Hello from the bottom of a pit.
December 9, 2012 7:09 PM Subscribe
I feel like I'm at the bottom of a deep pit, and it will take a long series of successful maneuvers to get out of the pit. Other people's lives don't seem to be pit-shaped. Help me make this pit go away.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (22 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a gay white male nearing 30 in a collegetown suburb, and I have social hangups, work-related hangups, money-related hangups, and lots of hangups in general. Am I "being mature about it" or "playing the victim of circumstance"? Where's the line? What's the alternative?
Here's an example of how my thought patterns run:
I'm not out to my (working-class immigrant) parents. I don't imagine they'd take it well, and I would prefer for the news to come from a happier place than "I'm gay, lonely, and kind of miserable."
So, a happy relationship looks like an important step on the road to coming out to my family. I want simple human companionship. But I haven't been in a lasting relationship since college. I am an incompetent flirt. I don't go on dates often, and, as with most people, few first dates turn into second dates.
Then I guess the key is to go out on more dates. But there just aren't a lot of people around here in this college town who are at a similar place in their lives (i.e., I'm not a student, faculty, etc.). Dating prospects are reportedly much better in town, an hour away, and on the other side of town, 1.5 hours away.
So the idea would be to move to a better established area. But I live very near my job, and moving to where the people are would double my expenses and treble my commute time. And I'm already making/saving relatively little money as it is.
The natural solution would then be to move and also find a new, better-paying job. But it's unlikely that I could find a closely related job, since my skill set is fairly unique. There are maybe 50 people who do what I do in this whole metropolitan area, and it's not a high-paying job by any means. It's also usually filled internally or via word of mouth.
Then, a different job? I've been doing what I do for a few years. Outside my unique qualifications, my other skills are broad and rather shallow. Like, I know some bash, but I'm not qualified to be a sysasmin or software engineer or whatever. Other than that, I've never waited on tables or slung beer, and have never been offered those jobs whenever I applied for them in the past.
So I guess the trick is to become… more employable? What does that even mean? I've got very basic academic credentials that don't predispose me to any common career. I've tried working with career counselors, but have never received any helpful, specific advice. The career assessments I took a couple times pointed toward "college professor."
A lot of times on Metafilter I see stories of people leaving everything behind and starting over from scratch in a new place. I understand the potential of a cross-country move, and I do have a few thousand in savings. On the other hand, I've had extended periods during which I was unemployed, broke, chronically ill, and lacking a good support network. I remember how easy it is to get to that state.
Am I putting up these roadblocks myself? They seem so real. Or is adult life really that hard? What kind of professional should I talk to for guidance and support? If you've had this dynamic on your life, how did you deal with it?