What would giving up look like?

This is a dramatic monologue.

I have hit the fucking wall.

I have climbed and scrambled and ripped and shat and pulled and pressed myself into situations where I wanted to belong.

shave cream

I have wheeled and dealed and spanked and spat and kissed and begged and bugged (lots of bugging).

kids fight

I have worked and efforted and cried and tried and kept on going.

I have twisted into a ball of shame and died then gotten back up again and kept going without any sleep.

I have been high.

I have been low.

I have thought I was dying.


I have been in a constant state of do and go and try and give and share and make for a long time now and the one thing I have never, never ever done is give up.

give up tomato

You know that place when all the doors are slamming so hard in your face it becomes a fucking comedy show. All the places you normally get the job or write the article or teach the class, all the “go to’s” that make you feel just good enough to keep going because “how dare you want more” and “this is what it’s like following your dreams” and “you are lucky compared to the rest of them” voices are in your head?

When everywhere you turn it’s a no and you cannot help but think “is God trying to tell me something?”

You know that feeling?

And then finally, finally, finally after enough friends have asked “do you have seasonal affective disorder?” and “have you had your hormone levels checked recently?” you stop and think.

“This is not working right now. What have I not done yet?”

And the answer is- give up.

And weeks go by and now it’s getting hazy inside because there is less and less to occupy yourself with all the spooky closed doors so there becomes a lot of tidying and cooking and writing halves of proposals and sketching ideas for grants and even building a book outline but definitely no relaxing. No taking advantage of the space that has opened up. In fact staying as far away from that hole in the ground as possible. And getting used to living with a low to mid grade terror and shame constantly crashing like waves through your body, day in, day out…

And the thought enters you again.

Give up.

What does that even look like?


Because you can’t give up in hopes that the giving up will bring you your hearts desire. No. That’s a trick that has been tried.

You have to really, truly give up. Like let it go and be in the nothing and walk through the valley of death alone, without shoes on, amongst the cacti in the dark and stand there looking for a moon that is not there anymore. But not even that romantic.


Giving up is the real deal.

There is nothing more complete.

Some people call it surrender but it doesn’t sound like that to me. Surrender is a soft and gentle sound. To me, giving up is violent. I’m on the ground, femur bone sticking through my thigh, face bashed in so my jaw is gone, one eyeball out, no fingernails left, beaten in the guts till unconscious and I have just awoke to find I cannot take a deep breath due to so many cracked ribs.

The sound is raspy and hollow and thin like Voldomort’s last cry.

And it terrifies me.

The big GIVE UP I have thought of so far is not bringing my computer with me on my honeymoon. I know. Craaaazy!

But for me it’s epic. No writing. No connecting. Not trying to be smart and useful to the world.

I will be nothing special. I will just be me.

This horror of spaciousness needs to get looked at.

And the distractions that stop me from the dive down are endless.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Please don’t misunderstand me. This is a dramatic monologue and my intentions are good. I may be a hot mess but I only want to serve. I just need to figure out do I fight or do I flow?

Giving up:

Not writing anyone about any potential work.

Do yoga.


Read for pleasure.

Wander around.

Be bored.

Don’t think about the future. Don’t plan for the future. Don’t worry about the future.

Talk to people on the phone rather than email or facebook.

Have sex with my husband more often.

When panic about money sets in, breathe it out. That’s what lines of credit are for.

Write creative ideas down in a notebook ONLY.

Don’t buy clothing or makeup.

Cook good for me food.

When it gets really scary lie down.

Try this for 30 days. Try it. Just try.

Just give up on yourself for once. Your dreams and ambitions and goals and purpose and point. Just try to be only you and see if maybe that you has some thoughtful things to say.

It’s radical.

I can’t think of anything worse.

Sounds right up my alley.


I’m up for it.

“Let’s quit, quit! quit!” we all yell together as we fist pump into the sunset.