By Pooja Marwah
All through our life, no matter what age we may be, the word ‘quit’ is deeply embedded inside us with a strong sense of guilt.
Quitting equals failure.
And this statement is not up for debate.
It’s almost as though the minute we take one decision, we are forced to live up to that for the rest of our life, irrespective of the fact whether it even renders us happy! It could be a friendship, a career choice or even a marriage. Very often, I am given the example of the olden times when marriages lasted.
But that is all they did – Last. ‘Last’, so society was happy. ‘Last’ so children were content. The naked truth here is that they only lasted because the woman wasn’t financially independent to live her own life. She was taught at an early age that, no matter what, divorce was not an option. And if that meant living a compromised life, so be it! After all, happiness is a state of mind!
But if the mind is harboured with complacent pre-fed thoughts and forced choices, how can happiness find a place to co-exist? This beautiful gift called life is yours to live. The dreams you imagine are yours to bring alive. The choices you make have consequences but they are yours to live with or rectify. At every step, you need to treat yourself as a work in progress. It is okay if you find the grass greener on the other side and you want to venture out to experience for yourself. It is absolutely fine if you decide that the career of your dreams isn’t quite your dream after a decade of pursuing it. Just because you make one choice is no reason to tie yourself down to it until time memorial if it doesn’t serve you. It is a sinking feeling to realise that something you once went after with a passion, no longer makes you want to hold your breath, but once that realisation dawns, it is virtually impossible to go back.
Look at nature for example. It has seasons, distinct ones at that. But more often than not, it extends a hot summer or skips the monsoon entirely. Of course, various factors determine this change but what it goes to show is that change is the only constant in life. Summer may be given a fixed 3 month timeline but it may choose to extend it by a few weeks for a particular year. Trees have leaves but they shed too once their purpose is achieved and fall on the ground and act as compost, fertilising the soil. If it were attached to the tree forever, all it would do is shrivel and die. How would it help in adding the nutrients the soil needed? How would it know that it had more purpose besides being the tree’s ‘kitchen’.
Each of us is here for a purpose and we have to keep digging and finding what that may be. To quit something in search of a certain newness does not give anyone the right to judge you or chastise you. There is no black mark on you if you decide to walk away from a friendship or goal. The question to ask yourself at that crossroads is not if you are being selfish but if you are respecting the choice you once made.
Quitting does not make you a loser. On the other hand, it makes you take charge of your own life and innovate it, pivot it and add value to yourself so that you can add value to the world. For, if you stay on in a situation that no longer serves you, all you are going to be is that frozen leaf which has nothing left in it.
(Pooja Poddar Marwah is an award winning author and Blogger. She writes an contemporary living and offers incisive reflections on the world around us. Her blog, Random Conversations is a go to guide to deal with the myraid stuggles we face each day.)