The Should-ers

Everyday I hear of situations that turn lives in a different direction than ever expected. These curves include injuries, disease, family life, and the like. You never know what could be waiting around the corner. The important thing is to be present and enjoy every moment.

I hear people question my way of life and the way I earn a living. “Who do you think you are telling me how to run my life?” Honestly, this is my internal reaction most of the time when people try to advise me on my life. I don’t know that it is so much an arrogance on my part to reject that someone might have insight. It is more a boundary breach that I try not to do to others.

I know that I am not going to change until I am ready. I know that others are probably wired just the same. So why do people try to parent me? That’s really what unsolicited advice feels like if you evaluate it. Unless I am given permission to, I try to refrain from doing this to others. I am not a big fan of should-ing people. The term should holds a certain amount of shame in my eyes. I was handed enough shoulds in my family life to last a lifetime. I don’t need others handing me their shoulds as well. From what I see, a should is usually a reflection of the shoulder’s own inadequacy. In such, they are trying to fix something they cannot in themselves by requiring me to be something I care not to be. Go fix your own life before you try fixing mine. When I am ready to be fixed, I promise, you may not be the first to know.

I think dancers and artists bare more shoulds than most.  “You should be doing something more useful with your life”. “You should get an education that will get you a job.” Let’s be honest. Any degree from a university these days, is not likely to get you a job in your field. If you enjoy dance and want to get a degree in it, you are still going to learn critical thinking while fulfilling a part of yourself that you may never get to gorge again especially if you give into the shoulds. “You should be doing something more realistic.” How’s that working out for you should-er? Are you happy in your realistic world? Are you happy being a grown-up? Really?

We live for a very long time. We are going to have multiple careers during that long time. If you love something and can make a living at it while your body is able, why would you not indulge that? If you can dance and people want you to share that part of you – even if it is just part-time or a single project, why would you not indulge that? Stop listening to the shoulds in your life. Listen to your heart. If your heart says for this next while you are meant to dance and live in expression, then do so. Those who should you, aren’t respecting your heart. Why would you keep that around?

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