Want Should and Are

Within each of us there reside 3 people.  The person we want to be, the person we think we should be, and the person we are. I don’t know if those italics were really necessary, but they seem like something a real writer would do, so I put them in.

Deciphering the difference between these is difficult to say the least. Sometimes all 3 converge, sometimes there’s a battle between one of them, conscience? Perhaps. But being true to yourself is often easier said than done. All of us have a people-pleaser inside, just as all of us have a critic. All of us have a peacemaker, just as all of us are reactionary. We audit ourselves in different situations based on which of the 3 dominates the specific situation.

I think that who we truly are fluctuates as we evolve, learn and grow. Wisdom affords us a true self-awareness that we are incapable of before we learn many of life’s valuable lessons; but our true self is at our core, the diamond in the rough. It is the foundation upon which we sculpt and perfect and build who we are.

But there are many slippery slopes along the way. The good old Joneses, for example. We see our peers getting married, having babies, making x amount of dollars. We feel the need to keep up with that standard, if not surpass it. We follow should for far too long at many points in our lives. It is often very easy, so easy in fact that we do not even recognize it happening. We lose sight of who we are, and follow what we should, or what we want. After all, it’s the norm, the standard. We line up and follow along.

I’ve got news for you people, I’ve met The Joneses and they are assholes. They are liars who don’t pay their bills and lie to their fake friends. Their house is a fucking disaster inside, and they wipe from back to front.

But at what point on this path do we stop and look back at the mile markers, realizing that we missed a lot of sightseeing and opportunities along the way? That we had the choice to take other paths, paths that may have been more true to ourselves, to our are’s.

But the beautiful thing is that it’s never too late! That should helped lead you closer to are. You can turn around, you can take another path forward or backward or parallel, but choose wisely, because now many of us wind up on good old want to be street.

Should has made it easier for us to navigate towards are, but this is where want to be steps in and puts her arm around you gently, and guides you towards her interpretation of who you want to be. She takes you into the party and points her slender finger around showing you character models as if it were a showroom. We continue to model our perceptions of right and wrong, good and bad and find a few role models to help show us the ropes. We find the parts of ourselves in them which we most identify with and begin the process of becoming the person we (think) we want to be.

All of this is happening on a rather subconscious level. We think we know so much, we are so smart, we have it all figured out!  Guess what? We don’t know shit. We are a bunch of sleepwalkers muddling through our existence based on past assessments and future predictions. But none of us wake up until we decide to live in the here and now. To be mindful creatures. To simply be makes us who we are.

I’m not talking about a ha ha ha live in the moment here today gone tomorrow disregard the consequences of our actions kind of living in the moment. Just the opposite. I’m talking about this moment is the only one we are guaranteed. When we stop obsessing over our past and release the anxieties of our future, only then do we experience life as who we truly are.

Are is the plural form of the present tense (indicative mood) of be and the singular form used with you.

I know that hurt my head a little too.

It just means that are is a present word.

Where should is based in either the past or present tense, and want is in the future. Neither of which we are.

Did I drop acid this evening, you’re wondering?  No, but this concept has been front and center in my mind for a while now and I just felt like seeing the words on paper (screen).

I read a lot, and the concept of mindfulness is a powerful one. I find it captivating, and something that takes constant practice but which rewards one hundred fold. And yes, I did just say one hundred fold.

This journey we are privileged enough to be on is worth paying attention to. All the details, all the beautiful intricacies, the love, the pain, the joy and sorrow, because all of it equals who we are.  Each unique and wonderful.

Now go enjoy your evening, be mindful, and be who you are.

32 replies

  1. We were the Jones’s. My father made a buttload of money. We had a nice house and a nice car and ate in fancy restaurants twice a month. We had tons of ‘friends’ and were invited to many parties.

    Actually, my father was invited to those parties and he just dragged us along so he could be the center of attention, while we pretended to be the perfect family.

    At what cost? Dignity.

    What I learned?

    I am what I should be for my son, because he deserves an environment free of influencer from the past.

    For my wife and the rest of the world I try to be what I want to be, but I realize that I’m not perfect and I realize that I’m allowed to make mistakes. Therefore I treat others like I want to be treated and I grant them that same freedom. To learn to walk by falling. To make Mistakes and learn.

  2. Life is love, pain, joy and sorrow. we have to deal with
    all of them the best we can. we will make mistakes but
    we can correct the situation as best we can. we also
    will fall but dust ourselves off and be the best we can.
    you have to look deep into your heart and soul, and
    thats who we are. If we see things we don’t like—we
    can change that as well. Be yourself. If some people
    don’t like you then tough shit because you don’t need

  3. Tracy, this is a good reminder to just be. You think it would be simple and easy, but it isn’t really. It’s hard not to think of tomorrow and make plan for parts of it. But I will do my best.

  4. Ah – being mindful – a favorite concept for me to think about – but harder to actually put into practice – but that’s the beauty of life – it’s all practice – just do it again. And again – then once more. Little shifts and changes along the way. Then do it again.


  5. You know, being a single woman, I had ideas of where I was going with myself. As a mother, I had more ideas of where I was leading kids and myself. As a wife, I had ideas of where I didn’t want to go anymore which fucked with all of me. Amidst THAT particular time in my life, I asked my boss…”Do you ever feel like 3 people?” I couldn’t, or rather didn’t continue because the sharpness in her eyes with her immediate, “No.”, made me remember that she was on anti-psychotic medication. I can always break my processes down into a) who I am b) who I was and c) who I want to be – those three are always playing, contrasting, refining who I am. I think your post is saying that in your way but in a much better and well written manner. thanks- …or are you and I just a tad psychotic?

  6. This reminds me of the saying that at our essence we are human beings, not human doings. We keep striving for something but we’re never really sure where we’re going. If we stop and are mindful, we realize we are already there.
    Nice post – and thanks for the grammar reminder (are-be-you).

  7. You seem to get better all the time, Tracy.
    I’ve utilized part of this post for an upcoming piece that will be gracing my blog soon. Not to worry though, I’ve given you full credit. You work has inspired me and so I intend to tell the world once again just how brilliant you truly are.

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