Depressed over the fact that I’m not where I wanna be in life - 28 years old

The_One

Learning
This is really depressing me . To the point where I have asked myself is everything worth it.
In this f*cking society we are tasked with having a status , a good job and good education and good money. You’re successful if you have this plus a family. A wife husband and kids.
I feel like in comparison to my peers I am SO behind. The way I imagine my life to be and the way it truly is IS SO different.

I’ve been dating and been through traumas with love and I’m terrified of dating again. So no husband or kids.

For some reason I have a stupid degree but not able to make it past 35K. This part bothers me the most. I see peers my age traveling buying houses and new cars and getting married and I’m still stuck at home and I can’t afford to move out. My social circle has dwindled.

What makes it worse is that I’m Indian and Indian culture has really brain washed me into being a perfectionist, I want everything to be perfect. Nothing in my life is perfect though.
I had a cousin related by marriage, they’re super well off anyways but she has a good job in New York with some fashion company. Super skinny. She’s single but dating someone and her instagram made me feel so jealous. She is ALWAYS traveling. I had to unfollow her because her IG made me feel so bad about my life.

I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. I’m really stuck. I can’t seem to move forward at all. There’s so many areas of my life that I’m unhappy with (my body too because of lexapro I’ve gained 45lbs) I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been.
In some ways I’m scared of making the changes because sometimes i feel like I don’t deserve it and I’m stuck in this victim mindset.
In other ways I am getting really tired of being broke, not living my life, appeasing others. Being overweight. Not traveling. Not living life.

I was walking in a park where there was a train track. I watched unsolved mysteries about a girl who killed herself by walking in front of a train. I asked myself why the f*ck would anyone want to do that. It felt so strange walking up to the train tracks and trying to feel the way she did. I’ve thought about dying I’ve thought about my death. I’ve thought about my funeral. But my therapist says it’s because I’ve been surrounded by death.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to “make it” it feels like the more I pressure myself the worse I feel. But if I don’t pressure myself I’ll be stuck in the same place.
I don’t wanna be 35 and not moved out atleast.
I don’t wanna be 40 childless with no husband and broke as hell.
I don’t wanna not travel the world.
I don’t wanna sit in the house all my life and not have fun ? Go to clubs bars dinners raves concerts.

I feel so tired and burnt out, so alone.
 
I feel like in comparison to my peers I am SO behind
That’s called the ‘cohort effect’ by anthropologists, if that helps at all.

In essence it means that if all of your peers are getting married and having kids in their 20s? You should be, too.

But?

If all your peers are focusing on their education and dating in their 20’s, career in their 30’s, marriage and kids in their 40’s? You should be, too.

^^^ THAT ^^^ In the US is determined entirely by geography. In other countries there are other considerations.

I’ve almost always been WILDLY out of step with my “cohort”, so I pay it very little mind. But I also had it explained to me very early on. Even so? You have noooo idea how grateful I was to turn 30, as I was the YOUNGEST parent in my kids classes, and kept having to “hide” the fact I was in my 20’s when every other parent was in their 40’s & 50’s. 30s, at least, was “respectable”.

The sheer number of times I was mistaken as “the nanny” just because of my age/involvement? I won’t even begin to bore you with. Althoigh I did collect a number of great offers by people attempting to poach me away from my own kid. 😉
 
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Oh my dear you sound like so many young people in their 20s. You are not alone in this. There’s nothing wrong with where you are. Don’t worry about others. Life is not a competition. Especially at 28. It may sound silly, but it really is true. Where you end up at 50 or 60 is much more important than where you start at 25.

The best thing you can for your future is be kind to yourself and love yourself. I mean it. You want to attract a good man and have a good marriage? Put value in yourself. You want to get a better job? Invest in yourself.

Young people often look outward for money and friends to validate them, and think the self-esteem will follow. It won’t. If you don’t truly love yourself, no amount of money or socializing will help. Divorce courts are full of people who learned that the hard way.

My advice is to begin with the kind of person you want to be inside. The rest will follow.
 
