What do I do with my life?
February 28, 2011 5:59 PM Subscribe
Please help me figure out what to do with my life
posted by LarrenD to grab bag (23 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I apologize in advance if this is too rambly or doesn't have a very specific question, but I'll just try to give you my situation and ask for any and all advice that you have to offer.
I had parents that were very supportive in the let you do whatever the fuck you want sort of way, and as a result I have quit almost everything I have ever done. I took piano lessons for almost seven years and never practiced, and now I don’t remember any of it and regret it. I played soccer for a few years, but felt like quitting one day and I haven’t played any sports since and regret it. I was artistic, and drawing/making things was what I did with most of my free time as a kid but for some reason I got tired of it and quit, and now I regret it. I think that the only reason I have gotten anywhere is that I’m personable and fairly good looking. From grade school teachers to my high school Headmaster to my Batallion Commander, all of my authority figures have stood by and watched me severely fuck everything up, only to forgive me and give me second and third chances because they all wanted to be the ones that helped me realize the “amazing potential” that I have.
After about a month at college, it should come as no surprise that I decided a mechanical engineering degree sounded pretty boring and left. Because I had no clue what to do after that, I made the mistake of walking into a recruiter’s office and thought that joining the Army on a whim while knowing nothing about it sounded like a pretty romantic thing to do. In my head I was Ernest Hemmingway going off to drive ambulances in Italy, but it turns out that joining the military during two major wars is something not to be done unless you know exactly what you are doing and are damn sure that it’s what you want.
While there are a few people that I get along with, I have almost nothing in common with anybody that I work with. Not only does being in the Army totally suck ass, but after taking some time to think about it I really hate the fact that I’m in the military and supporting what the military stands for. I might just be a helicopter mechanic, but those helicopters are used in direct support of people whose job is to kill people. I do my best to get along on my own, but it gets pretty old being surrounded by people that I want nothing to do with. I’m stationed in rural Kansas, so my options for building a social life are about as limited as they can be. There’s a college pretty close to post, but the people that I would be willing to hang out with are the ones that see my haircut and want nothing to do with me.
When it comes up that I have no intention of staying in the military, the next question is always what I’m going to do afterwards. I never have the slightest clue how to respond, because even though I’ve had plenty of time to come up with an answer I have absolutely no idea what to do with my life. There are things that I enjoy doing, like snowboarding and backpacking, but when it comes to really knowing what it is that I want to do, I can’t come up anything. Over the years of school, the classes that I have enjoyed most have been art classes. I went to a pretty small high school (120 people), so about half the school was involved with the musical and it really didn’t matter if you knew what you were doing or not. I got a lead part in two of them, and I really enjoyed that as well as being in chorus. I took a ceramics class, and that was one of my favorite classes that I’ve ever taken. Over the years, I’ve wished I was more artistic and tried to do some art stuff on my own, but It’s been so long since I gave up on it as a kid that I never have any clue where to start. The closest thing I can come up with for something that I would want to do with my life is be an artist, but the small amount of artsy stuff that I’ve done has been one-off just for fun and school related.
I’m just getting back from a year in Iraq where I’ve had a whole lot of time to think about everything, and I’ve decided that it’s time I made some resolute plans and stuck with them. So far I’ve decided to buy a keyboard and re-learn piano, find a pick-up soccer league and start playing, and learn how to cook. Apart from those fairly short term goals, I still have no idea what to do with myself.
I apologize again for all of the rambling, so heres the TL;DR –
1)After finishing the two years that I have left in the military, any recommendations for what I should do with my life, or how to figure it out?
2)In the meantime, how do I survive life in rural Kansas without going insane?
More relevant details: 22, M, originally from the Pacific Northwest