Happy Day 11 of our Dry January Journaling series - it's starting to really feel like a rhythm, thank you so much for sharing this space with me!
Here is today's prompt:
"Have you ever quit anything? What did it feel like? Do you feel like quitting is a good thing or a bad thing?"
I remember hearing the writer Bob Goff say once that he quit something every Thursday. I was like 20 at the time and I remember being shocked at that idea. How could he handle disappointing people all the time?
It wasn't until 10 years later that I realized that the reason Bob was quitting things so often wasn't because he wasn't afraid of disappointing others, it was just that he was MORE afraid of disappointing himself. He quit anything that didn't serve him because he was interested in creating a life that he wanted to show up for.
My first big quit was when I was 7 and quit the little league softball team. I know it sounds trivial but my entire family played sports and specifically softball so for baby Crissy - this was huge. I remember that it was lucky that I was allowed to quit and if I ever started another hobby, I would have to at least finish out the year with that thing. No pressure.
Now that I'm 32 - I've quit a few more things. I quit church in 2015. Quit some reallllly toxic friendships in the years that followed. Most recently, I quit booze. I'm also working on quitting unhealthy family dynamics and the idea that other people's happiness comes before my own. I'm also working on quitting people pleasing. Sometimes quitting isn't linear.
I want to make it clear that none of these things that I quit were done gracefully or beautifully. But they were all necessary to my journey. Walking away from the parts of our lives that don't serve us anymore is so fucking terrifying but it is so necessary if we want the next part of our life to begin.
When I walked away from church, I remember I tried to make it work with some people from there still. But because of the years of emotional control and manipulation that our relationship often consisted of, I wasn't able to be my full self around them. I didn't feel safe in there presence anymore and it was unfair to both of us to act like things were normal. It was so uncomfortable and I was so scared.
That's what it always so surprising about quitting. It is so fucking scary. Sometimes I have built things up in my life (people, jobs, places) as much bigger and greater than they actually are. When reality slapped me in the face, I had a choice to make. I either had to quit the decision the moment I realized things were wrong or try to fix them for months until I eventually still ended up quitting (lol). The fear of people's reaction to my quitting stopped me EVERY DANG TIME!
I was so scared of what would happened to me if I quit this thing. Would I get hurt? Would I be safe? Would I be happy?
But I realized something - I am getting hurt now by this dynamic, I don't feel safe with this person, and lastly - I am already experiencing unhappiness so if I'm afraid of experiencing those things, I'm experiencing them now and I'm okay. It's time to trust myself enough to move on.
Quitting church and subsequently most of my relationships left me so much room in my life and my schedule. All of the sudden I had all of this free time which at first scared the hell out of me. But as I left myself learn and grow - I was able to begin to figure out who I was.
Because the thing is, in reality I had spent 25 years so busy with church and success and making other people happy that I had no fucking clue who I was.
I thought all of my accomplishments and goals made me who I was but when I walked away from all of those things that I thought were important - I was able to see the girl who was underneath all of that.
Quitting is fucking freeing, man. It is so beautiful to walk away from things that are stealing from your joy.
Give yourself permission to create the life that you want. Quit relationships, jobs, churches, friends, and partners who want to restrict that creation of your life.
People often say quitters never win but I'd like to challenge that statement and say the only way to win at what you love is to quit what is killing you.
What could you discover if you left some of those things behind? How much freedom would you find if you took off the weight of carrying the opinions of others? Would you be if you were allowed to actually be yourself and not the person other people want you to be?
Quitting is the first step to freedom. And there is no shame to be found there.