What does it mean to be a quitter?
I was involved with what seemed like an epic of a project once. It exposed me to radically different ways of thinking about and reacting to whatever was thrown in one’s way. And made me realise once and for all how the world and how your world works can be revealingly disparate. I learnt a lot.
Felt that I suffered too, whatever you make of that word. This delicacy of feeling was not helped by people coming in and then dropping the project like a hot potato — they seemed to agree that it was ridiculously tough going, cos the project leaders were “crazy”. There was even an attempted coup by the first team and, finally, a second mass exodus. I was at the tail end of the latter.
Why did I decide to quit, after just about a year of endeavour? I don’t regret the decision. It was because I felt things were out of my hands. No responsibility any more for something for which I could foresee no good end. The thing is, when you actually get down to doing the hard stuff, it doesn’t seem so bad, you know. It’s when you allow yourself perspective that things begin to matter. Argh, “things”, “stuff”, get with the vocabulary!
So, I was a quitter. But, was I a quitter, the derogoratively named kind?
Will I be a derogoratively named quitter if I leave my job without arranging for an immediate fork in the road?
Will I then be a bad ol’ quitter for the rest of my life? These are important questions for me, cos for some reason I don’t want to be a quitter. Perhaps I should first address my eagerness to be thought of well, to be not offensive, to be pandering, to be praised, to be able to not disappoint those I want to care about. Is this important? I appear to have forgotten to think about why I am here in the first place. What should I be doing, what is my purpose? Gotta think! Think it through. Not enough thinking going on, just reacting to whatever’s next. But then the whole thing becomes circular — with perspective, for me at least, comes deadly, boring inertia.
This ramble is brought to you by a midnight screening of Guess Who in New York.