So I have turned 25 now and I was telling someone that I could have a legitimate quarter life crisis and she was like “crisis? you have nothing to worry about! You’re too young to worry about anything”. And I was like Susan, you are wrong there. I may not need to worry about my kids not sleeping, or my marriage falling apart or financial troubles, I may not have be at rock bottom, or any where close to the bottom, but you know what I can worry about? Never finding the right person to have those kids or that marriage to fall apart in the first place. How am I supposed to meet this life partner? What should I do with my career- I feel like I am trying my best, but is my best good enough? What do I even ultimately want? I’ve never had an OE, I’ve never been to Europe and I’m scared that I never will. How do I make time for all the things I want to achieve?
I feel like the things I want are contradictory. I want a partner but I barely respond to the boys that shoot their shot. I am chasing after both career and travel when I know full well that I can’t do both at the same time.
Now that I am older and instantly wiser, I have identified my problem. And that is that I am a hard subscriber to other peoples ideas of success to the point that I know it’s their ideas and not mine- and yet I still feel EXTREMELY pressured to achieve it. I mean, there is myself thinking I am successful, but would I really be successful if other people didn’t think I was?? Does a tree falling make a sound if noone is there to hear it…!!! And I want very, very badly for other people to think that I am doing better than ok.
Note that I am saying successful and not happy. Because I am 25 and a fountain of wisdom and critical thinking, I know that success does not equal happiness and happiness is a lot harder to come by. If I lived life for my happiness I would be a volunteer at the SPCA and swimming in debt from the multiple holidays I would’ve booked myself.
For my parents to think I am successful, I need to be earning money, buying a house and marrying now (haha fuck off no way for the last one). For my colleagues to think I am successful, I need to be killing it in my career and getting noticed for it. For my friends and peers to think I am successful I need to be well travelled, look the best I can and be genuinely happy. This has shaped my version of success, where I want all of those things combined, right now. I sort of think I must be greedy- I want everything that other people want, and want me to be the shining example of it and make people either be jealous, respect, or approve of my life.
And I have to ask myself (because I can’t afford a psychiatrist), why do I care about what other people think of me so much?? Isn’t that is the million dollar question in self help books thats supposed to make you realise you’ve been leading your life wrong and start you on the path to happiness- when you realise you should not live up to anyone’s expectations but yourself?
Deep down, I think it’s because I do not want anyone to look down on me because I have not met their expectation of success.
Fuck guys, I may have just realised one of my biggest fears in life- I HATE being looked down upon.
Maybe if I wasn’t Chinese, maybe if I had not started off poor, or extremely shy, maybe if I hadn’t been raised in a culture where everything is about your image, or maybe if I wasn’t such a goddamn people pleaser and wanting to make the people around me happy I wouldn’t have such a complex about it. But I do, and I want to avoid it at all costs because being looked down on closes so many doors. If people think I’m useless, nothing is actually going to come my way. No one will want to be around me. And I don’t know why I value achieving success over achieving happiness so much, but I am so compelled toward wanting to be better, wanting to be more, after achieving one thing its onto the next.
Fortunately, that’s also why I’ve never gelled well with people who like being “popular” lol. I hate people who try to enforce a sense of superiority or hierarchy because I don’t need that “you can’t sit with us” bullshit in my life.
I am just not enough. I’m not making enough money, not enough people love me, I don’t have enough things, experiences, fun. I am constantly measuring myself up to other people’s high expectations and impressions- and I’m so fucking short (like… literally).