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Is my future impossible?

For this advice seeker, his family anxiety paints a bleak picture. 

“No one else gets to do you,” says our elder. Read on for her advice on conquering the fear and focusing on what you want.

Dear EWC:

Hi! These days I feel very anxious about my future… I am 16; I know it’s normal at this age but a few minutes ago I was shaking because of the anxiety. 

I think I’m a homosexual but I can’t say anything to my family and I will have to keep this secret, ruining my life, because I want a someone to live with… I have the fear of being left alone, friends aren’t forever, and you should have a family. But how in my case? I’m open to relations with girls but I don’t want to have sex, so what about my future sexual life? 

Also, to have a family, to have people on my side is what I’m looking for in my future, but I have big dreams: to travel, not to have a boring life doing the same job for years. I want change in my life, but I’ll be alone. I don’t want to lose my family, I love them too much… Why do they have to be homophobic? Maybe they can accept it, but I can’t know, my future is impossible.

ConstanceF replies:

You are not alone. Much of the world, and particularly young people, are shaking with anxiety over the future. But there is hope.

First, at age 16, maybe you are homosexual and maybe you’re not. People are too free with labels and the reality is that it’s no one’s business but yours. If you really think your family will reject you over your sexual preferences then wait a few years until you’re out of their domain and then do whatever you want. If you decide at that future time that you want to come out to them, fine.

In my own life, I was basically heterosexual for the first 50 years of my life. Then about 10 years ago I met a woman who I found immensely sexy. I became involved with her, “came out” to my daughter, and just about got excommunicated. She just could not accept that her always hetero Mom had become gay. But I have to tell you, I am still the same person I was then, and as things have worked out, I live with the woman but we are no longer in a sexual relationship. But it’s none of my daughter’s business if I’m hanging from the chandelier wearing a monkey suit. 

Sex is a highly personal, very private part of your life. When, where, and whom are no one’s business but yours. If you want to be a 30 year old virgin, so what? You don’t have to tell anyone but your eventual partner. The best thing you can do right now is simply to be true to yourself. 

You will have people in your future if you want that. Same for having an exciting life. If you want to travel, then find a job that will pay you to do so. Research careers that meet the criteria you set. Talk to your school counselors, go online, and find out what various jobs are really like, and then make sure you get the education to go along with your choice. 

Life is what you make of it. No one else gets to do you. You do you. 

Start focusing on what career you might want, go on a few dates, or organize or look for group activities with members of both sexes (and anyone in between for that matter). Just start getting experiences. In the long run those are the things that will bring you joy. Memories that you create will be what gets you through. Planning will get you where you want to go. You can do this. 

And please write us anytime you need help. That’s what we’re here for. Good luck to you.

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