It’s been one of those months where I’ve wanted to throw my hands up and quit. Have you been there? Big stuff is brewing in your life, hard stuff. It’s heavy and all over you, and all you want is out.
For me, work and writing have been the hard stuff.
Writing is usually hard, but it feels particularly hard right now, and I’ve wanted to quit. Because this is what I do when things feel hard. I want to quit them, and then I decide I need to quit everything else too. Work…people…America. It’s a quick spiral.
Tell me you’ve been there.
Tell me I am not crazy in my occasional bouts of quitting-it-all.
I recently started reading Annie Downs’ new book Looking for Lovely. In it, she talks about her struggles with being a quitter:
“I’ve never been good at looking past my current pain or suffering and trusting that it will pay off in the future. I think the road has always seemed too long. So when a situation feels painful or scary or hard, I want out.”
Me too, Annie, me too.
I hate feeling uncomfortable.
So my default is to try to escape what’s making me uncomfortable. Over the past two years, though, God has been gently teaching me what it looks like to “sit in the tension.”
Instead of running away, consider staying where you are.
I was sharing some of my tension and desire to quit with a friend the other day. She said something very simple that I really needed to hear: “The moment you start feeling like you’re going to quit, don’t.”
Just don’t. Back away from the quitting ledge and keep walking, however slowly, however slumped over.
Just keep going.
If what you’re doing is really worth it, it will be worth going after. I realize that some stuff isn’t worth struggling to the finish line for. There are things I look back on in my life that I quit (like club volleyball in high school for example) that I don’t regret quitting.
They weren’t for me and, therefore, were actually keeping me from being me.
But there are other things I think back on and know, if I had stuck it out a little longer, it could have been something good for me.
Writing is one of those things.
I just know, deep down inside of me I know, I’m supposed to keep giving it what I can even though what I have to give right now is not much.
I guess that’s the good thing about not quitting though.
Not quitting doesn’t mean plowing full speed ahead. It just means choosing to take one more step. When I think of it this way, it’s much less daunting.
So in this slow, unsteady and insecure season I have decided to do what my friend suggested and not quit. You’ll see me beside the road. I’ll be the one walking a little slowly, my shoulders might be a little slumped over, but I’ll be going in the right direction.
And trust me, that’s better than running in the wrong one.