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tendimes's avatar

Aimless, apathy - need life advice for late 20s?

Asked by tendimes (35points) March 9th, 2011

Sorry.. this is going to bore the crap out of you.

In my late 20s. After a string of secretarial jobs.

I’m aimless and bored, and nothing is interesting me these days. Apathy? Not self-motivated? Lacking external structure to force me? Parents waiting for the day I’m off on my own, happy, married, or successful. I put myself down all the time. I don’t feel secure enough to look for relationship unless, I think, there’s a promising thing going on in my life, which there isn’t. Writing class—I have ALL week to write those few pages required out of me, but did nothing until the last minute. I don’t think I have sparkling creativity anyway. And I’m wasting away my months, years.

I think I probably need some sort of structure. I don’t know. Or volunteering, or direction. I don’t think I’m qualified to evaluate my situation, because it hasn’t worked out.

I’m intelligent and well-rounded otherwise, not lacking in faculties.

Thank you for any advice you may share. God bless.

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11 Answers

optimisticpessimist's avatar

If you have causes which you like, I would suggest you volunteer. Animal shelters, politics, schools, homeless shelters, soup kitchen… This may help to get you out around people and give you something to look forward to. Is there anything you feel strongly about? Sounds like your job is not something you truly like. Is there any job you want, even if it seems far fetched? Do you have any hobbies?

I find when I am in a rut like this. I have to shake myself out of it by doing something different than normal. Sometimes it seems like a lot of energy or work just to do something different even if it is not terribly difficult.

tranquilsea's avatar

If you are still living with your parents then you should move out asap. If you can’t afford to live on your own search for a roommate. You need to get out there and live life. Life won’t knock on your door. This is really hard to do if you are still at home. Things there are too comfortable.

Join Find a group of people who share common interests and go out to the events.

Don’t settle.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Join the Peace Corps, volunteer for Habitat For Humanity or a local Girls Club, donate your time to a senior citizens outreach, animal shelter or co-op farm.

Soubresaut's avatar

@Neizvestnaya has some great ideas. I’d just be wary about the Peace Corp—a healthy amount—because of a 20/20 special I saw. It would probably be a fine experience, and I know the report wasn’t talking about the majority but it shook me up a bit.
(Not sure if you’re a he or she for sure, but either way,—even though this report focuses on girls I think it can apply to anyone—if you’re interested Part 1 Part 2 Part 3)

I don’t think I have any advice that much different from what the above three have said.
Just that I know how you feel, I think, because I feel similar.

I did notice, though:
I put myself down all the time. and then you did: I don’t think I have sparkling creativity anyway.…I find that hard to believe, honestly. Everyone has at least some amount of creativity, so I know that you saying you don’t have any is just not true. Especially when you call it ‘sparkling’ creativity. That’s colorful, that’s creative, right there, even if you maybe don’t think so.

I don’t feel secure enough to look for relationship unless, I think, there’s a promising thing going on in my life, which there isn’t. Perhaps try looking at it a different way—maybe the relationship can be a promising thing in your life. Not the only one, because that’s not so healthy, but maybe it can be a start, a catalyst for you. Rather than almost punishing yourself for not being where you’d like to be, because that won’t help much. Don’t deny yourself things just because you don’t have everything.

Parents waiting for the day I’m off on my own, happy, married, or successful. Try not to let their expectations of you weigh on you. You’re your own person, first and foremost. Their child, sure, but that’s not your identity. Figure out where you want to go. (And then you’ll be happy and successful for sure, in your own beautiful way.)

Here’s a great and funny and important TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson about schooling and creativity: it’s interesting and it may give you some inspiration, insight. I think it’s very relevant for you. He also wrote a book that’s basically a longer and more broad version of this twenty minute clip called The Element, in which he argues that everyone has a place where their passion and ability meet.
Another good book is Walking on Water by Derrick Jensen. I don’t really know how to succintly summarize it, because there’s a lot in there. I can say that I think you’ll get much out of it as well. And it’s fun to read.
And here’s a fascinating link to a video about human motivation.

—Much love

optimisticpessimist's avatar

@DancingMind Wow! I wanna be like you when I grow up! Good advice.

marinelife's avatar

It sounds as though you have self-esteem issues. I would suggest therapy as a way to build your self-esteem and find out what’s holding you back from stepping out and grabbing hold of life.

Lacking that read Self Parenting. It will help you get clear on your inner negative voices.

BarnacleBill's avatar

There’s a saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” If you try to make too big of a change, you might find it too much and the first time you can’t meet the obligation, you will be inclined to quit.

Start small – change your hairstyle, buy a piece of clothing you wouldn’t normally wear. See if a theater near you needs volunteer ushers and sign up for one night a month. Sign up to work a road race for a charity – hand out water bottles, sign people in. Sign up for a non-credit class at the local college or through adult ed. Most of these classes last a few weeks at most. Take tennis lessons and go into it knowing it takes 2 years to get good, so enjoy the journey. See if there’s a Social Media Club in your area, and get to know people who are involved with marketing and promotion through social media channels. It could lead to a different sort of work, and contacts your own age.

Don’t do all of the above at the same time, but pick and choose. And know that you’re not alone. I think a lot of young adults are somewhat disappointed when the reality of adulthood sets in – it can be rather boring unless you make somthing happen.

longtresses's avatar

If you’re persistently sad, you might be depressed.

tendimes's avatar

Thank you everybody for your words of encouragement and support. I am overwhelmed. I will look for volunteer opportunities and join groups and do my reading. This can only get better…

@BarnacleBill Thank you. “Enjoy the journey”.....

@DancingMind Thank you…..

niki's avatar

@tendimes , hi, someone pointed me to your topic, because he/she said that my dilemma sounds similar like mine (late 20’s, still jobless, apathy, even hating money, society, humans and the so-called real world).
Perhaps you might want to take a look at my topic here ,
and see if some responses & advices/suggestions there would also apply to you.

If there’s anything I want to say though, it’s that you’re not all alone in this dilemma,
as I’m also facing very similar dilemma like yours.
so yeah, at least know that you’re not alone in struggling with this issue,..let’s work together in finding our path and what works!

BarnacleBill's avatar

It is very much a generational condition, as borne out by Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues

I was raised up believing I was somehow unique,
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes,
Unique in each way you can see.
And now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery
Serving something beyond me.
But I don’t know what that may be.

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