20 Stories of People Who Walked Away

They quit their jobs, their religion, their relationships and even quitting itself.

Comments: 207

  1. I find quitting hard. I've found that I've had to quit more than once in life & each time it is a little traumatic & recalls all other occasions of quitting, whatever they may have been. I've quit friends by just stopping seeing them, as the writer mentions, but always with a reason & always with discomfort. I've quit jobs, that I liked, because of disrespect & feeling of betrayal. It hurt .Sometimes I want to run away like the couple who went to Costa Rica, but I'm not sure that I wouldn't take my problems with me. Often it's for the best, but it's hard to quit.

  2. @Doug I agree. I am a very courageous and strong person but frankly don't have the guts to quit things that would change my life for the better (and make me a better person ... for others): worrying unduly, accommodating mean and uncaring family members out of a sense of duty or to avoid lifelong conflict, harboring guilt (thanks, Catholic upraising!). As I get older, I am increasingly quitting caring/worrying about what others think (often they're not even thinking about me - how liberating!). That's been a game changer ... but not enough.

  3. I had to resign from a previous position at the Glen Cove nursing and rehabilitation. It was with dignity and professional to leave on my behalf! I left a wonderful job at a bank just to get to this job who by the way , was toxic and abusive ! It’s a healthcare facility with good intentions however the unit I worked in ... TOXICITY and ABUSIVE ! Even the families of the patients would come to me to complain about the unit nurse and how awful they felt ! It’s a wonder how this nurse is still practicing.

  4. @Diane A very good nurse at my mother's nursing home has been a touchstone for understanding how the care is being given. At every visit, I fear that I will learn she has given up her efforts to model and encourage high standards and compassion among others.

  5. There's a lot to be said about leaving your trash at the curb...and just letting it go. Kudos to all who didn't settle.

  6. @Patricia "leave it at the curb, and we'll just drive away." Jackson Browne

  7. I quit having a relationship with a sibling. It has always been one sided. Myself as the giver of time and paying for everything and my sibling ordering, manipulating and having ugly tantrums to get things exactly as they want.

  8. @Sophie Sophie, I've had difficult relations with my brother too. I promised my mother on her deathbed to try to get along with him & didn't want to quit completely, but for my self preservation, I withdrew. I did not quit, but just kept arms length away. He noticed & we are now very cordial & able to have family holidays etc. In the case of family, I found quitting & renouncing completely more hassle than it was worth, but making my own rules & sticking to them for my own sanity worked.

  9. @Sophie I quit my sister relationship when I was 64 years old. I would have and thought about quitting every decade. I was held back by family and friends who persuaded me that we were sisters until death. So I kept yearning for a “real” sister who never revealed herself to me. She had done good things but the bad far outweighed any good acts. The final straw was when I discovered my mysteriously lost belongings in her house. Over the years she had come into my house and stolen various items—meat cleaver, precious photographs of my children, my winter coat. It was just too much. This so called Christian had family and friends fooled hook, line and sinker. I do not hate her and may even feel pity for this hypocrite. I had to let go to save myself. No regrets.

  10. @Sophie I quit my toxic and wealthy birth family many years ago. It's been worth every penny.

  11. I found quitting easy. I worked for one broadcasting company for forty years. The hours, the stress, the responsibilities, I said it’s over. And when I walked out the door, I never looked back.

  12. Read a lot of these "I Quit" stories. Now I'm questioning everything I do.

  13. Good on them. Practicing refusal.

  14. I quit Facebook four years ago. Completely liberating experience. I’ve reclaimed my actual life.

  15. @Anon Good for you! I never joined. But I am addicted to YouTube. That is without question a time-consuming addiction> The online NYTimes is another time-consuming addiction. I'd better sign off now before I am trapped into reading and replying to any more posts.

  16. @persona I quit five months ago. Miss a lot of contacts, BUT could not abide tolerating a lying president AND a facebook which promised to promote more of the same! Feeling cleaner, and enjoying my subscriptions to honest, established, reliable news sources....

  17. @Anon, I quit for good a little while back. I was so happy to give them my reason: "you are destroying democracy"

  18. Best advice I ever got was "be the first to leave". So many decisions are based on fantasies or assumptions that do not prove accurate when experienced. As soon as myths fail or other assaults on the core self or safety appear, depart.

  19. @poslug as far a workplaces go, the best are always the first to leave.

  20. I walked away from the Catholic Church when the level of corruption and hypocrisy gradually became clear to me in my twenties. I do not miss it. I walked away from medicine when I lost my resilience when I was in my 60s. I loved what I did and was very good at it but a career of being a solo sub specialist and a non supportive work environment made the decision easy. I still read the medical literature but do not miss the stress and have many hobbies and interests to occupy me including the Comments Section of the NY Times.

  21. A book called "The Quit" came out many years ago and categorizes and discusses various types of 'quits'. I stumbled across this book at a time when I was wrestling with quitting something. This book was both helpful and hilarious.

  22. I quit a decent paying job few months ago and traveled. The quitting was because of boredom--not enough work to be done most of 2019 and that was killing me. This was the 3rd time in my two decade plus career that I had done so but in the previous two quits, I came out better. And I am pretty sure I will be fine in this case as well, if I try hard. But I am not sure if I really want to be 'successful' this time around, too. And that's because this time of quitting has strained marital bonds to perhaps a point of no return. I don't think money should be an issue because of enough financial cushion and a great tech job market. Maybe it's because wife thinks (and says too) that I am too wild. I don't think she can relate to my understanding of life that 9-5 for 35+ years of your life is not worth it for some elusive 'retirement', while the years leading up to that, for most of us, a life of drudgery where we keep buying things to make us feel happy, a life where, if you are lucky, a two-week rushed vacation is all you can get in a year. Every day we forget to smell the roses which life offers while we keep getting told to something like 'wake and smell the coffee' about a made-up reality of life. YOLO: You Only Live Once!

  23. @Meengla I TOTALLY get you. After 28 years of a good career, I don't think I can stand to wait another 12 years to really start living life. A dear friend died last May at 54. She had so many plans. Her loss haunts me.

  24. @Chris Hill I am sorry for your loss. Relatable: lost my mom in my 20's, 2 sisters in my 30's, a marriage due to the stress of those losses. For many years my career was my refuge. Now the world has changed so darkly I don't know if I can or want to continue in public service (education). But my message to you is to wait, if you can, until at least a year has passed. It's old but wise advice; coming out of the grief takes its own time. Please be gentle with yourself and try to regain your balance before deciding what's next. Best wishes.

  25. @Meengla Perhaps with your now-found freedom you can take time to consider your wife's point of view, especially her concerns about finances, and her values about work and family. Perhaps the roses smell sweetest in your relationship, if you'd stop to really listen.

  26. I quit my neurosurgical practice at 50 because I truly felt a sense of impending doom, that I might very well drop dead over the OR table during a stressful operation. Many colleagues stay on the treadmill for the money, prestige, and lack of any other life interests. I loved many things about being a doctor and recommend the profession without hesitation to students. But I just had to let it go. I haven't been bored a single day since; in fact, it's been thrilling.

  27. I threw over a full professorship several years ago and took "early retirement." It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I up and sold my house, and moved to DC, where I am now, as an ex-West Coaster, loving the East Coast. As universities increasingly corporatize and students are treated as consumers, with education considered a commodity, I found myself wrestling with ethical decisions about what it means to "educate." The assault on the humanities and the subsequent in-fighting of faculty over small stakes began to wear on me. I saved and saved and saved so that I could "escape." Sure, I miss the paycheck and live frugally, but I love the freedom of being creatively and intellectually engaged without all the institutional strings attached. While academic jobs are still desirable for many reasons, I'm saddened by the rise in the exploitation of "adjunct" faculty who are replacing tenure-track faculty, so that students and adjuncts are both being cheated. Universities that undercut the humanities are doing the students and the world a huge disfavor. It's how we end up with the Trumps.

  28. @Murphy Murphy, I can identify with Alyce.She didn't quit because of the students, she quit because of the administration & bureaucracy. I quit a job i loved teaching continuing education at a Botanical Garden because the administration of that "nonprofit" changed the procedures, demanded more work, paperwork, extracurricular work & by a technical change also cut pay. I loved my students & they loved me but I couldn't in good conscience stay.

  29. @Alyce Miller Having recently finished a master's program, I agree that universities are increasingly corporatizing. I wanted so much more intellectual stimulation than I got. I wanted professors who bothered to learn my name--even just during the 20-minute break built into each 3-hour weekly class. I wanted professors who didn't put "office hours by appointment" on their syllabi to meet the requirement to have office hours at all but make it clear that they wanted us to leave them alone. I wanted professors who didn't put up an impenetrable interpersonal barricade every time I asked a question about a particular career path--in most cases, although it was a professional program, they didn't have the work experience to answer the question anyway. I wanted a curriculum not stuck in the 1990s. I wanted very much not to be exposed to and affected by petty department politics, yet I and everyone in my program suffered greatly from this. I found myself desperately scrounging for time to do meaningful portfolio projects rather than heavily structured busy work that was easy to evaluate. In other words, I wanted more from my education than a very expensive piece of paper. Students and adjuncts are being sucked dry. I agree with a lot of what you say but I disagree that students are being treated like consumers. Consumers at least get what they think they want. Kudos to you for having the courage to quit this brutal environment.

