In grade school, I knew I had no chance of being accepted or valued by other kids, but I figured if I was valued by my teachers, that might make up for it. So I pushed myself relentlessly to get all A’s and do everything the teachers asked.
At my job now, I often feel pressure to be passionate about stuff that I could honestly care less about. I could switch to a less demanding career, but then I would have to figure out how not to be rejected as overqualified, because you’re expected to have ambition. Of course the social world is filled with more pretense and bullshit expectations than I can count, which is one of the reasons I like to spend so much time alone.
And starting in about 5 years there will only be more and more expectations from my parents as they get older, because they think I owe them something, even though I would much rather they had never had me in the first place.
If I knew what I actually wanted — other than to not have to feel strong emotions anymore — it would be different. But I have no freaking clue. Even if I did have a vague idea, I don’t know if I would have the courage to drop everything and go after it, or the strength to not abandon it at the second or third setback. And a lot of the time I don’t see the point of trying to get better or work on my issues, because I don’t believe it will actually bring me any happiness — just more expectations.