What Just Happened!?
Have you ever sat and thought, “Wow!! This year really flew by!” With every speeding year that flies by, we get older…and older..and…older. The more birthdays you have, the more you began to realize that you’re getting older and time is running out. The anxiety begins to kick in as you think of all the things you haven’t accomplished yet. Maybe you don’t have the cookie cutter life that society wants you to think you should have. You know the one. Married by 23. Two children. A house on the hill with the white picket fence? Yea, that one. Is that really realistic? Is it fair for society to put those type of expectations on someone? Regardless of your answer, we know that it happens and it is a very real societal pressure that we’re going to delve into today. Grab your wine glass ladies!!
How We Got Here
In many cultures, men and women are expected to be married and have children by a certain age. I was reading a blog post that in Chinese cultures, if a woman is in her 30’s and still unmarried, she is considered a “leftover” or undesirable. In African culture, the father picks a husband for his daughter and there is immense pressure for you to be married early and have children. My father is from Senegal, West Africa and I have definitely felt the pressure of this age old tradition. Can you imagine the choice of being forced to keep up tradition or to be an embarrassment to you family? The black sheep even.
These standards are felt even more if you live in the South!! As you’re scrolling through social media, you see proposal after proposal and pregnancy announcements. Its not unlikely that this will lead you to believe that you’re missing out or that somethings wrong with you. Honey, there isn’t ANYTHING wrong with you! These close minded traditional views are tiring.
Anything you do in life should be done because of YOUR passion and desire to do it. Not because your family is pressuring you or because you don’t want to feel left out.
It makes you wonder how many people rushed to get married or have children because they didn’t want to be looked at as “damaged” , awkward or as a “leftover”.
Don’t Succumb To The Pressure!!
As a woman who is in her 30’s AND a single mom, I have felt these pressures on a whole other level!! Coming from a Christian background on my mothers side and an traditional African background on my fathers side, the pressure is real to not disappoint anyone. From my own personal experiences in life as well as seeing “epic fails” in other peoples lives, I have learned that:
- You CANNOT live for someone else. Some people failed in their own lives and endeavors so they try to project their failed dreams onto you in hopes of reliving that moment they lost. They lived their life. Live yours!!
- Do what YOU’RE comfortable with and what makes you happy. Some people take jobs because their parents said so. Some people marry because their family said so or pressure from society caused them to fold. At the end of the day, can you sleep at night with the decisions you’ve made or will you live in regret?
- Be CAREFUL who you ask for advice. When someone gives you advice they’re are sharing based on THEIR perceptions and beliefs. If someone married for money because they didn’t want to work or because they wanted to secure themselves financially then their advice to YOU may be to do the same thing regardless of love.
If It Makes You Happy
I don’t want this to turn into a soapbox session but I just want to encourage men and women to slow down and take a breath. Enjoy your life at every moment and know that God makes no mistakes. As we grow anxious and impatient, what may seem like an eternity for us is only seconds to God. Allow him to create the masterpiece that you deserve. That masterpiece could be a job you’ve been waiting for, a house, a husband/wife or even the ability to conceive. Whatever your desire is, it will all work out in the end and it will be well worth it.
I hope you guys enjoyed this read! Thanks for tuning in. Continue to be safe. Continue hygienic practices to avoid getting sick and as always, be blessed!! xoxo