  30. @Murphy I think the first two sentences of your comment amount to needless unkindness towards Alyce, but maybe I misunderstood your intention.

  31. The individual stories have their interest, worthwhile points, charm, etc. but have little to do with each other. Quitting takes so many forms that the instances have little in common. Sometimes it's a complete farewell; sometimes it leads into a continuation. Sometimes it involves breaking a commitment, sometimes not. Sometimes it's trivial, sometimes momentous. Sometimes it's invisible to others; sometimes it's all they see. Most of us have quit various things and have stuck with others--or even stuck with the things we quit, after a break or in different form. What's interesting is not the fact of quitting, but its role in a longer span of life. I highly recommend Tobias Wolff's story “In the Garden of the North American Martyrs,” one of the most brilliant stories of quitting I have ever read.

  32. @Diana Senechal One of my favorites of all time, that Tobias Wolff story. Great recommendation.

  33. @Diana Senechal you make a good point....tho perhaps the connection is that it is one's deciding that they are the author of their own life. Will check out your book recommendation. Thanks!

  34. A few years ago I quit my job giving medical services to a mega company due to a disagreement on a subject I considered was against my principles. It was a hard decision to take because I was earning good money. But going against my values, that's not negotiable. Hurricane Maria came to PR less than two months after I ended my job. The chaos in the island was extreme and I needed to concentrate my efforts in caring for my family and our home. No communications were available, so if I had been working I would have to drive to the work place to see the situation there. And many other things would have complicated my life and given me a lot of additional stress had I been working at that company then. My life has changed for the good. Now I work a few hours a week, take care of my garden and grow food for my table. I earn a lot less money but I need a lot less money. I am nearing my retirement and I feel very good. Quitting my job at that moment was a blessing in disguise.

  35. Sometimes, you want to quit something, but can't. I don't mean you can't bring yourself to quit. I mean that life circumstances just won't let you quit. I was a mid-career professional at one of the world's leading high tech companies. I liked the work and did well at it, and really enjoyed the camaraderie of the people I worked with. But it was becoming obvious that the prospects of further career growth weren't real bright. High tech doesn't like older people. By the time you hit mid-career, the theory (which is MBA nonsense) is that your skills have eroded to the point of being obsolete, and the young new hires don't want to work with people who are their parents' age. But the company decided that earnings per share needed to be propped up, and personnel cuts were common to reduce costs. Older workers were hit hard, and were edged out of the business, sometimes slowly, often very abruptly. But some, like me, decided to tough it out, and do whatever it took to finish out whatever career we had left there. It wasn't easy going up against an ageist corporate mentality. But with kids approaching college age, and other life factors, I had to give it a try. I was one of the lucky ones. When my turn came, I was able to negotiate a good exit deal and not get suffocated in the process. I found other companies who were more friendly to older workers. I know of too many others who suffered greatly, all because of corporate ageism. But I I didn't quit. My company quit me.

  36. @Max Dither I'm wondering if the young people of today even have an issue with working with older generations. Millennials seem to be quite open minded and unaffected. It's our insecure, unsupportive peers in our own generations that may have the issues.

  37. @Max Dither: The broad sphere of computing, regardless of which niche one is talking about, is one of the most ageist professions on the surface of God's green earth. When you couple what you mentioned with the now ubiquitous attitude that employees are interchangeable parts, and that experience and seasoning isn't worth paying for, you get what we've got. I believe in bringing in new blood and mentoring, but these days there are no mentors left, really, because we get dumped very young in the IT world. I could no sooner be hired at my age (late 50s) than fly to the moon under the power of my arms in the tech world.

  38. @Frank646 I think I fall into the older "millienal" generation (32). I work in emergency services, and without the ability to learn from my older peers - in some cases 20+ years my senior - I wouldn't be nearly as good at my job as I am. There are always the sticks in the mud doing things "the way we've always done it," but I'm lucky enough to work somewhere where that attitude tends to keep people where they've always been, usually at the wayside.

  39. I quit a planned career in the military in the early '70s after accepting that the country had been lied to about Vietnam. I could no longer trust who was employing me. I quit a job in the industry that I studied in college soon after taking it. Broadcasting looks better from the outside than from within. I left (retired early) from a job that I liked and was challenged by for many years, but I no longer loved it. Now that my time belongs pretty much to me with the exception of time devoted to relationships (I'm happily married.), I look back on what I have quit along the way to arrive at this point and smile.

  40. @David Kannas: Knowing when to walk away, and why one is doing it, is truly a key to happiness.

  41. I know it's not the same as quitting, but I left my job of 20 plus us years to retire and leaving the money on the table was the smartest thing I ever did.

  42. I quit my marriage, alcohol, men, cigarettes - in that order. In that time I added AA, 2 dogs, a house on 2 acres connected to hiking trails, and a large circle of sober friends that I adore. I've never been happier. But I need to quit carbs next.

  43. @rachel so happy for you! congrats on the amazing changes and good luck with the carbs.

  44. @rachel What's wrong with carbs? You kinda need them to have the energy to hike those trails, don't you?

  45. @rachel Unfortunately carbs are everywhere! You find them in the air, in the bathroom, in the closet. I'm prediabetic and have to quit ingesting them. But they are most of all in my thoughts. Chocolate almond croissant, Tates' chocolate chip cookies, tiramisu, mangoes, even my old pal bananas. I think of them and miss them terribly.

  46. Regarding the smartphone, there are options that keep it at bay. I don't load any social media apps on my phone. I do not have the email "pushed." I put it on Do Not Disturb from 10:00 p.m 'til 6:00 a.m. I never pull it out at a table unless I'm alone. I do acknowledge taking too many photos with it, rather than really observing the world.

  47. I used to think that perseverance and a never-quit attitude were admirable qualities. But it’s just a trite myth. I would often look at my friends who quit things (jobs, careers, college degrees, relationships, etc.) with a weird mix of jealousy, respect and approval. Sometimes quitting is the best course of action. I learned this the hard way. The first thing I ever truly quit was my marriage. Although we tried to make it work, it just wasn't. This may sound more heartless than it actually is, but the feeling of quitting something big -- for the first time in my life -- was exhilarating. And, as it turns out, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Quitters of the world unite!

  48. @Mark "I used to think that perseverance and a never-quit attitude were admirable qualities. But it’s just a trite myth." Indeed. It is a lie written in the devil's own hand.

  49. If more people understood the "sunk cost" fallacy, they'd probably quit doing things that aren't working much sooner. Good for you for respecting your friends choices.

  50. In the last five years I have: quit Manhattan, quit men/relationships, quit a nonprofit I started 25 years ago because there were toxic elements I couldn't handle and am in the process of trying to "quit" my role at work and find another role at the same firm (unfortunately I can't "quit money" but am certainly willing to take a demotion of some kind in order to have a better work/life balance). I would like to "quit the US" but am not there yet - but that is my ultimate goal. I feel I constantly reinvent myself but to be honest, there is a sadness and a loss in that sometimes too. I am all about change. But there is some pain in that, which I can't seem to clarify right now. Need "to start" therapy again and figure it out - maybe!!

  51. A few weeks ago, I turned 45. If I'm lucky enough to live to 90, turning 45 means I'm right in the middle of my life. After evaluating my life at home and at work, I decided that in March, I will quit my job and the practice of law for good. I've come to realize that just because you're good at something or can do something, doesn't mean it's the correct choice/path. So . . . as of March 27, 2020, I will QUIT SETTLING for good enough. Wish me luck and send some light and good luck my way.

  52. @Francine: Some words of encouragement from someone who's said, "I Quit," to careers I was good at and that pay well, twice: Do it and don't ever look back! You really can, from a financial perspective, do a lot more with a lot less if you are someone who showed financial restraint and planned for your retirement throughout your career. I was in IT in the go-go 80s through 1997, and did a 180-degree turn into health care from 2000 to around 2010. Both became intolerable as 9-to-5 (or longer) jobs for me. I have never been happier having decided to forge my own way, living by what I believe to be right, and damn the torpedos! (And there will be some.)

  53. @Francine …….ok....you cannot leave it at this point.....What are your dreams......what would you like to do?

  54. @Francine I admire your courage and your wisdom about yourself! Good luck! You've already got this!

  55. I quit my first job on day 2. I was 16, a friend found an ad saying "teenagers wanted to detassle corn", and my conservative suburban parents thought it would be good experiencing. The pay was incredibly low, but the working conditions worse. After a 9 hour day riding in a metal basket next to a heat-blowing tractor, I came home exhausted. My friend did not return, but my parents encouraged me to try again. By noon I was sun-burnt, parched, and focused on the lunch break but the crew boss decided we would do one more row, up and down, before stopping. At the upper end of the row I knew there was a road behind the hedge. I hopped off, ignoring the shouting boss, and started walking. I thumbed a ride at the first passing car--I didn't care who picked me up but fortunately it was a kind-hearted woman who drove me to my car. I learned that day to listen to myself, not to what others insisted I should do, and to recognize I had limits. I also learned sympathy for people enduring incredible work demands: they are no paid anything near what they deserve.

