I have known people who played the same sport almost every day for over a decade, from childhood through college, and still struggled with the idea of "quitting" the sport even when it was not bringing her any happiness anymore. So it's not ok to quit something if you have only just started, and then it's also not ok to quit something if you have been at it for a while. When IS it ok to quit something? How long are you supposed to give it before you can appropriately decide you have had enough?
I haven't had too much trouble with that question for myself.* In fact, I am proud to be a quitter. I quit the swim team when I broke my arm in 6th grade and realized how much more free time I would have if I didn't swim anymore. I quit taking voice lessons after my instructor humiliated me during a lesson. I quit soccer, softball, tennis, ballet, piano, bass guitar, water polo, two finance jobs, one PhD program and probably a bunch of other things I can't even remember quitting.
My proudest moment as a quitter, though, was when I quit college for a year. I was so tired of school. I was tired of feeling like I had to perform and achieve all the time. I just wanted to live for a little while. And even though I was afraid of what people would think, I did it. I decided a few weeks before what would have been my junior year of college that I just wasn't going back. People talked about me. They said I "dropped out" of college and wondered how my parents could have "let" me do that. But that decision was the most liberating and empowering one I have ever made. It helped me to get over some of my fears about what everyone else would say. It was the best year of my life (up until then).
|I tried snowshoeing once too.|
I still try things. If I like something, I stick with it. If it makes me happy, it belongs in my life. If it doesn't make me happy all the time, but it is worth whatever struggles come with it, then it belongs in my life. But if I can't think of one good reason to keep doing something other than "I just don't want to quit," then it's out.
*Thanks, Mom and Dad, for letting me quit stuff.
More on quitting:
A Kid Who's Not a Quitter?