Dear Miss Emily:

Well, for starters, I'm tweny-three and currently engaged to
the greatest guy. My life is good. I have great friends, loving
parents and a loving brother. I know I should be very thankful
for everything the Lord has blessed me with, but I feel as though
I should be more. Meaning, I'm unemployed, and I'm not in school.
I'm nothing without my fiance. If we were to split up, he would
have everything and I would have nothing. It's not a materialistic
matter, it's just if I really think about it, I haven't earned
anything on my own. Sure I've had a couple of jobs here and there,
but I never really stuck around long enough to feel as if I'm
accomplishing anything. I didn't even get a high school
diploma! I dropped out when I was sixteen, but I received my
GED at the age of eighteen. That same year, I decided to attend
a local college. I did well, at first, but failed four classes
due to personal family problems. Unfortunate! I was on financial aid
and because I failed, I was suspended and unable to receive their help.
That is, unless I pay for the classes. I need to retake them
to regain their aid. Not an easy thing to do If you are in and
out of jobs helping to support a broken family. Finally, I was
able to go back to school this past summer. I never felt so alive
and ready to do anything! I passed with flying colors. But because
of money problems, I was unable to attend the Fall semester.
I was saddened by this. If it wasn't for my fiance, I wouldn't
have been able to go back. I will be able to attend the Spring semester,
which is in January. But that feels like an eternity. I can never hold
a job for long. I feel ashamed, because I feel as if my fiance
can't depend on me to help us with our bills. Somehow we always
manage to pull through each month, but I would like to help out.
I feel like a nobody. My fiance hates when I talk like that. He
says he loves me for who I am, not what job title I have. He
says he fell in love with my big heart and the compassion I have
for friends, family and loved ones. Everyone I know says the same
thing. Even my fiance's family agree. But I don't see what they see
in me. I'm afraid that I won't ever grow up. I'm afraid that I will
always be a child instead of an adult. I want to make a life
of my own. I mean, I want to have a role and purpose in life. I guess
I'm afraid I won't ever have what it takes. I would really like to
know what you think about my situation. Maybe it will help me see
the light at the end of this dark tunnel.
Sad to be me

---------------------Miss Emily's advice------------------

Dear Sad:

First off, I think you are very bright. It comes out in your
letter. People of intelligence are more apt to get depressed
when they feel they are not measuring up to their potential.
Unfortunately, circumstances often dictate when, and when we
cannot pursue certain goals. You have had your share of
issues -- family breaking up -- needing to help with finances.
So what I see, is a person who knows they can excel, but has
been in a greater position to help others, while faltering when
it came time to creating a path to self-fulfillment. This doesn't
mean that you have to be selfish or egotistical to be successful.
But you seem to be talking yourself out of everything you want to
accomplish. Every step you take toward getting an education
will lead you to feelings of self worth. You already know
this. Decide what career path you want to take. Because you seem
to be a compassionate person, why not pursue a position of nursing
or teaching? You can get paid for doing what you do best. I
don't know why you haven't been able to hold down a job, but I'm going to
let you off the hook. I'm guessing it's because you do not want to
work at what you consider a dead-end job. You want to put your energy
into something that gives you a real future, making you feel, to
paraphrase your words, alive and ready to do anything! You
see yourself as someone who has an unexamined life. You know,
deep down, that knowing who you are, and where you are headed in
life is the true path to inner peace. Don't get married until
you have worked this out. You are only 23. Take the time to
get it right.


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