When it comes to life, there are always rules for how you are supposed to live your life.
The rules come from society, dictating a pre-determined order for how your life should play out; they come from previous generations, who have outdated rules of (gasp!) morality and behavior that is deemed appropriate, and in my case, ladylike; they come from our friends and family, who throw all these standards and expectations at us, based on the small fraction of our personalities that they know.
Throughout my life so far, I’ve had a lot of people tell me what I should choose to do as a career, who I should date because he would be wonderful, what kinds of experience I should have before I turn some specific age, and how I should respond to any stresses in life. I’m done with all the should-ing.
When I was in university, I was there to become a doctor and was unhappily trudging my way through pre-med, hating every moment of organic chemistry, physics, and microbiology. I knew immediately that this wasn’t the path I wanted to follow. But, my parents insisted that this was where I should be.
Two years in, I said, “Should this!” and changed my major and went on to become a teacher.
Were my parents happy? Nope. They worried, and continue to worry, that I didn’t live up to the potential that I should have reached through my ultimate completion of medical school. Am I happy? Well, I can tell you this: the first time I stepped out in front of a classroom and taught on my own, I knew, without a doubt that this was where I belonged.
There are so many should’s that have been thrown at me throughout the past few years, as I have gotten older. My grandmother is consistently telling me how I should get married, especially before I get old and undesirable (her words, not mine). One of my close friends is always telling me how I should buy my own place instead of flushing money down the toilet by renting my apartment.
And then there are those who are always telling me who I should date, and how they have the most perfect match for me. Needless to say they have always been wrong, and my heart wants what it wants, not what they think it should want.
Do what makes you happy, or what you genuinely believe is going to make you happy.
There are people who have your best interests in mind when they throw you the should’s; they want you to be the best version of yourself as possible. What most of these people fail to realize, is that there is so much to you, so much beyond the surface, that only you know about.
There are dreams and wishes and goals that you keep inside your heart that you may never share with another living soul. Sometimes, you have to forget all the should’s that are being screamed at you, and listen to the whispers coming from your heart.
After all, you are the one who has to live with you and your choices and everyone else can just should it.
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Assistant Editor: Judith Andersson / Ed: Catherine Monkman