The Day I Wanted To Quit

The day I wanted to quit. “Quit what?” you may ask. There are a ton of things I’ve wanted to quit in my life, but most of the time I never went through with it. I can blame my stubborn attitude, or hard head. Specifically, I think it may have been that I took pride in never giving up and quitting. The mindset of “Yea, i may suck, but at least I didn’t give up like a quitter.” Like the saying goes, winners never quit, right?

I think back to high school whenever I want to quit. Being an overweight, angsty teen doing cross country and track. And I can say as a definitive that those years were hell. Not because of all the running (yea, that sucked too), but because of the consistent embarrassment of being in last place. All. The. Time. That only lasted my first year of doing it, because consistency obviously makes you a stronger and better at what you want to do. But the moral of the story was this: I didn’t give up, no matter how bad m knees hurt, no matter how many people beat me, and no matter how much worse I did than the last race. I would set my mindset right, and promise to do better when the next race came around. And I can honestly say I prided myself on it.

But there comes a time when you need to quit for your own good, and that was very difficult for me to accept because it happened more recently. I was working two jobs during Fall 2018, and not being in college, it was working out for a bit. But the long days became more tiring as time went on. My body wasn’t physically tired, but my mind was. I felt foggy and cloudy most of the days, and there were some moments where I just felt like a zombie just going with the flow of it all. Essentially, I was working 8am-10pm five or six days out of the week, and I was at the point of “What the absolute f*ck am I doing with my life?”. I wasn’t writing anymore, I wasn’t smiling anymore, I wasn’t living (or so it felt like). And so, I sat down one evening, and after weeks of deliberation, I quit one of the jobs. After that, I felt life swell up in me; think of a flower being revived after winter, or say, blowing up a balloon. I was like that, somewhat full again.

There was a time in my life when I truly did want to quit writing. I actually do almost every day, but always come back for more. After I published my first poetry collection, Euphoria, I was a bright-eyed man that was so excited for its future. Like a high school graduate, or someone who realizes their dream for the first time in their life. I was filled with hope. That I, F.s. Yousaf, am going to become a WRITER. Full fledged author baby. But. But. But. Wait up. What happens after you become an author? You need to sell books, right? And Euphoria was just not… selling. Maybe it was the title, or the rush job, or even the cover at the time. The fact of the matter was that my book was not good enough to compete with the other books in the market, and it hurt seeing others do better than me.

So i thought about quitting. Like forreal. I wanted to stop. Get rid of my account. Everything and anything. I wanted to stop feeling like I wasn’t good enough, like my writing wasn’t good enough for this world. But what would have I been if I quit in that very moment? What would have happened if I deleted my account, unpublished my book, and just felt sorrow for myself? What would have happened?

In life, there are moments when you know you should give up on something, and there are moments when you know you should wait it out, and push through the difficulties. Working those two jobs sucked. And quitting one of them made breathing easier for me. Working through every race as a knee-cracking, overweight teen made me (skinnier) a person I tend to refer back to, and someone I look to for guidance. Even though that boy and I are different, and I’ve outgrown him, I still remember him fondly. And not quitting writing, but amending it to a way where I’m not mentally exhausted and hate writing at the end of the day is one of the bigger blessings. And of course, I want my writing career to take off one day, like a space shuttle on its way to the moon, but I’m not willing to compromise my own mental well-being for that cause, not anymore at least.

And not quitting took me to where I am, with my second book killing the game (Alhamdulillah) and being in front of the eyes of so, so many.

So weigh your options. Don’t quit something you love doing, no matter how slow it may seem at the moment. Don’t quit because your latest IG post got lower likes than another persons. Don’t quit, at all. Because you never know where this wondrous, yet confusing life will take you. You’re the driver in your own life, but at times there are detours, closed roads, and other surprises. Keep on working, your time will come. I promise.

Sincerely,

F.s. Yousaf

10 Hours (And Then Some)

My eyes open slowly, with some struggle, as if weights were tied onto the lashes. Its 12:02 P.M. and I lay there groaning, just thinking of why in the world I would go to sleep at an ungodly time like 3 A.M. My head lightly pounds, in intervals, as if a high school marching band drummer is following a routine, and it sucks. The whole morning is gone and I can only think that the day is ending in T-minus 10 hours. What could i possibly accomplish in merely 10 hours?

I’m 22 1/2, father time is catching up to me slowly and giving me exactly what I deserve for testing my whole limitations.

So, we were talking about 10 hours, right? What could one do in 10 measly hours? Well I could play video games all day, that could work. Or I can plan for a very difficult (and some may say, torturous) semester. I could sit down and think of the next great novella, or even poetry book, or I can sit down and watch my laptop all day, constantly refreshing the amount of books I’ve sold in their lifetime.

The possibilities are endless I suppose.

But in all honesty, what could a person do in 10 hours?

  1. Read a book
  2. Write more poems
  3. Pray
  4. Hit the gym
  5. Donate money
  6. Talk to your mom
  7. And your sisters
  8. Maybe even visit your dad who just came back from Pakistan
  9. Cradle your newborn nephew
  10. Play with your 3 year-old nephew
  11. Hang out with your friends
  12. Think of all the places you can travel to once YOU. HAVE. MONEY.
  13. Text the wife
  14. Go for a run
  15. Meditate
  16. Watch some netflix
  17. FaceTime the wife
  18. See the wife (she’s gonna kill me for how far down the list this is)
  19. Go to Starbucks
  20. Reconnect with high school friends (LOL pass)
  21. Fight with random people over twitter (Never do)
  22. Retweet funny memes
  23. Spend unreasonable amount of time on Reddit
  24. Watch some football (Rip Jets)
  25. Talk to brand new people
  26. Eat some good food and be grateful you have teeth
  27. Write the next great poem that’s as messed up as ‘Daddy’ by Sylvia Plath
  28. Listen to music
  29. Lay in bed and think of how people actually elected Donald Trump
  30. Have an existential crisis
  31. And a mental breakdown
  32. Also wonder why you’re back in bed
  33. Oh you can drive to Toronto in 8 hours
  34. 6 hours to Buffalo even
  35. Contemplate why you didn’t do more with your life, even though you’re only 22 years YOUNG.
  36. Uhm I think that may be it
  37. I should def try this blogging thing out
  38. Also this blog post only took me 28 minutes to make
  39. I should def revise it.
  40. But ill be back soon hopefully with more thought out posts
  41. i was just really inspired at the moment.