Don't be so hard on yourself

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Don't be so Hard on Yourself Blog
Don't be so hard on yourself

Hello, I’m 29 years old and alongside most people my age, I’m partial to freaking out.

I currently live in London, in a two-bed flat (read: cupboard) with one of my best friends, I have a great job and a great group of friends. All the things that genuinely make life great. Why the sporadic freak outs then Ashley?..... Well, pressure. Not pressure enforced on me by anyone else, it's self conflicted. It's not switching off, it's constantly checking my phone, it's allowing myself to freak out that I should be doing more and doing it better.

For example, I received an email from my yoga teacher, I say that like I am truly connected to the yoga world, I’m not – I’m a flailing member. I’ve attended around five times in the past six months, which is why I emailed in the first place 'I'm sorry I missed the lesson, I'll make it Monday, blah, blah blah'… the reply simply said ‘don’t be so hard on yourself'.
My yoga (yoda) teacher was right, I am hard on myself. I irritate myself for not creating more, exercising more and generally not doing more. I berate myself for not moving quicker, for not being more motivated before / after work, for not losing weight, for being horrifically bored when I set foot in a gym and for allowing myself to binge on Netflix (and cheese and pizza and cider).
What’s with all the pressure? And it's not just me, (no whiners / self pity here) all of my friends (especially the ones taking the journey to the ever approaching 'dirty thirties') are feeling it one way or the other, right alongside me.
In generations before ours, at 29, your life would be pretty much ‘sorted’ – you would typically have a job, a house, a marriage and probably 2.4 children. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am cut out for half of those things, I am still unsure whether having kids will be something that I do and getting married in the traditional sense doesn’t particularly appeal either… but I can choose not to do that, there is no-one to push me to get married, there is no-one looking at me in disgrace for having sex out of wedlock and that fact on it's own, is incredible.
Now, we are so privileged – we have the world at our fingertips, the opportunities for what we can achieve and strive to achieve are endless. The choice on whether you want to settle down, have kids and get married is completely open – you can choose exactly what you want from life, people are pushed to make the decisions that are right for them and it’s fantastic.
We need to embrace all of the opportunity laid before us, the opportunity that people have fought for us to have, rather than being intimidated by it and we need to use it wisely to change our own lives and the lives of people around us. 

I've told my subconscious and it's pressure to get lost, I'm doing ok, and so are you.

**Just so you know - I realise that I am coming at this from a very privileged viewpoint!


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