“WInners never quit, and quitters never win.”
Plastered on the walls of middle school locker rooms and printed in joker font on Pinterest boards entitled “Inspiration.” It protrudes from the mouths of freshman football coaches named Steve and condescendingly pours out from mothers who observe their child’s half-completed science projects. This quote is everywhere. And it’s not true. I’m probably not the first to figure this out, but I AM the first to put it on this specific blog. So you cannot take everything from me, okay?
Sometimes winners quit. And sometimes quitters win. Before I explain, allow me to set the scene: it was a Friday night. There I was, hair tied up, green Starbucks apron drooping below my knees, and fingers punching in the last four digits of my social security number. Clocking out for the last time at my seventh job to date. My anticipated relief for getting the heck out of there came, but was paired with a pit in my stomach for heaping yet another job to my work history pile. The self-conscious pit resembled my back-in-the-day neighborhood rascal, AJ: uninvited, annoying, and shirtless.
Seven jobs, three cities, eleven roommates (soon to be 15), five musical activities of some kind, five sports, two newspapers, two magazines, five small groups, at least ten clubs. And I don’t even know HOW many bananas I’ve gone through since college??????!!!!!!!!!!!! Alas, here I am, leaving another job. Moving to another apartment in a month. My soul has out fickle-d all those other souls. It’s been runnin around tripping over basketballs I never could dribble between my legs and triple grande lattes with extra foam and caramel drizzle.
…This was my semi-dramatic internal reaction at the time clock. Wrapping my thoughts around the idea of quitting something rather than exchanging it for something else, I robbed myself of the freedom I craved. I took off my apron on the way to my car and began thinking about all my past jobs, schools, cities, and clubs. I pleasantly realized all of the memories were good. Most of them good because I genuinely loved the thing or the place or the person I encountered, and the others good because I am better for leaving that thing or that place or that person.
I’ve loved every place I’ve called home and all eleven girls I’ve gotten to live with are wonderful. I am absolutely terrible at basketball and bowling, but have wonderful memories from previous practices. I still respect every publication I’ve been a part of, and still love writing on my own. I have hated some of my jobs, and loved others, but I’ve learned at least one thing at all of them. And knowledge is GOLD, people. It gets you places. Hopefully better places than you’ve been before.
Quitting my last job has already harvested goodness. I get to go home for Thanksgiving and Christmas to see my family. I get to invest more in my second job, actually spend time with the girls in my connection group, write, and volunteer again. I can pour into things that pour right back in to me. This is just one recent example of how quitting a sour thing led me to a sweet thing, and I believe that’s called winning, folks.
Experiences are great, and opportunities are blessings. So take them with grace and gratitude. Just remember that sometimes the blessing from an experience is found in the way that it leads you to something else. Growing old is all about maturing and better understanding joy and peace anyway. You receive deeper joy when you arrive at a better place, a better thing, a better relationship, and better practices. And do you know how you get something better? You quit something comparatively inferior.