The New-found City: Quitting
i was raised to believe that quitting was right up there with prostitution, drug abuse, and marrying your cousin. case in point, I HATED BIOLOGY yet not only got an undergrad degree in it, but suffered my way through a MASTER’S in the very subject i abhorred. that’s 7 straight years. after living thru many iterations of the faulty belief that quitting=death before realizing that QUITTING can be A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND, the issue came up this morning in the form of a debate between what Martha Beck calls my “essential” and “social” selves, who battled it out in my dark bedroom at 6:30 am before the sun broke through the morning sky. it went something like this:
es: “toastmasters today, i don’t want to go. i’m tired, i hate speaking in public, and i have a million other things on my to do list that i already don’t have time for. how are we going to add this in?”
ss: “we’re going, we’re up. we have to improve our public speaking and this is the best way to do it. we paid the fees, it’s good for us. suffer for the greater good. get your ass out of bed and do something with that mop you call hair so that we look professional!”
es: “i don’t want to go!!!!!!!!! it’s dark outside, it’s cold, i want to stay home and write on my blog, and think about possibly doing a little bit of yoga. i might even do a pose or two.”
ss: “we’re going, we paid. they’ll think we are a QUITTER, is THAT what you want? worst of all, we’ll continue on our current road toward the Kingdom of Stuttering, in the province “You Know” close to the county called “Um.” by the way, besides you, who develops a nervous stuttering problem during ADULTHOOD?!”
es: “i dddddooonnn’tt care. speaking is an overrated skill. we’re giving a speech next month, i’ll work on it then. and the CDs–remember the CDs we ordered on public speaking? i’ll listen to them. plus even if my speaking skills never fully develop, someone has to fill the role of “that below-average speaker right before the really great speaker came on stage. that can be me.”
these types of debates are very common between essential and social selves. the essential self wants to major in dance, but the social self tells you to go to law school. my essential self has become quite the negotiator/advocate, leveraging all of my weak points to win the argument, and in this case, she succeeded. does that make me a quitter? ABSOLUTELY!