It is award season in Hollywood and the Oscars are quickly approaching. With the #oscarsowhite controversy I thought it would be befitting to celebrate Black History Month by recognizing black women who have impacted the film industry. We got a bit of a late start but each week we will highlight actresses, directors, producers, or writers that have made strides for black women in film. Since Hollywood won’t give you the due credit, we will recognize you not only for your great work, but also for your #BlackGirlMagic.
I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and it was brought to my attention a path my life COULD have taken if only I WOULD have done things differently. I’ll admit, I had my moment; I even pointed fingers and played the blame game. And then I realized, my life is exactly where and how it SHOULD be.
But that got me thinking about the SHOULDA, COULDA, WOULDA. And then I asked, why do these words even exist in our vocabulary?
Should is defined as the past tense of shall; it is also used to express condition, propriety, expediency, futurity, or what is probable.
Would is defined as the past tense of will; it can also be used to express consent or choice, custom or habitual action, or plans or intentions.
Could is the past tense of can; it may also be used in the past conditional to express possibility or ability.
But if you think about the most common uses for SHOULD, COULD, and WOULD, and even consider the grammatically correct uses for them, do we really need them in our vocabulary?
Many times I find myself saying “I should have done this, and I would have if only I could have blah blah blah…” But instead of harping on what I did not do, what I did not choose, or what did not go as planned or expected I should take responsibility for my actions and trust that things are happening just the way they are meant to happen.
Don’t focus on the SHOULDA, COULDA, WOULDA. Instead focus on the SHALL, CAN, and the WILL.
I SHALL do this. I CAN do this. I WILL do this. That’s all we need.
What SHALL you do today to make your life different? What WILL you do to make your life better? What CAN you do to get started? Stop talking about it in the future tense and be about it in the present tense. And when referring to something in the past own up to what did happen and what you did or did not do. Because if we focus on the shoulda, coulda, woulda, we will always be looking at what we think we have missed out on.
I’m preaching to myself too!