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Frustrated with myself and living in my boyfriend's shadow


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I am 23, going to school for five years now and still have another year or so to graduate. I am studying pre-professional but due to past mistakes I've made, it may never never happen. This leaves me with a (possible) degree that I care not for, nor do I know anything in to be honest. I've spent my whole life cramming and it doesn't seem to work anymore. I am also new in the states (came a few years ago) and due to my culture, I am dependent, have very little personal freedom, and have no friends. I've only had boyfriends here and there whose friends I would befriend then when we break up, I would go back to having no one.


A year ago, I met a wonderful guy. He's smart, sweet, caring and loving. He was also in school which made our relationship stronger since we could meet in school rather than worry about lying to my family. I am still with him now. I am still where I was a year ago, no interest, friends, or a decent job. He on the other hand has graduated, and landed a really good job with benefits and vacations and the whole nine yards. He has been really happy, telling me all about his successes and future plans and current plans that are going perfectly as planned. I try to be happy for him but I can't help being so overwhelmed and disappointed in my own progress. I can't stop thinking about how bored I am with what I am studying (I've gone too far to quit and start over), about my family who knows nothing about my shameful mistakes and still believe that I get into professional school. I am just so frustrated with my life.


I guess I just find myself at this mental roadblock that I cannot seem to overcome. I keep blaming everybody for my own shortcomings even though I know it is my fault. I feel so smothered by everyone around me, so stuck and can't move forward, and mostly, don't know where to go from here! So much time and money wasted and I know I am young. I know that's what everybody would say, but I won't be young forever.


I guess I just need advice. I don't know what to do. I'm just stuck. Thank you everyone, and please be gentle.

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Definitely try to tune out the people who brush you off with the "but you're young" comments. I wish I would have! I always had that gut feeling like, what does being young have to do with not being happy or not achieving your goals? The world is moving really fast, people are insanely competitive too. I can't really advise you on your career goals, but I definitely want to encourage you to make the most of every moment you have. Listen to your intuition.


I think your issue is related to anxiety and how it can paralyze you or slow your progress down. Even if you aren't where you want to be in your life, don't be so hard on yourself. You can't change the decisions you made in the past, and you can't control the future or even the present. All any of us can do is try. Shame will hold you back too, shame becomes toxic and unhealthy when it keeps you in a vicious cycle of self defeat. You deserve better than that no matter what your mistakes are.


You are also afraid of failure, yet inertia is basically the same thing. If you try at your goals but don't achieve them, the net result is pretty much the same. So you might as well give it a shot because you have nothing to lose. Failure is also much easier to take when you know you have endless opportunities to try again. Certain doors and opportunities will close with time, but you always have the choice to try to make yourself happy.


Also, remember people don't have the same level of investment in your decisions that you have. Your boyfriend probably can't empathize with you as much as you wish he could because he is already comfortable in his life. Other people might try to drag you down because their youth has already been spent unwisely. Don't take advice from people you don't respect or admire. If you're not satisfied, then "own" your feelings without beating yourself up about it.

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