In Limbo!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2008
In Limbo!
9
Mon, 04-05-2010 - 12:20pm

Hi everyone! So, I recently turned 26 and I find myself to be completely lost in life. I'm at a job I really dislike, I have had the worst luck with men and on top of that my social life suffers because I live at home with my parents and we share a car. I know a lot of my woes have to do with finances because I have a ton of loans I'm still paying back for school and my current job pays pittance especially after we received a paycut last year. I have made a bunch of attempts last year to get a new job and came close to finding one until they backed away because they lost the budget.

The thing is, and please pardon me if I sound egotistical.. I'm really not, I just feel like I have a TON of potential with my career. I'm a skilled designer with a background that ranges from animation to web and I feel as though I can do something great if I could just get my break! In terms of a love life I don't really "look" anymore, but even then I stumble upon the wrong men and again not to sound egotistical I feel as though I'm cute (I get validation when I do get "hit on" when I go out) and I have a good head on my shoulders. But I feel like my life is comprised by a vicious cycle. My job sucks and pays nothing so I can't really afford my own apartment because most of what I make goes toward loans, which in turn I feel like affects my social/love life, which in turn affects my overall state of mind and motivation to do much of anything.

I have tried and will keep trying to find a job.... and I don't want to victimize myself because I am lucky enough to have a job at all in this economy. But what else can I do? :( I'm just a bit sad because I see so many of my friends progressing whether it's career or love and though I try not use them as a measuring stick... it's a bit rough feeling like I'm glued to the floor and everything is just passing by me =( sigh.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2009
In reply to: charcoal08
Tue, 04-06-2010 - 5:11pm

Hi Charcol

Boy have I and am I going through what you are. I can tell you, Im nearly 26 in two months and I am more or less the same. I may not be a great help but here is what has helped me totally!

First - Declutter your space - get rid of any past hurts i.e. pictures or memories of relationships that did not and do not help. Tidy your space, your room, YOUR Space - make it organised.

Then sit down and write a list of ALL your goals..I did this today and boy can I tell you it has helped to clear my thoughts and give me that positive energy to get on with my life and find my purpose.

I made folders (after de-cluttering and cleaning my room and getting rid of things that make me feel like Im not MOVING forward). Now each folder had a different aspect of my life - Spiritual, Health/Fitness, Career, Community and Self Growth.

For each folder in my life I did an overall what it looks like by 40, then broke it to 10 years where I should be and then broke it to 5 years. I then broke the 5 years to the next 24months and wrote down goals, aims and objectives, even obstacles and brainstormed ideas.

So for e,g, if you would like to pursue your goal in web designing etc, maybe look at it in the LONG LONG term and not HERE and NOW - because sometimes we have to take baby steps to get there and I know how you feel seen as though the market does not help! Maybe, just to volunteer to start off you can work for a few of your local communities designing websites or using your skill for that purpose whilst you apply and apply to get your break, you may make a few contacts on the way and get networking with people.

In the meantime, organize your finances, perhaps speak to the companies you owe money to and work out a comfortable plan that allows you to pay the loans and also have a savings plan and enough money for you to be comfortable. Perhaps, that way you can start saving for your own place, just rent to begin with.

I know this may not sound like the right advice, but this is what helped me. Im also jobless, manless - husband and I have split and live with family! and it is soo overwhelming. But just making these plans has already made me think ok I can do this!

So will you.

I hope Ive helped slightly if at all :) let me know what you think.
By the way, once you get the finances and career goal plan in order - just to have goals and start taking small steps, I assure you slowly all other things in your life will start to fit in, you feel more in control and your confidence will increase, perhaps then you can look at your relationship with men, what went wrong, what you'd like and how you can attract that and so forth.

Chin up sweety, keep strong.

x

Walk Hand in Hand with the Truth - It Will Set You Free
Walk Hand in Hand with the Truth - It Will Set You Free
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
In reply to: charcoal08
Tue, 04-06-2010 - 8:29pm

Hi Charcoal08,

Welcome to the board, and my apologies for this late reply.

