i do what i want

I do what I want.

I really do. The past year I’ve been making a conscious effort to do what I want — and perhaps more importantly — not do what I don’t want.

This may sound incredibly selfish or irresponsible, but I disagree.

This idea first started circulating in my brain a couple of summers ago when I felt a lot of social pressure to attend a number of baby and wedding showers. I decided I would only go to the ones I actually wanted to attend, because if it were me, I wouldn’t want anyone coming to my shower because they felt like they had to be there. It was such a relief! I felt I had control over my life, that I could make my own decisions, and maybe the best part was that I was able to feel genuine enthusiasm for the events I did choose to attend. I want to have that same feeling of freedom — of acting out of choice, not obligation — in everything I do.

This doesn’t mean I enjoy every single thing I do. For example, I don’t always enjoy doing the dishes, but I do it. But I don’t do it because I want to do the dishes, I do it because I want to be helpful. If I didn’t want to help, then I would most certainly not do the dishes. I don’t always enjoy cleaning the house, but I want to live in a clean house, and so I choose to clean. I don’t always want to get up early and go to work, but I do it because I love my job and I want to do it well. It’s a choice I make every day — not an obligation.

Of course, in reality, we are all obligated to do certain things, but I do my best to avoid acting out of obligation. If I really have to do something, I try to find a reason why I might want to do that thing so that I can find joy in doing it. For example, I am obligated to pay my mortgage every month, and the truth is I want to do that, because I want to be a responsible adult, and I want to live in my beautiful house.

If this perspective still sounds selfish to you, consider for a moment how much more it means to you when someone pays you a compliment or does you a favor — not because they have to do it, but because they want to do it.

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7 thoughts on “i do what i want

  1. Hallo Emily greetings from Nairobi, i have read your post and i like your Independence of thought. Maybe one thing that you need to do is to increase the font size of your blog post so that one cant strain reading. Otherwise i look forward to learning from your blog

  2. “Obligation” is usually, if not always, an entrapment by others to do their bidding. Let them. Kudos to you for rising above it.

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