The new year is a time of reflection and resolutions. It’s a time when we put a huge amount of pressure on ourselves to loose weight, get a new job, sort out our finances. I have the added misfortune of having a birthday two weeks after new year so just as everyone is calming down from their new year resolutions I’m gearing up for profound epiphanies about becoming another year older. This time last year I was in a job I hated, sharing a room with my little sister (no offence sis) in my home town, feeling bored, frustrated and lost.
One year on and I’m about to move into a flat with my boyfriend and be a part of a new major store opening on Oxford Street one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. I’ve come a long way - so why doesn’t it feel like enough?
As I prepare to move into a rented flat, I feel disheartened by my friends who are about to buy one of their own. Similarly, my new store is exciting but not half as exciting as the girl who’s just landed the job above me. But where does this pressure come from? It’s not as if my parents write in my birthday cards, have a good day but do you think you could aim for a promotion and put a ring on it some time soon. My family and friends are full of congratulations and support for everything I do, so I can only really conclude that the pressure comes from me. Somehow I delude myself that I should have a small waist and a huge salary. And that I most definitely need a mortgage and baby in the next 5 years. Then I remember that I actually don’t. Of course it’s heavily implied but don’t be fooled.
Yeah, you can blame the media - films, books, magazines, celebrities all portraying largely unrealistic aspirations to us mere mortals as we continue to lower our own self esteem trying to keep up. When you’re aspiring to be successful in a society where 9 year old bloggers are sitting on the front row of fashion shows and teenage pop stars have earned more before graduating than you’re likely to earn in your life its easy to feel like you’re not up to scratch. Comparisons are only normal and aspirations are necessary to get stuff done but many of us often sprint past the line between aspirational and jealous, insecure and slightly psycho.
Honestly I spend such a large percentage of my day worrying about what I ‘should’ be doing, it’s an achievement in itself that I actually manage to get anything else done at all. There’s tons of things I want to achieve but watching re-runs of Sex and the City and then getting annoyed because I haven’t got my own column yet isn’t going to help.
So here is me saying don’t make resolutions you can’t keep because you think you should… whatever you’re doing now is just fine.