This has been a month in which I’ve considered quitting many times. I’ve thought about quitting the challenge, I’ve thought about quitting running, I’ve thought about quitting my job.
Yesterday, a friend posted an article from Psychology Today on Facebook. It was billed as “8 Ways You Can Tell That It’s the Right Time to Quit” – so many capitals, so much expert advice! Sadly, predictably, the 8 Ways aren’t quite as cut and dry as you’d wish. But some words stood out to me:
“Despite the cultural mantra, quitting an endeavor or relationship which is no longer making you happy, is failing and cannot be fixed, or which no longer meets your needs is a healthy response as long as it’s the first step toward a new goal and destination.”
Here’s the thing about the writing I’ve done this month.
It has made me happy. It’s been hard and imposing, sure, but I’ve always felt glad to get my words out there in the world. I’ve enjoyed reading your writing, and commenting on it, and then hearing back from you when you comment on my own writing. I’ve been made happy by feeling a little more connected to the world.
It is the very opposite of failure. The brilliant and kind women of Two Writing Teachers have made failure impossible. They have wrapped this work in support – checking in on all of us regularly, providing daily reminders and inspiration, linking us through welcome wagons. Which is not to say that some days a post goes unnoticed, and taht sometimes we might miss an entry, but that’s really not the same as failing.
Most of all, it meets my needs. It teaches me. It impacts me. It puts me in all my minds – daughter, wife, parent, teacher, student, coach, citizen – at once. It tells me that there are a great many people out there engaged in really hard work to reach their students, even when they don’t have classrooms themselves.
I’m learning how to quit, how to say no, but here, in this case, in this moment, I’m so glad I didn’t.