I want to start by saying that to be honest, I have nothing to complain about. I have been blessed with caring parents, a sweetheart fiancee, good health, friends, and at least some level of talent. I attend one of the most prestigious universities in the U.S. And I know that to the vast majority of the world, I'm just another brat who doesn't know what to do with everything that life handed him on a silver platter.
And I tell myself that too. But it's just not sticking. I feel so claustrophobic in my life. Like I don't have a choice. I feel like all the things that I love, like art or interior design or culinary arts, just feel so out of the question. The basic situation is that my parents plainly will not have enough money once they retire. They just bought a house recently on a 30-year mortgage and the assumption is that after they retire, I would pay for the remainder of their mortgage.
(It seems unfair in some way, but when we decided to come to the United States, there was the implicit understanding that my parents were giving up the financial security that they had enjoyed in our native country, as well as that the primary (if not only) benefactor from the move was me. So inherently there is a kind of unspoken contract (that I think is pervasive in a lot of cultures) that the parents are to give up everything they can to ensure the success of the child, and in return the child would strive to provide for her parents in their old age. I am sure that this is not what my parents had consciously planned, but it's the way it is. And I can't say that this was an unfair exchange in any way because in all honesty being here is way better than being back there.)
Obviously this means that I have to be really financially successful and I can't just hedge my bets on something that may or may not work out. Unfortunately, nothing I want to do is profitable. What I love in life is simplicity and adventure, and I know that I belong in a design studio or as a volunteer somewhere in a remote country because I've done both of that and it has brought me more joy than any money-oriented job ever will.
It's not the academic stress; as a high school student I had two jobs, was a varsity runner, practiced music, did volunteer carpentry work daily, often stayed up doing design work for charity organizations, and took lots of hard classes. It was customary to not be able to go to sleep until 4-5am and then get up at 7 to go to school. But I liked what I was doing then. It was exhilarating because I loved what I was doing. But I don't have that kind of freedom anymore. I don't know if it just comes with growing up, but there's got to be some happy people out there.
Honestly, I am doing well. I am succeeding in this field that I hate. I'm taking almost twice the number of required classes and getting good grades, and I have enough spare time that I don't feel stressed by that. It looks like I'm doing so well. My frat brothers, friends all think I'm perfectly normal but I wake up every morning and I have nothing to look forward to. I looked at my future and I can tell you exactly what's gonna happen every year. I know that's a blessing because so many people would give everything they have to be able to just count on the next day. But it doesn't help me feel better. I just look at my life and I wish that I could just not exist anymore. I wouldn't kill myself like so many other Ivies did this year, because it's selfish and illogical or whatever. But I just walk out of my dorm every morning, hoping that maybe a truck will run me over. Or even better, I'll pass out in class and be found to have terminal cancer and then I can finally enjoy at least a few days of my fleeting youth living life just for the sake of it, without planning every detail of my slavish future.
I find it so pathetic that I could be dissatisfied with the life that I have, but at the same time I can at least kind of feel like maybe it's not my fault. From when I was 3 up until maybe 15, I used to hide in places where adults didn't see me and just cry and hurt myself. I never cut myself or anything but I used to feel so much despair and so much anger at myself, maybe even more than I feel now. Things got a little better in HS when I felt like I was a little more stabilized but I feel like I'm falling back into this black hole and it's just tearing me apart on the inside. I just feel so alone, so empty all the time. I want to scream at people and tell them but I can't. One of my friends is depressed but her family's fallen apart and she used to have cancer. There is nothing wrong with my life. It's just me. I just wish I could wake up one day, just one day, and feel like there's something to look forward to and that maybe one day I'm gonna be happy and fulfilled in life. But I just feel dead. I wish I were somebody else...