Even up to present, I’ve always had that dilemma — Other people being proud of me, always makes me feel pressured. Maybe that’s why, I always end up keeping my achievements in closet. I realized that I still had this fear since last week. I thought I learned to loosen up over time but, I was wrong. I am confident but that’s how I was, growing up and that’s how I am. Still. I know it’s not right, I actually have all the right to brag about everything regardless of how big or small my achievements are but that’s not how I was raised. I was always reminded to be grounded. Maybe, that’s where pressure came in. With being proud, cheering and rooting for me always come with pressure to always be at my best. I know it’s not healthy but I cannot even say it is bad at all, because it helped me to focus on my objectives but sometimes, I forget to loosen up. Growing up, I always felt like I’m in competition with everyone. Be it with family,in school or any aspects. I always felt like people expected too much of me, especially my parents. And if I don’t meet such, I always feel like I am less of a person. I should be good, do good with almost everything. I cannot blame them. In fact, I am very thankful to them for instilling a lot of wisdom to me. It’s just that there were times that you really find it hard to keep up. I continuously try to do my best, anyway.
When I was in the choir, which was really rigid at that time, we had regular quartet exams. It was always nerve wracking. From the moment I got the top rank in my section, I had this pressure to maintain that post. Ever since. People expected me to always be there– no.1. I was consistent to be there but can you imagine how pressured I was? It was not easy. Of course, there were times that I wasn’t the top,but who cares? Me. I seriously care. When I was extremely pressured to keep my position, one friend told me that the only way to go is down. I was already there. A lot of times, in fact. Where else will I go? Is there a number higher than 1? If there was, sure, I’d be there, he said. I was awaken. He was right. He even reminded that I don’t have to prove anything anymore for I have already proven enough. He was right again. I kept quiet and did my best still. There were a lot of times that while people look up to me and idolize me, I doubted myself. As far as I can remember, I never heard myself congratulate me for actually doing a good job. While other people tell me the performance was great, my solo was great, I did great, I still doubted myself. Even if my family are extremely proud of me, I was scared to accept it. For I know that pressure would later appear. Crazy, huh?
The achievement of being able to travel and discover different places and cultures because of singing was also kept. It was a secret I kept with few friends because of several reasons. If my friends accidentally spilled the beans, I remind them to keep quiet. They are the ones who are actually proud of my achievements. I understand them. I am actually confident and proud of it. It’s just that, I don’t want people to talk about it/me in general but I realized, a little bragging is also exciting and beautiful. It’s my achievement, anyway. Just stay humble.
Maybe, I was the problem here. I am in competition with no one but with myself. I was being too hard on myself. Or should I say, I AM always being too hard on myself. I am the one putting too much pressure on myself. I forgot to be proud and celebrate even the slightest achievement I had — that was before. I’ve learned a lot over time. I had to change. I am still learning the ropes. It is not easy to change this mindset I created. I am not forgetting what I’ve learned over time, it will always be here. But, I have decided to make a conscious effort to loosen up a bit. No or less pressure but I will still try my best every time I do something, of course. I have to constantly remind myself to just ENJOY and live light.
For once, I am proud to tell myself that, I am proud of you, Em! You’ve been doing a great job all along and you still are so, Keep it up! Cheers!