I’m nearing 40 and most of my peers are buying homes and marrying and have young kids not yet in primary school, and my kid was from a rare one night stand when I was at university and he’s in his last couple of years of high school. My peers at uni were looking at moving out of home and travel and I was single breastfeeding a baby looking at how to juggle shift work with childcare and no father to even share custody. I then had an injury a few years into clinical work that threw another scanner into the works where I couldn’t use one of my hands. I felt so lost by all the expectations of society and isolation from my peers, and learning to manage my cptsd on top. I’m not going to pretend I don’t struggle at times with ideals VS reality, however one thing that came clear to me and helped me was that comparisons do nothing but cause regret, guilt, shame and sadness. Find what makes you happy and include it in your life as much as possible. For me I may have lost most of the use of one hand but I could still move and sing so I re-engaged with my love of performing arts doing community musical theatre, and not just did I have something I enjoyed and the outlets of singing, dancing and acting, but I found new friends locally who had a shared interest regardless of age, social status, income, profession, etc, so I learned to socialise again and the isolation reduced. Whatever my peers were doing, I was doing something I enjoyed and it helped me be more in the moment and gave me something to look forward to.

What are your interests? How can you engage with those interests and make them part of your weekly routine in some way?
 
Do you actually know what YOU want to do?

It’s so easy to fall into the idea of doing things just because that’s what everyone else your age is doing.

I have people from my high school class who are “highly successful” but if I had their life I’d probably want to shoot myself, no lie. They are highly educated but when you get right down to it, it’s not like people go into their career fields for having an undying passion for XYZ so much as “this is a career path for smart people that’s prestigious!” (I won’t mention what they do as to avoid possibly offending anyone here, lol). Others post about their kids a lot, and while I’d love to be a “Kodak dad” I don’t want to be a mom because the majority of parenting gets plopped on the mom in most relationships and I don’t have the energy for that. Plus, I REALLY value my freedom, and being able to do things on a whim (or not, if I’m feeling non-functional). My mom said something to me about how great we have it being able to do what we want, when we want, because we work for ourselves. (You know what I mean, as there are always things that must be done, but this allows a high degree of flexibility.) And it hit me that even though I’m not rich, I don’t want it any other way. I am trying to not beat myself up for not being like everyone else, because I realized what I value the most is my independence, and this is how I thrive.

You can do the FOMO thing, but will this really make you happy? Or do you just want all that because that’s what everyone else has?
 
When I was 28 years old, I worked in a bookstore warehouse, which was not at all what I wanted to do with my life. I didn't know what I wanted to do, but it wasn't that. All of my friends were having kids or buying houses or both. What I didn't realize is their lives were just as shitty as mine, even with all the stuff - that's just not something people talk about.

You don't have to figure it all out. I didn't figure out what I really wanted to do with my life until I was 50 years old.
 
Do you actually know what YOU want to do?

It’s so easy to fall into the idea of doing things just because that’s what everyone else your age is doing.

I have people from my high school class who are “highly successful” but if I had their life I’d probably want to shoot myself, no lie. They are highly educated but when you get right down to it, it’s not like people go into their career fields for having an undying passion for XYZ so much as “this is a career path for smart people that’s prestigious!” (I won’t mention what they do as to avoid possibly offending anyone here, lol). Others post about their kids a lot, and while I’d love to be a “Kodak dad” I don’t want to be a mom because the majority of parenting gets plopped on the mom in most relationships and I don’t have the energy for that. Plus, I REALLY value my freedom, and being able to do things on a whim (or not, if I’m feeling non-functional). My mom said something to me about how great we have it being able to do what we want, when we want, because we work for ourselves. (You know what I mean, as there are always things that must be done, but this allows a high degree of flexibility.) And it hit me that even though I’m not rich, I don’t want it any other way. I am trying to not beat myself up for not being like everyone else, because I realized what I value the most is my independence, and this is how I thrive.

