First of all, you ARE NOT a failure at all. You obviously want different things out of life right now and you have different priorities than the rest of your family. You should be extremely proud of yourself for not only being the first in your family to go to college but also go to grad school. These are huge accomplishments and your family should be proud of you too. Big deal that the "typical" family life isn't your main priority right now; that may change - who knows. But they should all be proud of you instead of making you feel inferior because you are running your life how you want. Remember, it's your life and the only person you have to answer to is yourself - not your family (I actually had to say that to my mother once). As long as you are happy with what you have done and are doing, that's what really matters. You do matter, IMHO you are grown up and have achieved a lot already. When/if you're ready then you'll do marriage and possibly children - but ONLY when you are ready, not because they are pressuring you to do so.
As far as work goes, is there a way you can at least reduce the volunteering for new projects until your boss gets back? Do you do anything once you get home to help yourself relax? It may help to deal with some of the stress. During your lunch, do you leave the building you work in? If not, you may want to do this as it will give you that break during the day and get you away from work for a little while. Even if you just go for a short drive, it may help. Just a thought for you.
I hope this guy your dating works out for you, whether or not he's marriage potential shouldn't be a factor right now. It's too early for that and you don't know him well enough yet to make that kind of decision. Just keep dating and have fun. If things work out to be for the long run, that's great. But just be careful, we don't want you getting hurt. I will keep my fingers crossed that all works out well for you.
I hope something I've said has helped in some way. Remember that you are not a failure and IMHO you have achieved a great deal. Please keep us up to date on what's happening with everything, especially after you meet your new man's friends. :)
Co-Moderator Anxiety/Panic Disorders
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I am in no way a medical professional, any advice given is purely on an amateur level.
Please seek professional advice from your doctor.
Dx: Agoraphobia, Anxiety/Panic Disorders, Barrett's Esophagus, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Essential Tremors, Fibromyalgia, I.B.S., Mitral Valve Prolapse, Narcolepsy, PTSD, Restless Leg Syndrome, Acid Reflux, Sleep Apnea, Social Anxiety
Rx: Abilify, Flexeril, Lamictal, Lunesta, Neurontin, Nexium, Requip, Ritalin ER, Valium
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Hey sweetie, I'm 33 too, failed marriage, failed well, lots of other things as well (ok now I'm feeling sorry for me!!)...we are really programmed by our families and society to have "achieved" things at this stage of our lives. I have very succesfull siblings "in the material sense" but I have wisdom and empathy and knowledge they will never have from living such a mainstream (meaning no disrespect here - just poeple with no huge trauma or illness). It's not something to jump up and down about in joy but it is a gift we can use to help other people to heal.
I work fulltime, study (almost fulltime) and I'm often overwhelmed by what I have to achieve in a day...it's really hard isn't it?? You are a complete gem, really, you are going through so much stress and still find the time to care about others..I have much respect and empathy for what you are going through. Please don't doubt all the wonderful things you are doing..we belive in you so keep on going and don't de-value what you are contributing xxxx