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Feeling young and hopeless

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I have been with my partner for four years now. We had a baby when I was 17 and now I am twenty. I had big aspirastions for life. I was going to go to a university in California and try to accomplish my goal of becoming a screenwriter or an actress, but now I feel stuck. I can't help but relive the past and everything I could have changed.

I love my son who is almost three. He means more to me than anything. I also love my partner, but I'm not sure I'm in love anymore, or maybe I am and I'm just so down it doesn't matter.

I live in a small town, go to school online, and have plans to become a teacher. My partner has a very solid career so he doesn't want to move. I am so torn and then I feel guilty for being torn. Do I just do the safe plan? Or do I take a risk and go after what I want? Where do I even begin? I've never been able to be independent, I've never had my *own* life. I went from having a strict, overbearing mother to having a life pretty much laid out for me.

I feel like a terrible human being for not enjoying life as much as I wish I could. I'm sorry if this isn't very clear, I'm just not sure what to do. Some days I want to cry just thinking about my wasted potential, but others I really do like my life. I love being a mother and having a considerate, adoring partner. I just wish I knew how to balance what I want and what I have.

Feeling young and hopeless

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You don't need to feel guilty. We all have dreams and just because we might not achieve them won't make us stop dreaming.

You did get into a serious relationship rather early in life. I guess that explains the feeling of lost opportunities. But I don't think you should think of them as "lost", you simply took another opportunity. The opportunity to have a family with a partner you love, and have a child you love. Having a happy family life is nothing to sneeze at.

That said, it doesn't mean you need to give up on your dreams entirely. Try find a compromise. You can still write or something on the side. Maybe a book you write might get picked up, who knows.

There's an expression I can't translate/remember so well but goes something like: "A gem in your hand is worth far more than a hundred gems at the bottom of the sea"

Basically boils down to, one should treasure what one has.

I hope that helps. Good luck and take care

Feeling young and hopeless

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"MY PARTNER has a very solid career so HE doesn't want to move. "
"I love...having a CONSIDERATE, adoring partner."

How do those two gel? They don't, do they.

Is this the gelling agent? - "from having a strict, overbearing mother" ?

Don't get me wrong. The idea of moving towns/jobs can make blokes who feel they have a world of responsibility on their shoulders, very nervous. But, define 'considerate'. *Objectively*.

I suspect your problem is a combination of [1] your being moreover incapable, through conditioning at the hands of your over-domineering mother, of self-asserting to an adequate thus non-dismissable degree, and [2] your husband NOT being quite as considerate as you think, except in comparison to 'utterly NON-considerate' (mum). Enter [3] the offshoot of having been oppressed, which is you having learned to feel bad simply for ever trying to assert and secure whatever YOU need, and...there you have it: under-assertion in the face of only slightly better considerateness and then being manipulated back in your box via encouragement of your primed tendency to self-blame and guilt.

I suspect the reason for this conflicting two-part statement - "Some days I want to cry just thinking about my wasted potential, but others I really do like my life." - is that you're not quite there yet... 'there' either being 100% convicted in your desire to please yourself or your inability to properly unleash your wilfulness, finally.

Yes, one should treasure what one has. But who said you can't have a TRIPLE-FACETED treasure (marriage, kid *and* career)? Doesn't husband have the triple-faceted variety? So why can't you if that's the type you happen to be? Since when did a woman having a career revert to being a mere pipedream?

Word of warning: if it's the latter case, i.e. you don't yet dare, know that one day you will. By then, with yet more time having been lost, you're at risk of developing major resentment at your husband for having held you back based on having put his own needs over your own. And let's be honest, here: it *is* solely his say-so that's standing between you and your third major need. After all, unless his job is tied inextricably and exclusively to the specific town you live in, he could at least take your needs seriously enough as to LOOK at what other positions exist in less isolated areas, surely? Especially since career doesn't usually tend to be dependent on one position within one company in one town. However, that possibly brings us back full circle to whether you've managed to convince him that this is no mere, fleeting impulse on your part and impress upon him how increasingly unhappy the non-fulfilment of this bona fide, fundamental, *humanistic* need is making the point where it seems to be detrimenting or damping down your feelings for your partner...emphasis, when you tell him this, for diplomacy and damage-limitation's sake, on *SEEMS* (although resentment *is* well-established as being the no. 1 passion killer). which case, just to eliminate this question from the 'enquiry': how many times have you asserted this ambition/need to him and how deeply have you stressed it (how exactly have you phrased it)?

If, you see, you need someone (i.e. the typically less empathetic gender) to go to any concerted or major effort for your- what *seems* sole benefit, you have to show them how it would equally be worth THEIR while (and thereby, by the same token, implicitly/tacitly how non-cooperation would pose as the opposite).

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