He did not practice all week; hence, he was lousy at his songs. After much ado (yelling, unfortunately, on both sides), he announced he did not want to play guitar as it was not his "thing." It was too much sitting.
The hard part for me? Letting him quit.When you let people choose their pursuits, your own expectations come rocketing to the surface. I want him to have success, so we talked about how something worth doing is hard and requires you coming back to it again and again.
Still -- he wanted to be done.
Fine, then. He had to be the one to talk to his teacher--a man who Nate adores. That brought up another round of resistance. He didn't want to "hurt [the teacher's] feelings." I held firm. It you want to steer your life, buddy, you have to take the wheel. Call him and tell him. After an hour's deliberation, Nate called.
I am disappointed. I don't want Nate to be a quitter.
But I was a quitter. I quit piano --twice--because I hated practicing. I started gymnastics as a tall and plump thirteen year old and quit after a couple weeks because it felt humiliating to be so much bigger than my teachers. I have quit jobs that were no longer in line with my interests or convenient (most I quit tactfully; one--I just called in and never went back). To quit is to say, "This is not my path."
Some things I quit and regret, like when I gave up my dream of massage therapy school in favor of going to university because it seemed more scholarly, more the thing to do. I spent three years and 25K to "appear" smart. That's pretty stupid.
Other things I have quit:
- My senior class trip to Florida --something we had fund raised for since sixth grade--in favor of going on a late winter backpacking trip in the Porcupine Mountains of the Upper Peninsula. My classmates couldn't understand it: I chose snowshoes over flip flops. It was one of the top experiences of my life; I came home a different person.
- Working at a college as a library aide and a composition teacher, on the cusp of starting graduate school. After staying home with my kids for the month of June, I realized how much I was missing by chasing a career. What was my hurry? I quit the job and backed out of grad school (saving another 25K, no doubt). This opened up time and money for six months later when yoga training became available--a path I would not have followed if immersed in work and grad school.
- Competing with people: their money, their status, their bodies, their talents. Competition can propel people forward, but it drives me into anxiety. I'm a working-class nobody. I rather like it. I have not lived up *nearly* to my potential. The rent is too high there.