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I always chase opportunities but when they come I break down.


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Old 22nd September 2018, 6:55 AM   #1
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I always chase opportunities but when they come I break down.

Hi. I never thought I would post something like this but I guess I am really, really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

I am a 29 male with a problem: I am very intelligent but every little problem destroys me. Years ago I got a masters degree and I landed a pretty good job - amazing if you consider it financially. However, it was the opposite of my passions. I thought let's just try it for a year or two so I can save up some money but I found myself resigning after 15 days. Me, the funny guy, always ready to joke, became a crying ghost. I cried every morning when I woke up, in the car, in the bathroom at work and especially after work because I immediately started to think about the next day. I quit and my parents were incredibly mad - but we are financially sound so it was more of a emotional delusion.

My family has a business - I hated it as a teenager but every passing year it looks a bit better to me. It is also quite a luxury I have to say - you don't have to look for a job, you can just stay there and work. Maybe that's something that spoiled me.

After that job, I started to work in the family business but I kept fantasizing about getting a PhD. I tried and tried and tried but applications were going nowhere. Finally, someone accepted me. Do you believe me that the most fear I have ever felt was when they said 'yes, you are in, we'll send you the contract to sign in two weeks' ?

The last three days all I did was cry. I thought I loved the subject but now I'm not even sure anymore. I dug in my mind and I believe that one of the reasons is the relationship with my father: he is a good guy but very competitive and 'I am better than you even if uneducated' guy. I fear that all these applications and tries were just a big 'see? I can do it anytime if i just try!' and in reality i am not sure if i want to do that. I'm good at it, very good, but i dont know. If i think about it my mind gets clouded and tears come to my eyes. Maybe it is also fear and guilt - my father is quite old and the business is our only source of income. I could make big money and help him but I feel like a kid at the mall who is throwing all the toys to the floor because he doesn't even know what toy is he really looking for.

This is also connected with a new fear of mine: traveling. When i was 20 i lived abroad 6 months and i loved it. Amazing times at a foreign university - when i returned home i cried from sadness! Some years later 2 months abroad living with a girlfriend - amazing. Now if i have to stay two days in a hotel 300 km away for a work trip, i feel drained. I dont know why - even on holiday! I recently went with a friend of mine on a 5 days holiday where we had TONS of fun - but still, i almost cried at the airport and everyday i was thinking 'ok 1 day gone 4 to go' etc. I really dont know what changed. I live in a society where it is not uncommon to live with parents even at my age, so i would discard peer pressure (i.e all my friends live with their parents).

I love music and play various instruments. Maybe I should chase that as a side activity while working in the family businness, because it is very difficult to make a living out of music here. It sounds so comfortable right now. But three months ago the idea of a phd sounded so comfortable compared to working with my father amd playing guitar an hour in the evening. Family businness felt like a concrete prison and now feels like a reassuring base where you can have your coffee in the morning and loose shifts. You see my point?

The bad thing is that I feel this process is getting worse. The sorrow I am feeling these days is on another level to that of the job where I cried in the car. There I think there was at least some light - now I'm older and more pessimistic maybe. Do I really care about this? Why should I study for three years to have then access to scenarios that I do not like at all? Probably no because the only thing that gives me comfort right now is dreaming of sleeping for a whole month without talking to anyone, delete my email and throwing the mail in the trash.

What should I do?
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Old 22nd September 2018, 9:20 AM   #2
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What's your relationship with your parents? Have they been supportive or have they worked actively to undermine your confidence every time you started achieving?
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Old 22nd September 2018, 10:54 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bando89 View Post
I live in a society where it is not uncommon to live with parents even at my age, so i would discard peer pressure (i.e all my friends live with their parents).
That may be, but it doesn't address the issue of whether it's the best thing for you. Living with your parents...working for your parents...given the family dynamic you've described, doesn't sound like the healthiest situation.

You say you're intelligent, capable and gifted in certain areas? Maybe it's time to prove it to yourself by going out on your own and doing something with those abilities...

Mr. Lucky
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Old 22nd September 2018, 10:55 AM   #4
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They have been supportive - my father acts more reserved in front of me and don't want to admit it, but I know that when they are alone he gets emotional if things go good for me etc (like, crying when I left for Erasmus where he was telling me I'm fine, finally you stay out of the house for 6 months :P )
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Old 22nd September 2018, 10:57 AM   #5
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They have been supportive - my father acts more reserved in front of me and don't want to admit it, but I know that when they are alone he gets emotional if things go good for me etc (like, crying when I left for Erasmus where he was telling me I'm fine, finally you stay out of the house for 6 months :P )
What about your mum?
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Old 22nd September 2018, 11:07 AM   #6
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Always been very supportive - from 1 to 100 I'd say my mother 100 and my father 80.
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Old 22nd September 2018, 11:10 AM   #7
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Always been very supportive - from 1 to 100 I'd say my mother 100 and my father 80.
Because it seems to me that you are dealing with a big dollop of fear of failure. Which would be explained by what you said about your father.
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Old 22nd September 2018, 11:23 AM   #8
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Hmm I dunno. I think it's more of a fear like 'I can do this if I suffer it through, but what after?' I'm not sure I want to continue down the academic path and in my field a PhD is only suitable or that.
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Old 22nd September 2018, 11:25 AM   #9
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Hmm I dunno. I think it's more of a fear like 'I can do this if I suffer it through, but what after?' I'm not sure I want to continue down the academic path and in my field a PhD is only suitable or that.
Fear of failure doesn't manifest itself necessarily by thinking that you can't do it. It's an extreme stress reaction to opportunities.
Which is precisely what you are displaying.
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