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Trapped

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...

crunchyleaves crunchyleaves 18-21 5 Responses Apr 16, 2010

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to me it sounds like you have lost yourself you work really hard you take care of your family and that is very good to find someone like you that would do this for their family but along the way you lost yourself and who you are as a person you have everything to be successful and take care of them but ask your self this who am I? you need to find yourself as well you said you use to enjoy your classes and late nights now you dread it everyday you take no time for you.take it easy slow down you don't have to be perfect as I said before look at yourself in the mirror and say who is crunchyleaves? i'm where i'm suppose to be with my growing career and family but who am I hope this helps

well i can relate, you sound super clever and realy focussed, but not realy living, family is big to me and i am trapped becaused of it, but i am older and my dreams are still dreams, with no hope of becoming reality, and it hurts no less because i am older. is there no investment you can use that would help your family in years to come and that you will still be young enough for your life to start, perhaps there would be equity it the property in a few years and then a down grade could happen, but you are young an as you grow i am sure the answer will come to you, and an easy life is overated i am told

I know it's been a long time since you posted this, but just in case...<br />
Like you, I am a very lucky person. In a lot of ways my life is very good but I still feel depressed and am being treated.<br />
It's not your fault.<br />
You're obviously very smart. I don't know much about your school, but would it be possible to spend some of those extra classes in the fields you really care about?<br />
This might give you some more options and help you think more clearly.

I was very moved by your words,,,I wish I could give you a hug,,,well I take care of my mother,,,and I go to school too,,,I am 50,,,I am buying a house and a car,,,that honestly if I lost these things it would not bother me,,,,what will this world do with its self when all that they have taken for granted will be gone,,,,money will not help any of us,,,we have to start looking inside of our own beings,,,and start manifesting what God intended for all of us to begin with,,,,time is running out,,,ask God to lead you in the direction that you need to be going in,,,,I want no one to suffer,,,unfortuntly many do and will continue too, all because they will not ask God to help for real,,,,I have trouble when I listen to humans instead of God,,,foscus on Love and Light,,,leave everything else behide,,,,Mary

I can understand... I'm also the child of immigrants and I feel like while they expect me to take care of them financially as they get older, because for the most part, they didn't/couldn't plan ahead for their own old age. It's in large part the story of almost every immigrant family. That's why all immigrants want their kids to become doctors, lawyers and computer scientists. But I like to write, paint and teach. I can see myself as doing something in those fields and loving it. But instead I've worked as systems engineer for most of my life. I've gone back to school to study what I really want to do. But I'm feeling the pressure build up again and I don't know how long I can hold on before giving up and just becoming an I.T. drone again...