The Pressure to Be

Do you ever feel pressed to do more? To be more?

I've been feeling the squeeze lately. No one has told me to try to reinvent myself, forced their agenda upon me, or even silently judged me for not disturbing my status quo. I know that it is something internal that makes me want to do more than I am now. I know that.

It is a hunger that's slowly developed, now I'm dealing with its pangs. I'm twisted up, trying to do more, to push myself professionally and creatively to my limit. The world around me seems to drip with possibility, but I feel unable to move quickly enough to savour even just one drop.

I figure there's no better time then now to see what I am capable of achieving. Yet despite all of that drive I feel more confused and unsteady than I ever have. I settled comfortably into this groove, this well trodden path and I am blind to the work it took to arrive here. Pushing out of my protective little nest zaps my lizard brain into a flurry.

“Think of what you will be risking,” it whispers. “What if you’re no better off after this flight of fancy? What then?”

Gulp.

It only makes things worse when I start to hear that tiny violin playing in the background: a working stiff with secure-ish income, a stable family life and the blessing to be able consider their own potential, when so many others are struggling to live, full stop. Should I focus on helping others instead? Shouldn’t I just be grateful to be able to stand at this height?

But, I am grateful to be here. I am already working my socks off to make sure those around me have the support they deserve. I donate time to charities, heck, I devoted my career thus far to helping the community. If I work hard, can’t I have both?

There it is. The voice, the echo from the deep recesses of my flaming, floating, non-corporeal mind, telling me that this isn't a real problem. I want to be better for the right reasons, I know it. So why not now? If I can get to grips with my own fears, and I still plan to do right by those around me, to stick to my values, then why shouldn’t I dare to poke my head, even just a little, above the clouds?

I am beginning to toe my way towards the line, with the mental weight of an elephant squeezing my every fibre. This is the cost of growth and I am finally mature enough to begin paying it. I just hope I’m strong enough to put forward more than the monthly minimum.

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