You can do the FOMO thing, but will this really make you happy? Or do you just want all that because that’s what everyone else has?
That’s also another thing I have to figure out. I love kids and I love babies to death.
But I also love my freedom and being able to do what I please with what money I make and what I do. My close friend just had a baby and she loves being a mom but she told me she has no me time and is always with baby.

I also enjoy my quiet time and solitude. I know as kids grow older they become very rowdy and loud and idk if I can handle it.

I still deeply want to become a mother. I have that urge all the time. But I often wonder if I can handle it mentally. Because as you said when you have kids your independence time and energy and money go towards your child. Up until a certain age they need you. But even then they will always kind of need or want your advice/ help.
 
I know it sounds like basic advice, but everyone is a different person living a different life than you. Don’t compare your life to others, because you’re on a different journey. Rather than looking at everything wrong, choose one thing to focus on and improve. Your life can improve, you are not stuck. You may feel “behind” but you’re 28, you have a lot of life ahead of you.
 
For What It's Worth (probably nothing): 😘

I was raised in a hugely competitive home, fueled by my parents. We were ranked, compared, shamed, applauded (rarely) over everything from report cards to pimples to the number on the scale. It was a horrible way to live. It instilled in me a battle for perfection I live with to this day - and I have 11 grandkids. TV, magazines, social media, and the repackaged Hollywood version of "normal" has made growing up even more difficult, especially for kids growing up in homes where these messages are not addressed, or worse, the kids are living in a dysfunctional family mess.

My parental/grandparental opinion is that children to need to be taught, conditioned, and have modeled for them from birth that we are each beautifully unique individuals. My goal as a mother was to do everything the opposite way my parents did. My kids were dressed in age-appropriate children's clothes, not like Hollywood sex symbols. They were raised with television off and were surrounded by incredible books and music and the beckoning of nature outside. Our home always had the welcome mat out to their friends so we could safely observe who was influencing them, and when necessary, guide them to better social choices. (It was well worth the cost of all those pizzas.) The "family" computer was kept in a communal area - they were free to use it, but with the family circling the temptation to surf to unhealthy sites was avoided. I could go on with other examples but you get the idea.

The most important guide in this parenting journey is what my husband and I said and did. My children were raised with the concept that it was a perfectly acceptable notion to be married or not married - the choice was theirs. Have babies, don't have babies - the choice was theirs. Career or "a job with a paycheck"- the choice, again, was theirs. One of my daughters actually broke her engagement and chose to stay unmarried because she felt her career, as a pediatric specialist, was more important to her than marriage - and she knew her parents and siblings would think her decision was just fine.

To raise healthy, well-adjusted happy adults, bless them with a happy, healthy childhood.💜
 
For What It's Worth (probably nothing): 😘

I was raised in a hugely competitive home, fueled by my parents. We were ranked, compared, shamed, applauded (rarely) over everything from report cards to pimples to the number on the scale. It was a horrible way to live. It instilled in me a battle for perfection I live with to this day - and I have 11 grandkids. TV, magazines, social media, and the repackaged Hollywood version of "normal" has made growing up even more difficult, especially for kids growing up in homes where these messages are not addressed, or worse, the kids are living in a dysfunctional family mess.

My parental/grandparental opinion is that children to need to be taught, conditioned, and have modeled for them from birth that we are each beautifully unique individuals. My goal as a mother was to do everything the opposite way my parents did. My kids were dressed in age-appropriate children's clothes, not like Hollywood sex symbols. They were raised with television off and were surrounded by incredible books and music and the beckoning of nature outside. Our home always had the welcome mat out to their friends so we could safely observe who was influencing them, and when necessary, guide them to better social choices. (It was well worth the cost of all those pizzas.) The "family" computer was kept in a communal area - they were free to use it, but with the family circling the temptation to surf to unhealthy sites was avoided. I could go on with other examples but you get the idea.

The most important guide in this parenting journey is what my husband and I said and did. My children were raised with the concept that it was a perfectly acceptable notion to be married or not married - the choice was theirs. Have babies, don't have babies - the choice was theirs. Career or "a job with a paycheck"- the choice, again, was theirs. One of my daughters actually broke her engagement and chose to stay unmarried because she felt her career, as a pediatric specialist, was more important to her than marriage - and she knew her parents and siblings would think her decision was just fine.

