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-   -   eternally stuck and anxious (http://www.loveshack.org/forums/mind-body-soul/self-improvement-personal-well-being/636615-eternally-stuck-anxious)

despairingbuttrying 4th October 2017 11:25 AM

eternally stuck and anxious
 
I've been having a real hard time for many years but am going through another familiar phase where I'm out of work and feeling extremely lost and anxious.

I finished university with a humanities degree with no real idea what to do next. That was 12 years ago now. I am still in the same place I was then - no career direction/path, no idea what to do with my life but simply older now, at 34. The work I have done has mainly been in the government/office based roles and they have mostly been temporary jobs and then I've travelled in between these jobs. I have worked hard (and was always punctual, professional etc.) even if the work itself was never that interesting.

The last two positions I had which were both contracts I would have gladly continued (as I realise I am getting old and wanted to build experience and just settle down) but on both occasions the contracts came to an end and were not renewed. For the last 2/3 months now I've been applying for so many jobs and had interviews (both face-to-face and phone) but nothing has materialised beyond that. The feedback was that I've got good interview technique but lacked the experience and possibly not qualified enough, which inevitably means I need to retrain and gain new qualifications in something, anything that will help me land a decent job. So the idea of re-training is something I keep going over and over in my mind but I have no idea what I'd do and I guess the factor that stops me from just going for something is the fact that I'd be going into something that I'm not even sure I really want to do! Does that make sense? So committing to say even a year long course in an area that I'm only remotely interested is a risk but I suppose doing nothing is even worse, I understand that.

I've lost count of people who keep asking me "what do you want?" If I knew what I wanted, I would have gone after it long ago and I would not be in this position! This is not a case of just sitting around and being lazy but rather a constant lack of uncertainty and stuckness. If I wanted to become an engineer then I would have followed that career path. If I wanted to get into business, banking, finance then I would have made steps to move in that direction. I do have ambition, I do believe I am fairly bright and hard-working and in the years that have come and gone, I've just constantly battled this dilemma of making a decision.

This has been my thinking process/dilemma/problem for years now. It's this rut/cycle that I can't seem to get out of. I thought this way when I was 26 and now 8 years later I'm thinking the same thing! I feel this constant internal pressure which manifests itself I suppose in this anxiety and it's very crippling and I feel stuck. What makes this all worse is when I see my peers and others my age moving on, settling into careers, getting married/family and I'm still stuck in the same place I've always been. I know it's not a race or a competition and that comparing ourselves only makes us feeling worse but no-one wants to be the guy that gets picked last for the team. I guess that's how I feel. Life is slipping by and I haven't done enough with the time I've been given. I know it's never too late and I'm just desperate to break out of this cycle. The only thing I'm pleased with is the travelling I've done. I've visited over 40 countries in the world and I have enjoyed that but I have felt for the last few years it is time to settle down, find bearable employment, a home, a partner and finally move on and have some stability. Emotionally I am ready for this. Yet however hard I have tried to change, I can't seem to get to this stage.

Maybe one day I'll have that breakthrough moment but maybe not. I've tried meditation, medication (and I'm on a new one now), seen so many counsellors/therapists, dabbled in different ideas from trading to helping others but nothing seems to have clicked. Sometimes I do think not waking up to face another day of the same torment would be the best option, as it would be a solution, a final solution, but I don't think I can bring myself to that, not yet anyway. However on the flip side that feels like a better option than living the rest of my life in this eternal stuckness.

bummer 5th October 2017 11:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by despairingbuttrying (Post 7430419)
The only thing I'm pleased with is the travelling I've done. I've visited over 40 countries in the world and I have enjoyed that but I have felt for the last few years it is time to settle down, find bearable employment, a home, a partner and finally move on and have some stability...

Sometimes I do think not waking up to face another day of the same torment would be the best option...

How many more must see places do you have on your list?

NPR has a Tito's vodka ad that says the dude figured out he would be a distiller when he made a list of "What I'm good at" and "What I enjoy."

What if, you merged your humanities background with your travel? I know career educators who started as foreign engrish teachers. I know you've met them overseas too. If you do that, get the certs (TOEFL or whatever) and find a new passion, maybe you'll find that rudder you want? I also think catering your life-path the the social norm of settling down is idiocy. Why not continue travel working and find someone who shares that wanderlust passion? 40 countries and you want to settle down for 20 years to raise a family and wake up to the DRUDGERY of a career? That will make you want to not wake up!

