Real talk – I love St. Pete Beach. I really, honestly, truly do but with that being said… is this what I expected? Sometimes it is but most of the time, not at all.
I’ve been here for nearly 2 months already (wowza) and, with the exception of having the ocean across the street, it hasn’t felt much different than life did in Michigan. And you know what? I felt personally responsible and guilty for that.
I was talking to a friend of mine one night and confessed that I haven’t been living this free-spirited and carefree life that I expected to live and it was because of the choices I’ve been making. I hated hearing the words come out of my mouth but as we sat there Skyping, I said it – Some nights, I choose Netflix over the ocean. I choose to make dinner rather than making friends at the local tiki bar. I’m sitting at my desk more than I’m sitting in the sand.
And, because this was such a wildly “publicized” move, I felt pressure to make the most of it – not just for me, but for my friends and family who bid me adieu and well, you guys.
I’m so lucky to have this opportunity so I put pressure on myself to live it to the fullest, whatever that means.
I felt like people were counting on me to go here, live this fantastic life, and report back on how things can be so much better when you just follow your heart. And don’t get me wrong, I feel like I am living a fantastic life and I am living it because I’m following my heart – and I love writing about it – but sometimes, with these perks and my love for blogging, pressure follows. Truthfully, I felt odd that my life wasn’t drastically different, without putting in much work, just because I moved to a warmer climate.
It took me a few weeks of feeling pressure about feeling pressure to realize I shouldn’t have to feel pressure – follow me?
Some days, isn’t it enough to make it a point to visit the beach on the weekends? Other days, isn’t it enough to end the day with a show to binge and a nice glass of red wine?
Short answer – Yes.
Long answer – Yaaaaaaas.
Life is about living each day to the fullest – YOUR definition of the fullest, nobody else’s. It’s not my responsibility to feel guilty that I wasn’t living up to some expectation that nobody was putting on me but myself. I was putting pressure on myself, and feeling bad about life, for literally no good reason. None. Zilch.
This idea got me thinking about other friends: the ones who feel the pressure to put in an extra 2 hours per night at the office, not because they need to but because they feel like they probably should. The ones who are settling in relationships because they see their friends getting hitched and figure they probably should do that soon too. The ones who are buying a house (which is an insanely big commitment) because they should probably invest in something at this stage in life.
What about when we were younger and felt pressure to fit in with the “cool” kids in high school? The pressure to join the right sports, play the right instrument, and choose the right college?
Is it possible to live a pressure-free life?
Honestly, I don’t think it is – I think that there’s always going to be some level of pressure we feel and whether that’s from ourselves or others, that’s to be determined.
If you’re putting it on yourself – quit it.
If others are putting it on you – figure out if the pressure is valid and if it’s not, get rid of the negativity. Tell them to quit it and that you’re doing just fine without their input on how you’re living your life.
Do me a favor and right now think, “Am I unhappy?” and if so, identify what it is that’s making you unhappy. Is something actually, reaalllllyyy wrong or are you just feeling a sense of pressure that you’re putting on yourself?
We need to stop bringing unnecessary stress and pressure into our lives because when we allow these things to come in, typically we react in a negative way – we get upset, we take it out on our loved ones, we choose work over friends, etc. We try to fight it rather than figuring out where the pressure is coming from.
When we can take a step back and uncover whether or not we can remove it before we explode, we save ourselves a lot of trouble annnnnd also we lessen the risk of hurting the relationships around us that we cherish so much. I don’t know about you but my friends typically hate it when I snap at them for no good reason 😉
There’s a great quote I saw yesterday:
“There isn’t a way things should be. There’s just what happens, and what we do.”
—Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
I think there are a few ways to take this quote and tomorrow, I may take it differently than I do right now but right now, I feel as though this is a wonderful reminder that life happens. It’s up to us to stop, think, and act accordingly – remove the unnecessary pressure and add the logical thinking mixed with good vibes.
Live is good and it’s bad all on its own. Let’s not make it worse.