How to find a way forward?
March 27, 2022 8:12 PM   Subscribe

I’m deeply sorry I keep bugging you all with my questions and problems. I’m at a crossroads with very little time to make a decision. I’m at the castle of crossed destinies except that there isn’t a destiny and I am not in a castle. There are only two choices and I think the one I want is the wrong one. Special snowflake below.

As you know from my previous postings, I am a 32 year old woman who has spent her life post graduation living off her parents and not having a job. At this point I can’t remember if it was on purpose or if things just shook out this way. I notice that I only notice that things are not right 10 years after I should have taken notice. I also spent some time and my parents’ money going to Australia and flaming out of a Math degree. To myself, I can admit I have a lot of unfinished business. I have a beautiful physics textbook from 2008. I keep dreaming that this isn’t my true, actual life, not the life I should be living. I get really depressed whenever I have a job because I feel trapped, in the “oh no, this can’t be it” sense. Every job I have ever gotten is not something I enjoy.

At the end of last year, I finally got tired of things and prepared a college application to study Computer Science in Budapest, because it would be cheap and I felt, with my meagre savings, I could manage it on my own if I was willing to risk getting COVID.

My mother has her own ideas on what I should do. She thinks it should be digital marketing, PR, and that stuff. I took a digital marketing course at her behest and hated it.

It does not help my situation that my sister is completing her degree in Math and her friends are intelligent people with futures, and they are all getting smarter by the day. I have spent the last 5 years doing things that don’t seem to be cultivating my brain matter. My mother used to be obsessed with how I may or may not have had low self esteem compared to my sister. As a child, yes I did. In Australia, yes I did. Now? I just want to get out of here, but I don’t know how or to where.

Right now, I have two choices.

Plow on with the college application for the Computer Science degree and do everything possible to pass. I do not know if I can pass, be good at it, have a nervous breakdown. I also don’t know if I can find a job afterward. I might have to rent an apartment which will drive the cost up.
My mother wants me to take a part time undergraduate course in a local university, in Marketing. I do not want this. She thinks it will help me get a job in marketing in this country.
I have done my sums. I think they will cost the same but option 2 makes it possible for me to work at the same time.

The big frame around my castle of crossed destinies is the fact that I believe that #1 is what I dream of being. #2 is what I look capable of being, to people who have witnessed my life. The option of not taking an education is not open because my mother will harass me to death if I remain at home and not taking the marketing degree. #1 is only possible if I pay for it on my own, risk COVID, and find a good job postgrad. I know that this situation is wholly created by me. I can’t begin to say how guilty I feel about everything. If I could reverse my past choices, I would. I also think there’s far more to the story than I can write here, is the real story about an inability to let go of the past? Unrealistic expectations? What?

Also. I'm doubtful of my chance of success at #2. My mum hired a fortune teller at the start of the year to figure out what job I should have. He said a tonne of bad stuff and was also like, no, you can't do computing, and no, you can't go abroad, you will have no luck there. I would love if I could give him the figurative middle finger by choosing #2, because he was the sadistic type who relished the pain he was causing me and my mum. But I went to a temple that I trust, and the temple also said, this adventure will have mediocre results. I was so tremendously depressed after that, that my dad asked me why I looked so sad. I don't know if this is a rational reason for doing or not doing stuff.
posted by Didnt_do_enough to Education (27 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This all sounds very frustrating and hard. I'm sorry you are going through this. I remember feeling similar confusion when I was younger and having to make difficult decisions.
I don't know if this will help, but here are some things that I have learnt.

It's not my job to avoid making mistakes. Mistakes can be painful and scary but that's how I learn who I really am. For example, I now know I'm definitely not an actor!

There is no such thing as destiny, fate, or truly right or wrong decisions. If something works for me, it's not because of a law of nature or external force.

Other people's opinions about me, are none of my business. They are going to think and feel what they want, and I'm probably wrong about what they think and feel anyway.

There is no "one true way" through life that's right for me. I do something, it works for a while, then I change or my situation changes, and I have to do the next thing.

When I have to make a decision, there comes a point where I have done all of the research and thinking possible in order to figure out what to do. I can't know the future so I just have to go ahead and decide based on what I know, accepting that it might work out differently from what I want it to. I trust myself to be able to handle that situation, as I will know more by then.

It sounds to me as if you are struggling to know what *you* really want from your life. Other people's opinions and needs influence you and you are unsure what to do.

