I Believe in Quitting

Danielle - Woodside, California
Entered on October 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change

I grew up in a really competitive environment. Every parent I knew was either a doctor, lawyer or businessman, and their children were expected to do the same through intense schooling. It was the road to success, and I knew not to mess with it, because from what I heard failing one test could land you on the streets. With this childhood, I have learned a few important lessons. Besides the fact that I am more skeptical of what I hear, I also believe that quitting does not make you a loser.

I am not saying that it is good to drop everything that presents you with a problem, or to leave projects you start unfinished. But I do believe that if you know something is not right for you, quitting on a whim can open up a world of opportunities.

I think the reason I decided to quit my summer job and go on a road trip with my friends to the Grand Canyon had a lot to do with our recent obsession with the movie “Thelma and Louise”. Like the characters in the movie, I was not happy. I worked at a teen clothing store with a barely legal paycheck and a power hungry, gossip-loving boss to match. Although it was mindless work, I never once thought about the option of quitting. I just assumed that all work was terrible because really, who likes their job anyway? For some reason this movie gave me the confidence to leave, even though I had no idea what my next step would be. What I did know was that going on an adventure would help end one part of my life and lead me to new discoveries to start the rest.

I could not have asked for a better trip. Hiking through the Grand Canyon with my friends was just as new of an experience as we had on our long drives, and overnights in cheap motels. Looking down over the side of the vast canyons really puts into perspective how insignificant you and your problems, such as stressing over work, actually are.

The spontaneity of the trip led me to believe in making daring, spur of the moment decisions. I even applied for a job I thought I would never qualify for, working at an art company helping with the graphics in their new textbooks. I loved the idea that I got my dream job because I followed a hunch and quit the old one.

Quitting led me on an adventure. I believe that with careful planning I never would have had the same experience or received the same opportunity that I did. Taking a risk led me to a lifestyle better suited for me. And this has led me to believe that quitting really is the winning route to take.