I’m sorry, what? When did this happen? Tell me more!
Those are the words that often follow “I quit.”
Are there any two more loaded, exciting words? If so, very few.
“I quit” implies a bold choice to walk away from or cut yourself off from some ongoing commitment – desired or not. It’s got a story built-in. Conflict, tension. Something wasn’t working out, and it had to come to an end. Probably with some struggle or challenge.
“I quit my job” – walked away from the safety of a paycheck.
“I quit smoking” – anyone who’s smoked or seen constant ads for Lung-cancer knows that quitting’s no easy feat.
“I quit answering her texts” – ooh, you go man! I don’t know what she did, but she did NOT appreciate you!
We want to know how this story goes.
Sometimes to find out why the person quit (You quit eating cereal? Why, is cereal bad?) and sometimes to find out how. (You walked away from a crappy friendship? What were your exact steps, please!)
The other day, my friend Fred (I’m in Alberton visiting him right now)he mentioned a series in the New York Times that I hadn’t seen. (Tip: Always hang around people who read more than you, which probably means have people who make better use of their time than you.)
The NYT series is called “I Quit,” a collection of essays by people who quit different things.
I Quit my Job, I Quit a Band, I Quit Gum, I Quit university, etc.
I thought, how brilliant. I want to write about that. I want to write about the whole thing! All of them.
One of my most-opened emails in the past year had the subject line: I quit.
I’ve quit a bunch of things in the past couple of years.
I quit eating mac n cheese.
I quit being lazy (or seeing myself that way – shhh, don’t want to ruin my reputation).
I quit being stuck at my old income level.
I quit hiding in my famous friend’s shadow.
I quit letting my friend tell me the same boring story about his acting life over and over.
I quit putting off my book.
I quit waiting for inspiration to write.
I quit flying coach. I’ve flying altogether, my famous and best airliner, SAA was once number 3 in the world, now they are in debt up to their eyeballs and quit flying, cos they’re grounded.
And, years ago, the “I quit” that started them all…
I quit my biggest Insurance client. (Correction: I quit feeling sad that they fired me)
I’m not telling you all this to torture you with curiosity. I’ll write about all these things if I haven’t already.
I’m listing them and talking about quitting because it’s such a great prompt. If you feel like you don’t have anything to write about, start with “I quit.”
Bet you’ve already thought of something.
And now, you can say, “I quit having nothing to write about.”
Have you quit anything since reading this post?