I Shouldn’t, But I Want To.

should and wantIt’s a sentence I’ve said more times than I can count. I said it just yesterday, in fact. In response to a friend’s vehement declaration that I should not see a particular person, my response was, “I know I shouldn’t, but I want to.”

I sometimes find myself in a purgatory of the things I should not do, but desire to do anyway. The things I should not do often times make for memorable stories laced with subliminal regret. The things I shouldn’t do, but choose to, are the stuff this blog is made of. Those experiences fill the pages of my life with color. They punctuate my existence with exclamation points.

I shouldn’t text you, but I want to. I shouldn’t see you, but I want to. I shouldn’t tell you that we’ll never be the same, but I want to. You, you and the other you. Three completely different yous. I shouldn’t care about any of you anymore, but somehow, I want to. Somehow I still do. There are times when I will follow my should and times when I will completely turn my back on it in favor of my wants.

Some people have a way with you that causes you to recklessly abandon your shoulds. Everything you declared you wouldn’t do or say or think dissolves into a puddle slipping through your lovedrunk fingers. You are undone. Unraveled. A maze of strings fighting to tie yourself back together.  The simple buzz of your phone can send you into a tail spin, the vacant space in your mind suddenly swirling with overanalytical musings. You wonder what it is about them–the way they look at you, the way their hands graze your back, the way your body perfectly fits next to theirs–that has you so incredibly shipwrecked. You are a fusion of the things you know about yourself and the things they do to you, which feels exciting and foolish all at once. You struggle to regain your composure, to recall your logic, to curse them somewhere into irrelevance. To remember them is to remember every vulnerability you’ve ever had.

You cannot live your life in complete shoulds, nor can you exist in complete wants. To follow the latter is to commit yourself to an empty life of hedonism; to follow the the former is to promise you will never own authentic joy. To live in should is to never know happiness, heartbreak, and hangovers. To live in want is to never know peace, priorities, and poise. You have to find a fine place in the middle of the seesaw. Sometimes you will. Sometimes you will not. Sometimes you should. And, sometimes you want.




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