General Question

niki's avatar

I am 30, jobless, unemployed, and still living with parents, despite all my potential. Is there still hope, or not?

Asked by niki (714points) March 21st, 2011

Many people have often told me that I’m actually quite a smart person, even creative, imaginative (and artistic) and some have said highly intelligent “beyond the norm/normal”.

But unfortunately, it seems that I bring along the ‘curse’ of very weak in terms of thinking and doing practical things in life, nor I even have much interest in it (I am very much more into theory, philosophy, spirituality, and seeing the ‘big picture’ as opposed as working on the details/forest. I hate details!).

The worst thing is perhaps of how I dislike, even hate Money (and Money system) so much.
Most people don’t care about discussing it, they just simply said “that’s the way it is”, and sometimes I am so jealous of their “Ignorance is bliss” attitude, whereas I kept thinking about all the ‘injustices’ this Money System does almost every single day.

But my point is this: I am basically now sort of feeling damn lost and confused as:

1. if I do still have Hope for the future? in other words, can i still get a “second chance” to fix everything in my life (due to my ‘cursed’ personality), or it’s too late?

2. what do I have to do (or start from)?? I have always been a highly artistic, creative, and imaginative person.

In fact, I am a musician/songwriter/composer, but the thing is: I am a very idealistic kind of musician, and I don’t like to ‘lower’ myself down to just “write a HIT song” that is cheap, low in messages. I always want to create music that can be at Best Inspiring, touching many hearts out there; but unfortunately, that’s not what the Music Industry now wants nowadays. and thus, I am still jobless now.

And since I like mostly NON-practical fields such as philosophy, psychology, spirituality, even astronomy, whereas everybody around me keep doing and pushing me to do business, business & only business (“to make most money, duh!”) while I hate it so much,.so now I’m still entrapped and feeling lost confused don’t know what to do.

Please help,.what should I really do?
sometimes I can feel so damn hopeless and feel like I’m truly an alien that don’t belong in this so-called “real world”.

one more thing, I love nature, and animals. but sometimes (or often) I just hate humans, especially seeing how so many of them can be downright greedy, selfish, and have NO concern for their fellow humans, and also Mother Earth. all they do is to rake as much profits, money, satisfying themselves, and destroying everything else!

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64 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

It sounds to me as if you are tossing out every reason you can possibly think of to avoid taking a job that pays you enough to live on. You need to make up your mind that you need to work, and then do your favorite stuff in your free time. You need to decide which is most important to you: continuing to try and remake the world into an image you can stand, or eating.

Aethelwine's avatar

There’s no hope for you. You are destined to be a 50 year old high school teacher still living with their mother.~

Only you can make your life happen. You can sit around and mope, or you can take charge. Taking charge is much more rewarding.

skfinkel's avatar

To answer your question, yes, there is hope. While many share your concerns, it sounds like you are with people who don’t. Frustrating, I am sure. You didn’t indicate what your education is, but with your love of animals, I wonder if perhaps you might pursue a career as a vet? You might also consider work in a state park, learning about ecology and biology. While the world needs philosophers, unless you have a Ph.D. and can teach in college, your thoughts in that field may not be appreciated. Regardless of what you do, though, you will have to buckle down and be very disciplined to achieve your goals.

YARNLADY's avatar

We can’t always like what happens to us, but we must make the best of it. Or in other words, when all you find are lemons, make lemonade.

Zaku's avatar

Hope for what? Serious question. If you disdain money, what are you hoping for, that you don’t have? Ask yourself not what others, or American capitalists, think you should do, or useless conversations about the so-called real world, real life, practicality, jobs, bla bla bla. What do you really care about? What needs of yours are not getting met? What do you want?