  56. @Sue the Cat What a story. Give us more of your life experience - we need this now. Studs Terkel's work in the stories we all need to hear.

  57. I quit my job about a year ago after being "dissuaded" from trying for a promotion because I was just so darn good in my role at the time. At every annual job review I had stated that I wanted to change my role and it was clear that this was never going to happen. Quitting is one of the best things I've ever done. My husband owns a small business that (thankfully) has had a fantastic year. I work with him a few hours a week and write my own paycheck. I have had time to decompress from a couple stressful years of helping care for a sick parent who then died. In the past 12 months, I've been able to focus on wrapping up that parent's estate. I started beekeeping. I traveled to Yosemite with a friend. I've been working on my photography skills - and won third place in a photo contest! It is really selfish, but after taking care of other people at work and home for years and years, I finally have taken time for me. I'm looking at my future and seeing possibilities rather than dread and drudge. As other commenters have stated, following through on quitting something is very freeing.

  58. @Denise C It’s freeing when and if you have the safety net. I would love to have the ability to explore my interests full time.

  59. @Denise C Being selfish - if we take care of ourselves, then we can take care of others. If we don't, who will take care of us? It's best to have enough left over that we can help others.

  60. I quit the much needed project. I fired my client at the height of the last Recession. They were toxic in dealing with others, unreasonable with their demands and expectations and entitled. It was a gut wrenching decision on many levels but it turned out to be the best decision I made in my professional life.

  61. I quit the corporate world after 18 yrs, went back to grad school, and ministry in a mainline Protestant denomination. The loss of a substantial income unsettled my spouse and a divorce ensued as well as having to sell my sailboat. I miss the sailboat. I could have chosen otherwise, but knew that a piece of me would always be missing had I not followed the call. I never looked back nor regretted my decision.

  62. I quit my marriage after 15 years. It ran its course and ended as cordially as a marriage can end. In quitting a relationship that did not provide me with the emotional support I needed or effort I wanted, I have found myself, as cliche as that sounds. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and the most necessary.

  63. When I look at my adult life I see that I've been "quitting" on average once every 5 to 7 years and they have been the best decisions I've ever made. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone but life can paradoxically be either very short or very long depending on where your heads at. The one thing I don't want in my life is stress. It causes health issues and it ages you so I have learned it is better to walk away from jobs or relationships that are not enriching your feeling of zen. Yes, we need money to survive on this planet but it turns out we don't really need a lot to be content. At least I don't.

  64. About eight years ago, I quit my teaching job at an inner city high school on the second day of school. I walked out at the end of the day and never went back. I was very depressed because I hadn't planned on retiring at age 56 and I felt I had lost my identity. My favorite thing about my job was the social work aspect of it (and, most of the students needed help in this regard). I was upset for about six months until one day I finally woke up and thought, "What is the matter with you? That was one of the worst jobs in the world." Now, I love being retired. I volunteer (and thereby am still involved with helping people) and do stuff that I like when I like. My husband and I were frugal and worked hard and we have lots of money saved up. We travel and enjoy spending it. Yahoo for early retirement!

  65. @dandnat The way you express this, it sounds like you left a bunch of kids without a teacher, and a school staff that would need to take on extra responsibilities. I hope that's not the case. If it is, your sense of personal fulfillment seems pretty shallow.

  66. @Cookie They found away to carry on.

  67. @dandnat what about if you weren’t ready for early retirement, and Trump cut Medicare and cost you your job on Oct 1? It happened to thousands. Some aren’t fortunate enough to be in your financial position...

  68. I loved reading all of these, they made me think, and shift my perspective on multiple topics. How quitting can be the beginning to something better, how letting go of other's opinions can be the biggest release yet, and saying no is an incredibly powerful tool that can put yourself first.

  69. I quit... reading most of these essays after the first paragraph or so because most of them are extraordinarily shallow. I hope that many of these essays are tongue-in-cheek, but I fear not. No offense, but anyone who seriously has angst over quitting gum chewing, or dating apps, or skincare,or (heaven forbid) laundry service needs to get a grip. I've done my own laundry since I was a teenager. I'm only now understanding the eons of consternation I've saved myself...

  70. They may not have laundry facilities, like many people living in large cities. And spending hours and buckets of quarters in a laundromat is a giant time suck. Having said that... My takeaway was the laundry represented anything that you out-source to someone else when you technically could do it yourself. For example, I use the Wal-Mart grocery app. I order it from the app on the phone, go there, they bring it to my car. Works fantastically! No crowds in the store to deal with, I save a bunch of time. Now that I am spoiled, I can see that I would struggle to "let it go" and go back to the old way if it quit working so well, just as the author didn't want to quit using the laundry service, even when it was no longer working to his advantage.

  71. Years ago when computers were first invented and in their early stages of office use, I owned my first home, on the outskirts of a small town, and lots of hippies used to live there; and one was a computer expert who quit his job and his expertise was so specialised, that he used to be flown up to Auckland and other big businesses to fix any of their technology problems, whenever they required. And he charged big bucks for this service. So if people drop out for an alternative lifestyle, don't think you've lost them, because most would be open to be flown to where eve at your expense, and paid an attractive rate for temporary work in an emergency. It's called keeping all your options open. To look at the guy you'd think he was a homeless person and scary. he was quite harmless but a genius with technology and he drove an old clapped out car that he used to drive past my place when exercising his three legged dog. He'd be driving the car and the dog would be running alongside it.

  72. @CK Out of interest, what was the small town called? Best regards, a fellow Kiwi

  73. @Rick Greymouth - where I lived was called, Nine Mile.

  74. I don't call it quitting. I call it moving on. Moving on from my authoritarian family in my authoritarian country of birth. Moved on from stressful jobs, moved on from people who didn't really care about me, moved on from everything till I found myself completely alone.

  75. @Friday I've found lately that there is so much freedom in being alone. I used to never want to do things without other people; friends, boyfriends, my mom. Now I come home from work, open my balcony door, and listen to all the probably less lonely people while I read a good book.

  76. I quit my blood relatives including nuclear family six and seven years ago during my father’s illness and death. Bad behavior that had had me seething for years intensified, lines were crossed etc. Try to work it out? AGAIN? AND the same old you-know-what? Enough already; I wasn’t getting any younger. So I cut the Gordian knot. Occasionally, I have a blue moment thinking about it, but I’ll take occasional sadness over constant anger any day of the week. And it feels great not to have to go through my personal life with my guard up all the time, pretending to trust people I know I can’t trust. Which reminds me; my family of CHOICE, i.e., my friends, has never been better. More than four decades and still going strong. So I’m still blessed.

  77. More, MORE of this - terrific concept, the best voices and flawless execution!

  78. I truly enjoy reading stories about people living their best lives, but the one about quitting a job struck a raw nerve. When the majority of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and are dependent on their employers to provide health insurance, quitting a job doesn't mean liberation--it means medical debt and an empty refrigerator.

  79. @Nikki While I do applaud Ms. Chambers for quitting what seems to have been a toxic, mentally abusive work environment, I did think the same thing when I read the story. Honestly, the nerve her story struck with me is so raw, it's numb. It's clear that the author had the benefit of ample resources at her disposal. Great for her, but a reminder of how complicated of a trap work can be for so many.

  80. Mention is rarely made of the importance of timing. Now I know that when I quit 30 years ago I should have quit 5 years earlier after one week on the job. After one week I saw and had all the evidence needed to make the decision to quit. I knew it was a hostile racially biased work environment which has not changed to date. I became physically and mentally ill because I quit too late. Although my children enjoyed the benefits of my constant presence and support while they were in school, I suffered after I quit because I quit too late. My quitting without having a financial plan created poor credit ratings which have lasted a lifetime. But there were blessings. Ten years after I quit my application for disability retirement was granted. It was easy not to share the good news with anyone because no one supported me while I was on the job nor after I quit the job. A toxic marriage ended. My children and I enjoyed traveling around the globe without worry. Now 30 years later I remain vigilante in making sure neither child falls into a similar quagmire. Timing is important.

  81. Previously I had 3 Smartphones. I gave one away to a friend last year. So now, I only have 2 and one of these is only a spare one (in case I ever dropped and broke my day to day Smartphone). The Smartphone I do use has SMS blocked, Youtube blocked, and most other on board apps blocked and I don't do social media. So why do I even have a Smartphone? 1- If my car breaks down. 2- If there is a family emergency (only my very close relatives have my number.) 3- If I'm on a bike run around the lake and I bump into a tree or a car or a really huge chipmunk has attacked me! I don't miss it at all. If you really want to get a hold of me: call my home phone and leave a message. Maybe I'll call you back.. but most probably I won't!

