I want. The most under used and over used statement in the English language.
As a child, roaming the aisles of a crowded super market, your eyes catch all the fancies it has to offer. You peruse the ‘sweetie’ shelves trying to decide which chocolate it is you would like and then you call out to your mum or dad in the neediest possible tone… “Muuuuuuummmmm, I want this!” She scolds you for whining and promptly refuses, after all, you are at the corner store for only a pint of milk. Grossly disheartened you try again in the hopes that this time she will acknowledge and deliver on your request… “But mummmmmm, I want it” and before the words have cooled off of your tongue, she speedily backhands your arse. In her most disciplinary tone she turns to you and at the top of her maternal voice shouts “I want DOESN’T get” leaving you in tears, sans the chocolate with a red faced woman pulling your arm to remove you from the store – After all, she is the embarrassed one.
And there it begins, we are engrained with the ‘I want, doesn’t get’ mantra. We learn to stop asking because we no longer enjoy the disappointment. We learn in time that if we truly want something, we can rely on no one else but ourselves to go out and get it. We learn that we do not actually know what we want and so spend hours searching for a brand of vacuum cleaner we like or a washing powder that is practical. We forget that we wanted to do something meaningful with our lives and instead ended up doing something sensible. We spent a childhood WANTING and being told we could not have, only to grow up as adults who know longer know how to get what we want. That is, if we have been smart enough to figure it out at all.
Now you are with friends, a partner or family and you decide that no one feels like cooking tonight. The question is put out there “What do you want for dinner?” You can’t answer. The truth is you do not know what you want and because your sub conscious has been trained not to know, you spend 45 minutes perusing the take out menu only to decide that a trip to Tesco’s for a loaf of bread would probably be the cheaper, more practical option, though no one else agrees. Deep down, you knew you wanted a pizza but because everyone else wanted fried chicken it was probably the safest option. So you give in, you concede to the majority because that is the easier way, to give in to what everyone else wants to save you the hassle of making a final decision only to have it challenged.
We have become a nation of drones. We either know what we want but are too afraid to say it… or we don’t have a clue what we want and so we ‘go with the flow’. We never give definite answers, women have memes created about them and we spend our lives miserable and unsatisfied because we were too indoctrinated to speak up. We pose questions for which the responses are vague. We answer questions with questions. If something is asked of us we respond with words such as maybe, possibly, we could, we can, I don’t mind, why not. We have become afraid of saying I WANT. We fear judgement and so we have forgotten what it is to speak up. We fear ourselves and so we have forgotten what it is to live. We fear that knowing what it is we want will be the destruction of thinking what it is we need. We live responsibly – Working in jobs that are safe, driving cars that are practical, eating foods because we should, being agreeable because it is expected.
I ask people daily… What do you WANT to do with your life and never do I receive a response that is selfish. You would imagine that this is a good thing, right? No. If I ask a mum of two what she wants for her future, she may say that if her children are happy then she is happy. Sounds legit. Well it’s a load of crap because that same mum actually wanted to be a pilot and travel the world but she didn’t and now she won’t because she fears that it won’t relate to what other people or her children want. So she forgets what she wants and when asked the question, she cannot answer, she cannot disappoint herself.
Well I say fuck that.
It is about time that we stopped being sheep. It is about time that we learn to stand up and shout from the roof tops what it is we want. Why is it so difficult for adults to just open their mouths and let their desires out without fearing rejection, judgement, disappointment and ridicule? When did it become ok to just DO because it’s the right thing instead of LIVE because you have desires to fulfil?
If I asked you what you wanted, could you answer? Could you release your deepest desires and be wholly truthful without fearing your own response? I am not talking generic answers, being happy isn’t a WANT – It is a state of mind. I am talking specifics. I am talking honesty. I am talking raw, heartfelt cravings for yourself and for your life.
I am not saying you have to have it all figured out but by Gods, at least try! At least be grown up enough to speak what you think instead of censor yourself for public viewing, If you want something say so! In the same breath, if you don’t want something, say it as well.
Our parents may have said ‘I want doesn’t get’ to us many times, but they also said something else. They said ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get.’ Perhaps we should’ve listened a little more to that one instead.
Next time someone asks you what it is you want for dinner, just tell them you wanted the pizza. Maybe finally you’ll get something you want.