Jeffinohio's avatar

Interesting perspective. I don’t often encounter this total misgiving of money and such, other than what is needed, it’s kinda refreshing..and holding onto what you truly believe, and either aspire to, or desire, is, inspiring to me.
I got you by a couple years, but my beliefs, not only in our monetary system, but in life as it is, we share a common ground.
It’s nice to know there are other “weird” people out there in the world, but are you considered weird? Should I consider myself weird? Different will do, but I too know I’m different from the “mainstream”, if you will.
Best advice i’ve got, hold onto what you believe, live YOUR life, and never leave your principles in life, made short, just be you. There is no one like you, and you may feel alone, but you really are not, there are more like you.

kevbo's avatar

You’re not 30. You’re 28. Start by being honest, especially when you are asking for help.

I live in very similar skin. I don’t have a great answer, but I suppose that won’t stop me from responding.

One thing I see in your comments is the mistake of “all or nothing” thinking. Either you are writing and performing the world’s most beautiful songs or you are the next Hannah Montana. Is there not room for other options? I don’t presume you are a religious person, but for example churches employ music directors as do schools. Surely there are lots of other options. Maybe none of them suit you, but at least try to identify them.

As an aside, is anything really holding you back from publishing your music or recordings? Here is someone (a jelly even!) who has published his highly idealistic music, and it’s even for sale. What’s stopping you? Do you go to small shows by independent artists? Why can’t you be one of those people? Here’s the Web site of a guy who runs a nonprofit that books these kinds of shows in Albuquerque. His name is Neal Copperman. What don’t you ask him or any of the artists he books how to get started?

Idealistic people “make it” by insisting on their ideals in the face of any opposition. Some throw a fit and others like the Buddha stand quietly resolute in their father’s presence until they gain acquiescence.

Here’s a guy who lives/has lived on zero dollars for 10 years. Here’s a guy who has lived on less than $7,000 a year because he refuses to pay taxes for war. Is money an “all or nothing” proposition for you or are there acceptable shades of gray? Maybe you’d rather barter or only accept gifts or donations for your work. What’s stopping you from being a street performer and accepting donations? Perhaps money in and of itself isn’t evil so much as the “Federal Reserve Note.” While this is the most universal currency, can you imagine operating with a different sort of currency?

So, I’ve sat with this long enough. Here are my last two pitches:

This book. It’s a cheap way to gain some understanding of all the business crap that you don’t know, understand or care to know. Among other things, what you will learn is that beyond the ignorance of people who don’t see the evil of money is that their capitalist vision is filled with a belief system that is predicated on (get this) helping other people solve their problems and address their needs and creating things that hold value for others. In this moment, you are using a computer, electricity, Internet and other people’s time to solve your problem. The moment you become aware that this all contradicts your belief about money and perhaps capitalism, isn’t avoiding computers, electricity and the Internet the honest thing to do? Or will it possibly be more productive to try to understand a value system that says this is okay?

This video is something that just came across my desk, so to speak, and it is about self-awareness, specifically understanding who “I am” is as well as a process for discerning answers to your questions. As you have said above:

“I am a smart person.”
“I am very much more into theory.”
“I am so jealous…”
“I am… lost”

… and so on. Who is “I am”?

Taciturnu's avatar

You’re hardly “cursed.” You need to take responsibility for your personality. Realize that so many people felt that way at one point or another.

You say you have these interests. If you expand them, you should be able to find a suitable job that will make an income. Spirituality? It could be branched into holistic forms of healing, such as reiki and massage. Nature? Become a park ranger. Animals? Work at a non-profit organization, such as a shelter or welfare group.

More importantly, you need to figure out what your life goals are. What will make you truly happy? If the goal is to sustain yourself without an external source of income, consider working for 5 years and purchasing a farm in which you could 1-sustain yourself 2-sell your goods to turn a profit to pay for a mortgage/taxes. When times are stressful, make sure you remind yourself that it’s all a part of getting where you want to be in life. If that’s still too intertwined with money, perhaps you should go live in the woods for a few weeks… Seriously. Maybe you’ll decide money does make a difference to you, or maybe you’ll decide you like it out there and you could sustain yourself in other ways. Either way, it’s bound to be an eye-opener.

