The Freedom to Abandon

— the amazing option to quit

I had a freakish nightmare where I was in a Westworld kind of amusement park (although less amusing). There were different ‘quests’ visitors could slide into, many of them disturbing.

I was with a group of visitors and a lady comes up to us and asks us to help her tutor deformed youth. The youth had faces that were bulbus and asymmetrical, one eye was 5 times bigger than the other. My sister in law was going so I followed.

When I went into the classroom, I had to login at a computer. I could see myself on the monitor, as if looking at a self facing camera. Where was my sister in law? She strangely disappeared. There were several flashes, I felt as if I were being recorded and I got a bad feeling.

‘Sorry kids, I have to go!’

I felt bad, looking at the lady who requested help. I was sad to leave the kids but I felt even worse for not following through something I agreed to.

But technically, I had the option to leave. I didn’t feel safe.

Further in the dream, I got hypnotized by a large bulky man. He put his palm on my head and I felt incredibly relaxed. Then I realized he was inducing me into a state for some other purpose.

It took a lot of strength to push him off.

But it was too late. I’d been affected. I looked around and noticed malnourished babies. They told me it was just a matter of time before I would start lactating. The induced state I was in transformed my body into a milk machine.

Waking up, I realized how much I value the option to abandon.

Society always tells me ‘to stick with it’. I remember the first quarter of business school and I thought about dropping out. A fellow student encouraged me to ‘stick with it’. They told me their parents always told them to ‘stick with it’. It seemed like a ‘good’ thing to do, what honorable people do–they ‘stick with things til the end’.

Later, I came to realize no one knows what they’re talking about.

I ‘stuck with it’ expecting a reward. But nothing (relevant) came. I wish I had reconsidered.

It’s easier to stick to doing something where you don’t have to remind yourself constantly to stick with it.

I’ve been sewing in the past few months. I’d start on a project, feel overwhelmed, abandon, but somehow, I naturally come back. For now, I don’t need to remind myself to stick with sewing. If I return, it’s important to me. If not, there are other things I’m interested in.

I used to beat myself up about abandoning projects. There was a time I was interested in illustrating in 3D. I followed a tutorial and completed a donut but never went back to finish the coffee that went with it. I never went back.

There are countless activities I’ve begun with the intention of completing. For years I had a knitted scarf laying around, not long enough to wrap around the neck. In the spring I bought seeds and planters but they’re still in our storage. It’s frustrating to see evidence of things you meant to do but never did, but now that I’m transforming how I’m seeing these unfinished projects–these are evidence of freedom, I had the choice to abandon.

It’s not tangible, you can’t store or collect the option to abandon, because sometimes you don’t have that option–so it’s hard to be thankful.

There are so many situations where I don’t have the choice to abandon. So why not celebrate the activities where I had the choice? These unfinished projects are physical representations of that freedom.

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active deletion is the key to life

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