Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Have you ever let yourself quit something?

We're leaving for Palau in a few weeks and that is feeling very surreal to me.

I've started trying to make plans for some activities while we're there. Snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, etc. 

Palau is known for its scuba diving. People come from all over the world to dive there. I've heard from divers that it is considered by a lot of people to be the best place in the world to dive.

I got scuba certified a few weeks after I moved to Palau in 2012. It was a no-brainer. Almost immediately after arriving in the country I was pushed to get certified so I could start going on weekend diving trips.

And I went. I went diving at least a couple times a month. We saw some impressive stuff. I can see why people love doing it.

But, y'all. 

I'm going to whisper this next part to you so you know I'm treating this like a possibly controversial confession: I don't love scuba diving.

I never admitted it while I was living in Palau, I think because it seemed ungrateful and I didn't want to be a buzzkill. I also really didn't want it to be true. But I just don't understand why people like it so much. 

It's kind of scary, it's uncomfortable, and I always ended up swallowing about 2 gallons of seawater. Also, it would kill basically the whole day. We would have to boat out to some remote place and then do two or three dives, with a lunch break on some very hot island packed in there, and then I always felt kind of sick and disoriented for the next two days. And SO tired.

And look. I'm fine with doing things that wipe me out. I like physically-strenuous activities. I don't not do things just because they make me tired. But I have to really like what I'm getting out of the thing, and . . . whispering again . . . I just don't really care that much about sea animals.

Obviously I'm not talking about sea turtles, which are magical creatures and I would die for any one of them. 

But y'all. You don't have to go scuba diving to see sea turtles. I've seen sea turtles just snorkeling, a much less obnoxious task in which you are probably not going to die every time you do it.

I used to go diving and we'd see a shark and everyone would be all like "HOLY SH&$ THIS IS THE BEST." I mean, they didn't say that because we were underwater, but they acted like they were thinking it and I would just be like "why are we doing this?! That's a freaking shark."

I would spend the majority of the dive time just pretending I could fly and not really paying all that much attention to the animals because after seeing one tuna you've really seen them all. 

But even though I kind of dreaded it, every time someone would start organizing a dive trip I felt like I had to go. This was partly because I was becoming so anti-social #depression the longer I lived in Palau and I didn't like that trend so I was trying to force myself to participate in activities and this was the most commonly organized activity I was invited to.

So when we decided to go to Palau this year that old feeling that I need to go diving just came rushing back. I started reluctantly looking up dive tours we could book and after a few weeks of doing this and then not following through I suddenly had an epiphany.

Why am I trying to force myself to go do something I don't really enjoy? I'm a grownup. I don't have to make myself participate in hobbies that I don't value. 

And it's not like I'm refusing to try a new thing. That's different. I think we should get ourselves to try new things. It's good for us.

But that's not what's happening here. This isn't a new thing. I've done this. A lot. I don't like it. I don't have to keep doing it just because it's available to me. 

Have you guys ever let yourself quit something you realized you've been forcing yourself to try to enjoy? It's kind of amazing. I feel so powerful right now.

Skylar is certified as well, but he seems lukewarm about scuba diving every time I bring it up. I told him if he wants to go, I will gladly go with him while we're in Palau because I'm VERY good at marriage. But truly, I would enjoy doing it with him one time if I knew he was really enjoying it. But I'm not going to be the person who pushes us to go, so the ball is in his court and I'm really hoping he deflates it.


~It Just Gets Stranger 

35 comments:

  1. What would Daniel do?

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  2. I am terrible at quitting things. But I move a lot, so every three years or so, I am automatically “quitted” from everything that I joined because I’ve never learned the word no.

    I share your love for sea turtles. I am a volunteer in a sea turtle conservation group. My favorites are seeing babies and mama tracks in the sand. Earlier this month, in the span of one week, I saw a dead hawksbill, a dead green, and a dying olive ridley, and it was just so sad. Why can’t boats go slower during nesting season?! Last year I got to watch three leatherbacks lay nests, and it was really neat. My favorite is still the babies. I am going to miss living here and getting to be so involved in sea turtle research when I leave.

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  3. Cooking. Friends rhapsodize over their love of cooking. I tried. I hate it. I’m finished.

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  4. I had a similar epiphany several years ago about people. Why do I force myself to spend time with people who don't bring me joy? I don't mean like volunteering (which . . .whispering . . . I really hate to do) - because at least then I feel like I'm doing good or my civic duty and can feel morally superior to all the people who do not volunteer. I mean socially. It was very freeing to not make plans with people who all they do is drain my energy and bring drama to my life. So I learned how to quit people.