You complain that people are pushing you into business but quite frankly, people are probably pushing you to get into something that will make money because they see you are not making efforts to become independent. I’m sure they think if they can’t help you implement changes now then you will burden them in the future. After all, your parents won’t be able to take care of you forever.

I’m sure all of this isn’t exactly what you wanted to hear. I believe I would be doing a disservice to you to sugar coat it. At this point in life you could very well be depressed, which would give you the sensation of confusion and being lost. I would suggest you find a therapist and keep in contact with them. He/she can help you work through that and develop plans and mini-goals to keep you on track. Keep up with your music as an outlet and continue to play locally at coffeehouses and the like. Find some motivated artistic friends. There are plenty of free spirits out there who still take care of themselves.

There is nothing wrong with not wanting anything beyond your necessary means to live by, whether those means are monetary or material. The problem is that you are not acquiring those means on your own. Sounds like a long road ahead of you, but I sincerely wish you the best of luck.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Bellatrix's avatar

Hmmm, I can sense your confusion and I am sorry for that but I think you are making excuses for why your life isn’t what you want it to be. How do you survive financially if you hate this “money system” so much? Are your parents supporting you? If so, is it okay for them to breach your high principles and for you to live off the fruits of their labour but not for you to support yourself?

Also, your “cursed” personality can only be a curse if you let it. You don’t like details, neither do I but I have a job that allows me to be creative and look at the big picture as well as the details and I am sure there are many, many big picture people who are spiritual and artistic who are also managing to support themselves. You say you can’t write the music you want because the music industry doesn’t want that music right now? Well do something else then. Not all humans are driven by money. Many people live spiritual lives and follow their dreams. You do at some point have to find a way to pay your way though and that may mean like many of us lesser mortals, you have to compromise.

If your parents are supporting you, it just seems to me that at 28 or 30 it is time to lower your own high standards and to find a way to look after yourself. I am sure their dream for life wasn’t to still be feeding and housing you because you are too special to lower your standards.

mattbrowne's avatar

You’re saying that you “just hate humans”. When you give up hating yourself and hating other human beings, there is hope. You can’t love nature without loving humans. Learn how to live a compassionate life.

bunnygrl's avatar

Anyone can change their life, no matter what age they are. It just takes determination is all. I didn’t go to college till I was 29, I got my HND in Law, then went to University to study for my MA, which I helped pay for by temping as a paralegal. Till then I’d been a housewife. My point, like @CaptainHarley said, you need to work in order to support yourself, so think of something you can do as a job, and everything else is called hobbies.

That sound’s pretty harsh to me, and I truly don’t mean it to, but there are people all over the world right now losing their jobs, due to no fault of their own, to this recession thats still dragging on. So many people have died in Japan, people are dying in LIbya. How many people would love their only problems to be the ones you’ve talked about above? Also you have to think about your parents honey. They’ve done thier bit. They’ve raised you to adulthood (and far beyond), give them a break and support yourself. They must love you a lot to not be nagging at you to go get a job, but it’s simply not fair on them.

Before you say it’s easy for me to talk having been to Uni, I wouldn’t have trouble getting a job in the troubled times we’re living in, right? I work on a checkout at a supermarket sweetheart. That is so NOT what I wish I was doing, but reality is that we need to pay the bills. Thats being a grown up I’m afraid. Knowing your responsibilities and getting on with it. Sorry this isn’t more help, but I’ve a feeling you’re looking to hear that you’re right to be living as you are, you’re not honey. Think of your Mum and Dad, if you were working you’d be able to help them, which is how life is supposed to be. First parents take care of us, and then as the years go by, its our turn. Good luck in whatever you choose to do, sweetheart. hugs xx

rooeytoo's avatar

You say you don’t like money but let’s face it, you need it to live. So are you completely financially dependent on your parents? If you are, that alone would give me the incentive to get a job, any job, just so I could stand on my own, have my own place, my own life. I never had the luxury of being so spiritual, philosophical, etc. as you apparently are, I always liked to eat. I think it is time for you to enter the real world, where most people do things they don’t really love but have to so they can eat and have a roof over their heads.

