For years, I allowed the voices of others to echo in my head anytime I had chosen to step away from something. They came in waves all at once and lingered for what felt like forever. It was followed by guilt and shame and sometimes anger and grief that I allowed to assume space in my mind. It took years of reading self-help books and even therapy to understand that I was just telling the story wrong.
I did not quit or give up because I couldn’t “stick” to anything or because I had a short attention span. I am not weak. On the contrary, I am stronger than I even realize. It takes a lot to not care what people think. To let go of things that no longer serve you and try a different approach. For years, people around me would say that I was a quitter and if I continued to go all in into things and quit after a while, that’s exactly how I would do everything in life. Then they would go on lecturing me about how I should be doing things. But it’s all bull.
My favorite quote ever is from the movie Monster In Law with Jennifer Lopez. JLo’s character had several odd side jobs, and her house was full of all sorts of crazy things. When asked why she did so many different things, she followed up by stating the words that would eventually echo louder than anyone else’s voice in my head: “Life is too short to live the same day twice.” I watched that movie when I was 12 years old. I am now 23, and thanks to that quote I’ve allowed myself to be open to new opportunities and trying all sorts of thing out, and if I didn’t enjoy it or it didn’t bring me any type of peace of happiness, I tossed it out, because there’s no point in doing something that doesn’t bring me even an ounce of joy.
I have lost a lot of people in my life, from young to old. I have struggled with depression that almost took my life. I now understand how precious life is and how easily it can end. Now more than ever, I am embracing my ability to try things and not be afraid to discard them if they do not bring value to me. I use them as lessons and move on to the next potentially remarkable thing. I would rather try everything and have fun instead of sticking to one thing the rest of my life and dying with regrets.
So, if you are reading this, I hope you use this as your reminder to not be afraid to try anything and everything. Do not be afraid to let it go when it does not serve you anymore. The only person whose opinion should matter is your own.