Forget About Should


By De & Kate

There seem to be infinite sources surrounding us openly offering suggestions for how to live our lives, and conversely, how not to live our lives. The feedback ranges from the unsolicited opinions of a stranger in the bedding aisle at TJ Maxx to the well-intentioned advice of our close friends.

Talk show hosts and reality stars are quick to guide us towards all the things we should buying, the clothes we should be wearing, the things we should be saying, and all the experiences we should be having.

In a world where we’re quick to question ourselves, our talents, our skills, and sometimes even our own worth, expert advice doesn’t only seem plentiful, it seems imperative. We want the golden ticket. So, we watch and we listen. And then we buy, speak, wear, and live accordingly.

But then, somewhere along the way, as we’re sitting in an uncomfortable pair of skintight jeans, watching a show we don’t even think is that funny while chugging a mediocre (at best) banana kale smoothie, it dawns on us: This doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t fit. Obviously, the jeans don’t fit. But none of the rest of it fits either.

It feels like we’re living someone else’s life. Probably because we are.

So, we change the channel and we dump the rest of the smoothie, and we decide we’re done with all things we should be doing.

We forget about how we should be feeling and we decide to see what it’s like to just feel. To let it in and to let it out. The laughter, the tears, the frustrations, the dreams, all of it.

We decide to write our own damn script. We write it knowing that along the way, we’ll try, we’ll falter, we’ll fail, we’ll succeed, and for all those reasons, the story will be uniquely our own.

For the first time, in a long time, maybe ever, we decide to trust. To trust ourselves. Our bodies. Our souls.

We become so focused on pursuing our passions that we forget all the ‘shoulds’. And we find what makes us feel alive – not what makes our sister, or coworker, or the lady at TJ Maxx, or favorite celebrity feel alive – but us.

We simplify.

We simplify by removing all the ways we’ve been told life works best.

And this is what we find:

It’s okay if you never leave your hometown and it’s okay if you leave and never look back.

It’s okay if you contour your face daily and it’s okay if you don’t even know what that means.

It’s okay to travel, get married, and have kids. The opposite is also okay.

Leave a job for another one. Or leave a job for the unknown.

Watch TV. Or don’t. Learn to cook. Or don’t. Love to decorate. Or don’t.

Feel happy one day, and sad the next.

Be broken and fulfilled at the same time.

Make mistakes and learn from them – or make the same mistakes again.

Pave a path that’s all your own, and in doing so, inspire others to do the same.

Find what feels real, what feels authentic, what feels like home.

Find what feels so right that even as the world keeps doling out its advice, telling you what it thinks is beautiful, how it measures success, and what it deems important, you continue to create your own definitions. Live the life you want, not the life you think you should have.

{featured image via unsplash}