Keep exploring.

d0nnivain 6th October 2017 1:07 PM

One of the things that can help me jump start when I feel stuck is reading self help books . . .not the touchy feely kind but business books about motivation, hard work & making money.


Don't take another expensive time consuming university based course. Going into debt isn't the answer. It'd be one thing of you said I know I want to do X as my career & the licensing regulations required a certain degree but without a direction you are just wasting money.


Have you ever taken one of those tests to find out what you have an aptitude for? Maybe that can point you in a direction.

despairingbuttrying 7th October 2017 2:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bummer (Post 7431783)
How many more must see places do you have on your list?

NPR has a Tito's vodka ad that says the dude figured out he would be a distiller when he made a list of "What I'm good at" and "What I enjoy."

What if, you merged your humanities background with your travel? I know career educators who started as foreign engrish teachers. I know you've met them overseas too. If you do that, get the certs (TOEFL or whatever) and find a new passion, maybe you'll find that rudder you want? I also think catering your life-path the the social norm of settling down is idiocy. Why not continue travel working and find someone who shares that wanderlust passion? 40 countries and you want to settle down for 20 years to raise a family and wake up to the DRUDGERY of a career? That will make you want to not wake up!

Keep exploring.

Thanks for the comments. Yes that's true, I see where you're coming from. A TEFL course is something I've considered but I suppose what prevents me from going for that is the thought that that's for young graduates, those who have just come out of college and looking for a reason to travel and earn some money along the way. The other reason is that, well, I'm just not into teaching to be honest and don't see myself as a teacher.

I suppose the mentality I have is that I SHOULD in a career and be fare more established at this age than I actually am. I feel like a failure compared to others because I have not achieved much.

If I'm truly honest the real reason I want to settle down isn't so much because I actually want a career in itself, it's more that I want a woman and potentially have a family one day (as most people do) and for that to happen you obviously need some stability. So that's really the main reason. Women my age are looking for a husband which means a man who's got his sh$t together, right? So I guess this is really why I'm panicking and stressing out because I'm still so far from that stage.

Does that make sense?

despairingbuttrying 7th October 2017 2:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by d0nnivain (Post 7432234)
One of the things that can help me jump start when I feel stuck is reading self help books . . .not the touchy feely kind but business books about motivation, hard work & making money.


Don't take another expensive time consuming university based course. Going into debt isn't the answer. It'd be one thing of you said I know I want to do X as my career & the licensing regulations required a certain degree but without a direction you are just wasting money.


Have you ever taken one of those tests to find out what you have an aptitude for? Maybe that can point you in a direction.

Thanks. I'll look into some self help books. Are there any you would recommend?

I have taken some tests before but not sure how helpful they are. Again, can you recommend any that might be of any use? The last time I did I remember I got golf pro as my number one career recommendation lol! I am into sports but I've never played golf in my life!

bummer 8th October 2017 1:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by despairingbuttrying (Post 7432977)
Does that make sense?

Yeah. Well, it won't fall in your lap. Did you make two lists of "what you're good at" and "what you like to do?" Most self-help books will have a venn diagram or pyramid to describe this and will discuss "synergy" frequently.

Libraries are good resources. Google "aptitude test" and take the first 4-10 of those and see if there are any synergies in your different results.

How many more must see places do you have on your list?

despairingbuttrying 8th October 2017 6:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bummer (Post 7433236)
Yeah. Well, it won't fall in your lap. Did you make two lists of "what you're good at" and "what you like to do?" Most self-help books will have a venn diagram or pyramid to describe this and will discuss "synergy" frequently.

Libraries are good resources. Google "aptitude test" and take the first 4-10 of those and see if there are any synergies in your different results.

How many more must see places do you have on your list?

No not expecting anything to fall on my lap. As I said in my OP I'm not sitting around waiting for things to happen. It's just the lack of focus and not being quite sure what to do. Even thought maybe start a personal business or join one but again no idea what or how etc.

As far as more travels, well that's at least something I do know about. I'd like to see a few more places in Europe, Israel, maybe S Africa and more of the US.

Ok thanks I'll Google first and then go from there and see what I come up with.


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