The fact that I’m feeling under pressure to write a blog post about pressure is pretty telling of this Catastrophe. I want to write about this because I think we can all relate to the pressure we force onto ourselves and the pressure that society shoves down our throats. Before this quarantine I realized that I was drowning in pressure, and I can only say that because now I am breathing freely and without worry. There are many times that pressure can feel like it’s suppressing you and all of the amazing things that you’re capable of. Looking back I realized that I was making my life harder because of factors I could not control. Let’s elaborate shall we…
I’m the type of person to put lots of personal pressure on myself, and on top of that (although I know I shouldn’t) I let societal and peer pressure get to me as well. Pressure hits me from all directions and for a long time I thought there would be no escape from it. Living a life where you’re constantly straining to get by, despite the pressure that you feel, is not living at all. It brings on unnecessary anxiety, and it will always have you feeling like you can not produce good work unless you are under pressure.
Being a black women has made me feel like pressure is just something comes with being born black and a women. Society expects you to fail so you have to work twice as hard (pressure), you expect yourself to triumph despite all the obstacles the world puts in your way (pressure), and the people that surround you want to keep you where they want you (more and more unnecessary pressure). Not to mention the daily negative thoughts you have about yourself and the lack of progress you’ve been making despite whatever troubling circumstances your in. You’ve based this “lack of progress”on an imaginary timeline that has more unrealistic expectations. These are thoughts that used to go through my head everyday. Can you relate?
All of this forces me to carry so much tension and stress, and what seems like the only way out is to keep moving forward. Eventually it’ll get better right? Negative, moving forward without addressing all this pressure and expectations keeps you in the vicious cycle. Which causes you to hate yourself more and more because you didn’t work well enough under pressure by your standards.
The only way out is to quite literally to just stop. Stop having expectations, stop giving into the pressure, and stop with the self loathing. But I will admit that this is a beyond difficult thing to do unless you have amazing discipline or you’re literally forced to stop. This is because life goes on whether we’re pressured or not. It goes on and it doesn’t care how you feel. It doesn’t care if you hate yourself because you can’t reach your unrealistic expectations… it just keeps going. So in turn, you feel like you need to keep going. But life has stopped for most of us because of COVID-19, and it was a blessing in disguise for me because it released me. I’m not too ignorant to say that the virus will have the same effect on everyone. People are dying, losing jobs and it feels like we’ll never be allowed outside again. I just hope my catastrophe was the sign you needed to break free of whatever you need to break free from.