By: Lorene Belotti, Guest Blogger
Holiday time is over and I’m relieved. There’s a lot of social pressure we can feel around New Year’s Eve celebrations; I have felt this pressure for a couple of years now; I realized people expected me to do what “people usually do:” going out with a lot of people, having a so-called blast because it’s THE night of the year when you HAVE TO have fun. If you don’t do anything on this special night, you’re considered “antisocial,” not fun, or weird. On the other hand, if you do something, you have a big chance not to enjoy the party as we all know the biggest ones are the worst ones. Both ways, we lose. Do people also ask you what time you went to bed, as if they win if they stayed up later than you? I’m being a little bit melodramatic here, but only to make you understand my point: this is a typical example of social pressure we can feel all year long.
I’ve always considered myself as a very independent girl who doesn’t care much about social pressure in general. I’m not afraid of not following the majority’s lead; I’m always very careful to use my critical sense before judging a situation or someone, and I can’t stand that other people tell me how I have to behave or what I have to think/do. Despite my character, I’ve realized I feel social pressure anyway, especially when I feel weak and vulnerable. I’ve not wanted to admit it for a long time but sometimes I honestly feel different (in a bad way), alone, abnormal, and sad because I don’t recognize myself in my peers. I don’t like it and I’m not comfortable with this.
A lot of my schoolmates are settling down or looking intensely for their “soulmate” as if it were a race or a question of life and death: starting a family and exposing their pictures on Facebook screaming to the world: “that’s done, I can breathe now!” (Someone I know literally told me that). Or they race to get a job merely to earn a living instead of looking for their dream job; it saddens me. I want to scream, not because of the content, just because of the form. Too often, people are fulfilling society’s expectations or “deadlines” first instead of their true desire.
Witnessing these situations encourages me even more not to let go of my dreams or my values because of what society expects from me. Again, I’m not saying my schoolmates are not happy, they surely are. I just don’t want to resign; we’re too young for that. I believe we can make what we want, in our own way, when we want to. I believe we don’t need to all live the same experiences at the same time of our lives, some people need more time, and some others are more precocious.
I don’t want my happiness to fit in the boxes society made for me. I want to be happy because I’ll be able to step out of my comfort zone, do things that scare me, find the truly right person that gives me the deep will to start a family for the good reasons at the right time for me, not because people around will finally leave me alone when “my job” will be done. I want to feel happy because I’ll succeed in the area I want to succeed, the one I consider important. I simply want to be free; free to choose what, when, and whom my life is.
So, beautiful ladies, don’t give up! Be different, trust the marvelous person you are, be YOU. Don’t fight this losing battle where not enough or not at the right time are the credo. Mediocrity and banality is not for you. You definitely are enough: what you do, when you do it is great. Life is not a race. Respect your rhythm. You’ll never bloom more brightly than when what you think, say and do will be in unison. You’ll be able to reach this state when you listen to your heart, not what “they” say. Rock your world and love yourself. The rest will come.
Lorene is a French observer and learner of life. She’s been working as a salesperson and a marketing assistant for four years to learn the ropes of the business world. She used to be a sports journalist while doing her Master’s degree and she loves writing and telling stories about great people too much not to go back to her first love soon. She lives in the French Alps, and loves to try to solve the world’s problems while having a great meal with her loved ones. She is passionate about foreign languages, self-development books, American TV shows, and people. Oh, and she’s a total nerd of Academic studies (when she’ll win the lottery, she’ll go to Harvard).