Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Confessionals: I'm a Quitter


As a child, my parents heartily stressed the importance of not being a "quitter". For every new lesson or set of expectations, from riding a bike to learning the french horn, I developed a stubborn reslove to keep trying. This head-bashing-against-the-wall mule-brained obstinate attitude I'd developed was an admirable quality according to many of my teachers, uncles and parents. It was helpful when learning to water ski, weed a garden, drive a car.
In truth, I would like things to come easy for me and I do not especially enjoy the process of failure, frustration and having no real mastery in any one arena. I've wasted weeks, months, years even decades doing things that I should have quit long ago simply to avoid the shame of being the dreaded "quitter." Perhaps I'd learned too well the lesson that says "the only way to fail is to give up". Looking back, I appreciate this wisdom (after all I do know how to ride a bike and play the horn). Yet, in many ways my committment to not being a quitter caused unneccessary suffering and depleted my imagination and faith in new possibilities. So, I confess, I am a quitter.

I quit:

Smoking.

My first husband.

My housekeeping job. (thankfully, no more scrubbing public toilets!)

Worrying about unemployment.

Being afraid after being assuaulted by a homeless man at the library and the neighbor's vicious dog.

Asking permission for every little thing.

Expecting too much from my teenager.

Trying to be perfect.

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