"Saying no to one thing is saying yes to something else." I consider that phrase hollow bullshit. It's so easy to create clever sentences that don't actually describe our complex existence. It's harder to consider the underlying frailties of being a person.
Don't get me wrong, I think there's something noble in quitting. I've always found quitting harder than starting. I can start a thousand new things in a day. I can begin a dozen meaningless and unimportant projects before I even have my first cup of coffee. But quitting generally takes real resolve and comes with real disappointment.
This past month, I've seen several big, public, and meaningful ends to things that were good. Dave Caolo quit 52Tiger. Daniel Jalkut ended Bit Splitting1 and Michael Schechter shuttered his personal site BetterMess.2
Quitting something is often more than it seems. Quitting one thing is not saying yes to something else. Quitting can mean watching more T.V. or dinking around with keyboard macros. Quitting can mean spending more time with your family or reading more crap about plastic iPhones. What we do with the time in between projects is not defined by the projects we choose not to do. It is defined by priorities.
But, to me, quitting always means that I've found some structure and priority where previously there was a lack. I don't quit so I can start something new. I quit things when I remember what I want my life to be about. Every sentence needs a period before the next can begin. But, sometimes, it's just the end of the story.
Hiatus, break, temporary leave, call it what you will. It feels like an end to me. ↩
Good bye. There was some really great and memorable moments made by these people. These things were made of honest and considered words, crafted by people that really cared about what they made. That's more rare than I like. ↩