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S. Isabelle Harounian Headshot

Why I'm Not A Quitter

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Words of wisdom run through my mind like a rapid heart beat pumping for a breath of fresh air. "Finish what you've started. Don't give up. If you quit once, you'll realize how easy it is to do it again."

I've never been accused of being a quitter nor have I been known for one. But I've quit many things in my life so far. I quit dragging my "ahmi" safety blanket around thinking it would protect me from monstrous adults drowning me with their kisses. I quit trick or treating when I realized that I was competing for Hershey bars with five-year-olds who were cuter than me. I quit believing in superstitions as I saw a homeless person walk under a construction ladder to accept food from a stranger in the street. I even quit a job after only two weeks of working with a boss who sandbagged his clients and referred to his wife as a douchebag.

But quitting has never become a way of life for me. While I've quit believing that love is enough, that people are who they seem to be and that there are people who don't hurt you intentionally, I haven't quit believing that we're all born good and retain some goodness despite everything. I haven't quit conversing with God, having faith and believing in the power of family and true friends, especially my own. I haven't quit loving nature despite its storms, winds, burns and floods. I haven't quit seeing the glass half-full, despite a few drops that may be left at times. I still imagine the light at the end of the tunnel and turn at corners as the road becomes short. I still forgive, even after I've been hurt. I still take risks, hoping for the best despite feeling fearful. I still believe in the sanctity of marriage despite divorce rates. You see, I've quit many things, but I haven't given up.

I haven't given up because I still give a damn. I still want to feel things, to care, to dream, however impossible, because that's what makes me aware that I'm alive -- breathing, moving, doing -- affecting someone, anyone, something and anything.

As my mother, a tower of strength, always says, "I bend, but I don't break." I surge ahead knowing even after defeat that life won't wait for me to live it. I've often wished for a pause, rewind, fast-forward or delete button, but would life get easier, I wonder? No, as moments later I remember that I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm one of the lucky ones because I've lived, not at the corners, the sidelines or at the tips, but in the center of life's moments. I've lived and haven't given up on living.

Quitting takes courage, but not giving up takes strength of character.

Here's to never giving up on what really matters. Here's to turning new leaves where miracles lie, bending the light, and seeing what seems like the impossible as plausible.

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