The Right Thing To Do | By: Edward Harris | | Category: Short Story - Advice Bookmark and Share

The Right Thing To Do

            Ok, there had been a long time as boyfriend and girlfriend. We had broken up a couple of times and still kept coming back to each other. And it is sad to realize now that whatever you did was not because you really wanted it, but for falling to a kind of invisible pressure on you: to do what was “right” to do, and not what you really wanted instead. I can't help feel the chills when somebody say “the right thing to do”, because you can't make everybody happy, no matter the decisions you make. 

            All my life has been just like that: pleasing others instead of going for a screaming voice inside was telling me to do. Examples? There are many. I remember having been bullied at school because I used to be fat. Even when I learned martial arts and lost a lot of weight, they kept bulling me. Why didn't I say or do anything? Because “the right thing to do” was to stay away from trouble and not give mom and dad reasons to be summoned to school to hear how bad his son had behaved. And the screaming voice went burning inside of me saying: “Kick their ass!! You are stronger, you are faster, you know they are just a bunch of immature and insecure idiots trying to strengthen their masculinity beating the crap out of you!! YOU know how to and can put this all to an end!! Just fight one of them and make sure he gets so hurt that they won't be back for more!! Please do it!!” But I silenced it pretending it was not there. The same when I came back with my girlfriend. She wanted commitment, she wanted to come back and do something about the relationship. I was happy with things just the way they were, and the voice was saying exactly the same: “Why would you want to put chains to your life? Don't be an idiot. YOU know that this is NOT REMOTELY what you want and need. You know there is this other woman won't be alone if you let your girlfriend go, that other girl just needs time, she's been hurt and wants to make sure, but don go and ruin your life!! Be patient!!” And what did I do? I went the opposite direction: I got married, and the second I said “I do”, I knew I had screwed big time, but there was no turning back. Things were done already. Always doing what was “the right thing to do”, even though I knew it was not the one for me. 

            A couple of months ago I became a father...yes, you guessed it: I didn't want it either. But having a child was “the right thing to do” to be a complete family. Now, I can't travel and see the world, I can't hang out with friends, I can't see the woman I really love. I'm tied. Once a cartoon character said. “Marriage is like a coffin, and every child is a nail on it” I cracked up when I heard it, now I find it is sadly true. 

            What is the lesson to learn? For me, there isn't any; just carry the burden of what I brought to myself. The lesson is for you out there: Don't let the voice that tells you what is “the right thing to do FOR YOURSELF” fades and dies. Mine has never spoken again. And it took me a lot of time to understand that the voice was me. Now I'm but a zombie who goes home to work and back, everyday. I go to bed at night and for the last weeks, there hasn't been a single night in which I have not cried missing the life I lost, and my guiding inner voice. Listen to it and give it a shoot. This is the only life we have, there is a lot to learn. Read, study, meet people, see the world, make true friends. LIVE!! Maybe you won't be able to prove what you know to be true, maybe you will find yourself tired of being alone, and when that happens, you will have learned a lot to know who is the right one and that you KNOW you want to share your life with her. 

            Don't let your days go by doing what others expect you to do because it is “the right thing to do”. Find YOUR OWN right thing and do it. 

             I know that most of you will not agree with what I just said, because I am sure you have your reasons, and I respect that. But I am also sure that some of you will feel touched by my sort of confession and say: "Wow...I'm going through this right now". This confession, rather than a story, is for them. To help them learn that they are not alone, and that there is someone who went through the same thing they are going through and shares his experience.


                                          Have a great life.

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