I am truly sorry that you are going through a rough patch. Going through a phase like you are going through right now is daunting at whatever age one is.

You are wise to not compare yourself too much to your friends. It's too easy to do that, and it hurts when you are progressing at the same speed as they. Different careers have different speeds of promotion and progression, as well as different pay scales. It's good that you are starting with the premise that you have a job and that you have to pay-off your loans. We all know people who ignore the size of their loans and just accumulate more debts to finance a life that they can barely afford. In the long-term, you are going to be more financially healthy and strong that these people, and the sacrifices that you are making now will seem like such a small one.

As you continue looking for a job, tell me what your idea job would be. What would you be really good at? What would you really be passionate about?

And what is this pattern with the guys? Can you tell me about this, too?















iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2008
In reply to: charcoal08
Wed, 04-07-2010 - 1:35pm

Thanks goddess, I am definitely trying to be more organized and improve other parts of my life. I did that for the past 2 years while I tried to ride out the recession... but I guess I'm just at a point where a major change needs to happen and soon!

cl-libelulle, The thing is I am passionate about a LOT of things in art. I grew up drawing/painting and then developed an interest in computer art. I majored in animation in undergrad but the job market for animation was SO brutal upon graduation that I decided to go with a familiar route I actually learned on my own: web design. Ideally my dream job would be to combine my knowledge in animation and web and create multimedia/interactive animations and applications for the web. The thing is I know the basics, but I just need a job where I can learn more and get better at this field . Where I am right now we make boring newsletters and flyers for real estate companies who are still stuck in a decade old design sense and refuse to "think out of the box". The pay is terrible and a lot of times I feel there is a HUGE lack of professionalism that really demotivates me as an employee.

The wrong men thing... well. It's the age old story where I feel like the ones who like me are just not interesting enough (and I give them a real try... some I have dated for 2-3 months before realizing the compatibility just isn't there) and the ones I DO like are emotionally unavailable or come with other baggage like a recent breakup from a long term relationship and they end up taking out a lot of their issues from the failed relationship out on me.

Frankly the guy thing... I think will resolve itself when I have faired well in career and independence. I have to be brutally honest when I say the person I really am, outgoing/confident, is suffering quite a bit in that department because of the unhappiness that exists in other parts of my life. I rather just get my life together before involving anyone else.

I just wish I had a mentor or someone who could help me figure out what to do because I just feel ridiculously scattered right now =(




Edited 4/7/2010 1:50 pm ET by charcoal08
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2009
In reply to: charcoal08
Wed, 04-07-2010 - 4:44pm

I've been there...just recently.

Check out my blog at www.karilife.com

Learning life...Living life...Loving life...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
In reply to: charcoal08
Fri, 04-09-2010 - 1:21am

It's good that you've worked on improving things in the other parts of your life.

Charcoal, do you have enough time after work to do freelance work? Keep the boring day job for now since it allows you to pay off your loans, but accept freelance work. You'll get extra money and you'll build your portfolio up, too. You might have to start with lower fees to get the job, but as you get better, as your portfolio of projects grow and as clients give you great feedback, you can start to charge more. Be flexible - market yourself as a graphic designer, web designer, animation artist. Design your own website with animations to show people what you can do and how it can work for them.

Is this feasible or not?

If the men don't seem interesting enough after 3 group events and two dates, then IMHO you are not going to find them more interesting after that (unless they are incredibly shy). What kind of guys are you attracted to? What kind of relationship do you want to have?

I understand what you mean about not wanting to involve someone else right now in your life, but maybe being in a loving and caring relationship could be what you need right now. What I'm saying is, don't close yourself to it (but be clear what you want and need from a partner and from a relationship and what you are willing to bring to that relationship). When someone is genuinely attracted to another person and both are on the same wavelength, that person sees/senses what is there at the core, beneath everything. He'll be able to see what a wonderful, confident, happy and talented person you are, and he'll be able to support and help you through your job search. He'll also understand your financial situation, too.

