There was a time in my life when I worked for peanuts. I was a young and naïve writer back then, trying to find my place in the freelancing world. I accepted whatever project I could get my hands on, even if the client were only willing to give $2 per 500-word article. My mindset was that everyone started at a low rate and that it would get better soon.
Because I did not feel like I had the authority to complain, I decided to write articles for 15 hours every day. From two hours, I managed to write an article within 30 minutes after three months. I was happy because it meant that I could earn $60 daily. As I mentioned above, it was too small compared to the amount of thinking and writing I needed to do, but I sucked up and did it anyway.
However, this deadly routine came to an end a year later once my parents found out how I lived from one paycheck to another. They also learned that I developed PCOS since I was continually cramming and worrying about my work. I tried to make them see that it’s only until another company offered a better rate, but Mom said, “You will be dead before that happens if you keep this up. Leave that job now, come back home, and relax before you seek a new employer.”
I took the easy way out of my problems and returned to my parents’ house, which felt like a school break every day. I woke up right before lunch, watched TV until the evening, and play video games the entire night. In between those hours, Mom would come by with homemade snacks.
Unfortunately, I loved my vacation too much. Before I knew it, six months already passed, and I was still jobless. Neither of my parents complained about it, but my desire to work and earn money began to wane. I just realized it when I ran out of shaving cream and had to ask for $10 from my mother.
Below are the reasons why it matters to experience pressure for your mental health sometimes.
Relaxing Too Much Causes Opportunities To Slip Through Your Fingers
Before my hibernation, I still got to send my portfolio and resume to various companies. I assumed that one of them would reply to my email at some point. However, when I started living at my childhood home again, I did not think of opening my email, so I did not see the responses from two different companies that came after a month.
As soon as I saw the emails months later, I could not express how disappointed I was to myself. I tried contacting the publishing companies about the offer, but they said someone already took the spot. If only I did not relax too much, I might have found a new job sooner.
Pressure Forces You To Focus And Get Your Act Together
Like I mentioned above, my parents loved me too much, to the extent that they wanted to give me everything 24/7. Dad said, “You just stay at home, sleep well, and rest. You do not have to chip in for food or electricity.” He meant it, so I genuinely did as I was instructed.
It was already too late when I noticed that my life was going backward instead of forward. I depended on my parents like a baby and lived each day with the same question in my head every night: “What should I ask Mom to cook tomorrow?” I was more focused and responsible during my days as a struggling writer because I felt pressured to write as many as I could back then.
Over-Relaxation Tends To Keep You From Facing Facts
The irony of life was that I started living like a king when I had no job. Even though I could not buy an ounce of soil in a pot, I stayed in a gated community in Southern California. I did not have money for delicious meals, but I could ask my mother to cook a steak every day if I wanted to.
The problem that I did not see immediately was that the luxury kept me from facing the fact that I was unemployed. I became immune to its effects when my parents took me in once more. Thus, I dealt with job loss belatedly.
Despite my parents’ discouragement, I began to wake up early and look for companies that needed new writers. I stopped playing video games and watching TV all day long, too, since they took up most of my time. Instead, I worked on my portfolio to increase my chances of getting accepted at a decent company. My self-inflicted time limit was one month – whether I had a job or not, I would move out of my parents’ house.
Putting such pressure on myself gave me a sense of direction. I was soon hired as an in-house content writer by a company whose starting salary was $2,000. It merely proved that it’s beneficial to feel pressured sometimes.