You won't answer this question by thinking and worrying about it. Try something. Learn from it.
posted by Zumbador at 8:49 PM on March 27, 2022 [9 favorites]

Studying something you don't want to study in order to prepare yourself for a job you don't want is almost never going to be the best choice for anyone. If your alternative idea was something that seemed like an unrealistic pipe dream, I might suggest looking for a third choice. But getting a computer science degree seems like a perfectly reasonable choice, since it sounds like it's something you really want to study and it's a field where there are a lot of good paying jobs.

I personally don't believe fortune tellers or people at temples have any real ability to predict the future, so I wouldn't let their predictions influence my choice. But even if you think there's a good chance the predictions are right, common sense should tell you that studying something you're not interested in just because your mother pushes you into it is not any more likely to be a path to success or happiness.
posted by Redstart at 9:31 PM on March 27, 2022 [9 favorites]

Best answer: My mum hired a fortune teller

I officially give you permission to be happy in spite of your mother. Please ignore every message coming from that part of your world.

I know that will be hard, so, believe it or not, step 1 is probably to get some better people into your life, possibly by pursuing a hobby that you are passionate about. This is solely to meet friends. It will take a while to get it going. Start now.

If you can possibly get a therapist, get a good one.
posted by amtho at 9:57 PM on March 27, 2022 [17 favorites]

Your mum hired a fortune teller to tell her what she wanted to hear. That's the job of a hired fortune teller.
posted by inexorably_forward at 10:00 PM on March 27, 2022 [35 favorites]

My mum hired a fortune teller...
Respectfully, do you think your mum provided any input into the desired outcome?
posted by kate4914 at 10:01 PM on March 27, 2022 [3 favorites]

I'm not sure what part of the world you're in, but I doubt you'd have to travel far to get a computer science degree. Actually, you might want to start by taking relevant courses at a local trade school. That would be a relatively low-stakes, low-cost way to see how you take to it, and they're bound to have student job boards and other opportunities.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:16 PM on March 27, 2022 [3 favorites]

Also: Computer science is one of those things that, if you can focus on it and avoid psyching yourself out (i.e. don't give in to ideas that it's too hard for you -- those are powerful negative thoughts, but they are ultimately just thoughts), many people can do. Why _not_ you?
posted by amtho at 10:57 PM on March 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

My mum hired a fortune teller at the start of the year to figure out what job I should have.

I went to a temple that I trust, and the temple also said, this adventure will have mediocre results.

Here's the thing: neither of those people could possibly know how your future is going to play out. They do not have privileged access to information that you don't have yourself, regardless of how skilled they might be at persuading you that they do.

The only way you're ever going to find out what you're supposed to be doing is to keep trying different things until you find some you can live with. Once you've done that, you can start trying different things until you find some you actually like.

Nobody can tell you ahead of time what any of those things will be. Not even you. You can think you know what's going to work for you, but you're just as likely to be wrong about that as anybody else. The only way that any of us ever find this out is to try stuff, and let the things that fail fail, and let the things that succeed succeed.

Everybody does have a destiny, in that we will only ever end up doing what we do do; each of us does indeed have only one real future waiting for us within the branching forest of uncertain possibilities. But the universal human condition - the universal condition of any conscious being - is that we cannot see, in advance, for certain, what that destiny actually is until our future has had time to become our present and we're living it.

Nobody can. Not you, not your mother, not your temple, not your mother's fortune teller, nobody. Never let a slick sales pitch convince you otherwise. Best any of us can ever do is get more practised at guessing and checking.
posted by flabdablet at 11:08 PM on March 27, 2022 [6 favorites]

I've read this a few times and it's not clear at all to me why you have only two choices, nor is it clear why it's those two choices you've described. In fact the 'choice' between studying Marketing which you know you will not enjoy, and studying another specific course in Budapest, seems oddly specific: unless you already speak and read Hungarian (which has a reputation has a very hard language to learn) or have social contacts in Hungary, that seems to be adding an extreme level of difficulty to education. There are many, many other educational options, in whichever country you're in.

You say you have feelings of low self esteem, guilt, and regret over past choices—let me give you advice from experience, specifically the experiences of doing an ill-advised degree, and being unemployed, that those feelings, while real, are not voices you should be taking advice from. In this sense they're much worse than fortune tellers, who will only tell you what they think you want to hear; your own negative emotions tell you only the worst things, whether reasonable or not. There's nothing wrong with having those thoughts and feelings, because they're only feelings, and everyone has them; just don't let guilt or regret decide what life you get, or limit your options!

