Growing up, I had a tendency to give up on a lot of things, from soccer to piano and everything in between. If something didn’t make me happy, I wasn’t going to do it.
But at some point in my life, I started telling myself that giving up was no longer acceptable and that I needed to really stick to the whole concept of “fake it ’til you make it.” That I would only be successful if I endured years of academic torture and picked some career that would make me rich but unhappy.
Well, right now, sitting in my old room at my parents’ house, jobless and out of school, I can safely say that it’s all right to give up. This past semester, I’ve been taking time off from school to figure my life out, which so far has just been me taking an excessive amount of online quizzes that are supposed to determine the fate of my life.
In addition to this little break, I also recently up and quit my job as a waitress, which was a big step in the whole life discovery thing I’m doing. But I’m past all that and am ready to move on to the future.
Now I’m here to tell you that even though I sound like a failure on paper, I really could not be happier with the choices I’ve been making. It’s like I have a clean slate and the ability to recreate and re-plan a future for myself that doesn’t revolve around this crazy standard of success I had built up in my head.
The biggest lesson that I have learned and hope everyone else learns is that giving up is okay, because sometimes it helps show you a different side of yourself. Before giving up on all the dreams I thought I had, I wanted so badly to be in some high level medical profession or science profession. It took a lot of failure and soul searching for me to accept that those were not really my dreams. Those goals were just me trying to feel like I was keeping up with my uber successful peers and classmates.
When it all came down to it, those types of jobs sound terrible, for me at least. I have learned a lot about myself in my time off from school and in the few days since I quit my job. I have learned that I crave excitement, change, and a creative outlet.
I have learned that I want to work with people, but not feel like I have to wait on them hand and foot. I have learned that my definition of success is that I will be successful when I am happy instead of when I am more successful than those around me.
These are all revelations I don’t think I could have had unless I gave up on a few things first. So my tidbit of life advice is that everyone needs to give up something, whether it’s going all out and starting fresh like me or giving up something as small as a bad habit.
Giving up and letting go truly is good for the soul.