I was 13, maybe 14, when I quit the CCF at school.
The Combined Cadet
Force. Otherwise known as the youth Army, Navy and Air Force here in the UK.
Lots of students signed up. It was a popular, cool thing to do.
So I signed up too.
I learnt about map-reading…
I got taught how to salute the commanding
And I spent dusky evenings crawling on my hands and knees through sodden, muddy fields.
One weekend, all the CCF students went on “CCF Camp”.
And the fun didn’t stop.
We ate sloppy food from metal tins…
Marched relentlessly through the quad until blisters were peeling from our feet…
And the accommodation was like something out of a horror film (think Saw meets The Cabin in the Woods).
I could even see the lights of a nearby Hilton twinkling through the fir trees. Knowing that goose-feather pillows, fluffy towelling-robes and room service were within touching distance made things even worse.
On top of all this, I missed home.
A lot of my fellow cadets loved CCF Camp. But I thought it was hell.
Clearly the activities weren’t really my bag.
But on a deeper level I knew the CCF just wasn’t for me.
So when I was back at school, I grabbed a friend who was equally unconvinced (can’t remember who) and we strode over to the kit-room, dumped our kit on the floor, looked up at the growling kit-man and sheepishly announced “We’re quitting”.
Then we scurried away.
It was a huge relief. And I was delighted.
It was an early example about how quitting can be a positive, intentional action rather than a
shameful or guilt-ridden decision.
Don’t get me wrong. Quitting can be the latter too.
But it doesn’t need to be.
I think we know when we’re quitting for the right reasons. Even if people are telling us to “stick it out” or “push harder” in a way which suggests they think quitting means we don’t like hard work, we aren’t resilient or we’re a
But the truth is, some things are simply not the right things for us.
We might’ve outgrown a situation…
Maybe our goals have changed…
Perhaps the thing that was right for us once isn’t right any more…
Or maybe it was never right for us in the first place.
Whatever the situation, knowing that some things simply aren’t for you could make it easier to let go of these things. And save yourself some stress and strain
along the way.
And once you do, more time opens up for whatever is the right thing for you.
Which, to my mind, is what life is all about.
That’s my two pennies’ worth for today.
Catch you tomorrow.