Styling: Holly Elgeti. Make-up: Nicky Weir using Hourglass. Hair: Alex Szabo at Carol Hayes using T3

Holly Elgeti. Nicky Weir used Hourglass to apply make-up. Alex Szabo, Carol Hayes Hair using T3 

As I age, I realize that being able to tell when it’s time for me to stop is a vital life skill. Growing up, we are constantly taught that we have to keep at it, to put the effort in, to clock up the necessary distance on life’s milometer.

However, no one talks much about the pure joy of giving up. We expect that nothing and no one will last forever, yet we continue to work in unfulfilling roles and relationships. This is because culturally there is more value to completion than moving on.

I remember being warned at school about the risks of changing jobs when I started working.

‘It’ll look bad on your CV!’ the careers adviser would shriek. She ignored the fact that I’d put ‘salsa dancing’ on there as a hobby even though I’d only been to one lesson before…well, quitting.

As a result, I stayed in jobs that didn’t make me happy for far too long. During my 20s, I would let romantic relationships linger for years, even when my gut told me something wasn’t right.

A friendship was not possible for me to end, even if it turned out to have been a little too toxic. When I was the last to leave a party, it made me feel guilty. 

Everything changed when I was in my 30s. I divorced, and the world around me didn’t collapse. I realised that no one was going to judge me as harshly as I had imagined and that my life was my own to live.

Nobody talks about the pure pleasure that comes from giving up 

After I realized that I was right, I began a fever for quitting. I quit my job. I quit my home. I changed countries. I moved to different book publishers.

When I was ready to sleep, I quit parties. I did all of this because I didn’t want to waste one single second more trying to ‘stick at it’ according to someone else’s invented metric of how I should behave.

And here’s the thing: once I started quitting, I created space in my life to welcome in the prospects and people who brought me joy. I met my husband. Friendships I found nourishing were more important than those that drain me. A podcast was launched by me. Books I was passionate about I wrote. Miraculously, this column was mys and allowed me to write whatever I wanted, week after week. I had the support of amazing editors and readers. Some of you wrote me letters and sent emails along the way. I have kept them all among my most cherished possessions because even if we’ve never met, you know me better than some of my real-life acquaintances. Your understanding and empathy make me feel truly understood. Thank you so much.

These days, I get to quit for positive reasons – not because anything is wrong, but because many things are right and I want to see what happens when I say yes to new opportunities.

This is how I can say that the last three years of this column have been a joy. My life has been transformed both personally and professionally over that period. If you’re a regular reader, you will know that one of my most profound desires is to become a mother. Deep down I believe that if I want to make this happen, it is necessary to first allow the possibility to occur.

This will be the last column I write for YOU magazine. This is it for the moment. Thanks for reading my blog.

Being a part of your weekly life has been a great honor. But let’s not be sad about it. Let’s simply celebrate the art of knowing when to go.


This week I’m…

 LISTENING to the Sweet Bobby podcast: the story of a decade-long catfishing scam. Absolutely riveting.


 WEARING mix-and-match charm earring hoops. This is a fantastic idea! From £50,