  82. I quit the dog eat dog corporate world 13 years ago. Went into Massage Therapy to help others heal. I make more money part time than most people make full time (unless you have a six figure income...I don't make that much) but it HAS worked out. No more bosses breathing down my damn neck! LOL!

  83. It is a pleasure to read all these examples of effective introspection. Quitting also means going out at the top of your game. When I started my career, which involved psychometric skills, a teacher warned me about doddering. You want people to remember your best moments at the highest level of function, not the shambling, shaking, quaking moments that might make others fear for you or that thing or person you are working on. When your name comes up, you want others to pause for a moment to think "Damn, she/he was so good. No one was better" rather than thinking about the crumbling skills you used at the end. You also need allies who will honestly tell you if they have concerns about any decrease in your skills.

  84. Is it quitting...……... or……….reinventing?

  85. I've never had any problem quitting things. I don't stick with things out of pride, or to reach some "goal." It's been easy for me to walk away from lots of things, even when friends and family are freaking out about my decision. Now, however, I have four kids at home and a very tight budget. Everything I do is with their best interest in mind. So while I'd like very much to quit my current job, the only available options do not pay as much, and kids cost money. Once they're done with college, I plan on quitting it all. A nice little place in the middle of nowhere is calling. I've got a list of books to read longer than my arm.

  86. GREAT writing :)

  87. Now if you could only help me quit my gym youd really have something.

  88. I became a smoker in college because it was glamorous. (This was the 50's.) I continued smoking through grad school, two pregnancies, and university jobs. I would periodically stop but then end up bumming cigs from friends, feel ashamed for doing it and buy them again. In 1984 I was in Vermont going to a conference. My friend, Mary, picked me up at the Burlington airport. I pulled a Marlboro out of my purse and she said, "Why Zee, are you still smoking?" I replied, "Yeah, and don't you say anything about it." I went to the conference and when she took me back to the airport I said, "Ok Mary. If I ever smoke again I will give $5000 to the KKK. (But I can't be responsible if she smokes again.)" And I didn't ever smoke again. In my dreams I did and boy did I sweat myself awake. (For the whole story, listen to the "You vs. You" episode on RadioLab.)

  89. NAMI members deserve to know why Mary Giliberti quit.

  90. I quit trying to be a guy. And everything changed.

  91. Looking forward to the "sticking to it" follow-up

  92. Quitting a narcissistic, out-to-get you boss is the healthy thing to do - but don't expect the abuse to end. It's a small world these days, and the abuser will find ways to poison your new employer against you. That might be hard to fathom unless you've been the victim of a cruel, widespread smear campaign - but mobbing is a very real phenomenon that takes horrific and monumental tolls on the lives of the victims. Outstanding an enlightening book by an American anthropologist: Mobbed!: What to Do When They Really Are Out to Get You by Janice Harper, Ph.D.

  93. Didn't quit a job I loved, it quit me. Taught 10 years at good com college (of course, no sick leave, no vacation--unless you count summers; no union--tho did get retirement bennies), emphasis shifted to STEM courses. My last "Modern American Lit" class had 3 signups. That, plus having to watch videos of "How to React to an Armed Shooter," practicing for bomb threats, etc--pushed me out. Students w/concealed carry licenses can bring weapons to classrooms, libraries, etc. THEIR mental health records protected by HIPPA. But they could find out anything about us--one reason I never posted on social media Would never go back to academia today--destroyed by culture wars: Right-wing "thing tanks" accuse the left of bias. Left as bad as Right--crucify you if you use the wrong pronoun for the "32 types of genders." "Emotional support animals? Safe spaces? Trigger warnings?" How does this prepare students for the real world? .

  94. @Rocky Mtn girl, to answer your question: it doesn't . . . prepare students for the real world. Unless you later go to work for academia, government or non-profit organizations. Which are "safe spaces" for those who wish to be protected from reality and paid from the labor of others, so long as they toe the party line.

  95. "Is there a more exciting and complicated phrase than “I quit”?" How about: "I would prefer not to." I recommend Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener.

  96. @Daphna Mitchell: Funny, but I was just listening to a story, on NPR I believe, about, "I would prefer not to," just the other day. What it comes down to is that there is great freedom in saying, "No," regardless of the form, and sticking to it. Most of the biggest problems in this world come from the inability of most to refuse to do what they know, "I would prefer not to." I'd rather be damned for "the doing" of standing up for my principles and judgment than "the don't-ing" of capitulation to the untenable.

  97. I quit smoking back in 1985! I was working in an office where I got many phone calls, and I immediately lit up. When I went out for a drink, I lit up. I smoked over a pack a day. Then there was a TV program suggesting that you should cut down to 5 a day, and after a couple of weeks, I said to myself "If I can not smoke 20 times a day so I can smoke 5, then I can quit! And I have not smoked since>

  98. Life is climactic. Every beginning has an end.

  99. I quit my relationship with my on again, off again father 5 years ago. He chose his wife over me 30 years ago but whenever he felt a pang of guilt he would call me and take me out to dinner without her knowledge. It hurts, but trying to make him love me hurt far worse.

  100. Paraphrasing a joke I once heard: I never "quit" drinking, or drugs, or chasing unhealthy relationships... I simply "finished early".

  101. @danivers Reminds me of: "I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too" - Mitch Hedburg R.I.P.

  102. I am a self employed "creative type". I have been for over 25 years in an industry I have been part of for 32 years. A little over a year ago I went thru a harrowing work experience. Subsequently I made the decision never to let that happen again. Recently I was part of a project that had all the tale tell signs of a repeat even though it was with a different team and a different organization. I was brought in for not only my professional talent but also my ability to produce. I realized that at a certain point in the process that my ability to do my job was being severely handcuffed. I tried to offer many options and there was little support. I made the decision to remove myself. I have never in my professional career had to make that decision. When you are self employed and have to budget accordingly it can be tough. There are many factors you have to consider. It was a very difficult decision. If the client never hires me again it will be tough but in the end you have stand up for you beliefs and ability.

  103. "What I expected from sex was to trust someone so much that I could be fully there, my soul and my body." EXACTLY and the reasons why I did not only let go, but I ran from it. An in a present state I still ask myself of other people here in the United States, I ask in my head looking on: do you really? are you serious? how can you?

  104. Sorry but I have to laugh at the Quitting New York essay. Unless you’re Joan Didion, it’s the dullest topic for an essay I can think of, given that people leave the city all the time for all kinds of reasons. If you think there’s something so novel about it that you have to write an essay, believe me, you’re wrong. I found it hilarious that he settled in Austin. As someone who grew up in that city, I can say without a doubt - and many long time residents will back me - that Austin has been ruined by the massive influx of out of state yuppies like our Didion wannabe.

  105. I definitely plan to read all of these -- but please please please is there a way to simply read them all, start to finish without endless clicking? I'll quit complaining if there is. Thank you!

  106. Hahahahaha. Cannot express in words how much I enjoyed every single one of these essays. My first Big Quit: Second grade when I bailed on the Brownies. I remember 65 years later how good it felt!

  107. @Pat I did the same thing, just about when you did - and yes, it felt wonderful! The Cub and Boy Scouts were doing all the fun stuff - outside! - and we girls had to stay inside and do stupid little crafty things. When I quit, my mother and the troop leader were horrified, but I felt so right!

  108. @Pat I was the first to quit the Girl Guides at my boarding school after being required to sing: I'm a teapot tall and stout..

  109. @Bon Ha! The exhilaration. Like it was yesterday!!

  110. I was drawn to this article by the teaser headline. The truth is, most things in life are easy to quit--especially in America. We made quitting a badge of honor, something that friends celebrate--from jobs to marriages. It's become something of a fad with millennials. Truth is, talk to Chuck Close, or Stephen King, and ask them to quit. Ask Warren Buffet to quit. Ask many of the great athletes, from boxers to baseball pitchers....they don't want to leave the field. And for those who reach greatness, wealth and fame, and see the ending; we often hear of celebrity suicides, people who kill themselves because they couldn't "quit" whatever life that defined them. People who climb Mt. Everest to achieve greatness, don't tend to quit, ever. Those who life a work-a-day life in contemporary America will quit anything, as fast as an Amazon return, just because quitting felt "liberating." If you learn to play the violin, paint, write code for the cloud, work with the poor and destitute as a doctor or nurse--these folks don't quit anything if they are at the top of their game, or meeting society's needs only because you are gifted at what you do. The gifted can't stop. Could you have stopped Martin Luther King? But the rest of us Americans, raised on a disposable economy, quitting is a way of life. Quitting is becoming a disease. Indeed, sometimes you have to chew your arm off to get out of life's traps, but, I think I'll quit writing right now!

  111. @Karl Valentine Awesome comment. The quitting, most of it, was done before that which was quit had begun.

  112. I quit a job on the first day after about an hour when it became obvious that the position had been completely misrepresented to me when I'd accepted it.

