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anyone else feel like this isnt the life they are supposed to be living?


TommyTwoTons

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A little background. I am 27 years old. I graduated college 4 years with a degree in history and political science. I had started out in PR, but   hated stats so moved onto this.  In college, even though I was a transfer student, I was the man. I was invited to all the parties, hung out with people, enjoyed the activities. As I left college, I was given two choices by my mother: becoming a teacher or go to law school.  I have a very good friend that went to law school and he had told me the debt was ridiculous. Plus my mom is a teacher and to me it felt  like she would have rather I gone on to be a teacher. So I decided to become a teacher. Not that I had any love for teaching. In fact I hate kids. But teaching seemed practical.

Move on to the following years and I am miserable. I enrolled in the wrong program to get my teaching certificate. And I don't even want to be a teacher. I want to work in administration. If I am going to be in education, I want to stay out of the classroom. I want to work as a dean or vice principal or guidance counselor or even better work in a college in the administration aspects like a recruiter, etc. I even found a grad program in educational leadership that does not require a teaching certificate to get into. But my mother insists that I must become a teacher first. That is required. But I know from the pit of my soul that this is wrong. That teaching is not what I want to do. That it is going to physically **** me due to stress. 

I can't talk to her. For fear that she will be disappointed. So I am apprehensive when she talks about doing my teaching certificate. And I just sit there as she berates me as being lazy when I don't do things to work to this certficate. Because I just can't tell her how I really feel. That I know I made a mistake. That I often wonder what would have happened had I gone to work in politics or gone to law school or gone for a major like hospitality(the university I attended is known for hospitality). So I just sit there and internalize my true feelings. Sometimes I get curt and project my issues in the form of my attitude.

I can't use Facebook anymore because everyone else is so ahead of me. I look at my friends and where they are and I get a feeling of deep sadness. Like I am an F up. I can't hang out with friends since they live in different part of the state/ different parts of country. That I can't talk to my other family because of where my life is. How I know I am a loser. Pathetic and disgusting. There's this song by the artist Kurt Vile called Pretty Pimpin. In it he says "I didn't recognize the boy in the mirror, oh silly me that's just me." That's how I feel about my life. The only relative joy I have is working out. But that offers only a little reprieve. Hell even today my mom called my aunt and found out my younger cousin with my same type of degree is in charge of a museum. That made me feel really bad. Really made me irritable. I don't know if this is depression or what.

But then I get these vague flashes. Of me living where I want to live, with my friends, and in a apartment. I don't know what I do, but it's clear its not teaching. These occur mostly in the day at random points. Not every day. I don't know if this is a sign of what I should be doing. If I made a mistake with my life. That the life I have right now isn't the life I was supposed to have but the life in these flashes is the life I was supposed to have. Anyone else get these flashes or feelings?

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I also spent a lot of time and energy (and $) on a degree I just don't care about. I was pressured into it, and a really bad living situation for a person like me, straight out of high school. It was the beginning of my realization that I was not living my life. I had to wonder... huh, in what ways even before this was I totally being corralled away from feeling like a sovereign, independent, self-reliant person? I am still super resentful about this. I have not found the hidden truth or "blessing in disguise" to this problem b/c all I see is that it set the stage for totally pi**ing my 20's away. I even think of other species.... how animals don't have any kind of "late bloomer" psychological nonsense like this to deal with, I must be a bad specimen? That's being overly harsh on myself b/c I think that's how it is for tons of us the way our insane way of life is, but I've always expected a lot of myself, and to look back and realize that I didn't exert enough "animal drive" or "spirit" back when I was at this major fork in the road.... it continues to make me feel pathetic to this day even though this time is all over.

I've bounced around so much, through all kinds of "kickstart my life" schemes, and just never had a solid go with what I'm truly capable of and where my talents lie. I think my parents' generation were brainwashed in a specific way such that they saw that their parents' generation could get away with not really dealing with the root of things and just going along with the system and worrying solely about money, mortgages, retirement, that sort of thing...exacerbated that kind of totally superstitious thinking, of "you have to get good grades, you have to get a degree"etc even though job placement for degree holders is at an all-time low and stuff. I dunno if that resonates with you, but I have thought about that a lot with a lot of resentment; it feels like I was brainwashed by brainwashed people, and honestly, I could reaaaaallllly care less whether or not they were "doing the best they knew how" or whatever; it was fear-based viral transmission of anxiety, I don't care what happy-face gets stamped on it.

I'm very upset about this same basic predicament.

I did notice though that you mention having glimpses of how you imagine life could be, how you'd like it to be. I got the vibe that it happens spontaneously for you. I also have this. I imagine traveling with my art, making a living playing music and selling CD's and maybe teaching online via webcam and such. I've had a taste of this and I've seen how well I can do, it's definitely on the table. I could maybe make the funds and artistic works necessary to line up a series of artist residencies where I can find communities of free-spirits like me, getting by on their own brain and hearts and hands. That's just one variation on several other threads I often fantasize about. I think it's important to shift our thinking so that this stuff becomes the "real life" or "tangible" idea we have of our lives, while the sort of burned bridges we're upset about shifts into the "magical thinking" territory, no matter how forced that may seem on the face of it. It's right to consider that the things that resonate with our hearts are the "real" things and the day-in-day-out nonsense that seems stupid but "necessary" should be gradually seen as the illusory thing. I wish you well overcoming the "system"-instilled pressures; I want to convince myself once and for all that that stuff is the "magical thinking", not my passions.

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With regard to fb, I get the impression that some people use it to gloat about their lives.  There's a certain facade presented, even if some of their accomplishments are facts.  It's just speculation but I think some of this is due to a fear of insignificance. 

Don't waste energy on two things.  Don't hate kids.  Is there a reason for this?  And don't waste energy on a path that has been paved according to someone else's wishes.  Your best path is the one you create for yourself.  If you feel that teaching is wrong for you, I would not force the issue.  It's not up to your mother to decide what career is right for you; that's your decision.  Also, only two choices?  That's a very narrow pool when the reality is there's a wide of variety of careers to choose from.

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Totally. 

I did the university thing. Made friends and had a good time. Even got some good grades. Then I got depressed; barely graduated. Been on the depression train, on and off, ever since. Eight years or so. I often wonder what I could be doing now if I hadn't gotten sick. It's like I'm living another life completely now. I've lost touch with almost all my friends from uni. Only use Facebook for family now. I try not to compare myself to others or my past self. I only want to remember the good times and move on. Seems common that we don't end of up living the life we think we will. 

If you do decide to complete your teaching degree I have a friend who did a teaching degree, taught for a few years; then got her masters and a job in college recruitment. There are many career paths to take after teaching. You can also teach part-time on call if you don't want to teach full-time. Also what about teaching ESL? Then you don't have to deal with kids. 

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Why would you torture yourself by comparing yourself to your contemporaries? Even the most successful person has problems in their life. Just remember that. There are plenty of people that I wish I were like, who have jobs I wish I had, or made the amount of money I wish I made, but I know they have problems of their own. Because everyone has problems. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is the person you were yesterday, and if you don't like where are you are that day, then make a change.

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