By: Lorene Belotti, IATG Contributor April 7, 2016
It’s crazy how women are expected to check certain things off “the list” before they reach a certain age. I have a friend who’s terrified to be single at 25, because she wasn’t in “the box” she was supposed to be, according to her family principles and society. I remember thinking how sad and restricting that was. This same friend was extremely relieved when she found her boyfriend and got pregnant in her 30s. She did what everyone around her was expecting to do, and she set herself free from the pressure. This type of pressure can make people act for the wrong reasons.
If I decide to do conventional or unconventional things in my life, I want to feel in my heart, head, and gut that it’s what I want to do, not because society expects me to.
Life is neither a race nor a competition. I am the only one to know what the right things are and when the right time is for my life.
When I was younger, I set goals for every aspect of my life, as if I would have control over it. Nothing is lamer. You never know what life is going to put on your path; you can’t plan how you’re going to feel about people, situations, places, and you don’t know what you‘ll have to go through. Above all, you don’t know the person you’ll be in a few years. I’ve learned to live more in the present and to accept things how they come.
I recently turned 30. I don’t fit in the box society expects me to. At this age, you're “supposed” to be a real adult, have a family on your own, have a significant other (with official statement to prove it), and a good, stable job. I can tick only 1 of these “requirements” off this list, and I'm actually surprised to feel so content with everything! I'm where I want to be, I have no regrets, and I'm at peace with myself. I reached my main goal, which was to be true to myself, not compromised by anything or anyone. I took risks that I thought I would never take. I pushed myself further than I could ever imagine. I evolved. I grew up. I learned more about myself, and I don’t have an ounce of bitterness inside me. I’m more patient, kind, and loving towards myself. I’ve understood I can’t figure it all out, and I’m giving myself some slack. I’m proud of myself.
Now all of this doesn’t mean that I never feel the external pressure or suffer from it. Of course I’m not above it. I hear people’s remarks, and it still gets on my nerves sometimes. Often times the only thing we want in life is to belong, but when you start to feel like this, don’t forget that conformity is simply remaining comfortable. It’s not how you become the best version of yourself.
At the end of the day, do you want to be a nice follower or do you want to respect yourself enough to accept and respect who you truly are? It takes courage to follow your gut and love yourself, but you already have this bravery inside of you.
Do you feel the pressure of society to conform? Why do women feel this pressure, it seems, more so than men? What’s one thing you can do to push back on that pressure? Share your ideas with friends.
Lorene 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. She’s a total nerd of Academic studies (when she’ll win the lottery, she’ll go to Harvard).
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