I recall a poster that was located outside the library of my middle school, on it was a Macintosh menu (from the late 90s) the curser had selected “Never Quit” (normally on a mac it would say quit here).
The first time I saw this was over 15 years ago, and the last time I did was a bit over 12 years ago, but I still remember very well. I guess that the way the message of never quitting was conveyed struck a chord with me.
Often times I would not quit, I would go on, persevere even if it was okay to quit. Sometimes I did quit quicker than I should have. I quit playing the violin, I quit playing the piano. But then I did not give up when I was completely devastated by a bad mark in school or a problem that seemed impossible to overcome.
I don’t like to quit reading a book, so sometimes I force myself to finish even if I then feel I have been robbed of my time. Other books, the ones I like, but that due to x or y reason I don’t want to continue right away are put on pause. Such a pause can at times last quite a while. A book that I don’t like cannot be paused, it will result in quitting…
When I went off to university, I was scared of quitting, quitting would translate as failing. The only problem I had was that I had a very hard time during my first year. I studied politics and economics, but I could not get my head around the economics. I was good in maths and world economy. When it came to microeconomics and statistics I was miserable (I failed the statistics exam but managed to pass the module). At one point in my first year, one of my professors talked about banks and banking and concluded his lesson with “well that’s theory, which has become obsolete, just look at our local bank Northern Rock”(not an exact quote). I was studying in Newcastle Upon Tyne, I went there only weeks after the economic crisis started with the failing of Northern Rock. His statement along with other things made me think again about what I was studying. Did I really want to study theory that was going to invalidate itself quicker than I could finish my degree?
I am not really good with theory, maybe it’s due to that. I quit economics at the end of my first year, and could fully concentrate on Politics and it was a good decision. The subjects were often opposing each other in ethics and the two schools I was in weren’t all that communicative. I felt the difference, my results were better, my thoughts were a lot more structured, and my time could be organised more efficiently.
Two years ago, almost exactly two years ago. I quit my job as a school teacher. I loved working with the kids in my classroom and that even though some of them were very difficult. I learnt that I really enjoy teaching and that I can communicate with children. So why did I quit? Well I was pregnant with my daughter. Standing in front of a classroom while pregnant is not the best thing, but I also had a 1 hour commute with public transportation. For a total of 6 and a half hours of lessons a week I spend 4 hours in transportation. I worked on two days, one with a break of 4 or 5 hours, but not enough to go back home and rest. Those free hours I used to grade papers and prepare lessons, but it was exhausting. I made far less money teaching in school than I did with private tutoring, but that was not even an argument that I took into account. I listened to my heart and decided that I should quit. I think that it was a good decision for my daughters and my own safety.
There is nothing wrong with trying and quitting, if you don’t like it. Of course quitting too early might not be the best thing. I think that maybe the “Never Quit” might be a bit too extreme. After all if you smoke, it might be a smart move to quit…
So sometimes I quit. Sometimes I don’t. There are times when quitting is the right decisions, and there are times where I should have thought again before quitting.
Do you often quit things? Do you think one should never quit or is quitting ok? Do you see quitting as failure, as giving up? How long do you try?
© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.