Good evening everyone! If you’re around my terrifyingly-close-to-30 age, you’ve probably felt the pressures of what society seems to all out expect of you at this point in your life in terms of marriage, children, and your career. Worse, you’ve probably felt even more pressure from yourself in regards to these same topics. How does one woman balance all three, and what if you’re not on the same timeline as everyone else? What if these aren’t your priorities at all? And then there’s making time for your other responsibilities, friendships, hobbies, traveling, etc. on top of everything else. Pull my hair out! “Adulting” is indeed very hard.
When talking about topics such as these I do always feel the need to throw in an acknowledgment that these are “first world problems.” Alas, and thankfully, we do live in the first world, and I know this is the hottest topic of late between my girlfriends and I so I wanted to share my thoughts on it with you, as well as some methodologies I use for coping with the pressure. Enjoy!
Spend five minutes on any social media platform today and you are bound to be bombarded with photos of your peers getting engaged and married, kissing the heads of their newly born babies, posing with a “Sold!” sign in front of their newly purchased home, etc.
Being a newbie to the blogging and professional social media space, one of the main things I’ve noticed thus far are all of the “Wifey” and “Mommy” labels used as the sole means to define the seemingly perfect lives of “Influencers.”
Don’t get me wrong, I wish all of these people nothing but happiness and success in their lives, as I hope they wish the same for me, and I admire and give credit to social media Influencers for what they do. The problem though is that people don’t tend to post about their bad days or the not so pretty aspects of their lives. They don’t tend to post about the relationship problems we all have, or without makeup and in sweatpants. I think this is understandable, and it can actually be uplifting and motivating to see other people’s successes and the beauty in their lives, but on the other hand it tends to gloss over reality.
Life isn’t always pretty, and it’s far from perfect.
Spending too much time comparing your own life to that of others is not a good thing. Especially when this turns to negative thoughts about yourself, such as “Why am I not like them?” “Why don’t I deserve to have the things that they have?” “Why am I not in the place they are yet in my life?” I know firsthand that negative thoughts such as these can lead to overwhelming anxiety, states of depression, etc.
If you find yourself trapped in one of these states, please know that you are not alone! Not even close. Every woman I have ever talked to, and I’ve talked to many from all different walks of life, has felt this way at some point in her life about one thing or another.
I know personally the worry and fear that come with pushing the big 3-0 and being unmarried and without children. “What if I never find ‘The One’?” and “What if I get too old to have children before I find ‘The One’?” You know, the usual unproductive garbage thoughts we have and harass ourselves with daily.
Thankfully, I did meet my amazing man almost a year ago, so these thoughts have since calmed down for me. But with a new relationship comes its own set of fears: “What if one day they leave and then I’m even older than when I first started worrying about these things?” “Am I actually ready to settle down and have kids soon? It’s hard enough taking care of myself and my cats…” And on and on the thoughts and questions go…
As you can see, I am definitely an anxiety ridden worrier…
Prior to meeting my significant other, I experienced my fair share of horrible breakups from relationships that probably should have ended far before they did, terrible dating app dates, hit on you bar guys who turned out to be engaged or a constant letdown, and ghosts from past love interests reemerging briefly only to break you down. None of which helped my already anxious and worried mind.
Thankfully, though I am far from perfect and as a human will never be able to completely let anxiety and worry go, I have realized that these demons are nothing more than a burden on my life. Over time I have discovered ways to calm these negative, unproductive thoughts and relax my mind, helping me to live a more peaceful and productive life. I Hope these can help you to do the same.
Find Your Passion
This one is huge. I have found that it is extremely difficult to find peace in life if you aren’t doing anything to pursue your passions. Believe it or not, I did not realize this until very recently when I started this blog! I had spent so much time feeling like something was missing in my life and not realizing the extent to which this affected my overall mood and outlook. Though I had achieved so many wonderful things, I was missing a career path that was completely my own, and I knew this was what I had always wanted.
Starting this blog has without a doubt given me so much hope for creating a business, even if just a side business, that it completely mine and that I have complete control over. I look forward to writing new posts, sharing my ideas, and creating a beautiful website so much so that it’s all I can think about doing in my free time.
Along with it, I have felt most of my anxiety in all areas virtually disappear, and I know this is because I feel I now have purpose.
If you’re not exactly sure what your passion is, that’s ok too. Neither did I, as you can read about in My Very First Blog Post. Wahoo! (excuse the corny title). If you’re feeling lost in this department, the best thing to do is to literally allot time in your schedule to work on researching what your passion is, and then how to bring it to life. If you don’t set aside a few hours in your weekly schedule to work on this, you probably won’t ever get anywhere, which is what was happening to me. So schedule some time on your Tuesday evening and Sunday afternoons and just do it.
Evaluate Your Relationships
I know so many women (myself included) who have been or are in toxic relationships. I’m sure you know what these are even if you don’t want to admit it.
And toxic relationships aren’t always with significant others either. They can be with friends or even family members.
