How do I stop tying my self worth to my income?
August 29, 2013 8:54 PM Subscribe
I'm a 31 year old man who lives in NYC. This has been a problem that has plagued me for a very long time, and it's really making my life miserable. Snowflake details inside.
posted by anonymous to human relations (29 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Without getting into too much detail about how my parents raised me, money was always an issue in my household. My parents divorced over it, and ended up litigating over 15 years about alimony and property. My parents never took the time to instill a sense of self worth without tying it to external factors like wealth, the kind of car I drive, or how physically attractive I am. Everything relied on these external factors. Growing up, I would constantly feel as if I needed "things" to be feel good about myself.
Through out my twenties, I went into professions where I felt I could make a decent salary. I ended up going to graduate school partially for having a genuine interest in the program, but knowing I'm also graduating into an in-demand field where I can financially sustain myself.
Ironically enough, to this day I still don't fully sustain myself. I still rely on my parents for cash. And frankly due to my graduate school loans, I don't see myself really "making it" anytime soon.
Fast forward to today. I recently finished graduate school. I have been job hunting for the past few months, and the compensation offered by companies I am interviewing has been under what I originally expected in my field of work. Fine. Those are the breaks.
However, all of this brings about a sense of anguish, like this is some cruel joke. My life doesn't feel at like it's together. A lot of my friends on the other are getting engaged, and appear to make ends meet just fine. I am really trying to not suck myself into a victim complex. I keep plugging away to find a position in a company I will thrive in. With that said, I still have these spells of anger with myself, like I've failed. And deep down, I still feel as if my happiness is tied to a paycheck.
I'm sorry for rambling — I guess I am just looking for some sense of peace with where my life is right now, and I don't know how to find it. Any advice on how to do so?