Under Pressure

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


I've been feeling some red hot pressure lately and I've definitely been burnt. It's an unusual impending type of urgency you may have felt too - and I'm not sure if we put it on ourselves or if others are laying it on us.

You know, in your early 20s and before, you have this free pass on everything. Sure, it's definitely okay to be unsure about your career as you are working those transitional stepping-stone type of jobs. It's definitely okay to be a bit of a bimbo and not really to have a serious opinion about the world - you're allowed not have a complex view on the socio-political milieu you exist in. Turning up to dinner looking kind've daggy is also okay. And "oh you're such a baby" is such a common novelty of introductory conversations.


What I'm Wearing
Parachute Pants (Daniel Patrick)
Gold Striped Windbreaker (Stone Island)
Black Military Boots (Palladium)
Vaporwave Hat (Vapor95)
Bum Bag (The Idle Man)

The amalgam of the sport luxe stripe with head-to-toe uniform is one of the 'it' streetwear looks right now. Whether you exude full-body baggy designer gaudiness a la Billie Eilish, or fabulousness in a romper stomper, colour and/or print coordinated from head-to-toe makes for a striking outfit for this season. 


But for me, just after turning 25, it's like someone takes the rose-coloured lenses off, snatches away your free pass and increasingly turns up the heat as you encroach into the zone of certain adulthood.

On a work trip to Europe recently, feelings from my youth came back again - inadequacy, uncertainty and shame. Like never before, I felt the greater need to shirtfront myself to others.

I wanted to spend more time and money and effort looking more polished and refined. I loved shopping before, but my north star was always what I thought looked cool or cute and was never the need to just exude value. And when gained, this affluence on show felt like nothing in conversations and small talk where I felt like I was dodging social mines and tightropes as I needed to incline the dialogue toward something that would convey or imply my education, intelligence and adult-worth.

A random thought that I had was that when our bodies and our faces age, we somehow feel more invisible right? So do we place possessions, affluence and power as economic capital in lieu of lost coolness and youth? (can anyone older vouch for this?!) This need to display outward tokens of success started to take me over.

Yet ultimately, there was no line I crossed between 24 and 25 that meant my youth had been lost and that I suddenly had to have all this success and trajectory to replace it. So if no one really draws this line between 24 and 25, and it was merely a few days difference but my perspective had completely changed - then this pressure had to be from me, my craziness and incessant need to please others.

And someone close to me reminded my that we are all on our own timelines, and what we deem as valuable in another is eclectically different. So someone might find it more valuable to take a few years off and travel instead of launching into your career in your early 20s, even though the latter may seem more successful and affluent, one decides the own value of their life choices if they truly own them.

And so I remind myself again to not let this pressure overcome me with feelings of sadness and shame like before, rather, I am looking to find the right balance between being overly self critical about my accomplishments and letting this push me to strive for higher highs on my own timeline. But even so, in my own successes, still being humble enough to be human with anyone - you cannot be a human if you're always trying to be a trophy.

It is also a reminder for me to be respectful of other people's timelines and sovereignty over their own life trajectory. And on the opposite end, when you see someone who seems to have accomplished more than you, be mad at yourself for a damn second, and then turn that rage into fuel.

Have you felt this mid 20s pressure before?


And just cos I miss Bowie

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  1. Love the look!

  2. Mid 20s seems so early to think about career. I used to be enough to do that during your 30ties.

    1. It's a reminder that we're all on our timelines, and that's okay.

  3. I can vouch for everything you're saying! And yes, the invisibility will come, inevitably by your 30's, because the West is a Youth obsessed society (no truer than in the USA gay community) which is why you must anchor yourself with good friends and good people now, and maintain those guylines throughout your life. Those, and memories, may be all you're left with in later adulthood. But I do hope you find your special someone who will give you love and companionship for the rest of your life.������


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