Should, Want, Can

For most of my life, I’ve been aware of three things:

1. What I want to do.
2. What I should (want) to do.
3. How I do not really want to do what I should; I just want to do what I want.

And suddenly, I am not quite so sure anymore. I don’t like the word ‘should’, but I can’t stop thinking about it.

It was a predicament. A frustrating one.

I am not brave. But you can’t really pin that on me. We are not condtioned to be brave – bravery is foolhardy nonsense – we are taught to be careful (in math as well as in life). And we are such good students.

Yesterday, L and I started a very random conversation on Whatsapp. We talked about the regular stuff: stability vs. boredom, safey vs. courage, this vs. that.

The textbook issues of a quarter life crisis. It seems my generation is particularly susceptible to it – my peers are catching it and dropping like flies to bouts of self-doubt and (carefully concealed) anxiety.

I thought it is normal. When enough people stats feeling and acting a certain way, it becomes normalised. Normacy is a team sport; it needs a certain number of players before it can commence.

Now, the perennial question: what should I do?

And it’s twin: what do I want to do?

Then the actually important one: what can I do?

I don’t have the answers, but I have decided to spend some time pondering them instead of pretending that they don’t exist.

Lying to yourself never works. We might as well get that straight right away.


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