Don’t Be Pressed: Living Life On Your Own Terms


As children, we all dream of the lives we'll live.

Back then, I thought I had it all figured out. I knew I had to go to school, attend college and graduate by a certain date, get married by 28, have kids by 30, and thrive in my career well before a single strand of gray hair had the chance to pay me a visit. That's what many of us are told, right? If only things were that easy. The truth of the matter is, they aren't.

Life doesn't come with a timeframe, but we tend to live like it does.

I'm learning now what it means to not be on anyone else's timeline except for my own. This can be said to be true about my education, relationship, career, and a plethora of other life decisions that I've made along the way. I think many of us subconsciously live our lives more for others at times than we do for ourselves. We are often pressed to accomplish things by certain points in our lives because of our beliefs, what we see on social media, what we've been taught, and the pressure placed upon us.

We all battle our internal struggles and wanting to "measure up," but at what point do we learn to live our best life how we see fit?

This is something that I've battled with.

I've always lived my life according to my parent's timeline until I was forced to become an adult. For me, I got my first taste of being on my grown ish when I went to college. I had plans of graduating within the standard four years and landing a well-paying job in my field. I'm thankful for the ability to laugh about it now because God clearly had other plans. I was forced to put my education on hold in the name of motherhood. That's right, I wasn't careful and managed to get knocked up my freshman year of college. To say my mother was disappointed is putting it lightly. After all, my mother, and much of my surrounding family members, had my life figured out for me.

It would be one of the many times I was put in an awkward place of letting my folks down. However, it wasn't the first time, and it certainly wasn't the last. As I reflect, I'm thankful for all that has happened in my life, even the unplanned moments. Some of those moments ended up being "bumps" in the road and were rough, but simply prepared me for the paths to come.

It's easy to fall into the trap of living the perfect life, but I challenge you to answer the following question: what is the perfect life anyway?

Remember that collegiate hiatus I was forced to take? After landing a job in the communications field I was attending college for, I ended up going back to college and graduating. Many questioned this choice to return to school as a thirty-something mom of three but I managed it and then some. In doing so, it gave me a sense of self-accomplishment. I owed it to myself to finish what I started and well beyond my original "deadline." I'm not saying this to deter anyone from finishing college, nor am I boasting about my poor life choices, but for me, things have seemed to truly fall into place.

This isn't to say I haven't beat myself up a few times for feeling as if I was inadequate, but at some point it is critical to decide to bet on YOU.

In a social media driven society, it becomes the norm to find yourself comparing your life to the next. Honestly, that's entirely too much pressure being placed on any of us.

After all is said and done, what it is for you, will be for you.

That dream job will be there. That man/woman will come. That degree will be waiting with your name on it. Your time is just that, your time. Don't get so wrapped up in having it all figured it out within a certain period of time that you miss out on living life. That's just not always realistic.

I encourage you to do things on your own time, for your own reasons, and because it's what YOU want. You owe it to yourself because, before you know it, you'll look up and life will pass you by. Always remember these three words:

Don't be pressed.

Featured image by Getty Images

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