As amtho says:
If you can possibly get a therapist, get a good one
Absolutely—and any kind of therapist, even a mediocre one, will give you surprisingly effective emotional and intellectual tools to think about your own decisions and your own choices in your life. When I was unemployed some conversations with a therapist were life-changing.

Lastly, with respect to 'destinies'—destinies are for characters with narratives, not for humans; everybody's life just 'shakes out that way', as you've said. As the cliché goes, our lives are what happen to us while we're busy making other plans. Put aside for a moment the question of what degree you want: what kind of person do you want to be?
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 11:09 PM on March 27, 2022 [13 favorites]

I notice that I only notice that things are not right 10 years after I should have taken notice.

If it was only you who ever did that, Pink Floyd wouldn't have bothered writing a song about it.

It seems to me that what you're doing here is becoming paralyzed by a conviction that an utterly unavoidable failure to find clarity where none exists is your personal failure. It's no such thing. It's just life.
posted by flabdablet at 11:31 PM on March 27, 2022 [8 favorites]

In your previous post, you mentioned you have/had OCD. Other posters on your other threads have wondered if ADHD/executive dysfunction might be a factor. Without identifying and addressing the underlying conditions, you will continue to struggle regardless of what choice you pursue.

As Fiasco da Gama says... What you have listed above are not your only choices. Go with choice #3 (get a hopefully good therapist, assessment to determine underlying neurological issues, treatment if needed).
posted by skunk pig at 12:07 AM on March 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Yes, there should not just be two choices. But if I don't go for the local uni course, my mum will yell at me. The course lasts 4 years and she will browbeat me until I go for a long marketing course. Option 2 is there because theres a course taught in English and it allows me to get out of the country. I'd like an option 3 but cannot see one, unless it is that I find a good job soon.
posted by Didnt_do_enough at 12:33 AM on March 28, 2022

With respect, you are an adult, you are 32 years old and you already have a degree; if your problem is that your mother will yell at you if she thinks you make the wrong choices, the solution is far closer than Budapest.

It’s your relationship with your family, not geography or money or work or your education choices, that leap out of this question.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 12:40 AM on March 28, 2022 [30 favorites]

A freshly graduated 36 year old marketer who hates marketing is as good as unemployable. Marketing is about selling a belief, and you’ve got to be able to either believe it your self or fake it with enthusiasm, which is hard to do if you hate marketing. The first marketing job you would have after graduation is to sell the belief that you are great at this, if you hate it, that’s going to be difficult. You have my permission to pass on my professional opinion (12 years working in governmental labor department with career path issues) that this would be a bad choice for you.

Two questions, living within your parents since graduation - graduation from what? And where are you living?
posted by Iteki at 12:47 AM on March 28, 2022 [8 favorites]

You have one life. There isn't any other reality other than the one you're in.
At the moment you're living in a complex and distressing web of stories and narratives that are clouding your ability to live your one and only real life. Some come from regret, some come from parental pressure, and some really do sound like the result of mental illness that isn't being treated. You need to find ways to begin to deconstruct this web of distressing and self-limiting narratives in order to really live your one and only life. Therapy will be useful. But I think you just need to get out and LIVE and stop ruminating on the past, more than anything else.

1) It is not too late. You're still young. People change their lives around all the time. You have opportunities and resources and time you can use- you're lucky!

2) It doesn't matter what people younger than you are doing. Comparison with others is a form of reckless self-harm that will only hold you back. Remember that life is long and people who look like they've got their shit together at the age of 25 have got PLENTY of time for it all to go pear-shaped and to experience trouble. I don't think anyone's adult, complex, life looks exactly how they dreamed it would look when they were 18, or like what their parents think it should look like. And if they do, if they appear to have a perfect life, then they will be in for a shock at some point when death, illness and difficulties eventually come for them too.

3) It doesn't matter what you did in the past that you feel you "failed" at. Throw away that 14-year old physics textbook. Comparing your current life with your 18 year old self is a form of reckless self-harm that will only hold you where you are.

