I was relating so hard to this all the way through, with a few variations in life experience, of course!
Coming out from beneath the weight of other people’s and society’s expectations can be a gruelling process. I took a bit of an unconventional route to get to where I am now (nearly thirty and finally considering settling down a little and getting a regular job), but it was the only way to get the experience I needed and earn enough to support myself. I didn’t have the luxury of unpaid internships or immediate further study like many of my university classmates. For a long time, this handicap felt like my own personal failure.
Side note… I love how you write, especially your storytelling! I don’t know if you are also an avid reader, but I’ve just set up a publication for book reviews (couched in personal stories) called The Open Bookshelf. I’d love to have stories from someone with your life experience featured there!