I have been feeling insane. that’s the best way to put it. I have all A's in school except for two B's. I take every advanced course I can, but I feel like it's not enough. I feel like shutting down some days and not going to school, even though I have decent friends. Only one knows I'm a furry, though, and no one knows I’m bisexual. I really don't have feelings for anyone. I feel really lost. Can you please help?
Missing Lynx (age 16)
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Yours is one of those letters where Papabear puts on his bifocals to better read between the lines. I would have to infer from your brief missive that you are putting enormous pressure on yourself to please others—most likely, your parents. They are pushing you to get good grades. There’s nothing wrong with doing your best in school, but don’t do what Papabear did in high school: make it all about the grades. That really sucks the fun out of learning AND, ironically, you don’t learn much when you are just studying for the test. Has this ever happened to you? A test is coming up, so you study study study until your brain hurts. On the day of the test, you spill all that stuff that’s in your brain onto the page, breathe a sigh of relief, and are vaguely happy when you get an A or B. Now, I’m betting if you took that same test three months from now (without studying for it again) you would remember maybe half of it, or maybe less. That’s not learning.
So, the first thing to do here is to take a step back and regroup. Think of what it is you are studying for. Do you have a career in mind? What is it about that career that intrigues you? If you enjoy that subject matter, then that will make learning about it much more fun and stress you out less. And what about classes you have to take even though they are not related directly to your main interest? Well, learning, in general, should be fun. There’s a huge world out there that is completely amazing and utterly fascinating. Learning about it should be a joy. It helps if you have good teachers that convey that joy; of course, the whole “teaching to the test” philosophy that our lackluster education system has in America, again, sucks the joy out of it. You could actually bring some of that fun back by reading books outside the curriculum. For instance: high school American history totally turned this bear off our country’s past. As an adult bear, however, I became fascinated with the History Channel (which, now, sadly, has become all reality show crap). But if you want to read some great books on the topic, check out just about anything by David McCullough to start.
Now, your second topic is about friends and friendship. I can see your problem here, hon. You have not opened up to hardly anyone about who you really are, which, again, is probably because you're trying to be what others want you to be rather than who you are. Therefore, you cannot relate to any of your current friends on a deeper level, which makes for unsatisfying relationships. What you should be doing is finding some friends who are bisexual (or gay) and/or furry and start hanging out with them. It is so much better to be around people to whom you can relate. You will be much happier.
If the reason you don’t do that is because you fear what your parents will learn about you if they figure out the type of people you are seeing, then you need to have some openness with them as well. If that is an issue, check out the Coming Out Furry category on my website.
Hope this helps!!!
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