I’m Not A Quitter, I’m a Tryer

In the midst of our oh-so-busy lives, there is an eagerness, a strong gust of wind called willpower that helps us to get through our days. Willpower helps you be determined and stay determined. It guides you through the thick and thin and tells you not to give up. But…what happens when you just want to quit? When all you want to do is quit your job and quit your classes? Why do we keep going if it’s so hard? And, what happens when it gets too hard for us to keep going?

I have never been a quitter. When I am “in” something, I stay “in it” until the end, even if I hate it. But, right now, all I want to do is quit.¬†My current life situation involves little rest, no time for myself, and hours and hours of corrections and lesson planning. Yep. You guessed it…I am a student-teacher. I am currently forced to take on a role that I have never done before. 100% workload, teaching four classes a day, embracing and suffering through student-life and teacher-life. I have always had willpower…I have always been determined. But, right now, all I want is to jump into my bed and pull the covers over my head until my stage ends in April. I have never felt so overworked in my life. Overworked, underpaid, demotivated. But, I keep persevering. I keep going in to school. I keep going, because of the students. I keep going, because even though it’s hard, and even though I’m exhausted, I know that it is an experience that I need. Life wouldn’t throw this at me if I couldn’t handle it.

What does this say about quitting though? If I wanted to quit, shouldn’t that be OK too? Our North American values say NO. We aren’t quitters. We do things until we can’t do them anymore. We keep going. But, what if I hated teaching? What if I had a real passion for something else? For something beyond this realm of exhaustion?

My second passion lies with psychology. I want a second M.A. degree in Counseling or Educational Psychology, but I’m just so tired. I would love to jump into this second degree right away after I finish my current M.A., but what if I decide against it? Does this make me a quitter? And, what if I decide not to teach after all of this hard work?

These are all questions I have been asking myself for quite some time. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. I’m 24, turning 25 in a few months. I will be a quarter of a century old and I still feel like indecisive and, at times, incapable. I worry that if I’m thrown into the world too quickly that I will crash and burn out just as fast. I worry that if I also don’t make a decision or choose a path, that I will also crash and burn out.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  1. Your path is not a straight line. You can go left, right, up, down and sideways until you get it right. You do not have a timeline for this. Your career, your life, your direction, will all fall into place.
  2. Time is everything. If this isn’t the right time for you to get a specific degree, then decide to do something else for the time being. Keep persevering if that’s what you want to do. But, if not, then who cares? It’s your life. Don’t let society tell you that your age is a factor. I know several people who are in their 50s and 60s and going back to University to get a new degree.
  3. Life isn’t perfect. You aren’t either. If you’re struggling, let yourself struggle. Don’t let the challenges deter you.
  4. Quitting is an option, as long as YOU make the decision, and as long as it isn’t out of laziness. If you hate what you’re doing, then you need to ask yourself what you want. No person other than yourself can help you figure that out. No friend or career advisor can tell you what to do.

The thing about life is that we have a lot of questions with very few answers. We, humans, hate not having answers. We hate making decisions without knowing the repercussions. We hate not knowing what comes after this, or that. But, the thing is, life doesn’t want you to quit trying. If you try, then that is good enough. Stick through whatever challenge you have going for you right now. Stick through it, and push through. If you quit, it is ultimately your decision, and no one should blame you for that.¬†Quitting isn’t dangerous or bad. Sometimes you need to quit something to find another thing along the way. But if you can hold yourself together, then don’t quit. Keep going until you can’t keep going anymore.

So, it isn’t so much about quitting after all. It’s about “trying.”

Keep trying, people.

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