Pay close attention to the energies of the people you spend your precious time with. It is without question that their energies rub off on us if we spend too much time around them. I’m sure you’ve all felt the effects of a negative person bringing down your own mood.
Just because someone has been in your life for a long time doesn’t mean it’s a good thing to keep them there.
It is probably a good idea to ask yourself questions such as the below about the people closest to you:
Can I count on this person to always be there for me?
Do they place my needs before their own, or are their needs always more important?
Do they put me in harmful situations?
Are they always honest with me?
Does this person continually let me down?
Do they respect me? Do they listen to me when I talk and care about what I have to say?
Am I a priority in their life or an afterthought/convenience?
Do they have a positive outlook on life?
Do we want the same things in life, and possess the same morals?
I am not necessarily saying to immediately cut the people who don’t perform well on the above questionnaire out of your life, but if you’ve tried to communicate to them your feelings about the above and made a valiant effort to repair the relationship while they make no effort to change, well then… I think you already know the answer to what you should do.
And at the end of the day, you shouldn’t need to ask for things like respect and love. These come naturally to a person who genuinely cares about you and wants to be a part of your life.
Removing toxic people from your life may be heartbreaking in the short term, but long term you will find it is immensely helpful toward your peace of mind and wellbeing.
Establish Balance & Peace
If you’re someone who is constantly running around from work, to social engagements, to cleaning your house, running errands, etc. etc., without ever taking time to relax, this really isn’t healthy.
If you’re someone who constantly says yes to doing things because your friends and family want you to even though you’d rather say no, this really isn’t healthy either.
It’s no wonder a life built around racing around leads to a racing mind. When you do finally sit down, you may likely find that your brain doesn’t want to stop, as this is what your body is used to doing.
I have been this person most of my life (as are most people in my family,) and only recently have I realized how important it is to slow it down.
You won’t have a peaceful life unless you consciously make it one.
Learn to say no. It’s ok. If the people you’re saying no to genuinely care about your wellbeing, they will understand.
You need to make time for your family and friends and to take care of your responsibilities, but it is equally important, if not more so, to make time to take care of yourself.
Meditation is something that has helped me immensely in this department.
Many people make a mockery of meditation (I was one of them,) but until you try it you have no idea how effective it is toward creating a peaceful life. It is not always an easy thing to sit in silence, alone with your thoughts, but over time I promise you meditation will help to calm those down and help you to feel more calm and relaxed in your life in general. And the point of it isn’t to not have any thoughts at all during the time you’re meditating, but to learn to be at peace with the thoughts you have without them driving you bonkers.
Meditation helps to teach you how to be present as opposed to being anxious and worried about the past and the future all the time. To appreciate the small things in the moments that you’re in, like the leaves rustling in the trees or the smile of a stranger. It helps you to stay calm in situations that normally would make you very anxious or even angry. It is an incredible stress reducer.
I can’t say enough about the benefits of meditation, and I would strongly recommend at least trying to do this for at least five minutes a day. And there are several guided meditation videos on YouTube and apps for this as well which make the process even easier if you’re a beginner. You will begin to look forward to your mediation time as opposed to feeling like its a chore, and you will definitely notice several positive changes in your life.
Yoga is also a great practice to get into if you’re looking to bring more peace and stability into your life. It’s great exercise too, which, in any form, is definitely an important part of living a balanced, happy and healthy life.
Recognize it’s OK to be Different
Last but not least, just remember that you don’t need to be like everyone else, nor should you want to be. Every person on earth is different and that’s what makes life so beautiful. Know that social media never paints the full picture of someone’s life, and no one’s life is pretty all the time. No one is perfect, and I bet those you think are perfect struggle with things that you don’t, and they desperately wish, like you, they didn’t. Always practice gratitude for the blessings you have.
If you’re pushing 30 and still nowhere close to getting married or having children, that’s ok! If you really want these things, you have a positive outlook that they will happen for you when the time is right, and you don’t waste your time with the wrong people, they will!
Do me a favor and do some research on The Law of Attraction and you will understand what I mean. I 100% believe this to be real based on my own life experiences. You can attract to your life all of the things you want if you’re positive and proactive.
We are still so young and there’s so much life ahead.
And you do not need to be on the same timeline as everyone else.
Spend your time creating a beautiful life you love, pursuing your passions, and those things will happen for you in due time without you having wasted your precious time and energy worrying about whether or not they ever would.
And if a happy relationship/marriage is what you truly want then you need to first make sure you’re not in the wrong one. Then be proactive about meeting someone great. Step out of your comfort zone and strike up a conversation with a stranger you find interesting. Download a dating app. I actually met my boyfriend on Bumble and my best friend met hers on Hinge! There are people out there looking for the same exact things you are. But just as you will not make any advances in your career if you just sit around doing nothing, the same applies to finding a great relationship.
If you’re a woman in her late 20s/30s that doesn’t want marriage or kids at all, that’s ok too! Never let societal expectations force you to be something you’re not.
You’re never going to please everyone, and that’s actually a good thing!
Peace & Love,