The Idea of Must and Should

The book that I’m currently reading, “The Crossroads of Should and Must” by Elle Luna, has made me think a lot about the kind of life that I’m living. Now, I bought this book just before I graduated. It seemed to be something that I needed. What I didn’t realize was that the core concept was already in my heart.

There are two ideas that this book focuses on. The first is the idea of Should. These are all the things that you are expected to do by the people around you, by society, by anyone that isn’t you. These are things like the idea that you have to go to college. Or what kind of job you have to get. The second idea is Must. These are the things that you are passionate about, that you need to do to feel complete at your core.

And when I was reading this book, I realized something. I already knew about these concepts. I knew about these before I started this book. I knew about these before I even bought the book. And I have the proof that I knew it already. As a project in college, I had to write a manifesto. This was for a class about habits and playing with creativity. We looked at Manifestos from everywhere like the Riot Gurrrl manifesto. We were supposed to be creating a manifesto for ourselves, something that we could really hold onto.

When I created my manifesto, I focused on graduation and moving forward in my creative life. But I wanted to make it even more special. I made 3 copies of my manifesto. I made 3 copies by typing them up on an older typewriter that my school owned. I tried a number of times to do this. I spent two hours typing on this typewriter to make those three copies as close to perfect as I could. The best copy went to my teacher as something she could hold onto for other classes. She requested that we include a second copy for her to make a note on or something before giving it (or in my case, sending it) back to us. The third copy is mine. The third copy is pinned to the cork board next to my bed.
I was reading “The Crossroads of Should and Must” when I looked over at it. The last line of my manifesto sums up what I was feeling right then and there.

“You will keep moving forward because you can still walk, because there is still time, because that is what you must do.”

Now. There’s a lot that comes before that. I remind myself that I’m not old and I’m not young. I remind myself that there are always ups and downs. This manifesto for me wasn’t just about the future in general, but the path that I have wanted to take my entire life. In essence, this Manifesto is about my Must.

Even if you don’t think about it in a way so consciously, there is something in your life that probably drives you. Maybe it’s a way that you want to live your life. Maybe it’s the goal of being remembered. Whatever your dream is about, whatever your must is, doesn’t really matter. Just chase it.

I know that this is a really sappy blog post, but with my life where it is, I often find myself losing sight of what I want. I keep putting writing projects on hold after a long day of writing and editing for other people. But what I don’t find in those jobs is what drives me forward. Just because I’m helping someone else tell their story, doesn’t mean I feel fulfilled as a writer. I want to share my own stories and spread out my own ideas. That is what moves me forward. It’s part of what helps me write blog posts. I have things I want to say, and even if not that many people are looking I must do it.

I simply must.


(Just a note; I wrote this while I was reading the book, “The Crossroads of Should and Must” by Elle Luna. If you’ve been looking at my GoodReads, then you might have noticed that I’ve already finished the book. The review will be coming out next week. The extra buffer will allow me some time to read the next book I wanted to review. And I have a lot of thoughts that I wanted to put down in a separate post from the review.)

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