cant live my own life


I might be being overdramatic, because I did grow up in a very close family and community and i was very lucky.

But now I am 19 years old and trying to find my way a bit, and I feel like in this small community I am supposed to follow in the status quo routine of life; marry someone the community knows/approves of, move into a nice little house next door to your parents, and continue living the way you have growing up in the same little bubble. (I may be over exaggerating a bit but its still the gist of things)

It just scares me because I feel like I cannot grow into who I want to be because I have to fit into this mold with so many limitations. I can basically only date people my family knows of their family. (I dont HAVE to, but its looked down upon otherwise). And it scares me because I just feel like its really rare for me to click with someone and be able to be my complete self and be my happiest, in love, self with someone. And the fact the the pool of people I need to choose from to have my future with is so small, I feel like I won’t find someone who I have that connection with. And wind up marrying someone who is only practical.
I want to be able to make my own decisions and mistakes. My family makes that hard for me by continuing to set me up with people and then making me feel like I am doing something wrong by deciding not to go on a second date. Because they see nothing wrong with the guy. Ya there is nothing wrong with him, but its not about him. I just want to find someone who brings out that special side of me. I want to feel something real. And I am scared I will have to compromise that for my family just so they are happy with the person I wind up with. I hate having them involved in my dating life.
I am only 19 and my dad acts like Im 80. He’s like “you’ll be twenty soon and youre still single!” It angers me so much. My grandma got married at 17, my sister got married at 21, my aunt got married at 16 (that was crazy). I mean i am only a sophomore in college. I hardly even got my own life started, I dont want to share my life before I have my own.

Sometimes I want to move to another state so i can have clarity to make my own decisions for my own life. I dont feel like i can do that here. But i am not prepared financially or emotionally to do that. I couldnt leave my family and friends.

I feel stuck.

Category: Tags: asked January 6, 2014

3 Answers

I literally had the same problem. you don't necessarily need to move to another state; just talk to your family about it. if you tell them your concern they should back off, they probably see that you are unhappy and are setting you up and pushing you to try and make you happier. If that doesn't work, maybe just move a little ways away. I lived in a small town, felt trapped, so I moved away for college. not far, just to the city an hours drive away. and I felt so much better, but i still miss home. sometimes all you need is a little time and space. take a trip, have some fun, make some mistakes. I think that once you discover yourself and gain some confidence than you can change yourself in your town, and I think you'll find that its not as big of a deal as you would think. you may actually become a role model for others who feel like you. but the first step is having an honest talk with your family about it. that should give you some clarity.
@Kitty, I have talked to my parents and sister many times about this. They think I am being crazy because nobody ever wants to stray from the status quo. Its like taboo. They won't back off, or at least think I am hurting myself by not wanting them involved in my dating life.
Hello Miss Silence, you did the right thing in reaching out.

Family is an integral part of life. Family can comfort you and support you through hard times, but family can also be the worst kind of peer pressure. Though it can be frightening, one part of growing up is learning to assert yourself, and it sounds like that time has come in your life. You need to not suggest to your family that you need more space, you need to find space for yourself, declare that it is yours, and do not negotiate.

Your family loves you, but the greatest harm can result from the best intentions, and they seem to be putting their idea of your best interests before your own. Your life is your life; it is the only one you get, and you must never be afraid to live it. You do not exist to vicariously satisfy your community's expectations of life. Look for a path in life that calls to you and place your foot resolutely onto that path, and do not give any heed to those who do not support you.

Be assertive but calm with your family, tell them you want the floor to express yourself, and after gathering your thoughts, present them with your exact emotions and concerns; that you are not living a life that you enjoy, that the constant expectations are draining you, and that you need time to grow into your own skin (so to speak). Tell your family that you are a person, not a marionette, that your life is potential to be explored and fulfilled, not a play to be rehearsed and performed. Your life is not a linear progression of events.

Please keep in contact and let us know how things progress. Never forget that you matter, and you are not alone.