Two years back in the year 2015, Rachel Gow, 29, killed herself because “she was still unmarried and had no kids.” Four years prior to this incident, Rachel had lost her mother who was suffering from Cancer, and after going through several heartbreaks, she was in relationship with boyfriend, Anton Tsvarev, 30. As per her boyfriend’s statement, she constantly feared that he’s going to leave her. She always worried of not being married and having kids while her siblings were doing so much better than her. Rachel was smart, had graduated from Lancaster University and was working as an administrator at Royal Bolton Hospital.
It is one of the most unfortunate events, however it shows the undeniable pressure young women experience as they start approaching their milestone birthday. I understand that not every woman is affected in the same manner as Rachel, but I think we should definitely not ignore the anxieties which women face.
‘Pressure’ is a word that is misused in our vocabulary. When you start thinking of pressure, it’s because you’ve started to think of failure – Tommy Lasorda
I have spoken to many of my friends in their 20s and found that there is this unspoken list, which we all as women must have by the time we are 30 –
- Experience several relationships
- Having a decent job which we love which offers a long maternity leave
- Buy a house and a car
- Get married by 27
- Have children by 29
- Travel to various places
Not that every one’s list is the same, but here the point is the ‘never ending struggle’ which we go through. These days, we expect to sort out our careers well before we cross 30, that is a lot of pressure! Someone just got out of a three years long relationship at the age of 27 and assumes her life is screwed now. Really? Not in a good shape and you think you have underachieved in life, I really don’t get it! Married for over five years, still don’t have a baby? Sounds like an issue, yeh?
I hope we know that too much pressure, developed over time, leads to an explosion. Guys, avoid putting so much pressure on yourself to avoid mental crisis.
I gave up my struggle with perfection a long time ago. That is a concept I don’t find very interesting anymore. Everyone just wants to look good in the photographs. I think that is where some of the pressure comes from. Be happy. Be yourself, the day is about a lot more. – Anne Hathaway
HOW TO STOP PUTTING PRESSURE ON SELF
- Stop Listening to Others
The foremost reason of pressurising ourselves is comparing ourselves with others. Stop doing that! You don’t need anybody’s approval to sustain your own self-esteem. Everyone has a different life journey and the fact that you are 30 and still not married doesn’t make you any lesser than someone who probably got married at 25 and had kids at 27. You never know how screwed up her life is! So, when your neighbour asks you “Have you still not found someone, I pray to God every day for you.” Smile and say “I haven’t met anyone yet with whom I want to share my life, and that’s okay. Thank you for praying.” Don’t give up because “they” think that you have failed.
- Realize Nothing is Important
Whether it’s a power point presentation at work or having babies before 30, nothing is as important as your mental peace. I believe that everything has a time scheduled for it to happen. Things will fall in place when they have to. You getting stressed over it won’t make them happen. Understand this!
- Accept Failures
Please begin to think of failures as a learning path. Think about it differently. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes and that’s perfectly fine. Accept your failure, take it as a feedback, learn from it and move on!
- Stop Setting Unrealistic Expectations
I always say and believe that unhappiness comes from expectations. Don’t set any unrealistic expectation, which you know in your heart, is unattainable.
- No One is Perfect
Remember, no one has it all! Have you ever thought that had you been better looking, life would have been happier? Or maybe richer, stronger, funnier or thinner? That’s not true. Ask someone who has it! Change and acceptance go hand in hand, if we accept the person we are today, then only our intention to change has the right direction.
So, all you lovely ladies, stop judging yourself and show yourself some compassion, for you are completely worth it.