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Single, stuck and scared

This 22-year-old letter writer feels that they have never done anything meaningful with their life. 

Our elder has some ideas about how to move forward.

 

Dear EWC

I’ve just turned 22 and realized I haven’t done anything meaningful with my life. I didn’t go to college, I have no qualifications on paper, I never made a good group of friends, I sleep most of the day and stay up all night watching movies I only ever really get up to go to work where i clean offices and see the same three people every night who also happen to be family members. I don’t have a career or a family of my own. I’m single and have no confidence. I haven’t traveled and I still live in the same town I grew up in. When I really look at my life I’m scared that I’m gonna wake up one day and be 30 or 40 and still be doing the same things I did when I was 16. I want my life to go somewhere and mean something but it feels like I’m never going to grow or make something of myself and I’m even more afraid as I don’t have the motivation to see a bigger future for myself. Everyone keeps telling me I’m just 22 but I’m still doing the same things now that I did when I was 15. I get by but it’s comfortable and easy. I’m lucky I have a unit, a job and a dog but I haven’t lived. I feel I’m merely existing and it scares me to think maybe I’ll be stuck forever. Stuck doing the same things and never growing or making something of myself. What should I do?

 

Dave-Scott replies

As I understand, you have a good job, but you constantly feel like you want something more from life. You want to feel that you are accomplishing more than just mundanely doing the same thing over and over. Well, good for you. Those feelings are simply about wanting to be the best person you can be.

First, stay with your current job for now. But immediately start planning your next step. Sit down with a big pad of paper and just jot down everything you would like to see in your future. Then make a list of everything that interests you that you might turn into a career. Then make a list of what education, training, and experience you need that would allow you to qualify for a particular career. Then create a list that best combines all of what you hope your life will be – you get the idea – visualize your life on paper. 

Secondly, once you feel you know what direction you want to head, set some goals that will move you towards your objective(s).

I say keep your job because for now, it will be so much easier to move forward if you don’t have to worry about bills and having a place to live. There are dozens of different ways to accomplish your goals – evening school (or daytime if that works better), online training, interning, volunteering. Don’t be afraid to try anything.

I’m not saying this will be easy. It won’t be. But the harder you work, the better the results will be.

It is easy for me to say all this. I no longer have to find my place in the world. But even after I retired from a great career, I still try to accomplish something worthwhile every day, every month, every year. Trying to provide good advice on Elder Wisdom Circle is just one example. I envy you in that you will be starting out on a great adventure to find your future. What could be more stimulating and exciting?

I would also recommend a great self-help book for you; You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. I really think it might provide you with many answers. 

Good luck.

Article #: 460395

Category: Other

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