To raise healthy, well-adjusted happy adults, bless them with a happy, healthy childhood.💜
Was raised the same way and still everyday in some way or fashion told
“I’m so worried about you, you can’t be making 35K the rest of your life!”
“I’m so worried about you, you have no boyfriend and no marriage proposals”
“You should go outside and hang out with friends more “

My family is a strict Indian family. They have loosened up but still not enough to this day and age.
My cousins are getting married to people outside their race because quite frankly we live in the south and there’s not many Indians here. So I have white and black cousins now.
But for some reason my mom likes to make me feel guilty . Saying she wants an Indian son in law.
My sister is dating an African American man and that’s the first thing she said when my sister told her “But I want an Indian son in law!!!”

I feel guilty everyday. They have really brain washed me into believing I am never enough and to this day they do not let up.
It’s become worse because I have gained weight from lexapro and now they comment on my weight. Not to my face (yes sometimes actually to my face) but my whole family has noticed and said something either behind my back or to my face.
They go on and on about how I haven’t gotten my masters and I need to get my masters.

It just never ends I’m never good enough for them. It’s always been like that. They constantly worry about it too.

Just the other day my grandma started crying because she was worried my sister and I aren’t getting married and cousins in our family are getting married but not us.

South Asian culture is really f*cked up.

I don’t wanna raise my kids with this environment and toxic values and feel like they’re conditionally loved.
I’m 28 years old and if I decide to have a child out of wed lock I will be shunned. It shouldn’t be that way.
There’s a reason I have anxiety and depression, and why I’m on lexapro.
It’s because of them. And they don’t see that.

“Can’t you switch your meds” no you basically gave me anxiety
 
Was raised the same way and still everyday in some way or fashion told
“I’m so worried about you, you can’t be making 35K the rest of your life!”
“I’m so worried about you, you have no boyfriend and no marriage proposals”
“You should go outside and hang out with friends more “

My family is a strict Indian family. They have loosened up but still not enough to this day and age.
My cousins are getting married to people outside their race because quite frankly we live in the south and there’s not many Indians here. So I have white and black cousins now.
But for some reason my mom likes to make me feel guilty . Saying she wants an Indian son in law.
My sister is dating an African American man and that’s the first thing she said when my sister told her “But I want an Indian son in law!!!”

I feel guilty everyday. They have really brain washed me into believing I am never enough and to this day they do not let up.
It’s become worse because I have gained weight from lexapro and now they comment on my weight. Not to my face (yes sometimes actually to my face) but my whole family has noticed and said something either behind my back or to my face.
They go on and on about how I haven’t gotten my masters and I need to get my masters.

It just never ends I’m never good enough for them. It’s always been like that. They constantly worry about it too.

Just the other day my grandma started crying because she was worried my sister and I aren’t getting married and cousins in our family are getting married but not us.

South Asian culture is really f*cked up.

I don’t wanna raise my kids with this environment and toxic values and feel like they’re conditionally loved.
I’m 28 years old and if I decide to have a child out of wed lock I will be shunned. It shouldn’t be that way.
There’s a reason I have anxiety and depression, and why I’m on lexapro.
It’s because of them. And they don’t see that.

“Can’t you switch your meds” no you basically gave me anxiety
This hurts my heart. 💔

Unconditional ❤️ Love. So many parents SAY it, but do they really mean it? Loving unconditionally means loving - accepting- us just as we are. For the beautifully unique individuals we are. That means without noticing, or worrying about or talking about, whether or not there is a desirable person on our arm or the size dress we wearing. It means they don't tell Aunt Beth they noticed our teeth are yellow, they don't like our perfume, or we look terrible in the color red. It means they rejoice because they are so blessed to have us share their lives with them. Someday I want to write a parenting book on how to love - from deepest depths of our heart - our children. 💜
 
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