Hi Jessica, thank you for sharing your story.
I think what you describe is what people call living up to society’s expectations. And since our own expectations are heavily influenced by society as well, we need to question all of these false beliefs.
The gap between our reality and our expectations is what we call frustration. The bigger the gap, the bigger the frustration gets.
There are two ways to close the gap:
Change your expectations by questioning your own belief systems and conditioning.
Happiness is the highest form of success. We simply need to change our definition of what we need (or subconsciously think we need) and take each day as it comes. One at a time and make the best out of it. This is not always easy but it helps to lift a huge weight off my shoulders at least.
Change your reality. We create what we observe, so if we observe differently we also create differently. Each moment is always neutral, only the way we think about it makes it good or bad.
If we observe differently, we change our perception of reality and therefore, change reality itself.
Another important point is this:
Many of us wear a social mask that we call our personality. This is how we present ourselves to the people around us.
This mask is attached to everything in our life such as our name, position in society, job, material possessions, thoughts, experiences, memorized emotions etc.
As soon as some of these attachments change, we lose part of our (false) identity.
We think we are the mask but this is just an illusion. Realizing this illusion can be a painful experience and makes us feel like our world/reality is breaking apart.
But when everything is falling apart, we can use this opportunity to realize that who we truly are is independent of any form. This is when we become truly free and authentic. No more gap, no unmet expectations, no frustrations
Just enjoying reality by being present and grateful