There have been countless times that I was ready to just throw my hands up and quit it all? I’m talking about calling it quits with my job, my marriage, my friends, my bills, and any other responsibility that started to make me feel like a failure.
But a tiny voice inside whispered, “Don’t quit girl. Just keep going a little while longer.”
There are a million reasons why I struggled in the past with wanting to quit. Most of it narrows down to the terrible manner in which I approached the problems and challenges that I faced. Even though I was once an optimistic, bubbly gal who daydreamed about the future life ahead of me, at some point I morphed into more of a “glass is half empty” type of gal without even realizing it.
I never thought of myself as someone who was resistant to change, but in 2008 my resilience was put to the test. For the first time, I struggled with change from several different angles.
- I struggled with not feeling “at home” in my own home.
- I struggled with career changes that left me feeling unchallenged and under-valued.
- I struggled with the absence of loved ones, the absence of friends, the absence of peace, and most importantly, the absence of my sense of purpose.
But from the outside looking in, well, my life probably looked like a fairy tale in comparison to others. I had the husband, the house, two cars, two kids, and a dog–what every gal dreams about, right?
But as the old saying goes, “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.” The fairytale goes something like this:
Nice working gal meets nice working guy with sexy accent.
Gal and guy fall in love.
Gal and guy get married.
Gal and guy move to new city for great job opportunity.
Gal and guy buy a lovely house.
Gal and guy have twin boys.
Gal and guy live happily every after in their big house, with perfect kids, with a loaded bank account, and luxuries galore.
Oh…if only my version of my story was so simple and exciting as the one above.
The Daily Struggle Was Real
What most people couldn’t have known from the outside looking in was my own daily struggles with my life. For me, the story went a little more like this:
Gal gets married and moves away.
Gal misses family and friends constantly, and feels lonely.
Gal can’t find a job in her field of study, so gal works several jobs which make her question her self-worth.
Gal struggles with pregnancy loss, and keeping a positive mind to try again.
Gal struggles with being pregnant with twins and on bed rest with no one around except for her husband to help her through it.
Gal struggles with losing old friends…finding new friends.
Gal struggles with managing finances for her newly doubled-in-size family.
and the list goes on…and on…and on…and on.
There were so many times I felt so lost in the struggle that really all I wanted to do was QUIT. I wanted to QUIT my job. QUIT this new city. QUIT motherhood. QUIT marriage. QUIT my dream of being a writer.
In a nutshell, I wanted to curl into a little ball, and ask someone to wake me up when it [the nightmare] was all over.
But as much as I wanted to QUIT, in the end I simply could not. The reason? Something deep within me telling me that I just needed to push a little harder for a little longer. Something telling me that change was within my reach even if I couldn’t see it at the moment. Something urging me to just have a little faith. I’m sure you’ve felt it before…we all have.
The Poem That Continues to Inspire Me To This Day
In college, I learned [aka embedded to memory] a poem called Don’t Quit which to this day has continued to inspire me to push forward when times get hard.
I share this poem with you in hope that it might inspire you to keep going despite the barriers you face in life. I hope that it sparks a glimmer of hope in those of you who have started to feel hopeless. I hope that it encourages stressed out mothers, wives, working women, stay-at-home moms, and anyone else to hold on for just a little while longer until your miracle happens.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are –
It may be near when it seems far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
Instead of quitting, I encourage you to face your problems and your fears head-on. Seize these precious moments you have in the NOW and face life’s changes with bravery in your heart! Instead of quitting, do the exact opposite–go dream-catching. Consider this:
#1 There will never be a better moment than right now
I read a post by Tony Teegarden that really inspired me. In it, Tony says, “There will never be another moment of inspiration like the one right now…There will never be another moment like right now to step into your possibilities.” You know that saying, “Seize the moment?” Well, all it really means is that the best time to strike is while the iron is hot and that is right now…in this moment.
#2 Tomorrow isn’t promised
We spend our younger years feeling as if we are invincible. Time has no real meaning when you are young and carefree. But then, at some point which varies for everyone, we begin to realize that the invincibility is a facade. Tomorrow is not promised nor guaranteed for any of us. We can be here today and gone tomorrow. The quote, “Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can begin today,” is a testimony to this truth.
#3 Our purpose is to pursue happiness
Over the last few years, as have I embarked on my own personal journey towards finding happiness and purpose, I realized something very important. We exist to pursue happiness. We exist to find our purpose and our place in this world, to make an impact, however big or small, and to accomplish these tasks before our time is up.
When the reality of this truth began to settle in my thoughts, I could no longer sit back and be the same procrastinator that I had always been. I had a purpose to help inspire others to go after their dreams, find happiness, seek true purpose.
So don’t quit. Push through. Acknowledge the struggle, take action, and be happy anyway.