  113. @June I had a similar experience. An agency offered me a job with a company that I was interested in; however, the job turned out to not be what I thought it was (on my first day). So, I told somebody in the office that I had to go to my car to retrieve my lunch but instead drove all the way home and refused to accept any phone calls from the recruiter. (I made my husband answer our phone and inform the caller that I was not at home.) I don't remember whether I got paid for my few hours of work; this was about 25 years ago. On the way home, I stopped to buy a chocolate malt.

  114. I finally turned my back on religion after years of slowing down interactions with the one my parents brought me up in, the catholic church The church's clear failings helped push that boat out but after reading the works of Hitchens plus a few others, I engaged the engines and set out for sea I though hard about those readings and came to recognise the in-congruence and in-compatibility of what I was brought up with and how the universe truly works when explained by mathematics and the physical sciences If I could use a term that doesn't involve any 'A' words or the 'S' word, it would be "Hitchensian Humanism"

  115. @Rick I agree. I've been an A for a longtime. I've always wondered how religious people can solve problems. I mean, when they are told to leave their problems up to god, doesn't that advice short circuit their problem solving ability.

  116. As a practicing formal Skeptic, I subscribe to the view that the most important thing of all that one should quit altogether is received opinion, along with its buddies "conventional wisdom" and "business as usual". The most notable habit that people on the Left, Right or Center have neglected to quit is the all-encompassing – and entirely mistaken – view that "truth" is some unchanging, permanent thing. "Truth" is worthless. Valid and reliable knowledge, even when partial and imperfect, is not. It is what makes clocks tick, rockets shoot for the Moon, and medicine cure many ills. TDLR: Time to quit outdated and contradictory "truth" and embrace probabilistic, conditional, incomplete and wondrous reality. No raven paradoxes here, the ship of Theseus is no conundrum, and one need fear no myths.

  117. After my brother made me and my sister miserable for the first 11 years (10 years for her) of our lives, abused one wife, several girlfriends and eventually our elderly mother, I have not spoken to or seen him since 2004. Walk away from toxic relationships.

  118. @Marie I agree. Walk away from toxic relationships. Why don't some leave. I think it's because some people don't recognize the tremendous negative effects of these relationships (my situation.) One can become so used to pain, it doesn't register as pain. Being raised by a depressed and unloving mother and an alcoholic sadistic father, I've had to try and construct a different life. Took a long time, a very long time. What helped me? Antidepressant meds. therapy. reading on topic. Dalai Lama's spirituality. When the Dalai Lama was asked what was our purpose in living, he said to be "happy." A world is contained in that one world. In the end, found that the answer was within me. Asking myself how I was feeling and going from there.

  119. @sheila The Dali Lama also says -- The only reason we are here is to help each other. If you can't help someone, at least don't harm them. -- Words to live by.

  120. The Quit Friendships piece deserves more comments. 'Dont' tell them' you're quitting the friendship? That's called 'ghosting' and I can't think of anything worse than that to do to someone you once considered a friend. Be a compassionate human being and tell them you've moved apart -- don't just go radio silent. If I've misunderstood your piece, it's because it wasn't explained well enough.

  121. @toddinstoon When you realize that the person will demand of you the "reasons", in detail, and argue with every one of them, or promise to "change"... no good can come from that scenario, either.

  122. @toddinstoon Thank you. Unless something egregious happened, be a human and communicate, no matter how hard or how sad. It might even be ok with the other person. Ghosting=cowardice.

  123. @CactusHugger what more can a person say other than just leaving? That’s a bold statement. They’ll figure it out.

  124. I've been working since i graduate college with a degree that left me with little desire as aged. I went back for my graduate degree in a different field in hoping i could find a career in a different field even if I have to start over again. I have been looking for a new job for the past 2-3 years with no luck. I get no satisfaction from my job and it has driven me to specialize in field that's not applicable elsewhere. This career split me from spending time with my kids. I've been dying to quit my job, start my own business, and be closer to my kids. However, i feel obligate to continue to work to support my family...especially the wife while she completes her nursing degree. I have no debt other than the mortgage balance over our house. What's stopping me from quitting straightout? Why do i fear what's coming after I quit?

  125. @Makoree You fear failure. It's normal. You can do it. I and so many others did. I am rooting for you and your family. When you leap, something higher will carry you. Work on your breathing, talk to your loved ones and go for it.

  126. In my late twenties, juggling two jobs to pay the bills, I walked off my restaurant job waiting tables in the middle of a shift. This restaurant had a peculiar tradition: when the owner came in (often with a group of four and more) the "best" (or most experienced) waiter or waitress was made to wait on them. The kicker was there was never a tip, never a gratuity. It was ridiculous. I told the dining room manager, "Don't assign me to his table, because if he doesn't tip me I'll walk." Not sure whether he was challenging my declaration or trying to assert his position as my boss, but sure enough, he assigned me the owner's table (he had four others with him). I waited on them, providing my capable service, and when they got up and left 90 minutes later there was no tip. I walked over to my three other tables, apologized that I had to leave, turned my order pad over to the manager along with my apron and headed out the door. "Jay! C'mon, Jay," he pleaded as I left. I returned a few weeks later to collect my piddly paycheck (waiters were paid $2.01 an hour in 1993) and learned there was a new policy: whoever waited on the owner received a 25% gratuity out of the manager's pocket. I felt euphoric that putting my foot down meant a positive change.

  127. @Jay Baglia Good on you! After working at a restaurant for three days, I once removed my apron and gave my tips to the owner of a restaurant who stood there with his mouth open with shock. He - not the customers - was the problem. After working at hotel front desk for three weeks, I refused to return. The management - not the customers - was the problem. The director of personnel actually called my cell and demanded I come in as if I was a kindergarten. I remember shaking my head with a smile on my face as I drove two hours to a university to get my transcript and start a new life elsewhere. And I did. Earned another degree and boosted my earning potential. More recently, I worked three days at a well known film festival before calling Delta airlines to declare I wanted to return home. The agent took such pity on me after hearing how horribly I was treated as a volunteer, she put me in first class. I finally got a chance to see how the other half really lives. I have other stories. Most of them have the number three in them. Don't know why. Always stand up for yourself. I quit. My favorite two words beyond "Thank God" (we have the sense to know when enough is enough as Donna and Barb once said).

  128. @milagro I walked out of a restaurant job after a week because they wouldn't move me out of the smoking section. People blowing cigarette smoke in your face, low hourly wages, fighting for a meager tip. When I left, the manager told me "you'll regret this one day!" I never have.

  129. I was a computer programmer sometimes contractor sometimes employee for 30+ years. I quit more than 20 jobs and always landed on my feet better off than before. The reasons varied but mainly they were burnout or intolerable management. Then I went to China to teach English for 18 years and continued the same pattern. Why did I conduct my professional life that way? Maybe it gave me the illusion of control over my life. But I have no regrets. Also I have been married and divorced 3 times.

  130. @popeeugenev Nothing lasts forever. Not jobs, marriage, relationships or even us for that matter.

  131. At this time in my life, I have worked full-time for 46 years and raised three kids. I was always a good employee, going above and beyond, easy to work with, and always learning new techniques. Eleven years ago, after working 5 years for a miserable, micromanaging supervisor, I couldn’t take it anymore. It was a very toxic environment. I could have stayed and worked 7 more years and retired but couldn’t do it. I am sick and tired of hearing mental health professionals telling people in my situation that I’m the one that needs to change to keep my job and sanity, that I should change to facilitate the miserable ones. Well, I won’t. I’m old enough to know I don’t need to change. I was lucky to find a great job doing something completely different, and I’m still working there, 11 years now, and I never regretted my decision because I’m happy. I loved the look on the miserable one’s face when I turned in my notice.

  132. @BG Bravo! You were one of the lucky ones who believed in and followed their instincts.

  133. @BG I did something similar (left a micromanaging supervisor), although friends begged me to keep my job until I found another one. If you have a spouse or healthy bank account, try to leave your miserable job as soon as possible.

  134. My country. Thirteen years ago I left the U.S. I'd spent a few months of each year in China after my Battery Park apartment and headhunting business was devastated by 9/11. In 2007 at the age of 56 with a TESOL (teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification from Columbia in hand, I left full-time. A new life. A new country. A new culture. I regret that I've become a distant parent. I miss pastrami sandwiches. But otherwise I have young eyes in a distant world. Each day a new experience. And then there's Trump.

  135. I've quit a few jobs over the years but had a financial cushion because I am married. The jobs became too boring, or the boss or co-workers eventually got on my nerves too much, leading to STRESS. I was also laid off three times for various reasons: lack of grant funding for my job, my job was redesigned (my tasks were incorporated into others' jobs), and cash-flow problems in a small company (I eventually got rehired four months later). My advice is 1) save money so that you can escape your job when necessary and 2) live frugally so that you can save faster. I've been unemployed for a total of 2-3 years over my 40-year career, but making changes in my life was worth it. Try to work on your own terms--not theirs!

  136. @Job survivor Unfortunately the first piece of advice is actually being married! As an unmarried teacher I’m already doing the second two pieces...and it’s still not enough.

