I think many of us can testify to being instilled with a belief that art was something you didn’t need to work at.
You were either good at it or you were not. You either had it or you did not.
After years of 60 to 70 hour work weeks (in the “soft and cushy” part of the industry), leaving was a choice only in the sense that stepping off the railway track when a train is bearing down on you is a choice.
I didn’t yet know I was miserable because I had no creative output, but I did know that the train was coming.