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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

I am a failure of 31 years and 4 thoughts that help me accept it

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I’m not writing it off as FOMO, but allowing myself to feel it.

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

“Through pride we always deceive ourselves. But deep below the surface of average consciousness, a still, small voice tells us: something is out of tune. ”
Carl Gustav Jung

Age is not just a number for a person who didn’t check any boxes: It is a painful reminder.

I am a 31 year old single woman from India.

I work in an MNC, slowly growing up in a job and working with a team that I liked.

Then what’s wrong with you? You can ask.

I’m nowhere near the life I planned for myself in my teens or even my 20s.

I feel like a train wreck.

No amount of inspirational videos, self help articles is helping me.

You may be wondering what about 31, I am relatively young and if I am blessed then I have a long way to go.

Yes, there are 40- and 50-somethings out there with questions, filled with a pressing void, but factoring all this out isn’t helping me.

I know that life is not fair.

I am well aware of all the platitudes that: life will go on, be happy for all the good things in life, people have a worse time.

Well, what about the people who have it better than me?

Because of cognitive bias I’m only looking at them!

The last three weeks have been a blur.

Something about reaching half a year with nothing credible for all these years is bugging me more than ever and I can’t ignore the feeling anymore.

And my no-marriage, debt-clearing state isn’t exactly the state I want to be in when I planned what I’d be doing in my 30s.

I’m avoiding meeting with friends (those who stay) for salary comparisons, marriage proposal questions, or to complain about how 30 sucks when their 5-year-old is running around me.

I know you do, but in a very different way for me.

The troubles of the dating scene

My experience with the dating scene is taking its toll because I’m afraid I’m that 31-year-old woman (never married, no recent breakup history). I’m bored of bringing my quirky personality to match. I’m playing a game myself and my fever doesn’t help much.

I get questions like “what has kept you single so far?” or “why has a rascal like you never been in a relationship?”.

Honestly I don’t have an answer for what exactly is wrong with me

Maybe I can explain the trauma of my childhood or the problems with dad that resulted in a fear of abandonment or the abusive boyfriend that marked my idea of ​​relationship.

That prevents me from falling in love, maybe.

But does anyone on dating apps care?

There are also millions of people in the world with similar problems and in a committed relationship.

It just didn’t happen for me.

I am 31 years old, I am flirty but not at all prosperous..

When I tried to share my anguish with my friends, these are the common recommendations:

  • We have all experienced it, it will be fine as the years go by, so get married.
  • Stop overthinking and do your job and get marry.
  • Get marryhave a family for yourself and everything will be fine because you will have a support system.
  • You have a lot of free time and yes, get marry (Whoever said that marriage is a great use of your time and also a one-size-fits-all solution to all of life’s problems is single for sure!)

To set the context, arranged marriages are still common in India and marrying someone and assuming he is the one It is encouraged by many families that you find one yourself.

I deleted Instagram because I didn’t have the stamina to put up with all the normal “called” things my friends are doing.

I uninstalled WhatsApp for the same reasons.

God knows what they’re going through, but all I see is their happy faces and it’s not helping me.

Do I need therapy again? maybe.

But I decided to use this low point in my life to face the fears instead of running from them for once:

The anguish, the corrosive feeling of failure devours me every day.

The fear of sitting in a group that is at different stages of life.

The fear of becoming irrelevant compared to 20-somethings in my career, in the dating scene.

The fear of feeling strange (more than usual) at family functions.

I’m the same person with a bunch of extra gray hair with no new car, no apartment, and no proposal to get a seat at the table of normal people.

But I want to live through this.

This is what I’m doing:

I keep reading that the only way to solve your problems is to change the way you live.

Change your job, change where you live, get a new hair color, try retail therapy.

I feel like a lot of those recommendations are just do something out of the world and things will be fine or buy enough stuff to make rich billionaires even richer in the next minute.

I’m not setting unattainable goals and forcing myself to create miracles because these are all excuses to stop feeling that sinking feeling.

If I want to do something, I encourage myself to break it down into small steps and set a single goal.

There’s also a lot of cultural influence and advice I’ve heard from people in their 20s that affects me.

Growing up in an Indian family and watching my friends get married in their 25-somethings or find one in their 30s, traveling, buying houses, taking their parents and in-laws on world tours in their 30s seemed like the (only) right way to live. a life.

I had learned to ridicule people who weren’t up to par and took it as a lesson to never end up like them.

Today, I am living a life that makes a mockery of this whole concept and I give myself permission to feel the frustration and self-mockery (Why don’t they teach this in school?)

I’ve read enough about deadlines being irrelevant.

It could be a late bloomer or it could wilt before it blooms.

But what I’m not doing is living in the hope that one day I’ll become everything I ever wanted.

I’m totally fine if I die unknown, doing nothing, a nobody.

It’s great.

I’ve heard enough advice from colleagues, friends to get married before it’s too late. That ticking biological clock. (Contributing to the second most populous country in the world for no reason just because I need to leave behind the next generation, my lineage. Trust me, they won’t do better!)

The only thing marriage will do is create more anxiety because of the responsibilities that come with it.

I’d rather deal with it alone with therapy than drag two families with me in the process.

As for the prosperous career or the dream apartment, I am not up to the classmates I called average who are doing all this and more.

No, this did not teach me to treat everyone equally.

I’m jealous, there’s no way around this except to accept it.

I want to look this fact in the eye instead of drowning myself in self-help advice.

In recent years, childhood traumas have gained debate and rightly so.

Our ability to face life, to find love, is influenced by how we were treated as children.

I never had a stable love relationship with my family.

I had to earn love by excelling academically and being a “good girl.”

Circumstances had forced me to step forward, to make important family decisions when I was barely a teenager.

I tell my close friends that my late 20s is when I’m really living my childhood.

I carry the anger, the denial, the worthlessness to this day.

People have told me to forgive and forget. I have been asked to be thankful for (at least) receiving an education, feeding myself when many people have had it worse. It doesn’t help!

I am not stupid enough to prescribe letting go of anger for myself or anyone else because scars inflicted repeatedly over the years will take as many years or more to heal.

I accept that this anger will be a part of me and I choose to be aware of it.

In my group of friends (when I had it), I was notorious for disappearing from WhatsApp and Instagram without warning and having them search for me.

I have been accused of not being there for my friends when they went through a personal loss.

In my defense, I was not in the right place to guide them nor did I have the strength to say the right words when I was in severe depression myself.

For those who understand, I don’t need to explain. I am choosing them.

I’m also giving myself permission to be an absent bad friend to some amazing people.

“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious”.

Carl Jung

I have tried to let go of all attachments.

I have tried to present myself as the successful person I want to be, because having a desire, they say, creates a lack.

I’ve written affirmation notebooks, given enough self-motivational talks to rival Tony Robbins.

Nothing worked.

Maybe the approach is to take all the angst, letting the sinking feelings wash over me for God knows how long.

Is there some hidden message that the universe has for me?

I do not think so

Is it setting me up for better or worse things in life?

I don’t want to unravel that mystery either.

I am giving myself permission to just be the miserable, fallen, pathetic mess that I am.

In all those lower feelings, I feel a sense of freedom.

That is helping me!


Previously published on Medium.com

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