4) You are putting a lot of blame on yourself but from an outside perspective it is glaringly obvious that it's your mother that's putting you into this contorted position. You are a grown adult. Your mother doesn't get to choose what you do. I suspect you are not from the same culture as me, and that perhaps you are in a culture where parents do tend to take more of an active role in shaping their adult's childrens' lives. However, it's clearly not working out for you. It may be harder because of your culture, but it won't be impossible: I think the number one thing you can do to make your life better and give yourself more opportunities to escape the web of limiting narratives and impossible black-and-white double binds you are currently in, is to get away from your parents. Physically, emotionally, mentally.

My mum is extremely supportive and non-judgemental, but when I lived in her house as an adult, it was still harder for me to make decisions about my life choices, because being around her kept me constantly in the position of being her child. I want to be a good kid. I don't want to upset my mum. And to some extent- it's nice to be mothered. It's easier to stay in a child role.
When I am away and independent, I can hold myself and make decisions as a strong, capable adult. Which are not necessarily what would make my mother happy. You have not ever been able to feel like a strong, capable, adult who can do things even if it might make your parents unhappy. But you are! You can be!

You need to find a way of living independently. I don't think taking a long course which would see you studying into your late 30s is a route to go down. People find ways of living alone on lower incomes from lower paying, non-professional jobs: house shares, being a lodger, moving to a lower-cost-of-living city. There will be ways. But you need to establish yourself as independent FIRST before you can make decisions about the big-picture career stuff.

Btw you don't NEED to have a "proper" career. People do all sorts of jobs. It can be fun to work in hospitality or whatever. Money is money- it's more important to find a way to live your one and only real life, than to fulfil some vision of a perfect career.

You just need to get away from your mother who is pouring awful poison in your ear and, if you're not careful, will steal your whole life away before you know it.

I always recommend zen buddhist thought to help escape these kinds of tortuous mental and emotional traps. "Opening The Hand of Thought" by Uchiyama Roshi might be of use to you at this time. We all will experience disappointment, limitations, lack of choice, illness, and death. We can cultivate ways to live which encompass those things and give us real agency, choice, and meaning, not in spite of them, but BECAUSE of them. Good luck to you.
posted by Balthamos at 12:48 AM on March 28, 2022 [15 favorites]

Computer Science in Budapest. Every single time. Even without all the other detail - with this on the table, all the other options look tame & wrong.

It’s an adventure, it’s _your_ idea, and it might even lead somewhere good. Even if it leads nowhere, you get three years in one of Europe’s great cities. And it’s _your_ plan for _your_ life, so screw your mum's fortune teller.
posted by rd45 at 1:15 AM on March 28, 2022 [7 favorites]

I'd never advise someone who feels unmoored and directionless to resolve it by committing to a multi-year degree program.

If it's been so long since you were working, I suggest that part of your anxiety is confusion about what it's like to work in different fields. It doesn't matter what age or expereince level you've got, the way to find certainty about what to do next--about what to commit to doing next--is by doing things. There's no need to set your aim for finding your dream career rght out of the gate.It's much more reliable to try things and pay attention to thoughts like, "Oh I'm actually pretty good at this" or "I like this a little bit more than the last thing I did." Only apply for jobs, internships, volunteer gigs, apprenticeships that line up with what you value.

Have a hard time sorting out your values in a way that's helpful? OK, cool, this is a great starting point, too. Pick up a workbook like this one (that I used; there are many others) and commit yourself to using it as a guide, completing it thoughtfully and intentionally. The title of that workbook, hich is based on a kind of therapy called ACT, is "Get Out Of Your Mind and Into Your Life" and I think that might be a helpful way to think about where you are right now. One doesn't need to have it all figured out to start moving forward and engaging.

And believe me, you're not alone in feeling this way. This kind of "how did I get here?" self-talk has been a companion of mine for as long as I've been aware, and I'm convinced this is so common as to be a part of the human condition. There is no One Correct Way to address it, but there are options and people who can help you with those options in the form of wise thinkers and therapists and trusted confidants and friends and family. I'm not sure if I would put much stock in... other sources of input. Judge those voices critically, stick to your values rather than other peoples' values, and talk to people (including here) whenever you feel the need.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 1:32 AM on March 28, 2022 [11 favorites]

ADHD has been mentioned repeatedly in the answers to the questions you have posted. I would strongly suggest having it investigated before making any other life choices. Your work issues sound like classic ADHD.
posted by mani at 3:15 AM on March 28, 2022 [6 favorites]

I have really mixed views about this. What I want you to do most of all is get treatment for your mental health conditions, tackle your executive functioning problems (with tools / checklists / medication), and most of all stop beating yourself up about things in the past that you cannot change.

