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New Beginnings-A Quitter’s Tale

 

ME

Hello my name is Crystal, and I am a serial quitter. Or beginner. It’s all about perspective right?

This is my dirty secret. I am the QUEEN of new beginnings. Until recently, I have to admit, I saw it as a flaw in my character. It was as though I were hardwired with the i
nability to stay in a situation that made me less than happy. Seriously, could I not just persevere? I don’t want to give you the impression that I’m flighty or irresponsible; in fact, I’m quite the opposite. I have always been the advice giver, the designated driver, the person put in charge. Despite this, I am also the person who has walked away from jobs without having another to go to, walked away from a marriage that others may have stayed in, and most recently,  walked into my third foray into post-secondary education.

When I decided to toss my career as a chef, and start again at 40, it was both easier and more excruciatingly difficult
than I had expected. I felt it was time to start thinking about the future, and stability, but it was going to come with some sacrifices. I had to uproot my son and mother and move back to the home town I had tried to leave for most of my life. I had to leave behind bonds I had built, and the comfort that comes with the “known”.

The summer before we moved was spent commuting back on the weekends to cry on the floor of my house, when I wasn’t hauling trash from inside it. My renters had decided to ruin it on their way out, and my rental in Milton was looking better every day. I spent months wondering if I was making the right choice−and googling “how to get cat pee smell out of a basement”. All of this was before I’d even began the program.

Once entrenched, I was honestly shocked at the amount of discipline and dedication it took to get through the homework; it felt as though I’d picked up a part time job in frustration. I spent hours bent over a computer, that I would have rather spent with my kid, and tortuously explaining why I couldn’t play−again. I threw books across the room, and swore often(do you know how expensive those things are?), and reconsidered every decision that had gotten me here. What I never considered was quitting.

This two-year roller coaster made me re-examine what I had considered my haphazard decision-making. That’s not what I was doing. What I was doing was making choices that were right for me. I did persevere and still do. I persevere in making choices that others may fear making.

Mine was not a flaw of character, but rather a flaw in perception and expectation. What was wrong was never my decision making, it was how I worried others perceived me for making them.

“Your soul knows when you should quit, but your mind keeps you engaged because of the fear of shame.”Silvia Mordini

Hello, my name is Crystal, and I make new beginnings. Whether it’s becoming a blackjack dealer or a chef, moving to Australia, or returning to school at 40, they’re mine to own. Now, thankfully, with a better understanding of who I am, and a new diploma under my arm, I will head off towards the next chapter in my crazy life…*shuffles back*…

I’m going to need that crown.

About Crystal Carswell

Crystal refers to herself as the orange crayon...bright, but quirky. She's been a chef, a blackjack dealer, and a cauliflower picker in Australia. Most recently though, she's discovered her passion for non-profits and writing.

2 thoughts on “New Beginnings-A Quitter’s Tale

  1. That was an amazing story and just what I needed to read today. I can totally relate to what you are saying. And it took me a long time to realize that there’s nothing wrong with me. The problem was that I had always done what everyone else expected of me, which was killing my soul. Now I just get up each day and look for the best in it. Thanks for sharing that part of yourself.

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