Are you living a lie?

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  • This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 9 years ago by Anonymous.
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    Courage is defined as the ability to do something that frightens someone. As humans, we are all instinctively attracted to what we know, what is comfortable and familiar to us, even if that familiarity is detrimental to us. Sometimes this scenario has been molded by the expectations of our parents, friends, and most of all, society. Our media consistently portrays misleading definition of “beauty” and “success,” pressuring most of us, including myself, to believe that you need to fit all the criteria in order to be acceptable. As children, we’re taught to work our tails off in high school, get into a good college, graduate, find a well-paying job, get married and have kids-if we achieve these things, we’ve lived society’s expectations of life.

    Coming from an Asian household, these things strongly resonate with me. But this life that I’ve been taught to live is unfortunately unpleasing to me. My parents’ strict policing of my academics and social life have gotten me into an Ivy League university, but I’m far from happy here. I’m not living the life I want to live. Don’t get my wrong, I’m EXTREMELY blessed to be attending my school. But my actions on campus are not an accurate or fair representation of my actual interests and life. I don’t have the courage to attend clubs or take classes that interest me. I don’t think I will be successful in these clubs, and that I will have to fake a personality in order to fit in. This portrayal of a false character, admittedly, is driven by my consistent comparison to my peers. It seems that everybody else is so much smarter, experienced, and driven than me. It’s gotten to the point where I’m intimidated by others, even complete strangers on my campus. I feel like I can’t be myself, otherwise others will deem me as uneducated and not worthy of association.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not courageous enough to leap out and be myself. I’m not comfortable in my own skin, and I suppose my terribly insecure. Comparing myself to others depresses me and intimidates me. But my actions are powered through some inaccurate portrayals of the media. I want to be successful in my life, but I feel like if I don’t excel in college through getting good grades or leading clubs, then I will not achieve that top executive position later in my life. But in pursuit of these things, I find that I have become extremely unhappy. The things that I used to love have turned into obligations. I feel like I need to try so hard to fit in.

    But honestly screw the “path to success.” I’m old enough to realize that I’m not doing what I love, and that I need to change. I need to be courageous and do what I want to do, not what society wants me to do. I definitely want to stay in college, though. I cannot give up this beautiful chance that I’ve worked my entire life to achieve. But it enrages me that this is what I worked my entire life for. To be even more stressed out.

    I’ve hit rock bottom, but I know that if I can get out of this rut, I’ll achieve great heights. Any advice, feedback, or support would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading my story, I know it’s long, but I needed to express myself.


    This post resonates with exactly how I feel at this moment. Although I’m not attending an Ivy league school, I am still a graduate student at a University, working with high impact people. I’ve spent much of my life working towards this and have made many sacrifices to get here.This was something I thought would interest me. It did at first, but now I feel extremely burn’t out and almost on the brink of failure (although I’m almost done). On one side I feel I should be blessed to recive a funded graduate fellowship and earn a great degree with no cost, but on the other hand I feel extremely unsatisfied and am longing for something different. An issue is that I can’t decide whether I am unhappy simply because I’m burn’t out, or if this is not really the path for me.

    What I reccomend is that you try to sort out why your unhappy. Is it because you feel stressed out or uncomfortable around certain people? Or is it because you’re not interested in your current path and want to try something new. This is often difficult. When feeling stressed you feel hopeless. It could be you would very much enjoy the subject matter you are learning under different circumstances, and may even enjoy a future career in your field, but you are unhappy because you are over-worked and not feeling smart enough. This distinction is important and requires much introspection to fully understand. In my situation I’m unhappy because I’m overworked, and not too interested in my current research- but I feel if I worked under different circumstances and on a different project I may enjoy academics. So in my circumstance it is not that I don’t enjoy doing science and research, it is just he present environment I don’t like. This means that once I’m finished I can pursue something similar, but it a better environment, or study a different topic.

    If you genuinely don’t like what your learning and feel future careers in this field are of no interest than that is ok. If you are smart enough to make it to an Ivy league school, you are surely smart enough to do whatever you want. The key in life is your intent and creativity. If your smart, have a strong drive, you can achieve anything. Try researching other things you want to do in life and see how you can achieve them.

    Afterall, no one really knows what they want until they try it out. If this is a failure, rest assured that you can live your life knowing you have tried this path and are not missing out on anything. You won’t ever be wondering “What if I really took that Ivy league opportunity?” Live with no regrets and do what you want. It is your life and no ones elses.


    Dear happinessseeker:
    I like the username you chose and your posts today. I like your thinking. Societal definition of success sucks. Here are parts of a poem called “Hokasai Says” by Roger Keyes: ”
    Hokusai says: Look carefully
    He says Pay attention, Notice
    He says Keep looking, Stay curious
    He says there is no end to seeing…

    He says it doesn’t matter if you draw, or write books
    It doesn’t matter if you saw wood or catch fish
    It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
    and stare at the ants on your verandah or the shadows of the trees
    and the grasses in your garden.

    It matters that you care.
    It matters that you feel.
    It matters that you notice.
    It matters that life lives through you…

    He says don’t be afraid.
    Don’t be afraid.
    Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.
    Let life live though you.


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