I have been in my lowest of late. I have felt so pressured but by who? I don’t really know, maybe by the timeline every one subconsciously wants to follow.. Finish primary school at 9, secondary school at 16, university at 20 or 22 if you’re studying ‘big’ course like medicine, get married at 24, blah blah.
Who made this standard? Who is it, whether dead or alive that has put some much pressure on humans from the time they were born?
Oh, he is One? He should be saying few words by now. Oh, honey haven’t you thought of enrolling him in a kindergarten? He seems smart, he can handle it. You’re 15 in Js2?! What have you been doing with your life? Your mates are about to graduate from secondary school.
It is like you’re are born and put in a maze, with instructions only on how much time you need to spend in a path. Find your way, you must, but you must not spend more than so so so time here and there. They subtly say, “no, I am not trying to rush you, but you must be on time “. You must also know that a delay in your time would reflect on theirs, therefore you must run, and whether you like to admit it or not, you’re running for 2+ so if you fail, we all fail.
The peer group that give in to pressure and external influence the most are parents, so concerned about what people have to say about their child’s exam score, clothing, personality, institute of learning, course of study, all for unprovoked bragging and unhealthy competitions. You’d often hear, “what do you expect people to say when they see you doing this or hear you did that”. What do you need all those information for?
I have seen a lot of people make terrible life decisions due to pressure from the society.
“So why are you studying medicine”?
“Oh so growing up, my dad really wanted to become a medical doctor but he father was indigent due to the Civil War and was not financially capable of sending my father to medical school, so my father swore that his first son must study medicine, so hear am I”.
“You’re so talented musically, why are you studying Law?”
” I come from a family of lawyers, it would be a disappointment if I don’t follow suit”.
I have met a number of people dying of depression because every day, they live another person’s dream, constantly doing things that do not make them happy.
An unknown force has said 30 years is the time limit for trying to be “successful”. And in the force’s context “successful” means being financially stable and married with kids. If one is missing in the equation, lol sorry you failed.
At 18 the pressure kicks in for the boys, little wonder they venture into whatever form of “business” , doesn’t really matter, what matters now is that they MUST now make ends meet as men.
For my ladies, it starts to kick in at 20, ” I must be married at 23, get pregnant at 24, give birth at 25″. At 23 desperation kicks in, standards start reducing, long list of desired features start to shorten. ” It doesn’t matter now, I’m running out of time “.
The Question : Which time? Who set the stop clock?
For the millennials and Gen Z, the marriage and kid thing is mostly out of the equation and replaced with ” owning a multi-million making company(ies) and living the best life”. Now the question is, how and why are you pressured to live the ‘best’ life? The pressure comes in when the ‘best life’ is for the sole purpose of creating aesthetically pleasing social media contents instead of enjoying what life has to offer.
Someone might be reading and be thinking, ” oh, she is disregarding the fact that someone people are actually purpose driven and full of passion for success.” I am not. In fact I have met a lot like that too. Neither am I disregarding the fact that there is also positive pressure.
I’m in my early 20’s and I have a great desire to achieve early too. Recently I have had a burning desire to start up a business, while this comes from a place of positive pressure and passion, I’m not going the deny that the other kind of pressure isn’t there still, I have unconsciously given my self time frames that constantly make me fell like I’m failing and even found my self comparing myself to people in my age grade that seem to be “successful” which gives a subtle but toxic reminder that I’m running out of time.
I was scrolling through Tik tok and stumbled upon a girl that was clearing a controversy about herself, “I am 18 and I’m in 3rd year”. Although she wasn’t saying that to brag or cause any pressure, I found myself asking me “so how old are you and what level are you?” – courtesy of the unknown force that has set a time frame for every individual and has made it seem like we have a stop watch ticking and timing us.
The desire to achieve is terrific but the pressure for you to do it before the age when you’d be regarded as old or late is not.
Why should the mind of a 23 year old lady be boggled with the idea that she’s now running late for marriage and might not be able the achieve the goal of being a settled mother at 25 because she has no boyfriend at 23? Marriage, motherhood is a wonderful thing but it wouldn’t be if you got into it out of pressure and desperation. Same goes for the 30 year old singles who think life is already over. No sis, take a deep breathe and unsubscribe yourself from the idea that came from who knows who.
This is not a post to encourage you to be lazy or undriven. I’m just saying do you. The focus should not be on what others are doing, neither should it be on how or when they do it. Do not give into pressure and settle for less than what you want for your self. Keep working, it pays. You might not get it in your 20’s or 30’s or even 40’s. Heck, It doesn’t matter what you get it, what what matters is that you got it and you’re happy.
This is a Ted talk to myself that I decided to share with you 💞. I hope it helped. Always remember that you’re amazing and other people’s journey shouldn’t set the standard for yours. It can motivate you, but it isn’t the standard.
I’d appreciate if you dropped your contribution /thoughts in the comment section. Let’s interact!
Also let’s not forget we are still trying to End SARS , police brutality and bad governance in Nigeria. It has been crazy! But we must keep up with the fight . Use every medium/ platform you have to fight and create awareness. Check my last post on ENDSARS if you haven’t.
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