I do not know whether you are best placed to do that in your current city, or in Budapest. I suspect there are other possibilities that would work better than either of those two. If you have enough money to fund three years living in Budapest, you have money to fund a variety of other alternative as well.

It sounds like you would be better off not living with your parents so you can have a less intense relationship with them. Moving to Budapest is one way of achieving that (provided you really can afford it). It could be a great adventure. Even if it turned out to be mediocre that would be fine, better mediocre than miserable. But it's not the only way of getting to what you really seem to want, which looks like it's a stable income from a job you find tolerable all or the vast majority of the time.
posted by plonkee at 3:39 AM on March 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

I get really depressed whenever I have a job because I feel trapped, in the “oh no, this can’t be it” sense. Every job I have ever gotten is not something I enjoy.

Jobs we don't enjoy are a tradeoff. We do them in order to get our needs met.

The most basic things that any animal needs, ordered by the speed at which they'll kill us if they're not met, are these:

1. Air that's safe to breathe.
2. Water that's safe to drink.
3. Sleep that's safe to get enough of.
4. Food that's safe to eat.

As things currently stand, you have all of those basics covered by living in your parents' house.

The tradeoff you're currently making in order to get those needs met is that you need to put up with being yelled at by one of the owners of that house, who has the power to deprive you of #3 and possibly #4 at any time by turfing you out, every time she becomes aware that you might be about to choose some course of action she disagrees with.

This is clearly not an experience you enjoy, given the willingness you're showing to bend your life totally out of shape to avoid it.

Working a shitty job solely in order to cover the cost of a living space where that doesn't happen is another experience you probably won't enjoy. But just like what you're already doing, it's a tradeoff you can choose to make in order to get basic needs 1-4 covered.

And working a shitty job has some distinct advantages over what you're already doing. First and foremost, it gives you a chance to practise the skills that the shitty job entails, including the skill of being able to do it without telling yourself the lie that working this shitty job is all you'll ever be gainfully employed to do for the rest of your life. Approaching a shitty job with the intent to treat it as an opportunity to practise it with the aim of being able to do it better every day and suffer less by doing so will rapidly reduce the amount of suffering it entails.

Second, it will be funding a living space that is under your control to a far greater extent than the one you presently occupy, which will give you time and space to plan a move to another, less shitty job without being browbeaten for doing so. Do several rounds of that, informed by ongoing experience of living and working autonomously, and you might even end up being paid to perform work you actually enjoy; furthermore, this might not be work you would have anticipated enjoying before finding yourself actually doing it.

The appropriate thing to compare the experience of working a shitty job to, then, is not whatever your sister or anybody else does in order to earn their living. It's your experience of walking on eggshells in order to avoid being bullied by your mother. Simple question: Which is worse?
posted by flabdablet at 4:35 AM on March 28, 2022 [6 favorites]

I think you should take the marketing option off the table. You aren’t interested in it and you don’t want to do it, and you can’t live your life to make your mother happy.

I think you should seriously consider option 3: get a job again, even one you don’t particularly like, and spend some time focusing on your mental health and figuring out what you actually want to do. (Are you living with your parents? I can’t tell. If so, part of this plan is also Save Up To Move Out. Living with parents can be a great choice but it sounds like it’s not healthy for you.) Getting a degree for the primary purpose of getting your parents off your back isn’t a great idea and I don’t think you should go back to school until/unless it’s for your own reasons.

But if the only way you can conceive of getting sufficient distance from your mother is Budapest, and holding off on a degree isn’t on the table, then - yes. Go to to Budapest.
posted by Stacey at 5:55 AM on March 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

But if I don't go for the local uni course, my mum will yell at me. The course lasts 4 years and she will browbeat me until I go for a long marketing course.

But what if she yells at you, and browbeats you, and you ignore her and don't go for a long marketing course, but instead take a course in your home country that excites you, while she quietly browbeats away in the corner and you ignore her? That's an absolutely viable third option. Let her yell. But don't let her force you to live your entire life in a way that makes you miserable.

It's not clear from your question whether you're financially dependent on her, but you mention that taking the marketing undergrad at home would enable you to work. How about taking a comp sci undergrad in your home country and working to support yourself? Do it part time if you have to, to increase your working hours and ability to be financially independent. Do it in a different city from where your mum lives, use the university student support services to get therapy to help setting boundaries with your mum. Cut back your interaction with her as much as possible. Doing it in your home country saves you trying to deal with the emotional whallop of separating from your mum at the same time as probably significant culture shock.

