I’m Sick Of The Pressure To Have It All—I Don’t And That’s OK

There’s so much pressure to be the all-around perfect girl with the perfect life but that’s just not me. It’s who I’ve tried to be for years but not anymore. Here are just a few of the pressures I’m tired of dealing with and am vowing to ignore moving forward.

Will I ever get my dream job? Right out of college, people expected me to get an amazing job. I saw my peers snapped up by companies like Hulu, Uber, and Facebook. They went on to jump-start their careers at amazing places but that wasn’t the case for me. My applications to top-tier companies went unanswered. The pressure to land my dream job weighed down on me and made every other job decision feel like a compromise or a step-down.

The right life needs a Mr. Right—where is he? It’s tough trying to maintain a healthy relationship with my family and keep up with my friends (not to mention even trying to have a dating life). Frankly, the expectation to be the person everyone leans on for support can be draining, and if I didn’t keep up with these relationships, the guilt felt even worse.

Groceries, bills, cleaning… adulting is zero fun. It seems like adulting problems arise when life is already stressful. Your car breaks down, your apartment is a mess, you have to visit the bank, you have errands to run, or any number of basic “adulting” activities pile onto the existing stresses of maintaining this “have it all” lifestyle. Sometimes I just want to sit on the couch and do nothing. Ugh.

To be the girl who has it all, you have to look the part. Put together, chic, sophisticated… you need to look mature yet still fashionable with the perfect clothes, hair, and makeup at all times. What am I supposed to do with my sparkly crop tops, bright pink eyeshadows, and funky shoes? Trade them in for more “sensible” clothes? I think not.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget to have fun! Along with chasing the dream job, aspiring to form healthy relationships and mastering the right look, I can’t forget about my social life. Check out that speakeasy bar, go to that new restaurant, don’t forget a trip to that trendy new museum. With my Instagram feed bubbling over with glossy beach shots, how can I not feel pressure to always look like I’m having the time of my life?

What if the old me was cooler than the new me? I’m afraid I’ll never top my past successes. As a star-studded student actively involved in the community, plenty of clubs, and a number of extracurriculars, I still feel the pressure to maintain that level of performance even now. As new struggles set in, it feels like I’m living in the shadow of my overachieving past self instead of trying to work towards my future.

Why does it seem like everyone has what they want except me? How my peers perform is a constant pressure. Sometimes it’s hard to stay encouraged when it feels like everyone else’s lives are neatly falling into place with ideal jobs, fantastic apartments, and constant adventure. Just the other day, I read a story about a 22-year-old who choreographs for Justin Bieber while I’m still making up two-step routines for kindergartners at my local studio. While I love doing what I’m doing, seeing others with bigger achievements makes mine seem small.

What happened in the news this morning? This afternoon? Five minutes ago? Especially nowadays, the news cycle moves at a rapid-fire pace. It’s hard enough trying to keep track of everything in my own life, not to mention trying to stay up-to-date on the latest social, political, and pop culture headlines from day-to-day. It’s not enough to know what’s happening, you have to have an opinion and a reference to that great podcast you listened to on the topic. Talk about stressful.

After a long day of juggling everything else, is there even time for me? It’s hard to find time for self-care. Ironic, right? Getting my nails done or bingeing some Netflix leaves me feeling drained and guilty instead of refreshed. Every second not spent on my work, future, or responsibilities feels like time wasted, even though self-care time may be the most important of all.

Am I amazing or do I suck? On top of these external pressures is the pressure I put on myself. I make myself feel guilty for falling asleep or failing to call back a friend. I make myself feel bad for not having the job of my dreams now. I compare myself to other people who seem like they have it all instead of being my biggest cheerleader. I know I need to boost my self-esteem and encourage myself more but that’s way easier said than done.

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