Unmoored

Hello, friends. Ever since my most recent Three Line Tales response post, I’ve been thinking a lot. About… well, everything. About my future. Specifically, what I thought my future would be like by now. Cute house with a big yard, two kids, married, a good career doing something I love, maybe even a dog. Hell, I at least thought I’d have my license by now. Sadly, that is not the case. None of it is.

Strap in for yet another pity party, folks.

I’ve written a lot in the past about all of the what if questions that plague me on a daily basis, and although I always advise others to not dwell on past mistakes and decisions, I’ve always had a hard time taking my own advice. On pretty much everything. Don’t get me wrong, given the opportunity, I’d never travel back in time to change anything, because the outcome would be completely uncertain. I may never meet my fiance, or have my son. Hell, I could die. Who really knows?

I definitely don’t. The Butterfly Effect and all that.

I wouldn’t change anything, but there are so many things I wish I had done differently. Things I kick myself over every day. I wish I hadn’t taken so many people in my life for granted, specifically, my mom. I wish I had opened up to her more, and tried harder to keep the lines of communication open after I left home. I wish I had focused on school more. I wish I had focused more on myself, and what I needed in my life, instead of trying to please everyone around me. I wish I hadn’t pushed everyone in my life away to pursuit a brand new life with a boy I had never even met in person. I wish I had gone to one of the many universities that I had been accepted to, and not left the country with said boy to go to a school that I never wanted to go to. I wish I had saved more money from the numerous, dead-end jobs, so that I could pay off my debts that I still owe to said school. I wish I had been smarter about life in general.

Mostly, I just wish I had gotten to know myself better. I spent so much time and energy worrying about everything and everyone in my life, and trying to run from my problems, that I lost myself. While other kids around me were branching out, deciding what path they wanted to take in their future to better themselves and start their lives in the real world, I was running around in virtual, fantasy worlds. Sure, I applied to schools, and I got into them. But I had no plan. Even when I thought I had a plan, it was bullshit.

Everything about me was bullshit.

I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what I wanted. And now, I still don’t know who I am. I don’t know my strengths and weaknesses. I still don’t know what I want. I don’t even know how to take the steps to figure out what I want. I don’t know anything.

And now, as a 27 year old woman with no college degree, no real training of any kind, no connections, no money, no friends, and no particular set of skills, I feel lost. Completely and utterly lost. And I am barely keeping it together. Whenever anything feels like it is even remotely close to being within my grasp, it slips away. One step forward, ten steps back. Now, I feel like I am just floating through life, stuck frozen in time, even though I am getting older. I’m getting older at al what feels like an alarming rate, but I stay stuck in one place, watching everyone I know fly past me, collecting more achievements and successes than I could ever even dream of having for myself.

I feel like a failure. Every day. Like I’m nothing.

I hate feeling like this, and I hate that I’ve been feeling like this for as long as I have. I especially hate knowing that it is completely my fault that I’m in this dark place.

I don’t know what to do anymore.

Jan
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Unmoored

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Published by

Super Jan

I am an exceedingly average, 20-something female. Very opinionated, and slightly vulgar. I am a retired World of Warcraft player and podcaster, a Netflix binge-watcher, a YouTube addict, and stay-at-home mom to a tiny future superhero.

3 thoughts on “Unmoored”

  1. I went through this when I was 24. Just graduated university, just broke up with a 3-4 year serious relationship, living in a city all by myself, no friends or family around me, at a job I HATED.

    What’s more is I had no idea who I was as a person. I had just come out of a relationship with a boy and with school, and I had no idea who I was without those things in my life, so I can relate 100%. I had an identity crisis of sorts, and it put me down a super troubling path for the next 2 or 3 years while I self-discovered and made really bad mistakes.

    The only advice I have for you is that fixing the situation is up to you. So SOMEthing (little or large) every day that feels productive to your life. Even if you don’t have a life plan (I had no idea what I wanted to do, or even what I was actually good at either), you can still put yourself out there.

    My recommendations:
    1. Update your resume. Do your best. There will be holes, gaps, and unexplained changes in jobs but do your best.

    2. Search through job sites using keywords for things you are kind of qualified for or things that interest you. Read job descriptions. READ ALL THE JOB DESCRIPTIONS. You will literally never know what you don’t know until you know. So read every job description you can find just to get a sense of what they even need, what they do, and see if anything speaks to you. Doing this takes you down a rabbit hole of “oh look at this”, and “ok I searched that and now look at this!”. You may find job streams that make sense for you that get you excited. Look for entry level positions in these fields or industries (most don’t require any experience). A foot in the right door is better than being inside the wrong one.

