There’s pressure everywhere around us. Pressure to succeed, pressure to be good looking, pressure to be likable, pressure to be strong, pressure to be knowledgeable, pressure to be rich. The list could go on and on. While there are all these pressures from the outside world, I find that I feel the highest amount of pressure, from myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel pressure from the surrounding world and the pressure to be who others think I should be. But, I actually can say that I do not care much about what they think, not anymore. This is because I cared so long about what other people think, that I ended up turning into and being someone that I am just not. I tried to be “straight”, to fit in the world of where girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, girl marries boy, girl gets house and a white picket fence with boy, girl has babies with boy, girl grows old with boy.
What I found is that I didn’t like myself when I was succumbing to the pressures of being who others think I should be. I was miserable. More than miserable. I was a horrible shell of a person. It hurt everyday to be me because me wasn’t me. It was what others pressured me into thinking I should be. The pressure to fit in, to be liked, to be the same, to be what is expected. That pressure ate away at me every day. The pressure then became a giant boulder that I carried around. When I finally decided to stop listening to the pressures and just be who I am, a gay woman, it was a giant relief. It wasn’t easy, but it was the best thing that I ever did, even if I did do it twice. Whoops.
Now I find that I am the happiest I have ever been, I am the one putting severe pressure on myself everyday. I feel that I am not doing enough, that the work I am doing is not good enough. I constantly find reasons to let myself succumb to this pressure. These reasons are more like excuses. The pressure turns into fear. Fear that I won’t succeed. Fear that the work I do won’t be good enough. I feel pressured writing this blog even right this minute. When I started to write about pressure, I thought it was going in a completely different direction. Then the words started flowing out a different way. I feel the pressure from myself that I need to change it, re-write it back to the way it should have been. Who’s to say it should be any certain way? It shouldn’t. Although I feel pressure all the time, it is the first time in my life, that I am not letting it get to me. I am pushing through each day and doing the things that I want to do. I am staring the pressure directly in the face and saying “I will not let you control me.”