the fool
Quitting sounds awful. There are so many sayings against quitting. Quitters never prosper. Get up and try again. Never give up.You only lose when you quit. Yes they’re nice and inspirational and sometimes inspiration is what we need. But sometimes we need to quit. We need to give up. I feel almost naughty saying it. At the same time, some of the best things have entered my life after I’ve decided to give up and quit.

Several years ago I was miserable. I knew exactly what I was going to do with my life. I was in a relationship with a good person, a loving person. I was healthy and strong from lots of gardening. I was surrounded by wonderful friends. And I was absolutely miserable.

A friend did a tarot card reading for me. A week later, another friend did another tarot card reading. Both times, the card that represented me was The Fool, walking off the cliff, head in the clouds, flower in hand. The little dog barking. One interpretation says the dog is trying to warn the Fool, another is that the dog is encouraging. Either way, the Fool happily steps off the cliff into the unknown. What the card doesn’t show is the ledge below. That foolish Fool has unknown support and will be fine.

Lo and behold, I stepped off the cliff. I gave up the things that looked right, perhaps seemed right when I started. But something was tapping me on the shoulder and whispering that it wasn’t right. And that something made me cry and want to bury that feeling because the changes that I knew were right, somewhere inside, were scary. Only a fool would step off into the unknown.

Skip through the year I spent crying, but different tears that time. Skip the guilt of hurting others (including my relationship partner, who is currently in a different happy relationship). Skip through the letters I wrote myself, telling me all the things I needed to hear. Skip the road trips alone to clear my head and re-befriend myself. And get to the point.

Sometimes quitting all the things you thought you knew to fall into an unknown place can be beautiful. I found support in places I didn’t think it existed. I worked different work. I shared my honest feelings, and figured out feelings I didn’t know were there. I cried some more and got rid of the shame of crying. It’s surprisingly good for you. I opened up to a new relationship that makes my heart sparkle, after several years still. I found myself in new and wonderous place. I found my voice.

Sometimes you can fake quit, like all the times I packed up my homework from university and tossed it in the recycling bin. The stress relief was immediate, and I could always go back.

So, quit. It’s ok. We live in a big, complex world. There will always be other stuff to do, and sometimes that stuff is worth it. It’s ok not to have a plan. It’s ok to have a plan, and change it. It’s ok.

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