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    1. Volunteering seems like a weird, ambiguous thing to hate. Volunteering isn’t a specific activity the way scuba diving or knitting or iron mans or biking or podcasting or season-pass-holding-at-Lagoon are (yes I just listed a bunch of Eli’s hobbies off). Volunteering can literally be any activity that you aren’t being paid to do. So while there may be plenty of volunteer opportunities you don’t enjoy, like toweling down naked foreigners in bath-houses or running Tami’s Instagram account or being June Snapple’s personal assistant (yes, I used some of Eli’s faults as examples), it doesn’t mean there aren’t other volunteer activities that you might enjoy and find fulfilling out there. Like complimenting Eli’s hair every day, which is an important service that benefits us all.

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    2. OMG IS SOMEONE RUNNING AN INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT FOR TAMI WHERE CAN I FOLLOW

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    3. I now feel obligated to start one...brb.

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    4. Eli. What did you make me do.

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  5. I quit a marriage for all the same reasons you want to quit scuba diving. It became exhausting to work so hard at something that wasn't bringing any joy. My husband was mean, abusive and the human version of a shark. I finally realized I didn't have to act like living with that was fun. Quitting marriage was painful,disheartening and scary and the effects have been long lasting, especially with children involved. BUT, I (and my children) get to have joy and self respect, so the quit was worth it.

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    1. where's the Like button? Amen, and Ditto!!

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  6. Um have you seen open water? That’s all I have to say about that (hand on hip).

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    1. Never seen the first one, but the second one where they all jump off a yacht and can’t get back on is both absurd and HORRIFYING!

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  7. Yes! Quitting stuff is great!

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  8. Good for you!!! I think particularly in religious circles (don’t know if that applies to you) people always say to “stick it out” and that “marriage is hard work.” It is hard work, but it should fulfilling work and if you are not being fulfilled, then it’s no good and I don’t think enough people say that. Go you!

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  9. I feel a little bit the same way about skiing. I mean, I like skiing, but it's so expensive and it takes up your entire day (or weekend, if you don't live super close to mountains) and it just never quite feels worth it to me... Maybe if I were rich...? And, yeah, liked it a whole lot more?

    But what I REALLY quit was letting myself get pulled into snowball fights at BYU. The first time it snowed, there was always someone who would run around organizing a big snowball fight and because I have total fear of missing out I would rush to join in. And one day I realized that I hate being cold and the quickest way to piss me off is by throwing snow in my face. So I quit. And I have NEVER looked back!

    Actually, that second paragraph explains my feelings in the first paragraph pretty well, doesn't it?

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  10. When I was a newlywed my in-laws took us on a night dive in Bonaire and it was the scariest thing I’ve done in my life.
    1. If you don’t keep your head lamp pointed directly at your dive leader they disappear and you’re officially lost at sea, in the dark, underwater with no sunlight to orient you which way is up.
    2. They have these massive human sized scary tarpons that follow the divers because their lights stun the small fish and then they eat them in our wake.

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  11. This isn’t the same but...I’m all about quitting. I didn’t used to be. For five years I was kick ass at the gym. I worked so hard, I got strong, I was setting personal bests on the weights all the time. But I was staying fat. Like, not even losing a pound. I actually gained weight and even as I was proud of the weights I could lift, the weight of my weight was driving me to actual depression. I started the gym at 250 and had to walk away after 5 years/5 days a week at 289. So, yeah, I quit. And it was the best decision I ever made. Now I don’t have to wonder why I can’t make the weight budge and why I just continued to fail. So quit. Do what you enjoy so you can have a happy and positive experience.

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    1. You just described my last 2 1/2 years at the gym. I haven't lost a pound. And people tell me muscle weighs more than fat but I also haven't gone down in clothing sizes. I have seen some benefits - my blood pressure is slightly better and my endurance is a lot better - so I'll keep going. But the no weight loss thing is annoying.

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    2. Don't ya love folks that say muscle weighs more than fat?? How, praytell, does 1lb of muscle weight more than 1lb of fat?? They are both 1 pound. However, like you indicated, 1 lb of fat takes up more space than 1 lb of muscle.
      I did triathlon for about 5 years and would creep up in weight 5-10lbs a year, no matter what I did adjusting my calories, protien, macros, exercises, etc.
      I look back now and wish I was More grateful for how strong and far my body could take me more than what the scale said. I'm devoted to focusing on how I feel and what my body can do in the future rather than a number on a scale.

