Thursday, 22 February 2018


Lately I've been feeling edgy, stressed and a little all over the place. Lately I've been feeling flakey. And flakey is not a word you would ordinarily use to describe me. Not the gal who is always early for everything, never has an untidy house and who can't have more than three unopened notifications on her iPhone without breaking into a sweat. But lately I've been turning up for business meetings with no notepad. Lately I've been hitting the lock button on my car keys three times on the walk to my front door because I've no idea if I've already done it or not and lately I've been snapping at Ava for taking too long, only to discover the reason she is so far behind is because she is dragging the handbag I inconveniently forgot to pick up. I've even managed to be late a couple of times. And that is really not like me.

So what's been going on?

I've been refusing to let cars out just to be spiteful. I've been spending a small fortune panic buying skincare because all of a sudden I look old and I've been changing outfits a million times because nothing I put on looks right and I'm convinced I look unfashionable and dowdy. I'm breaking things like plates and glasses just by looking at them (which is ironic given I am not using the wine ones nearly as much) and I'm eating junk food at an alarming rate. To be honest, the only thing I haven't managed to do yet is scratch, prang or write off the car. 

But give me time.

I need to chill. I need to chill the F out guys. I need to take a step back. I need to light some candles, bang on some Netflix and pour myself a god damn glass of red. Even if it's a Tuesday. I need to spend some serious time in the kitchen, listening to some Gaslight Anthem and knocking out more meals than Mary. I probably need to stop being such an avid and enthusiastic swearer. 

But baby steps.

So that's what I've been doing team. I have been doing all of the above and it has been helping. And once I calmed down, took a chill pill and started to feel a bit better, I decided to investigate my own good self a bit more and to try to work out what the hell was going on with me. And do you know what? Self analysis is a scary place. But sometimes a rewarding place if you do it right. And I worked it out. I worked out what the hell has been going on in this mad little world we call my head for the past few weeks and in all honesty - it's exactly what I've been doing to myself since I stopped wearing scrunchies and started drinking gin and tonics.

I've been putting myself under too much pressure.

It's pressure you guys. It's pressure I've been putting myself under for a long, long time. It's pressure that makes me feel shit. It's pressure that keeps me up at night and it's pressure that makes me occasionally narky with the kid. It's pressure. And it's no good for any of us. What do I feel pressure about? Hope you haven't got any plans tonight. Cause I suggest you sit tight. Maybe make a cup of tea. Put your sweats on and perhaps light a few candles. You might even wanna grab some snacks.

I feel pressure to be a size 8 even though I am a healthy, happy, curvy, wee bit wobbly, sexy, smokin size ten and I look FAB. I feel pressure to excel the hell outta my career even though I am smashing it in all directions and have come such a long way from the soul destroying job that made me so unhappy two years ago.  I feel pressure to have a family, another baby and a god damn back garden by now even though I HAVE a bloody amazing family (albeit a small one) and am at exactly the same age as the average first time house buyer in the UK and am on the property ladder so just calm the fuck down.  I feel pressure to be a perfect mum even though Ava couldn't be more polite, patient, well mannered and kind if she tried (like, seriously, are we sure she's even mine?). I feel pressure to find a boyfriend even though I am genuinely having a smashing time bringing her up on my own and I need to stop buying into this idea that I need to couple up just because it's what SOCIETY thinks I should do. I feel pressure to stay in when I was meant to go out and pressure to go out on the nights I would prefer to stay in. I feel pressure to save money in case my boiler breaks down but my Scottish escapes and cocktails bring me so much pleasure and what if I get hit by a bus tomorrow? I feel pressure to keep my nails chip free and to book the Botox to sort out the crows feet that have been doing my head in for the past six months. I feel pressure to concentrate on the political shit on Radio 4 in the morning instead of thinking about nice wall paint colours and what I'm going to have for dinner that evening and I feel pressure to read books that are literary classics and more highbrow than the February edition of Marie Clare.

There's pressure all around us. Everywhere we look. And I give into it. Every single day.  But when you stop, which is what I tried to do two weeks ago, it does start to make everything feel a hella lot clearer. I've been choosing the bubbles baths over writing the blog posts and know what? No one died. No one even cares. It's a hobby and no one's interested if I don't blog in over two weeks. It's not paying my mortgage (much to my derision). I've been deleting the dating apps (yes, I went back there), after a first date experience with someone a bit nasty and malicious made me re-evaluate why the fuck I was even doing it in the first place. I've always struggled with the idea of going on a date with someone I've never met (probably the reason I have met most of my boyfriends first through work) and always questioned why I could never embrace the buzz or the thrill of meeting people through Tinder or Bumble. But the sick feeling that would ensue as I put my make up on, the dread that would wash over me on the way to the bar and the panic that would creep in the nearer date day got has made me realise it's time to throw the towel in. That bad date has taught me that it's safer and wiser to meet people you already know a little bit about and that's my best foot forward from now.

I've been feeling so under pressure from this societal idea that I should have a boyfriend, and as a result so transfixed with actively going on dates to try and find one, that I never actually sat down and questioned if I even really wanted one. And the answer to that is the same now as it was 12 months ago. I don't really care either way. And that is an absolutely fine place to be when you stop putting yourself under so much pressure. Because god forbid I focus on my career, god forbid I focus on building a strong, solid family unit with my child (because two is still a team) and god forbid I don't end up with a 4x4, better postcode and a family membership to David Lloyd before I hit 35.

God forbid that eh?

The bad date made me realise that forcing myself to go on dates and 'find someone' has never made me happy and so I need to stop. And there's an obscene amount of pleasure in just focusing on spending quality time with the kid I've already got. After a miscarriage last year I threw myself into the idea that I desperately needed another child to fill the void. Even though that relationship dissolved faster than a bath bomb shortly after I lost the baby. I can see now that it was actually just grief. And only now after properly coming to terms with the loss am I understanding the value in just being grateful for what I've got.

A lifetime spent mentally punishing yourself for every god damn thing is not an easily changed cognitive process. It takes time, determination and a lot of focus. But apparently I have all those things in abundance. 

So I'm definitely on the right track.


Anonymous said...

Woman after my own heart! I feel like I was reading my inner monologue. Except for having a child part and doing well in my career and being a home owner hahaha. Still, all that pressure and anxiety I feel, although maybe rightly so. Thank you and you are DEFINITELY on the right track.

wholelottarosie said...

Good for you, Dawn. I feel IMMENSE pressure to make my bloody mind up about whether or not I want a baby, but I have realised that the pressure comes solely from me. Even though Mr P would quite like a child, he would never push me into it, and barely even mentions it (until I do, when I feel pressurised I hope I can try and take a leaf out of your book and do all the things I love to do instead of stressing about something I'm not even sure I want. Good luck with you, too x

Dawn Young said...
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Dawn Young said...

Camelia, Thanks for your comment! I think there is pressure these days regardless of what stage you are at or walk of life you are on! I guess it's just learning that you don't always have to bow to it xxx

Dawn Young said...

Hey Rosie, Yes. I put myself under so much pressure since last summer to find someone and settle down when the truth was that I wasn't even sure I wanted to be in a relationship. Since I made the decision to just enjoy the here and now (because I am going to look back on these days so fondly when Ava is older), it has never felt more liberating. I think it's all mapped out anyway. So I say just live in the moment and let the universe decide the rest! P.S. I am also the worst person for putting myself under an immense amount of pressure. We need to start being nicer to ourselves! Thanks so much for commenting xxx