Do you ever feel like other people, despite their best intentions, weigh you down sometimes? I'm a pretty likable guy in town. I'm not trying to brag. I'm just stating a fact. I have a pretty good life honestly. I have friends who respect and care for me. Though my family life hasn't always been great, asides from a deadbeat father, my mother and sister have always treated me well. I'm even going off to college in the fall to pursue a degree at one of the most esteemed universities in the nation. There's just one thing though.... I have always felt out of place. I've never had any strong emotional attachments to the word 'home' and sometimes not even with my own family. Before I decided to pursue the world of academia, originally I wanted to enlist after high school until I accrued a knee injury that made it painful to even walk from class to class. It's gotten better, but essentially I messed up my knee running for my school's cross country program and my random growth spurts really didn't do much to make it better. Honestly, even if I hadn't gotten injured from cross country, I wonder if I would have made it anyways. My back has never been the best due to my height and a family history of degenerative disc disease. As such, after I concluded my senior year of athletics, my mom persuaded me to take it easy to let my knees heal. I originally tried to pursue sports that were easier on the body, but some issues arose and I've gotten pretty out of shape. I'm not fat by any definition of the word, but I'm definitely not the same athlete I was six months ago. Lately, I guess I've just have been having a lot of self worth issues. I've applied to dozens of scholarships and have received none. Same thing with searching for a job. I just feel useless sometimes. I wanted to take up weight lifting to shed some pounds and get muscle since there is a nearby free weight gym, but my mother has always chewed me out and says that I'm one bad lift away from back surgery. She's probably right, but it doesn't really make me feel any better. We definitely couldn't afford the hospital bill. Her retort is "Right now my job is to keep you safe until college", but just staying safe is a bummer. That's why I want to get into weight lifting in a way. I miss the feeling of reaching new peaks that you know most people will never achieve. Knowing that it all came from your effort. Furthermore, I miss the feeling of proving everyone wrong. When I joined cross country, I was tall, clumsy, and thoroughly unathletic. All of the kids I was competing with had years of running experience before I even joined. Yet I made Varsity after only one year. I was the kid who, when he started was out of breath after one lap, but I had made Varsity despite even my coach doubting me. Call it egotistical, but I want that rush again. I feel like weight lifting is the new way to prove to myself that I'm not done yet. I'm writing a novel, and I'm relearning how to play the piano. I just finished teaching myself a simplified version of Fur Elise by ear, and I'm learning how to read sheet music. I'm also setting up everything related to college single handedly since my mother used to let my father handle all the finance before they divorced. Yet, I just feel like there isn't enough time in the day to practice piano, find a workout schedule, write a novel, handle college stuff, hangout with friends, and also take into account certain days in my schedule where my time isn't even my own. If there is a family emergency, I have to handle it, and it doesn't matter what I'm in the middle of when it happens. I kind of just feel like everyone's tugging me in different directions sometimes. When I feel like users on this site become too overbearing, I just sign out of my account until I feel better. You can't sign out of real life though. My mother wants the best for me, and I realize that me and my sister are all she has. But sometimes I feel that her protectiveness keeps me from reaching my full potential. My friends just want to hangout like friends tend to do, but even while we're hanging out I can't help but always think about more productive uses of my time. I sometimes wonder what's wrong with me, since things that used to be fun aren't even amusing anymore. I almost just feel as if the people I know have become weights to drag me down. When Mozart was a young man, he didn't have near the distractions that are ever present today. He didn't have friends inviting him to parties, or family members telling him not to do things in case he fails. He didn't have a father always trying to contact him through email or have to deal with all of the bullshit colleges put future freshman through. I was on the verge of completely giving up on myself today until I dropped by the postal office to check on a package that had never delivered. It turns out that my father had put a hold on my mail (probably just to fuck with me) and I had several packages waiting for me. One of them contained a Curious George book from my favorite teacher back in High School. She helped me a lot throughout the divorce, and honestly she took a lot of unwarranted flak from me due to bullshit at home that had nothing to do with her. She still thought of me highly though and even nominated me as her Student of the Year. Inside it she wrote me a message, and told me to never stop fighting since she believed in me. The problem is that I don't even know who I'm fighting anymore. Am I fighting my family, my schedule, my friends? All of these things seem like obstacles in the way of my goals. Sometimes I just feel like saying 'Fuck it' and driving off to the nearest Army or Air Force recruiter station to see if there is any noncombat role a smart guy with shit knees can fulfill. This feeling of worthlessness is infuriating. I know I'm smart, and I know I'm talented. Honestly, my mother is the only real family I have at the moment since my sister lives halfway across the continent. I tried to show her what I had learned on the piano since I was really excited about it, but after I messed up once she immediately dismissed any merit my efforts had. Like I get that she's busy, but would it kill her to acknowledge me a little? When I showed my friends, my friend immediately one upped me, but he's been playing piano for YEARS. I just started a week ago. ... At times like this, my thoughts dwell back to some of the last words my ex girlfriend told me before she dropped off the face of the Earth. She dumped me because she was moving, and she had deleted all of her social media on her way out. I know she didn't just block me because a lot of her closest friends were asking me for ways to contact her after she left since even they couldn't find her old profiles. But one of the main things she told me was to never let anyone stop me from chasing my dreams. Have I been letting people from allowing me to chase my dreams? Have I let my mother's overbearing nature, in a way, smother my ambitions? Have I allowed cheap temptations and friendships keep me from reaching my full potential? Am I better off alone? Sometimes I wonder if this is how she felt before she disappeared. It seems like I was better off alone sometimes. It was because of my lonely childhood that I gained the academic foundation that pushed me into college. I gained it out of desperation to prove myself. I've always been repulsed by the thoughts of suicide. I could never envision myself putting my family through the pain and suffering caused by such a selfish act. I have to wonder though, am I really living by leading the life I currently have? Is this not a form of half-suicide via numbing oneself with electronics, alcohol, and other distractions? Am I truly living, or have I not died already in a way? Are others the problem, or have I simply reached my peak and I'm unable to accept this?