[Noun; ~Pronunciation: /peer/ /presh-er/]
- Definition: Constantly feeling the need to please everyone around you, to make sure that whoever looks at their life is satisfied by what they see, because of you, and to completely lose yourself in the process. Or, if you’re Dutch and in for a joke, it means peeling, chopping up, and baking your freshly picked pears to turn them into a pie.
“Peer pressure is just that: pressure”
– Jerry Spinelli –
If anything, I’d say my pear tree has been doing fabulous this year. It also helps that we’ve bonded with our neighbours’ cat (they’re still alive, by the way, my neighbours. They went on a short holiday without telling me and I suspect their daughter didn’t do too good a job watching their cat, forcing Tommy to come to me for food).
Anyway, since Tommy has taken a liking to lulling around in our backyard, there has been a strong decrease in blackbird sightings. And blackbirds are the sole reason I’ve never eaten a single pear from Donny, my tree, before.
So for that, and for the fuzzy company, I thank Tommy the cat.
As for me, I’ve been doing okay-ish. I saw my doctor again to get my blood results and they were all good. Nothing physically wrong with me. The melatonin seems to work as well, as I sort of find myself amidst a ton of worries every night, and then I’m suddenly off to sleep.
Thus, it’s my mental health that affects my physical well-being. I blame it on peer pressure (I’ll get to the joke later): I feel the constant need to be a true delight to everyone around me, hoping it’ll make them like me or that at least it’ll make their day better.
When I had a good conversation with the friend I mentioned in my last post, the one who told me to start making decisions that benefit me, I thought it would be a good idea to follow her advice.
What didn’t help was that the first opportunity to try out my newly found assertiveness was when another friend invited me to go bowling with her, her fling and his best friend. It reeked like a matchmaking set-up, plus I don’t really like her fling (he’s not good for her but she won’t believe it), so the thought of having to spend an entire evening sitting next to a guy I don’t fancy one bit while witnessing the other two flirting around was less than appealing. So I declined, to which my friend opened an arsenal of guilty-making remarks, such as: “but I also went to an escape room with your friends!”, and: “but you’d make me happy if you’d come”, to end with a very nicely tried but quite unconvincing: “I’m not trying to set you up with P, I swear.”
I turned her down anyway, because the thought of having to go somewhere I don’t want to go to please someone else just made me feel like I was suffocating.
What happened after was a flush of guilt for not going, which felt even more suffocating.
I am the victim of peer pressure: I can’t let someone down and therefore I keep feeling the need, the pressure, to do whatever I can to please them. I can’t seem to disappoint anyone, leaving me just that in the end: disappointed. And stressed. And exhausted.
(I know peer pressure actually means you feel the pressure to perform as good as your age-mates, but my upcoming joke is really good, so I (a)bused this term anyway…)
When I was picking the fruit from my tree I thought how lovely it must be to feel no such pressure at all. That I’d love to give up on all my making-people-happy-while-simultaneously-making-myself-unhappy-in-return-stress and just focus on baking a pear pie. To feel nothing but the pressure to turn my pears into a delicious dessert.
Here comes the joke (you’ve waited long enough for it): peer is Dutch for pear. So instead of the English term, I’m aiming for the Dutch version of peer pressure. Tomorrow I’m going to peel, prepare and bake the most delicious home-made pear pie ever, and that’s the only pressure I want to feel right now: to make that pie amazing.
But with the little help from Donny the pear tree and Tommy the cat I’m sure to succeed. Oh, my life already feels a bit more like a fairy tale :) A stress-free, no peer pressure one.