An Ode to Quitting

Quitting isn’t just quitting a job.

Though you can quit that, too.

It’s also quitting an idea, a project, a conception of ourselves, a perception of others, a dream that is no longer true.

It’s putting something to rest that’s not right and starting over again even if we are far, far along.

Quitting is spacious. It’s making room to become anyone, anything, anywhere.

Quitting is a declaration. It says that the path you’re on right is not the one.

Quitting is figurative. You can quit ways of viewing the world and in doing so become free of your own opinions and open to seeing the world through another's eyes.

Quitting is clarity. It’s raking the muck to find the muddied jewels that will shine once again.

Quitting is your choice. No one will make it for you and almost everyone will advise you against it.

Quitting is frightening.

It’s unpinning the foundation and setting the birds aflutter.

It’s the brave process of elimination that means loss, the thing we so desperately seek to avoid.

Quitting is admitting that you’re unhappy, failing or imperfect, and in this way quitting is human.

Quitting is freeing. Feel the ropes snap off of you.

Don’t mistake quitting for cowardice; acting on self-knowledge is bravery, in its purest form.

Quitting is about starting fresh.

Drop a habit, appetite or attitude and feel your cells renew, one by one.

Quit for the unlimited possibilities of a new beginning.

Quit for second chances and third chances and 100th chances.

Quit because your heart aches in every corner of your body.

Quit for those old ghosts that haunt you. It’s never too late to banish them, quit so you don’t become them.

Quit because it’s the right thing to do.

Quit if it feels morally wrong, ethically wrong, spiritually wrong, wrong in a way that curdles inside of you.

Revenge isn’t a reason for quitting; in the end, you will lose who you are.

Quit when it will make things better for everyone else. Sometimes you owe it to the world to step down.

Quit while you’re ahead, quit while you’re behind, it doesn’t matter. Quit when what comes next is more important than what is now.

Everyone around you may never dream of quitting. That’s okay, wish them the best as you exit through the door.

Quit with grace and gratitude. What you leave behind may find you again some day; make that reunion joyous.

Quit with generosity. Offer to help mend the pieces that your departure will scatter.

Quit with certainty and humility. Don’t second guess yourself but remember that life is long and the difference a day can make is monumental. Everything changes quickly.

Quitting may require the wrenching act of letting people down. That’s okay, sometimes you need to save the only life you can: your own.

Quit with a plan so the emptiness afterwards won’t consume you.

Quit with no plan. Trust that the emptiness will inspire you.

Quit with zest. Celebrate your departure and pay deference to everyone and everything that’s led you to this next step.

When you quit, behold the glittering calm after the storm, the proof that you have survived.

Then look forward.

Tell your story of quitting however you tell stories: on paper, to friends out-loud to yourself. Tell it because it’s brave and honest and the world wants these things.

Quitting is fleeting: a single act that exists in a sliver of time.

The only thing to do after quitting is what’s next. 

Something new, fresh and fierce.

Quit to be the best you, the fiercest you, the you that is reformed again and again into the infinite possibilities of the self, the only reason to quit.


This post inspired by:

Two people at work quitting. When they leave, we will hug them tightly goodbye and wish them the very best, applauding their journey forward.