This is what healthy quitting looks like.
"When one door closes," they say.....sometimes you need to slam that shit shut yourself.
Quitting was not allowed in my household, but we also weren't really taught emotional health either. Germans don't talk about that stuff - they put their head down and push through. It's helped me be an incredibly resilient individual, but it also has caused me to get into situations where I had to learn, by listening to my body and mind, when it might be time to quit.
The first would be in marriage. The second would be quitting my cutting training, and the third would be giving up my beloved job as the Social Media Maven for KEVIN.MURPHY.
These were all incredibly big deals and I did not take them lightly. Healthy quitting is different from a quit and run sort of scenario, which is partly why I don't even like using the word quitting. The word itself has such negative connotations. Conscious uncoupling perhaps?
How I prefer to view it is
"Making a decision, that is right for your well-being and goal alignment, to direct energy away from what is currently not working and instead focus it towards what will."
Doesn't that sound much better? But much more than sounding better, it feels better.
I didn't start listening to my body until I was forced to slow down enough so that I could do so. I didn't know the immense anxiety I had until I was left with nothing but myself to deal with because everyone and everything had left me.
The universe does tend to give you what you ask for, but rarely does it come packaged the way you envision. Sometimes everything falls apart so better things can come together - and they have.
Quitting my cutting training allowed me to refocus my energy on the salon I owned at the time and within three months we won an award. Soon after quitting my KEVIN.MURPHY job I was able to have the adequate time to deal with the mess my life had become, which I didn't want to admit was actually more important to sort out than working what I thought at the time was my dream job.
Most recently I quit working behind the chair.
I don't see it as permanent, but the way I was going about it wasn't working, and I am passively sorting out a solution. People told me not to quit. They asked me how I could quit, especially as an award-winning hairstylist. My answer tended to be, "Well, I quit softball, and I was quite good at it. I was supposed to play collegiate ball - but it stopped working for me." It stopped working for me, and then I headed off to beauty school - much to the dismay of my college friends. It still bothers me thinking about one friend in particular that chastised me for going, using a condescending tone when speaking with me about being a loser and heading to Beauty School.
It wasn't as cool twenty years ago to be a college dropout.
Haters are always welcome. They drive me to do what others think I can't or am too crazy to accomplish. That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt on the way though. The last person that called me crazy I divorced. I don't need that kind of negativity in my life. That's when you slam doors shut. That's when you give yourself permission.
You can't keep moving forward if you stay in the same place.
Is it easy to quit? It's getting much easier as I get older, that's for sure. But I also know what I am capable of, and in order to grow and evolve at some point, you must shed layers so you can put new ones on. Some people won't like the new you, and most likely that comes from a place of being frightened about evolving or just good old jealousy. Evolving is scary, but it's even more scary to those that don't.
You can just add those folks to the collection of haters that will propel you to kick more ass than you ever thought possible. Be sure to allow yourself time to grieve your losses, then move forward like the evolving diva you were born to be.
Mandy Zelinka is the former Digital Marketing Manager for KEVIN.MURPHY International and owned one of the largest award-winning salons in Portland, Oregon. She was also Voted Best Hairstylist in Portland in 2016 by The Portland Fashion + Style Awards.
But she’s best known for tobogganing down the Great Wall of China as a United States Diplomat and First Lady of a City.