As an artist and extreme creative, its always there.
The pressure to conform, to cease creating, to quit being weird. But it just isn’t going to happen. This is how I am wired, and it will never cease. EVER.
My intuition really began to ramp up at about age 17 or so, I’d say. I was choosing classes for college alongside my mom, and every last thing about it felt foreign, and almost wrong. I am trying to describe this as best I can with words though so bear with me. I want to give you an empath or misfits perspective on college. Also it’s well worth mentioning I was still heavily influenced (read brainwashed or conditioned) by religion and homeschooling.
Anway, this intuitive feeling was a mixed cross between dread, confusion, depression and anxiety. Top that with resentment, and that’s what was going on in my head and heart during the painfully boring and dry process of choosing college classes for myself. I had yet to understand that I was a) an introvert, and b) extremely emotional. I had been raised in a very controlled manner, which led to much emotional repression. Repression of this was exactly contranarian to my true nature. So it led to much internal conflict and unspoken misery.
Who was I to complain though ? The government was paying for a majority of the 2 years I was to spend in this community college, getting further educated. (I mean indoctrinated.) I knew instincticly that college wasn’t right, and had read a little bit that successful people (read: wealthy) had dropped out of college or not been. So that opposition really irked my parents to quite a degree. As a result, I floundered left and right between 20 or so class choices during those 2 years. I had a desire to learn so many subjects, that choosing was akin to pulling teeth. Very painful and distressing indeed for me. I prefer staying open ended in my plans, which is very typical INFP.
Parental pressure is terrifying. When they are the ones who provide everything for you, and you know in your heart that college, or any number of things isn’t acceptable to your belief system, you are paralyzed. You don’t want to disappoint them. Growing up, disappointing my parents was one of the most excruciating things that would happen to me. That is in no way sarcasm or a joke. I genuinely hated disappointing them. These days I still have an aversion to disappointing them, but its not nearly as intense as it once was.
I grew up talking to myself a lot. More than most I suppose, and I was ridiculed for it. I was told that it was weird. And to me, from all the things I had been taught and told- weird was the full equivalent of wrong. Literally. I thought being weird or off was wrong, and something to be ashamed of. But it’s not, thankfully.
While I was writing this, I hopped back on Facebook to finish up a religious debate, check twitter, check out a book review of “God is Not Great: how religion poisons everything” by Christopher Hitchens, and checked the french latin origins of the etymology of the word religion. My mind gets sidetracked far too easily, and rabbit trails into a million different sub topics, no matter where I am or what I”m doing. It’s honestly a bit hilarious at times. This is just what an INFP does.
The pressure to settle down, its always there. The pressure to get a great job. The pressure to stop being so indecisive. The pressure to fit in. The pressure to act normal. The pressure to not take alone time for myself. All these are terrifying to me. Why? Because they require me to ignore and push away my true and authentic self. And I would rather die before settling or casting my genuine self aside.