Why Giving Up Is A Good Thing

Why Giving Up Is A Good Thing

And you shouldn't feel bad about it.
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I can remember one of the first lessons my parents ever taught me about life. It was about giving up and how quitters never win. I was in grade school, was enrolled in ballet for a few years, when I decided I didn’t want to be in ballet anymore. I was the tallest girl in my group which seriously could have helped me succeed, but my heart wasn’t in it anymore because I was discouraged. They made me finish out that season because they didn’t believe in giving up. Now as an adult, I completely understand that they had an investment in it, such as all the money they put into lessons and outfits and all the time they had spent watching me learn the proper form of a pirouette, so I wouldn’t let my child ever quit midseason, but I have also learned that sometimes giving up is actually the only good answer.

I have given up many relationships over the years. Whether it was a friend or a family member, when I realized how toxic the relationship was, I gave up on it. My biological mom was a drug addict. That’s seriously one of the only things I knew about her. After waiting up several birthdays and holidays for her to show up only to end up with a broken heart, it didn't take long for the young me to give up on her. It was a really hard thing to do, but it kept me from having my heart broken over and over again. I also gave up being a really good friend with someone because she made it apparent that everything was a contest between us. Her hair was always straighter then mine, her teeth were whiter, she was thinner, she had more friends, etc. I realized that our friendship, at least in her eyes, was based on a competition.

Another thing I have given up on is being the perfect person. I’m not a perfect mom, friend, sister, daughter, neighbor, or wife. I never will be. I tried for years to be that perfect person and it drove me nuts. I make mistakes, big and wide, huge mistakes. I’ve forgotten birthdays, I’ve not showed up to family gatherings and I’ve been known to keep myself locked up in a house for weeks because I simply suck at being an adult. Putting on this perfect show of a person is exhausting. My makeup is almost never done, my hair is almost guaranteed a mess and sometimes my kids skip bath time. I’ve gotten overly attached to fictional characters, cried over news in foreign countries and completely lost a few days when I got obsessed with a book series. Apologizing used to be one of the first things out of my mouth because I knew that my actions had upset others, but I shouldn’t have to apologize for it. If you cannot accept these flaws that make up who I am, then maybe the only true flaw is you.

Lastly, I gave up keeping my kitchen floor clean. That probably sounds terrible, more terrible than it really is, but stay with me. We have this ugly off white linoleum that is permanently stained. It gets completely cleaned, sweeping and mopping, at least once a month. Sometimes it gets cleaned two times in a month if my OCD kicks in, but it’s actually the last thing on my cleaning list. Sue me. In reality, it’s much like my life. No matter how many times I clean up a mess, remnants of human (or puppy) error will always shine through. Sticky spots will always be spot cleaned when needed. And reminders of what was there before will always come back to haunt me. Not keeping my floor completely spotless every second of every day reminds me that not everything is perfect and trying to be is and utterly exhausting.

Cover Image Credit: Coub

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?

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Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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