I hear the phrase “Do what you gotta do” allot.  But what does that mean?  Usually it is used in the context to give someone a free pass to do what they think is right and will make themselves happy even if it means disappointing everyone who is dear to them.  What does this truly mean and is it a free pass?

If I had to “do what I had to do,” at least did what I felt would make me happy, I would leave England.

Once I had left  England, then what?  I would have no job, no means to buy a car, health insurance, or pay my bills.  I am totally reliant on other people. I would need to find a job in archaeology, as it is what I love to do.  This would most likely come in the form of temporary work, which may pay the bills for the moment, but doesn’t pay for health insurance.  I would still need a car and a house.

Leaving England with my family means getting a visa and a job for my husband.

Out of the amount of people who “do what they have to do,” how many actually benefit?  Do they end up regretting their choice and end up facing the choice to “do what they gotta do” again?

What about the phrase being used in terms of making life better for everyone but themselves?  The people who “do what they gotta do” to make their children better off and sacrifice all happiness for themselves.  I must seem like a real selfish human being.

As someone who drowns in depression every so often, I seem to run this phrase through my head to figure out what would get me out of this dark hole.  In the past, I may do what I thought was best and quit a job.  Now that I have a family, I find this an extremely hard quest to carry out.  With debt up to my eye balls, I can no longer choose to quit my job and with joblessness the way it is, I should be thankful for having one.  With a husband of another nationality, it makes it extremely hard to move back to my own country.  And with a young son, every little decision seems vital and needs to be thought out with extreme forethought and planning, which to me eludes from the nature of the question.

In my opinion, this phrase is far from a free pass.  In fact, I think it makes things harder.  I personally have a hard time thinking of just myself.  I can’t put my thumb over the other faces in the picture.  However, I am not making myself happy or the others around me happy.  I feel I am helping to paddle in a circle and never really move forward, I hope for the current to push the boat in a random direction that forces change, unfortunately this doesn’t necessarily come as change I want.