Pressure Cooker

I feel like a pressure cooker. Like a cauldron about to explode.

All this pressure and no way to get rid of that I can see. No one around to talk to, and no way out of this pit.

The urgent pressure to make money, the pressure to study more and get high enough scores on the exams to get into a good university, the pressure to get into university period, the pressure to make the most of each day while it feels like time is slipping away, the pressure to become brilliant at something, to make my mark, to excel either at music, writing, or something else.

And I feel inadequate. I cannot help but compare with others who have the privilege and time to dedicate their lives to something they love and are gifted with a talented that I do not have. People who are far more gifted than I in writing, or those who can play Chopin at the age of thirteen or so.

All these dreams and no hope for them blossom. No time, no space, just a hard slog to the grave, for now we have grown up and playtime is over. Now we must wake up, don suits that we were never meant to wear and go to a job that consumes all our time in a dreary pattern of redundancy and repetitiveness.

All our childhood hopes vanish in the adult world, for now we must wake up and MAKE MONEY.

Time, this wretched beast which so cruelly plays tricks on us by speeding up when we wish to slow down and slowing down at the most inconvenient moments. Why? Why me? Why now? How much longer can this pressure build up until I explode all over my giant monstrous corporate job?

The pressure to leave something of worth, something that will last and endure, that will be remembered and touch countless lives. But then the nihilism in me rises again and whispers “there’s no point, anyway, so why even try?”.

Some days I am strong and I don’t listen or tell it to shut up, but there are other days I listen to it, and it bows me down till the point that I can no longer even find the will to rise from the ground.

Why me? Why now? Why here?

If I could never worry about money or how to find the means to live, then I would create a live of wonder and joy. I would write stories, poems, and plays.

I would compose music that seems to have been born in my bones.

I would write down all the melodies inside me, the songs of sadness and anguish, of joy and loneliness and despair.

I would draw, perhaps, and sail each day close to the shore, looking out to the horizon and dreaming of the day I make my last blue water voyage never to return.

I would love, deeply, unconditionally, and tenderly. I would build a family and make it a place of calm, comfort and rest. I would build a home, high on the mountain meadow overlooking the ocean under the pines that sway in the sea breeze.

I would find a girl who was no longer a girl, one who was a woman in all her wretched glory, her triumphant pain, and agonising love. One who was mature, joyful, and kind. One who was the calm to my storm, the spark to my dry bones, and the vessel through which I could be free to become all the selves I know I am capable of being and the ones I have yet to discover. I would love her and keep her close whilst letting her roam free, always to come back to my side.

I would become strong, ever so strong in mind and body. I would leave the weakness and sorrow of the past behind and come to life, life in all its glory, in all its yearning and hoping fulfilled, in all its restlessness that finds peace at last.

I could end by bringing myself sharply to reality, but I will let the hope in me last, rather than succumb to cynical reality. So I will end on these dreams, on these hopes, on these yearning aspirations that I pray will one day be fulfilled.



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