    3. APPLY for EVERYTHING that makes sense. Find a company you would love to work for? Find a job description that interests you? Find a position that you can apply for (even if you aren’t 100 or even 70% qualified for) and apply anyway. APPLY ANYWAY. As a hiring Manager, you always put 200% more things in the qualification section to weed out people that don’t care enough to apply or that get scared to apply. Especially as a women, we have such a hard time justifying putting ourselves out there when we think we can’t do something or we think we aren’t qualified to do it. I didn’t apply for my first Manager role until 2 years after I was qualified, because I thought I wasn’t qualified enough. Turns out I was overqualified. APPLY. Another thing that may happen is if your resume impresses someone, they will contact you for additional roles or roles outside the original posting.

    4. Update your damn LinkedIn. Update it even if you will never be on LinkedIn. Update it even if you think nobody will care about your LinkedIn. Update it even though you may have almost nothing to put on your LinkedIn. UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN PAGE. 92% of recruiters recruit through Social Media. I am willing to bet my right hand that 99% of recruiters search for the applicants on LinkedIn before even contacting them. This is your number one networking tool. I was recruited off LinkedIn for the job I have now, and my resume wasn’t even updated. It is insanely powerful.

    5. Join communities and groups for industries, jobs, and themes that interest you on LinkedIn. Participate. Post. Even if it just to agree with a comment to put your name out there (HAVE A PHOTO). LinkedIn is about professional networking – so short, professional sentences, mostly positive or neutral, are the way to go here.

    6. Find a Mentor. Find someone who can teach you about the things you need to know. Someone who you trust and who is successful in their own way to give you honest and open feedback and advice.

    7. Lynda.com – this is a completely free (mostly), amazing resource you can use to learn about ANYTHING. Video game programming for n00bs? Yes. Intro to design courses? Yes. Web development and HTML? Absolutely. Learn about business planning ,strategy, presentations, Office programs, EVERYTHING. Teach yourself. Teach yourself as much as possible. Take the skills and put them on your resume once you’re comfortable with the concepts.

    8. Put yourself out there as a freelancer. People need help writing, coding, organizing, designing, stuffing envelopes, translating audio to text, etc. Take a look on job boards for your community, Town, or Facebook community pages and see what’s there. Things you can do at home? Bonus. look for things you get paid for (as little as it may be) now, VS needing to fulfil a quantity quota to get any kind of remuneration.

    9. Calm, cool, collected, and DON’T REACT. Stay calm and unphased with a smile. Don’t give idiots and people trying to jar you power over you. React later. Never react in front of anyone else. Don’t make a face, roll your eyes or get upset. In your head say “I will get through this”. Not reacting drives people MENTAL, it’s hilarious. And it puts the power in your court. Another amazing piece of advice is when you are talking to someone and there is a gap, or you stop talking and there is a pause, don’t talk to fill the silence. Always throw the silence at them if you’re having a discussion that is not super positive. This more often than not, makes the person uncomfortable and while talking to fill the silence, they will end up agreeing with you or offering some time of nugget you wouldn’t have gotten before. Just listen. Let the other person end the conversations. And always, FIRM handshake.

    10. Last one I promise. And this will sounds stupid. And maybe it is stupid. But it WORKS. You have to PRETEND like you have your shit together. Pretend you are good at this or that. You have to just pretend. Fake it ’til you make it is a phrase hocked by millions for a reason. In your head if you are finding something challenging or you don’t understand it, just say to yourself ‘Ok well I know how to do this I just have to think about the best way to do this for a second.’ This works. This is real fucking advice I am giving you. Every time I am facing with a complex Excel spreadsheet and pivot tables, formulas, etc, I just say “Ok I know how to do this, let me just look at it for a minute”. This is your golden ticket.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can totally connect on looking back on the various “what ifs” and how the world around seems to be going at a pace then that of my own. I think back to various points in my life I call the nexus points, which are the points where I think altered the course of my life events. I think back to my Secondary School (that’s English for High School) days and wish at various points I’d had the courage of my convictions to stand up against the tyranny flow that was the BRJ and force my hand and if not, tell them to stick their poxy attitude up their arses, (though about five years later, one of my former teachers did get me to stick something up their arse, but that’s another story). I think back to Andrea and what would have happened if I’d put the trip back a few months or avoided going to that party with her, would we have continued on our plans or would those dreams like bubbles, fade and die?
    “Regret is part of being alive, but keep it a small part.”
    Dark days difficult but even a little light makes a huge amount of difference.

    In terms of progression, is there anything like the OU stateside (that’s the Open University) where you can study from home and around your schedule?

    Liked by 1 person

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