  137. Considering to quit a 13 year stretch of trying to get cleanup of a hazardous waste dump that can explode. The state environment department and federal EPA have done everything possible to defeat cleanup and lie about it to protect the polluter. It will be another preventable tragedy that will be investigated afterwards with money that could have been used for prevention. It doesn't matter that numerous Freedom of information responses have shown the danger and the lies.

  138. I, an inveterate quitter, love this collection. However, I am also deeply troubled by the friendship quitter's essay. Ghosting a friendship is one of the viler things one can do. (Also, the idea that you owe more to a romantic partner than a friend seems a bit on-the-nose in terms of our culture's lionization of romantic relationships and denigration of the treasures of friendship.) One needn't have a grotesque emotional explosion to end a friendship, but common decency implies that you at least let someone know so that they aren't left wondering if they had done something to offend you. The author's behavior is really quite rotten.

  139. @Tim I completely agree with you. Inviting someone to a dinner so that you can get closure on your relationship while they have no idea it's ending in the first place - what a cruel thing to do. Although to be fair, the writer's friends are clearly far better off without them.

  140. @Anna I agree, the secret goodbye dinner was awful.

  141. I quit a friend who could not stand to be alone by herself for one minute. Alone for her meant even if her two children were with her. If it was not another adult, she was alone. Lived in same small TH development and as soon as she saw my car pull in to the parking space, my phone would ring w/ invitation to visit. So insecure, so manipulative, so time consuming with babblings of nothingness. I quit her. Felt weightless after that! Years later in a grocery store, unfortunately in the same line w/my food stuffs already on the belt. There she was, talking up the woman holding a little baby with the same intoxicating lure she started our friendship with. She spots me and says, Oh, so good to see you! Will you come over and visit me some day? I hesitated, thinking, 'do you really want to dip your toe into this pile of puke again"? She recognized my hesitancy and remarked, "you won't ever visit or talk to me again will you". That was the opening I NEEDED - so I simply answered unwavering, "NO". She then replied, "I thought so". Dodged that bullet - still quit than nonsense before it ever took root again. Thank God.

  142. Loved the piece on chewing gum because it follows my experience exactly. I ended up with an earache and took medicine for many months only to find out I had TMJ as a result of chewing gum insanely at my desk.

  143. In 2012 a friend asked me to look after her dogs, while she went back to work. She had a nice place on the beach in Mexico and she kept sending me pictures. It was the year of Hurricane Sandy. My company had no electricity, so they shut down for a few weeks and I went to Mexico. When I came back they were shutting down for a another couple of weeks for Christmas. I looked around my tiny windowless office and quit my job. I'm still amazed when I get a message or something on Facebook that says it was 7 years ago. I've been to 90 countries, housesat in more than 25 on five continents. I've learned new languages, new cultures, new food and how to be comfortable, wherever I end up. But, all this will come to an end in a month or so because now I'm gonna quit this. All my friends say they live vicariously through my adventures, but you can get tired of this too. Right now, I'm in Australia, looking forward to getting out of summer for a while and experiencing cold. There is no perfect thing and sometimes you need to quit to find that out.

  144. I just quit a supervisory position to be absorbed back into the herd with the rest of the staff. I'll take a reduction in salary but not a huge one. Now that I'm in my "Quixote" years, I figure it's about time to start tilting at windmills and what not. On the other hand, I'm a single mother with two teenagers. So hopefully I'll have more time to save the world but also still be able to support the kiddos and not torpedo my ability to retire at the age of....85? Also, a couple years ago I quit buying new clothes...I buy anything I need (or the occasional meaningless splurge) at second hand stores.

  145. I have read and re-read these stories with wild-eyed delight. Loved them all. Thank you!

  146. The essay about ending friendships upset me. I have had a few people pull that stunt on me and I think it's cowardly not to tell someone that you're done being friends if you feel that strongly about it. The person writing it struck me as shallow and inconsiderate. I was dropped by someone I'd been friends with for 25 years. That was 25 years of the two of us surviving some pretty serious misfortunes, celebrating good luck, good news, birthdays, etc. What broke us up was when she decided to play therapist with me and then got upset when, unlike what she did with her clients, she couldn't simply turn me off at the end of the hour. She expected me to understand and tolerate her anger but when it came to my anger she couldn't deal with it. She ended the relationship by lying and told me only by phone when I asked her point blank in message. I felt used.

  147. @hen3ry I'm sorry this happened, but it sounds like it was for the best for both of you. I've "loosened my hold" on friendships to sometimes find the other person comes around and other times that there's no getting it back. In the end, who wants to be friends with someone who doesn't want to make the effort anymore. My heart was once broken by a friend who after 15 years of friendship just stopped. I didn't let it go and asked him, "Are we still friends?" He told me, "No, I don't think we are." It was painful and I don't know if it's better to be told or just to be left to wonder. I don't think anyone knows. Good luck. Remember that there are 8 billion other people to know!

  148. Best word in the English language: "Peace" Best two words: "I quit" Best three words: "I love you" Best four words: "Why not buy both?"

  149. I need to get my eyes checked. All day long I thought this headline read "I Quilt" and didn't bother to read this article. What mistake that was! Glad my wonderful husband pointed out my egregious error. Fantastic article!

  150. In 1982, after a job interview in the advertising business.....for my fifth job in 9 years....I left NYC and went to live in a commune in Oregon....Rajneeshpuram...... I was 47 when arrived,.....I lived there for 3 years....my girls were in college....then to Europe and back.....from that point I entered a new business and found success.......I have never regretted leaving and have lived a wonderful life since the commune......

  151. @Stan B And this is the commune that unleashed the first bio terror in the US.

  152. @Usha Srinivasan wow..you're right! I remember seeing a documentary about this commune. Commune members sickened hundreds of people with food poisoning on the day of a local election.

  153. Amazon I quit Amazon in June of 2019. Dropped it. I have not bought one thing on Amazon since them. iOS I bought an iOS device, with colorful its Apps. After trying it I put in down and almost lost it. I bought another iOS device, a bigger one, thinking it would be better. No. I put it down and did not pick it up. I bought a third iOS device. It must be better now. Nope. It tasted like a cigarette. What’s it good for? At home: I use a Mac; the iOS device is useless. In my car: I will get a $500 fine to use it, or worse. Its 6 times more deadly than drunk driving. While parked: I could use an iOS device then, but that's like a cigarette. Yuck. At a social event: Its is a social no-go. Sometimes other people show me photos on their iOS devices, and I find a way to run from that. Fast. While hiking in the mountains: It wont connect, as there are no towers. I could still look at it and see FB pages or other things, but it has the appeal of a cigarette. Dirty. Television I quit television, I turn off my nice 45 inch Samsung 1080p device. It has hardly any appeal unless its PBS, but I turn that off too. Shopping malls I quit that years ago, I wont go into one unless its a burger pub (like tonight) located on the edge of the mall, so I dont have to go inside the mall itself. Gyms and fitness centers I quit years ago. Now I hike, ski, and bike in the mountains. I do work with a sports trainer, but its at a PT center.

  154. Last year, I quit my job as an assistant to an artist who one day said, Why are you even here? You are completely useless. A month earlier he said I was the only person in the world he trusted. I had to leave. I worked for this person on and off over 25 years. I was saddened that our relationship, fraught though it was, was over. I was "let go" (for financial reasons, they explained) from my job as an arts administrator at the height of the recession. I never recovered. I had 20 years experience in non-profits, still, nobody would hire a woman in her mid 50s. I sent out literally 100s of resumes without a single response. Finally, I gave up. I never chose early retirement, it chose me. Every single day is a struggle.

  155. @jmack I hear you. I had a similar experience. I was at a company for 13 years. 3 months before my 55 birthday I was downsized. I've been lucky in that I've been able to find some jobs. But I gave the best years of my work life to that company and when they downsized me and no one else in my department you can't tell me it wasn't age and sex discrimination at work. Being a woman of a certain age is not easy in America. As a woman I too have been looked at and found wanting because I have wrinkles, gray hair, and lots more experience than some of the people who interview me. If you do decide to try again, good luck. And if you don't, good luck too. Take care of yourself as long as you can.

  156. @hen3ry Thank you

  157. I quit my incredibly toxic family. It was the best decision I have ever made. I cut all ties with people who treated me like dirt and found my life only got better. It's been more than two decades since I spoke to any of them and I have never regretted my decision to cut them from my life.

  158. @Ian Hall I did the same and watch a tumor shrink in my body! The surgeon is still amazed!

  159. @Ian Hall “Friends are God's way of apologizing to us for our families” ― Tennessee Williams

  160. @Ian Hall Me too! I quit my toxic family in 1998 and never looked back.

  161. Several days into preseason football practice my freshman year in college, despite having moved up the depth chart to first-team free safety, I bailed. At the time, my decision was informed by nothing more than a desire to spend a little more time on the beach with my girlfriend before classes started. In retrospect, given my history of concussions playing high school football, and in light of what we now know about the implications of repeated concussions, that may have been the most fortuitous "quit" I ever executed. In any event, the beach and my girlfriend were lovely.

