The word quitting has very negative connotations to most people. Perhaps a synonym in most people’s minds would be ‘failure’. To others, it’s a word that brings connotations of suffering and withdrawal. For example, quitting smoking, junk food, alcohol etc. Perhaps to some it’s a word that brings good memories; for example when someone leaves something that they didn’t enjoy, and are therefore free from the burden of something.
The word will have different meanings to everyone at different points in their life, which makes the act of quitting very interesting.
For me, quitting is definitely something attractive right now; being able to pack up my stuff, ‘quit’ the mundane life of university that commences tomorrow, and travel and explore and have no worries. But, I have to be realistic (or so my mother tells me).
The other part of me also gives the word negative connotations. As most of you probably don’t know, I lost a lot of weight a couple of years ago and have slowly gained it back over the past two years, which doesn’t entirely bother me. However, now I’m trying to get back in to a fitness routine that will help me become superfit again (all in balance however), and the idea of quitting that is something that I won’t accept. Whilst it’s tempting for me to quit my fitness routine and eat cake all the time, I know that’s not what I want, and I know that quitting will distract me from my goals.
Also recently, whilst I was living in France, numerous times throughout the year quitting was very inviting. I had a few bad experiences whilst I was living there, and, at the time, the thought of packing everything up and heading back to my comforting and known home was too enticing. However, if I had truly quit, I wouldn’t have passed the year and been unable to continue my university degree. And then what would I have done? So, a huge part of quitting is realising the consequences that come with quitting something.
Quitting your local tennis club and ‘quitting’ your husband are two extremes, but each decision has to be taken with the same thought process. We have to consider the consequences of our actions and how quitting something could affect us in the long run. That’s very difficult to do, and hindsight is a bit of a bitch.
Being in your early 20’s is a difficult point to be at, and trying to think of the consequences of every single one of your actions is a difficult task. Recently, I was having a cup of tea with my uncle in my new flat and he mentioned something very interesting that I’d never really thought about before.
I’ll let the sciency people explain (link to article):
“the brain is growing and maturing but the last part of the brain to reach full maturity is the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is where a majority of the executive functions are located. Executive functions are the highest level of thought processes which help differentiate humans from animals. These functions include attention, the ability to regulate emotions, plan/organize, logic, reason, the ability to inhibit impulses (verbal/behavior), problem solving, ability to multi-task, and working memory.”
“Despite how we feel about it, their thought processes are hard wired this way until they are about 25 years old.”
So, it’s not entirely our fault that we make bad decisions and have difficulty thinking of consequences from time to time! This is extremely reassuring since for the past five weeks, I’ve been drinking way too much and not thinking about the consequences of stumbling to my flat at 4am alone. Stupid prefrontal cortex, get your crap together!
Anyway, I’m not pretending to be an expert in the art of quitting or of all the cortex’s in the body. I simply find this topic very interesting, especially at the point I’m at in my life right now, where I find it difficult to know wether or not to quit something and what the consequences of my actions will be.
What I’ve learned in my 20 years and 10 months on this earth is this one simple fact;
LISTEN TO YOUR MUM (90% of the time)
This is part of a new series of mine. I will be talking about a subject from A-Z twice a week.
L: Leaving Aix