You are a person who had a good head on her shoulders, Charcoal. Don't lose faith in yourself!















iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2008
In reply to: charcoal08
Mon, 04-12-2010 - 1:27am

cl-libeulle, I actually have been doing freelance work and sometimes it too gets a little crazy because the clients don't understand that I work a full-time job so my turn arounds can't be SUPER speedy. So I decided to take a little break to focus on job hunting and apartment hunting and figured that when i move out I can re-group and re-work my freelance approach. So that is definitely in the works.

As for the men thing I completely agree, the first few dates tell you a lot but everyone around me kind of started giving me this shpiel on how I need to give things an honest chance and not be so quick to dismiss these guys. So that is why with some of these guys I had to try them on for a bit longer than I normally would to see if some time is all they needed to not be so dry or awkward. Sadly time didn't do much on that front lol. Recently I had met a really cute guy with great personality. But I think because he had come out of a long term relationship he was afraid of getting hurt again so he'd make a LOT of commitment phobic statements and because of my own past with dealing with emotionally unavailable men and the hurt they have caused me I decided to stop seeing him because I was afraid that he was going to do more harm than good in my life. The kind of man I want is simple, has a great witty sense of humor, has to be ambitious and most importantly has no baggage. I want him to be a positive addition to my life and someone I can not only befriend, but look up to or admire.

Believe it or not this is REALLY hard to find... to the degree where it's almost easier to just stop looking =(

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2006
In reply to: charcoal08
Tue, 04-13-2010 - 8:39am

>> Believe it or not this is REALLY hard to find... to the degree where it's almost easier to just stop looking =(


what if you stopped looking? just keep in the back of your mind what it is you'd like in a guy but don't actively look. it sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now and guy drama certainly doesn't help. i went through a lot of the same stuff as you when i was 26 - crappy job, huge loans, guy BS - and i remember feeling scattered, too, and my self-confidence was in the toilet (i'm still trying to build that back up, and i'm 33 now). i know i'm naturally

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2008
In reply to: charcoal08
Tue, 04-13-2010 - 10:05am
I definitely agree. To be honest I didn't realize how much my self-confidence was in the pits until the last guy I talked to. Granted he wasn't making it easy with throwing confusion into the mix, but I think the way I handled it would've been completely different if I was secure in other parts of my life. It just felt much too serious and important when it really shouldn't have been! Anyhoo... I'm still job hunting and apartment hunting and hopefully one or BOTH work out. I hope to be back here with cheery news soon :) Thanks all for your support and for letting me vent!! :)
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
In reply to: charcoal08
Wed, 04-14-2010 - 6:18pm

One thing that I have learned now that I am *much* older (and I am not exaggerating - my age category is much different from yours heh heh), is to be ruthless especially when it comes to dating. Why? Because the longer you date someone you know you won't have a long-term relationship with, the more hurt as well as disappointed or heartbroken or confused that person will be if he likes us. I've been hurt and confused, and I've also hurt a few people like this. And I really regret hurting these people. Most of the men I've dated are good but we were clearly not meant to be with each other. Making a grown man cry in a restaurant is really not nice.


I wish you luck with job and apartment hunting, as well as freelancing. Maybe you can start thinking about creating your own business one day :-)


Do remember to allot time for yourself a few times per week to reconnect with yourself and to recharge. I know that money is tight, but doing things don't need to cost a lot of money. If you are unhappy at work, do things outside of the office so that you have something to look forward to, whether it's a walk, a picnic, a trip to the museum or a yoga session using a DVD. Volunteering is also very good for the soul and for one's self-esteem and self-confidence. If you are not already doing so, maybe you can find something to do with visual arts.


Talk to you soon,