  162. I quit pretending that I was over my husband's twelve year affair. I confronted the fact that I had regular emotional flashbacks and other symptoms that actually met diagnostic criteria for PTSD and that fewer than 15% of marriages in which there is extended hidden infidelity actually survive (40% end soon after revelation, and another 45% end after efforts to make it work). I stopped telling myself that I should be over this. No, I'm not over it, and I may never be. I'm still married, but I come first, not the marriage and certainly not my husband. I will never have a long-term marriage in which I am loved with devotion and fidelity. Having to work through PTSD symptoms and severe grief has actually brought me new things - new hobbies, from yoga to dog training to weaving, a new focus on my friendships, and a new appreciation for my career and the natural world. I still get hit with devastating grief, but it's not the self-destructive nightmare that it used to be. This is my life now. And it's okay.

  163. @Anna Please consider getting some counseling too. Often you can get rid of the devastating grief and can move on and out. That is the first thing I ask client to do whenever they are getting a divorce or ending a business partnership. It helps lots of people, and you make better decisions whenever that cloud of grief no longer follows you around. I wish you the best.

  164. @Anna - did you read "Who Moved My Cheese"? i would highly recommend it to you. Hope it will help you look at life from a different perspective and bring some changes so you enjoy the journey of life. Good Luck!

  165. @Anna Read Pete Walker's books about complex PTSD

  166. We have been sold a bill of goods all our lives about what is good for us, what we should do, what we should buy, where we should live, how we should worship, whether we should worship. It's only as we become more knowledgeable and experienced that we can even begin to realize who we are and what we want. Even then we must try to be considerate of others because in many ways they are the victims we used to be.

  167. @R. Anderson So right, it's all fear driven behavior. Recognize the fears and they are not fearful at all, just plain ego trips. I admire the guy who has the guts to wear a purple egg yolk crusted mohawk, we have been constantly told how to look.

  168. I quit my job last week. Just said I was done and walked out the door. I've never done that before and at 65, semi-retired, it wasn't life or death. I found working for someone I didn't respect in a chaotic atmosphere beyond my endurance. I know when I was younger I would have stuck it out and planned a better exit. I think sometimes you just have to go and once you make that decision move forward and back yourself up. Great to read about other people's experiences.

  169. I worked a job that was really underpaying me, as well as being rife with every "techbro startup" stereotype imaginable. Nearly two years in, I one day woke up after months of anxiety and malaise (couldn't rise before 10 most days), flowed out of bed at 8am, and calmly was out the door by 8:30. When I got into my car, I felt like I'd entered some kind of energetic river. No traffic at all. Every single light was green. Instead of circling around the parking lot like usual, I slid right into a parking space on arrival. I walked into the office, it was unusually quiet. I had a meeting with my manager and her computer wouldn't boot up. She said, "I have to wait for this to load, so you want to go ahead?" The first words I said that day were, "I'm resigning." Everyone knew I quit when they saw me without my telling them. For the next year, I travelled, soothed my inner demons, found the light, learnt a new language, and generally just became a more happy, calm, joyous, and experienced woman. I've been an artist my whole life but was actively discouraged from enjoying that. I had my first art show after that year and started dancing and writing again. I returned to work in 2018, my salary jumped by over half. I am in a good position to go back to school to transition into lines of work I am passionate about. It's the first time I have direction. Not sure it would have happened if I didn't take time off to hear my own voice, instead of trying to answer to everyone else's.

  170. I have been practicing quitting, letting go, downsizing, saying no, embracing solitude, and am currently writing a book called "I'm Done...with that". Fill in the dots with emotional baggage, not learning the first time, and behaviors that are expected versus chosen. YES, quit whatever makes you feel small, soulless, and wasting your time.

  171. Easy to quit when you earn six figures and have a working/earning spouse. Not so easy when you're just the normal Joe or Jill schmo earning the norm or less. It would be a lot easier to quit if universal health care existed in the USA instead of healthcare based on employment.

  172. @Randé OK, so shoot me, but those of us getting disability payments have eligibility (to some degree of review periodically) for insurance. God forbid you look at how cheap someone who served more than 90 days active service is. Alas, there are usually woeful individual situations that get asome of us to seek it, but in some cases, I see people whose family net worths are millions of dollars still getting disability benefits--that system needs to be reevaluated according to such earnings/family wealth, but the repubicans haven't backlashed on SSDI-yet. In time, given the deficit in all SSI (though I don't know if its all the same gov't piggy bank), its doubtless going to mean either too many more people on the rolls if not reformed, or too many people "dropping out" and living w.o disability coverage. Boy won't that be a fight?

  173. @Randé Totally agreed with you Rande. No one has those extra income to do whatever they want to do. Healthcare is the #1 issue in USA. Rent.. food cost, all up and up. It feels like it will never stop

  174. @Randé Six figures doesn't go as far as you think it does with student loan debt. My student loan payment was more than my rent, subsequently more than my mortgage with a VA loan.

  175. Quitting is hardly ever smooth and trouble free: I have been a teacher for 25 years and I have simply come to a point where my life calls for a change. Out of job, out of salary, out of great alternatives still....I quit, I resign, I let go.

  176. I "quit", but had an adequate financial and emotional landing zone. To do otherwise would have been foolish. Be prepared to reinvent yourself BEFORE you slam the boss's door. Make sure it's what you really want to do. I successfully did this and now spend my days chasing redfish (drum) and speckled trout in the creeks and backwaters of Coastal Carolina. My counsel now comes in the form of cries from ibis, oystercatchers, and marsh hens. I have more flats boats than cars. My phone is off. My biggest challenge always seems to be guessing what day of the week it is. Plan first, then leap .....

  177. Just want to note that from a format perspective I don't like these articles where I have to click on each thread to read the individual piece. I would much rather be able to scroll through and see what catches my interest. I've noticed this format cropping up a couple times recently.

  178. @François I agree completely. So annoying.

  179. @François Better to track your interests and customize ads, articles, pharmaceuticals, etc.

  180. So many of these personal stories resonated with me. Herewith a mini cheat sheet that may help to decide to quit, take a leap of faith, or change course: Does this friendship/relationship... -make me happy? -enrich my life? -do I look forward to seeing /enjoy being with x? Carpe Diem! PS: The above can also be adapted for jobs and careers.

  181. So the guy who quit Buying Things basically thinks he's virtuous for being a fully capable, but non-functioning member of society, who mooches off of everyone (whom do you think pays for the health care he receives at the "free" clinics he goes to?), including his fiancee who's going to make a good living (she's in med school)? I thought he was going to say something thoughtful and maybe inspiring, but this has got to be one of the most selfish testimonials I've ever read.

  182. I quit my job, left my wife and kids, and stopped drinking and toking and I have a great group of friends. I make no money and live in a cardboard box, but I have SNAP, medicaid, and free wifi at MacDonads and Chick Filet -- and free NY times at the library. I spend my day reading, learning, and thinking about the meaning of life. I haven't figured that one out, but I read a great book about the history of time and learned that the universe was created from a singular point in space and time, from which infinite mass and energy arose. I haven't figured out what existed prior to that point 10 billon years ago, but I have time to work on that!

  183. I quit smoking after 50+ years. Just stopped cold with no pills or outside help. The realization that if I want to die of old age, I'd have to quit smoking. It's miraculous; I feel so much better now. What a stupid habit. There's just no excuse.

  184. I quit Virginia in 1980. I hated the place. I taught in Newport News, a cultural wasteland. My mostly black school did not have clocks, a PA system or AC, Of course, the white schools did. There was no recess since the playground was covered in glass and there was no playground equipment. In a system that was 50/50 black and white, there was not one black child in the gifted program. I reported this to the state, with very good intervention, but I was basically fired. I will always cherish the memory of my students who were the most enthusiastic l will every encounter.

  185. My daughter works in the food service industry, which she enjoys (the low pay/marginal benefits notwithstanding). And no, not at a McDs. Her main gripe? The labor pool. Out of 100 applicants to an ad, there might be 8 qualified. And THOSE might not even show up for an interview. But even the new hire (if one is found) is more likely to be chronically absent and/or late for work. If threatened with being fired, the new hire quits on the spot. The company is back to square one. Any suggestions?

  186. @Peter It is an interesting issue. I must hire skilled workers for my job. The pay is well above minimum wage and requires commitment and training. These are not skills many people who apply want to develop. I find that many of the young applicants want a bigger wage but are always on the look out for the 'bling' jobs that read well. I offer something solid and consistent with paid lunch breaks, bonuses, and good environment. I persist in looking for just the right people but I can't imagine what it is like when you have no incentive in terms of wage. In Canada, at least, that is why in bigger cities many of the food industry jobs go to new immigrants. Many people do not want to do this work. I get it. It is often not rewarding and diminished by the public. A conundrum indeed.