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  12. This year I quit sending Christmas cards. I also quit trying to wish everyone a happy birthday on Facebook. I am equally (1) worried it’s not very nice of me and (2) liberated/relieved

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  13. I completely understand quitting. I grew up doing all sorts of outdoor winter stuff: cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, skating. Then I had children and I continued to do those things because I felt that the children should have the opportunities I had as a child. But I didn't like it. Not one bit. I don't like winter and snow and the cold and I don't like doing stuff outside in the winter and the snow and the cold. Then the children mostly decided that they didn't like outdoor winter stuff except for sledding but they were old enough to go by themselves and I could stay home and make hot chocolate. However, I am Canadian so I had an obligation to at least pretend to like outdoor winter stuff so I still went skating. One day I was skating outdoors with my mom (she was nearly 70 and still loved skating but a few years after this story, she fell and got a concussion and gave it up)--anyhow, I was skating around and it was cold and my feet hurt and I was wondering how long I had to stay outside when I also had an epiphany that I was a grown up and could do whatever I wanted. I stopped, took off my skates, said I was going home and that was that. I haven't skated since. Now when people ask if I want to go skating (Canadians are always asking each other to go skating) I say "I hate skating". Sometimes they say annoying things like "it's never too cold if you're dressed properly" and I just say "I hate the outdoors in winter". Quitting things is the absolute best thing to do. It frees up time for other things. Like knitting.

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  14. I used to feel some sort of obligation to finish any book I started reading or TV show I started watching. It was very liberating to realize that there was no shame in refusing to let my entertainment turn into drudgery, so I'll happily quit reading our watching find I'm not enjoying any more.

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    1. I suffer from this affliction too. The only reason I finished the Twilight books was because I'd started them. I couldn't stand that whiny teenage twit Bella. As I get older I'm getting better but mostly because I seem to have less time to devote to things that I just don't LOVE

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  15. I love to travel. But as I got older I decided I really dislike going to the beach. They are beautiful but I hate sand and salt water makes my skin hurt SO bad. I decided to quit feeling pressure to visit those kinds of places. Also Disneyland. I told my family I will never step foot in that hell again 😂.

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  16. I have friends who LOVE to dive and act like I'm the world's most insane person because I've never even been certified. I have no interest. Nope, nope, nope. Snorkeling is my jam and something I can quit after 20 minutes to go find a drink.

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  17. Like someone else above said, I gave myself permission to quit skiing a few years back, and it was amazing. I took lessons for years and I watched little kids fly by me as I fell again, and again, and again. I hated it. And now, I don't ski. And that's fine. Because I have kids and my 4 year old has gone skiing once and is already better than me. So I made the right choice.

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  18. Yes! I quit nursing. I was not happy and had so much anxiety and hated the lifestyle and it took me way long to admit it to myself but I did and now I'm doing something else. And building a business.

    I remember a friend from college who moved to Nevada to go to med school and he was literally having anxiety attacks every time he went to school so he quit after a year. He wrote in his blog about how he felt like quitter and that he was disappointing people. But everyone was super supportive. He now lives in CA and owns an amazing filmography business.

    Something I started doing as of a couple of years ago is getting up and leaving events or situations in which I feel unwelcome, uncomfortable, or in disagreement with what is being discussed or taught. Other times I will speak up if I feel like it. I would have never have had the guts to do that 5+ years ago.

    So, don't go scuba diving if you don't want to. Or maybe just do it once(?) -- What I'm trying to say is just go hang out with Leotrix. And don't pretend that he isn't the real reason why you're going to Palau.

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  19. I quit nursing my baby. She hated it, I hated it, my husband hated that both of us were crying all the time. I didn’t want to quit because “it will get better eventually” and “how will you bond otherwise?” and “formula is terrible” but we just couldn’t take it anymore. We quit and it was 100% the right decision!!

    Also, scuba diving sounds TERRIFYING and I would rather scrub bathrooms all day. Nope nope nopity nope

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    1. This is my absolute favorite response to anyone who tries to guilt me or anyone else about breast feeding. Enjoy this clip: https://youtu.be/U_80bWlLJvg

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  20. I had this epiphany about trail mix. I'm a grown a** adult, if I want to throw away the raisins and only eat the M&M's then that's what I'm gonna do. Now if it's communal trail mix, I respect the proportions and only sort my serving, but I don't like raisins and no one can make me eat them.

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