them off when something better comes along. But, they can’t stop being friends because they don’t want to make them feel bad. Really? Obviously, people like that aren’t too concerned about your feelings. Let them go. My point isn’t to live selfishly with no regard for others. My point is to be honest with yourself, see when something isn’t serving you, and let it go. There are no prizes for finishing that book that bores you to the point that your eyes are glazed over. Close it and get a new one. The prize is much bigger if you quit that which you hate. It frees up your time to do the things you really enjoy, that bring positivity to your life, and maybe give you a feeling of peace. Life is too short to waste time on things that aren’t right.