  187. Well, I was talking to another company anyway, This was the '90s, when people yelled, and slammed doors, and banged the table in the engineering profession. I was on a video conference call, daydreaming and thinking I had to pick the kids up from daycare, when I heard my name. I got yelled at for 20 minutes, not my fault, but my department's fault, you see. After they hung up, I was "congratulated" for getting yelled, and was made part of the team. It happened twice more, and I left for a raise in pay and no yelling.

  188. After a year of repeated physical, sexual, and emotional harassment with virtually no support, I quit the Peace Corps. It took me years to get over feeling like a quitter but it has taken me longer to come to grips with all I endured while there. I wouldn’t expect anyone to tolerate a toxic and unsafe situation yet it was a good ten years before I could afford myself that same grace. My heart goes out to all those struggling.

  189. My family is toxic so I'm trying to quit them, and my abusive upbringing destroyed my ability to trust and makes friendships difficult to sustain. Arguably, some people never got the chance to start before they quit.

  190. I quit going to my physical Catholic church (63 years of it) but did not quit the faith. A physical manifestation run by priests (all ranks) that adorns itself while turning a blind eye to it's abused I could no longer accept. Do I feel better for it. God no. But I could no longer be a hypocrite and sit in a mass without feeling guilty. One of my Catholic instructions most treasured qualities. I still accept it's practices of supporting the poor and it's tenants taught by those who should now be running it the nuns. I respect all those good priests who face this onslaught to their calling and support them. I do not support the church hierarchy who have allowed this happen, most of us never will again. Cardinal Dolan of NYC who is practicing his home state motto of "Show Me" has placed his archdiocese acknowledgment front and center. For those that have faced this issue personally or through a loved one please reach out to them, it is NEVER to late. So for now I say my prayers, try to be kind and wait for when one of the Sisters I know or will know stands on the altar and consecrates the host. Bless you all and maybe throw one my way.

  191. For some years, I provided the best services I possibly could to a clientele that was astute, demanding, and had very high standards. Along with the professional challenges which I relished came inevitable interpersonal ones, because I sometimes had to deal with difficult people. I've never worn Prada, but I've known the devil who does. Eventually, I decided upon a rule: I would continue to take pride in pleasing clients with committed excellence, but the minute one of them said or did something inexcusable, they were done. Very quietly, firmly, cordially, and discreetly. No exceptions or second chances. There were two corollaries. I would not refer them to someone else, and would not mention them as references. Regrettably, I had to part company with a few clients and decline the chance to work with a few others who had intriguing projects that would have been enjoyable to take part in. It was all very orderly. No fits of rage or appeals for me to reconsider. I had no doubt that my former clients would do very well without me. With their resources, they didn't need me to a much higher degree than I didn't need them.

  192. I have no problem walking away from anything that makes me uncomfortable or unhappy. I have quit jobs, relationships, diets you name it I have quit it. This year I want to try and stay, live with the uncomfortable.

  193. In our working career(s), we excel at some but not all. My last job was for a 150 mutual funds administrator (BNY Mellon) in a quality control dept but I had no clue or experience. I had been a temp, then a hire in a straight forward data base job (however, my supervisor who was Asian, told me flat out, "when you smile, your face creeps me out" 6 positions got outsourced and I was moved to a position without a clue (I was told, "you are too logical") anyway, I hung in there, getting near retiring and on the fatal walk to Human Resources I explained the first sentence in this paragraph. No shame!!!! I by inexperience, had quit. The company really was inhuman. People getting sick after 2 years, medical leave and then coming back. Know the kindest people attached to BNY Mellon? The tech supports in India and I certainly let them know it.

  194. During my high school years, while playing basketball, a close friend and neighbor punched me. As no apology came, I just all at once quite the relationship. It must have been near a decade later when I explained what happened to the parents. Sooner or later I had two, their door was just two houses down. MY experience is that quitting comes with or is caused by tremendous emotional energy.

  195. Today I quit reading the British press. Since the toxic Brexit referendum 3 years ago journalists here seem to want to continue if not increase the same amount of divisive, untrue, abusive low standards of ‘journalism’ and ‘click bait’ articles for us to consume and react to by being forced to pick a side. For some reason I also notice politicians and advisors here are dressing more and more as if they have just rolled out of bed - an attempt to connect more with ‘the people’ no doubt ( But instead it just makes me feel disrespected) . Over the years I’ve watched how the news here has affected many people’s mental health, tolerance, intelligence and sense of self worth. I see what their game is now and I can’t bear it anymore.

  196. Consumerism is the evil force that keeps us chained to our jobs. If we could resist all the greedy banks, Starbucks, relentless advertisers and marketers who tell us to buy, buy, buy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, some of us would be able to retire sooner and enjoy life before we get old and gray and full of illness. Now that Amazon rather than malls rule our lives, instant gratification and shopping addiction is more pervasive than ever. If we don't spend money on frivolous junk, we're not "living." True living, however, means having as much as free time as you need to nurture and support yourself. Banks, the US government, all businesses don't want that, so they make it as hard as possible to save any of your hard-earned money. Want to walk away and quit with no stress? Drop Starbucks, Netflix, Amazon, Apple, etc., from your life and see your savings balloon upwards.

  197. I agree that if we quit, we don’t go back to people for whom we were habituated but having them in our lives was no longer meaningful. However, it is also true that life keeps sending us back to those that defines us and shapes who we are, though it is possible that they may not be alive but it is their memories to which we repeatedly revert.

  198. Being an older person, I related to many of these stories. They are stories of coming to know yourself and know what is right for you and what you really want and need, and stories of letting the expectations that don't fit you fall away. I felt lighter and more hopeful just reading through them. Well done, everyone!

  199. My thoughts exactly Rande. How many people would just like to tell their boss or company to just shove it. I worked for County Government. The benefits kept me in a job I disliked for many years. A change of boss was the final straw. It isn’t relevant, but she looked the role. 300 lbs of bossy, manipulative, man-hating, nitpicking trouble. I quit. It made me happy. I think it was mutual. It just wasn’t worth it.

  200. Don't know if I can call it quitting (as I'd waited to find another job), but handing in my notice to an employer that stifled any growth was one of the best things I've ever done. I've since been promoted at my new place of employment. Sometimes you just need to realize that a job is there to sustain you, and if extra effort and increased experience is not recognized, time to find something that will equally or better sustain your life and offer room for development.

  201. I don't always agree with my father, but as I was leaving school and about to start my own career, he cautioned that I should never be afraid to walk away from a bad job, or anything really that just wasn't working, as long as I'd truly given my best. Reading some of these comments makes me glad I listened.

  202. I quit NYC two years ago. That place is a drug.

  203. I love these and believe in quitting. Takes guts. How else are you going to create that next chapter?

  204. I almost completely quit. Life that is. At age 47... I had a "perfect storm" of stress caused by some health issues, financial issues, spiritual issues and, loneliness amongst other stressors. I went into a dark place for 5 years; 3 stays at psych hospitals, all sorts of therapy, including ECT shock therapy, a few exorcisms from my local Greek Orthodox Priest (God bless you Father Michael!...don't laugh; the priest in the film Exorcist was Greek Orthodox. ;)) Talk therapy for several years from an excellent therapist which I wish I had done decades earlier...support from family, friends, workplace and more. I finally came-out of it after 5 years. Feels like a dream now. I ended-up "quiting" a job I loved; I was a high school art history teacher...I loved my work! I remember a therapist telling me it can be extremely hard to realize you are burned-out when you love something. True for me. I also "quit" my hometown beach community in California which I thought I'd never leave. Now; I'm on a Greek island with one traffic light living a good and simple life. It's not for everybody, but I can suggest it to those wanting a to get closer to Mother Earth, growing your patience, having real time for relationships with family, friends and lover and, feeling the joy and wonder of youth again. Also, not feeling the need to accumulate more material "stuff." I'm blessed. Finally, for anybody in that really dark place of true depression please don't quit on life. It can get better.

  205. I quit Facebook after ten years of involvement. If was fun and useful for the first few years but eventually it wore thin and I became disappointed with the quality of the content and level of interaction. It could be the times or it could be that I no longer have the desire to share myself on social media platforms. The beginning was energizing but by the end it had become an energy sink. I don't miss it at all now and have not replaced it with any other social media platform other than the occasional comment here on the NYT site. Hi there.

  206. I think I was about 10 years old when I told my mother that I felt bored by the girls' church group I was a member of, and she told me I didn't have to go if I didn't want to. It was an epiphany: Just because all the other girls in the Sunday school class belonged to the group, just because I thought my parents wanted me to be part of the group, just because I was expected to be in the group, didn't mean I had to go to meetings and memorize Bible verses and move up the steps from Lady-in-Waiting to Princess to Queen. I just had three more verses to learn before becoming Queen, but I quit. My sister "quit" her first marriage because she felt that she hadn't really had a chance to be herself, rather than a daughter and then a girlfriend and then a wife. She took her time finding another husband, and has been married to him for nearly 30 years. Jobs are harder, though, especially in this country, where health insurance is a problem without one. Fortunately I'm old enough for Medicare now.