I want you to give up.

I really feel like just giving up. Even today, after all my soul searching, discovering my why of what I do and who I do it for, and I just want to throw in the towel.

There are days I wonder if it’s all worth it. Working my ass off and worrying about when my next booking will come, and if I’ll be able to make ends meet that month. Wondering if anyone sees or hears me, because some days I feel like I’m talking to an empty room.

I want to blame others. No one cares, someone has hurt me by ignoring me, that my work just flat out sucks, that others are better than me or more deserving.

So I’ve made up my mind, I’m giving up. I want you to give up with me. You have my permission to throw in the towel at whatever is stressing you. A new job, your own business, a knitting class, that you couldn’t make that awesome cake you saw on Pinterest for your kid’s birthday. Whatever it is, you can go on and give up. Come sit by me.

While we’re sitting together, let’s think about it. Man. It feels like a load has been lifted, right? I feel so much better knowing that I don’t have to struggle anymore. Do you feel that too? The best part is, my family, my friends, and most importantly, my children, will still love me nonetheless. What a freaking relief.

And this, my friends, is taking the easy way out. Now that we feel so much better, let’s think about what it means to give up. It means we don’t want to struggle, that we want to be happy and content right now because this bump in the road has knocked us down and we are bruised and hurt. That road to following your dreams, your purpose, is not worth it. YOU are not worth it. We just taught our kids the lesson of giving up means you don’t have to fight or worry anymore. We also taught them to stop dreaming. To stop believing in themselves. To take the easy way out if something challenges them.

Now I want that guilt to overcome you. I want it to debilitate you. So here we are, incapacitated, with nothing but our thoughts of what we’ve just done. What WE have done. No one else. Just us. You and me. We are responsible for our own actions. It doesn’t really matter if someone is stronger or smarter than us, we alone decide our own fate. That bump in the road is just us getting in our own way. Can you live with what  you’ve just done?

I can’t. And I know you can’t either. It’s easy to give up. It is damn hard to push forward in our worst of times.

So here we are, on the floor and hurt. So what do we do? We push. We say it in our minds, we’ve hit rock bottom. We bask in that brief and oh-so-wonderful feeling of bliss that we don’t have to fight anymore. Now, I want you to say screw that. So we push. Go on, get up. Our legs are wobbly and we’re sore. It’s painful and we are afraid of what’s to come next but we do it anyway.

We teach our kids that taking the easy way out is not an option. That falling down and getting hurt is the only way we can continue to find our own paths. Once we accept it, we take that power back. That for every struggle, every misstep, every obstacle we face is a badge of honor. It’s not about how many times we fall, but how many times we get up when we feel like staying down. Let’s keep going back for more. You are worth fighting for.

We can give up. It’s ok to give up. But we owe it to ourselves, and others who we love, to get back up. To move forward. To build our wings on the way down after after we jump off that cliff. And we land on our own two feet.

Someone once told me that I’m like a dog who gets kicked and who keeps coming back for more. At first, I was really offended by that. I was hurt. But then I realized…Yes. I. Am. I accept that, and it’s something that I am proud of now. I will never stop fighting for what I believe in. 

I believe that life’s greatest lesson, is to be able to stand on your own two feet.

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xo,

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Emily J Photographer -

Absolutely beautiful!! I am having an I want to quit moment myself. Sat and had a good cry about it last night and today I’m back on my feet pushing forward. It is so hard, but so worth it!

Allison Vickery Gallagher -

I am so posting this to my FB page… I know some people who can use this today!! Love it!!!

Jelger & Tanja Photography -

Thanks you for this post! Very recognisable! It deels good to read we’re not alone. :)

Lia Londono Diaz -

Beautiful Jenn!!

David Bracetty -

This rocks! Not only for creatives but for anyone in the struggle. Thanks!

Lauren Trantham Dahn -

Bam! You nailed it, and thats why you are such an inspiration!

Michelle Sorek Edgerton -

This is so well written and such a perfect time for me. I love this! Thank you for being courageous enough to write this.

Long Island Children's Photographer | Jen Lightful -

[…] but yet feeling guilty that I’ve let my business slip away. I wrote a blog post about giving up, and there I was, deep down in the depths of that hole I talked about, and there was no one there […]