| June 27, 2019

You gotta do what you gotta do

You gotta do what you gotta do

Dear Swastika,
I’ve been struggling with this problem for some time now. I’m in a long term relationship, which, like all relationships, has its share of ups and downs, excitements and boredoms. My problem is how I feel like I owe it to myself to give up this relationship and look for a better one as we all have only one life. We get into really, really nasty fights sometimes which feel like the end of everything to me but when things are fine, they are fine and I’m happy. But even on days when things are ‘normal,’ I don’t feel great about us. We never have ‘friendly’ conversations about mundane matters and this has always troubled me. He is the type who likes to keep quiet while I want to talk and share my opinions. Am I holding on because it’s in our nature to want to make things work no matter what? Or is this how everyone feels? I haven’t talked about this with him because he’s not big on ‘this sort of communication.’
- Dazed and confused

You know what dazes me and confuses me? The story of ‘Three Little Pigs.’ Have you read it? I have read it and re-read it and sought different versions of the story and read them all. But no matter how many times I read it, I don’t see any point. I mean, what is the point of a story where three pigs build a house out of which the one built by straw and another built by logs get blown away by a fox except for the third house built with bricks? I wonder what the moral in that story is. Is it that pigs can trick a fox and kill it? Or is it a capitalist agenda trying to promote concrete houses instead of traditional structures? Is it telling us that people like foxes, who try to destroy the lives of innocent people like pigs, eventually meet their demise? Or is it that people like foxes can destroy poor people like the first two pigs but can’t do a thing to people like the rich pig with a brick house? It simply doesn’t make a coherent sense to me and you’ve no idea the extent to which the three little pigs have bothered me and tormented me since my childhood.
Why am I talking about ‘Three Little Pigs’ to you? Because this morning, I literally woke up thinking about the pigs again. And just this morning it hit me—some stories don’t have a point. They just are what they are. Not everything needs to be theorized, not everything needs to be explained.
Un-daze yourself. Un-confuse yourself. Free yourself of questions and just focus on the fact you know to be true. You know you are falling out of love. You know there still is a force that is making you try and work it out. You know this relationship is beginning to make you feel bitter. There is no life, energy or joy in this relationship. Your heart is beginning to drift away. You know you need something else to feel the joy of being alive.
You ask, “Am I holding on because it’s in our nature to want to make things work no matter what? Or is this how everyone feels?” But do you want answers to this question or do you want to live with love, joy and happiness? I think, sometimes in life, there is no point. There is no theory. There are no definite answers to human instincts and behavior. There are speculations, and guesses and psychological theories. While these answers satisfy your curiosity, they don’t change your life.

What can change your life? You. You can change your life. You can face in the direction of your joy, love and happiness that you seek and keep walking in that direction. If this current relationship is not on your path, then it must go. If it is, then well, keep walking with it. Sometimes life is much simpler when you learn to let go without fear, things that have become baggage instead of being your journey or your path. You gotta do what you gotta do. You know what you gotta do. So just do it.

Swastika Shrestha is the co-founder and head of training and support at Teach for Nepal. She has several years of experience training and mentoring youth leaders. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..