Lately I have felt the ever present heaviness of pressure, I don’t mean atmospheric or even physical but in the sense that everything is converging to a single point and despite knowing how pointless it is, it doesn’t seem to help relieve it.
There are many pressures we each go through day to day, work being the most obvious, then there is social pressure, familial pressure, relationship pressure; all of the above come with the caveat that there is more than single minded pressure but also encouragement – sometimes however it’s hard to make that distinction.
Then there is financial pressure, there is no chance of let up on that score, and health pressure is something we might never have control over, political pressure – probably best to leave that steaming hot mess alone but I’m not sure anyone ever feels thrilled and comfortable in the hands of any given leader or ideology.
All of these are pressures we mostly do quite well at absorbing and carrying on with the things we do have an atom of control over. None of them quite hit the nail on the head of the pressure that I am struggling with at the moment however.
At a young age, I knew that one day I wanted to get married, have a house and have kids, and the naive little me said “oh thirty seems like a good age, not too young, not too old, yes thirty is the one”. Now practically speaking, I think we can mostly all say that mapping out ones life is so much easier said than done. It is one of those things that had this twenty eight year old me appeared like an apparition to the younger me and explained that fact, I probably wouldn’t have listened because some things you have to experience for yourself.
Well shit, I am twenty eight, that’s only two years until I am thirty and this deadline that is self imposed is terrifying me! It’s my own prophesy, if you like, that I am completely panic stricken over fulfilling. There is the occasional pressure externally, for example when we got married in 2015, barely was the honeymoon over and the suspicion starting pouring in: “oh you feel ‘sick’ do you?” accompanied by a conspiratory smile. “I am not pregnant! I’m not ready for that thank you very much” would be my reply.
Then there is the house and home part, living in London I think has made it so that on this score we are a little behind some of our friends. The help to buy ISA has been opened and I am more indecisive than ever; I have gone from wanting to move to High Wycombe to Oxford, Maidenhead to Reading and back to Watford. Disregarding the war of practicality and affordability vs the romanticised idea I have in my head of what a home should be, I feel ill-equipped to make a decision on that level of permanence, what with my self imposed deadline this house could potentially see the birth of our first child, or it could be somewhere we only live for a year and we decide that somewhere else is the one. To throw a spanner in the works, every time we visit my Grandpa in Dorchester we are struck with a feeling of love and comfort and home, it is completely impractical but it’s there. My husband could move with his job but for me, if I want to keep going on the career path that I am on then London really is the only place to be, or at best a large city.
My husband is perfectly calm, he is that way inclined, he puts up with me and my many quirks with effortless grace, and he sways with me whenever I have yet another change of heart, there is no pressure there and that is of course a strong place to be.
Life is bloody scary! But it’s also exciting and rich with emotion and experience and everything in between, I have no idea what the future will bring and mostly I am okay with the unknown. At some point, and that point is soon whether it be in two or five years, we have to make decisions that seem bigger and harder than any of the ones we have already made. There are dreams that have evolved or died and hopes and expectations that have defied all sense but despite all of the curve balls (sorry I couldn’t think of an Anglicised expression) we are here, we are happy and that should be enough.
If we can remember that five years ago we were poor and working demoralising jobs struggling to make ends meet.
Four years ago I had a crisis of confidence and went traveling, something I never dreamed I would have the strength or gumption to do by myself.
Three years ago I decided to let fate lead me to a new career despite having spent four years of my life studying my vocation, and I was lucky enough to land in the company I work for now.
Two years ago the man I love and who had stuck by me through thick and thin asked me to be with him forever.
And one year ago, I was happily married but unsure of where to go with my career, I took a leap of faith and now feel incredibly lucky to be working with a team of extremely accomplished and inspiring ladies.
If you can think about how much you have achieved in just the last five years, remember also the falls because you got back up and you carried on and they are just as important (if not more), and look at where you are today. Then actually, know that we will get there because we have got this far already and in the next five years life will change as many inexplicable times as you’ve just reminisced upon. I suppose that’s what you might call perspective, perspective when you think of other people and you is cloudy. Perspective within your own history, is clear so for now, let’s try and do that.