Katie doesn’t have any experience with this topic—that’s why she’s opening up to all of you in hopes of learning more!
How many times have you heard, “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do…?” And now how many times have you heard, “Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do…?” Depending on the situation, either of the above statements could apply.
I find this confusing. I understand both statements when they’re applied, but as I have gotten older, I struggling to understand why the latter statement is acceptable. We tell our children to do what makes them happy. We ask our children if they are having fun. That’s what is important. So, why does it change as we get older? Ok, sure…our responsibilities change and expand. Our priorities change and mature. But that doesn’t mean we need drop our happiness, right?
Now, I believe there’s always a caveat. I am not suggesting we drop accountability and just become self-indulgent. For example, growing up as an athlete and a dancer, I understand the benefits of training. Not training to win, but training for self-improvements and self-discipline. Sometimes it’s inconvenient, painful, and even brings on tears. But for me, the training process made me happy. The overcoming of a challenge made me happy. The fact that I knew I could do anything I set my mind to made me happy.
This has carried into my adult life, in a different way. I am not training to win life necessarily. But, I feel like I’m training myself to still overcome and push past the hurdles. We all know that life throws many curveballs, many of which we probably wouldn’t choose for ourselves. To me, that’s plenty to worry about. Therefore, the last thing I want to do is make an active choice to do something I don’t love. I’ll tell you a secret—the curveballs are easier to handle when they’re bookended with happiness and gratitude as opposed to a cycle of frustrations.
Like I said earlier, I understand the statement and that we all have to “do things” we don’t want to. But what I’m getting at is WHY do anymore than that? Don’t, for one second, think you're obligated to anything but your happiness.
One of my closest friends is my biggest inspiration in this thinking. She is never afraid to say, “No, because I just don’t want to.” And honestly, I love her more for it.