If that feels too much, it feels like your priorities should be 1. Don't take a marketing course that will make you miserable forever. It probably won't shut your mum up, she'll just browbeat you about your grades, or your job prospects, or whatever. It doesn't solve the problem and it gives you the extra problem of being miserable. 2. Get some help in learning to move out of your mum's sphere of influence, so that you can, at least at some point in the future, make decisions for yourself, whatever they might be. Best of luck.
posted by penguin pie at 6:13 AM on March 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

Hi, i have not previously come across any of your previous questions nor read others' replies until today but i recognise elements of myself in your question with a zingy feeling.

My immediate thought too was that you should get an assessment for ADHD, probably inattentive. If you don't have that brain type then great.. however, any future endeavours to move onwards are going to be made much more effective if you know about the best tools for you to be able to get the most out of study, work or independent living.

A good way of thinking about this is related to growing plants. Unless you know what your growing conditions are, especially your soil you can keep on chucking seeds and plants into the ground and hoping for the best only to have a realy dismal harvest. Different soil grows different plants but some soils make it really difficult to easily grow plants. soils can be adjusted to provide the optimum conditions (pH, microbial activity, organic matter,drainage etc) but unless you test your soil first you won't know how to improve growing conditions. Until thr soil is improved you can expect future harvests to be more disappointing than not.

A bunch of people including myself are suggesting you do a soil test.
posted by pipstar at 6:14 AM on March 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

Hey! I read some of your previous questions and noticed that you have an English lit degree. If you're also interested in technology, have you considered technical writing? It pays pretty well once you're established. You could complete Google's free technical writing course and then volunteer for an open-source software project to get some experience.

I say this both because it's a reasonable job to have, and also because it's one option of many others besides the two you've mentioned. You can make whatever decisions you like and as others have said, it's okay to make wrong decisions and not have all the answers. It's a universal experience -- we've all been there. Hang in there, and do some research on technical writing if it sounds interesting to you!
posted by woodvine at 6:46 AM on March 28, 2022 [9 favorites]

Get a job now (any job you can succeed at that has soap in the washroom :)), apply to Bupadest, spend some time exploring the 234343 career options you haven't outlined, look for a therapist.

You can do all four of those things. The job doesn't have to be the best ever. Applying doesn't mean you have to go. Just take action. Inaction is not working for you.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:25 AM on March 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

Popping back again just to ask where you live/hold citizenship. It’s quite possible with your employment history that there are programs to help you make these choices and which would also include the possibility of getting assessed for adhd or executive function disorders that may open further avenues for assistance for you.
posted by Iteki at 3:28 PM on March 28, 2022

I think you need to just go get a job, accepting that the job is probably going to suck and you are probably going to hate it. People seem to set themselves these huge work related ideals - this job is going to define me in a good way! Things are going to change because of this job! It's going to be amazing and I'm going to love it! - when in actual fact, it's just a job: no more, no less. There are lots and lots of jobs out there and not every single one of them is tied to a vibrant and enjoyable career. In fact, my experience has been that big! fun! career! stuff is mostly just crap.

I know this sounds counterintuitive but I have found that it's easier to put up with bad situations if you go into them knowing they're going to be bad. It seems like you are expecting a job, or school for that matter, to solve everything and be awesome at the same time. It won't. If you accept that it's probably going to be horrible and you just say, well, I'm going to do it anyway, it might help. The other thing that has always helped me is a deadline. You can say, well, I'm going to go be a retail clerk. If it's still completely horrible in six months, I will rethink. It takes six months, by the way, to really figure out if a job is bearable or not. I hated my current job for the first three months I had it and now I quite like it. I've also just been promoted and I fully expect to hate my new job for at least three months and possibly forever, but, whatever. It's a job. Not everyone is career focused. Not everyone lives to work. And that is not only okay, but just maybe the way people are supposed to be.

I don't think going back to school is necessarily the solution. As you know, getting a degree doesn't automatically translate into a job. If you think you might want to get a computer science degree, why not start out getting a job in it - a tangential, menial, annoying entry level job - to see if it's something you actually want to do for the next four years? You don't have to commit yourself to a career. Jobs don't last forever. Just because something is miserable at this moment doesn't mean it will still be miserable tomorrow or next week.
posted by mygothlaundry at 3:31 PM on March 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

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