palinThis past week, I’ve been thinking about quitting—not about me giving anything up or renouncing anything in particular, but the actually act of quitting something.  First, Sarah Palin up and randomly announces she’s going to resign as a Governor of Alaska and then while I was joyously dancing, my friend Chris quit twitter.  Someone leaving twitter is hardly noteworthy. But it was a little surprising because Chris was one of the people who poked and prodded me into getting an account and tweeting (Shameless shelf-promotion: follow me @WordyNinja.)  Chris was also the person who got me into blogging and he also recently quit his blog, which was pretty popular.   “I decided to quit twitter and my blog because I just felt they were draining too much of my creative energy,” he told me later, “and I needed all I could muster to focus on my other writing.”  I can’t really hold it against Chris for wanting to quit.  If the constant writing grind for both were distracting him from what he truly want to do, then it was his responsibility to himself.

For the most part, unless it’s in regards to something negative (i.e. smoking or shooting heroin between your toes), quitting is viewed as weak.  It’s a sentiment my father made sure to impart on me while I was growing up. Phrases like “Always see things to the through,” and “Finish what you start,” were throw about.  And whenever I did quit some activity or association (Boy Scouts or the track team) he was sure to express his disappointment.  When I smoked about a pack of cigarettes a day, I used to joke to anyone who suggested that it was not the best for my health that “my dad hates quitters.”

But how often do we honestly see things through to the end?  I can only think of a handful of times where I’ve had the opportunity to follow something all the way to its natural conclusion—let alone done it.  Everything ends by quitting.  Got a new job? Quit your old one.  Need to move forward past a bad relationship? You’ve got to breakup.  If that extra activity isn’t an enjoyment anymore, why not stop and do what you really want to?  If you never quit, you would still be in situations after you were ready to move on and your life would be  stagnant.  There is something cathartic about saying “Fuck this” and walking away.

I get why Chris quit.  It was the only for him to move forward.  I haven’t gotten there yet—so I don’t expect I’ll quit blogging or tweeting anytime soon, but I hope to someday.

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