LostInParadise's avatar

Unless you are planning to run off into the woods and live off the land (not recommended), you are going to need some source of income. Get a job where you can appeal to people’s better nature. You can work in a museum or nature preserve. You could give music lessons. If your needs are modest, there is a lot that you can do.

Cruiser's avatar

Not quite sure how to interpret your words but since you did take the time to write all this on a public website for all to see you must be looking for something unless it is just attention.

One of your comments really stood out “I am a musician/songwriter/composer, but the thing is: I am a very idealistic kind of musician, and I don’t like to ‘lower’ myself down to just “write a HIT song” that is cheap, low in messages. I always want to create music that can be at Best Inspiring, touching many hearts out there; but unfortunately, that’s not what the Music Industry now wants nowadays. ”

That is so far from reality I am surprised you even wrote that!! Nora Jones as one prime example write beautiful, touching and inspirational music and it makes her truckloads of cash. But since you seem to hate money you do have a bit of a dilemma there so maybe you could be a ghost writer of really good music and let someone else get the fame and fortune. And any royalties you would receive just drop in the Salvation Army kettle at Christmas time.

WasCy's avatar

I’ll volunteer to be the front that @Cruiser suggests. But if I go on MTV and someone asks me, “Boxers or briefs” they’re going to get an earful.

Wait. Let me rephrase that. I just want to hang with David Letterman a bit.

Seriously, you have great answers here. In the first place, unless you hate your parents, too, what’s wrong with living with them? What’s “hopeless” about that? I didn’t live with my parents because I got married fairly early and my jobs took me away, but I was fine with them, and loved to visit with them for most vacations while they were still alive. I could have lived with them indefinitely.

If you’re worried about other people’s opinion of you “because you live with your parents”, and you have an antipathy for the people who think that way, then you’re really creating a problem for yourself. Really? Respecting the bad opinion people have of you when you don’t respect the people having that opinion? You have to realize how bizarrely convoluted that is.

You can hate money all you want, too, but why? If you don’t need a lot of it to get by, then you’re wasting your time, talent and energy “hating” other people and their chase for money. That’s their thing then, isn’t it? Let them live their lives without interference from you and leave them alone (because if you find yourself hated by rich people, then you’ll learn what hell on earth can be). Spend your energy, time and talent on the things you love. Let the things and the people you hate go hang.

For someone who believes herself to be so unworldly and above the concerns of the common man, you sure have a lot of concern for what “other people think”. Whatever you do, though, don’t vote for politicians who plan to “tax the rich” and then give that money to you. That would make you one of the worst of hypocrites.

Seelix's avatar

Hi, @niki. My name is Seelix. Well, okay, it’s not. My name is Hilary. I’m 30 years old and in grad school. I’ve noticed that a lot of the Jellies who’ve responded to your question are a little older, in some cases, old enough to be our parents. (A lot of their ages are unknown to me, so I’m sorry to any young’uns I’ve inadvertently offended.) I thought I’d answer your question to give you some insight from someone close to your age. Also, I don’t think our situations are all that different. I’m going to answer as though you’re a close friend or sibling who’s come to me for advice. That said, I’m sorry if it comes across harshly. I don’t know you, and I don’t intend to offend. Those Jellies who know me know that I’m not a mean person. So I apologize in advance if I come across that way.

There’s something up with our generation; by “generation” I mean those born from about 1977 to 1983 or so. We’re not Generation X; we’re not Generation Y. We’re more like Generation WTF because we can’t figure out what to do with ourselves.

Here’s my story, briefly: When I was in grade 12, I won a year’s scholarship to the local university. I was able to defer it for a year while I finished high school (at that time, Ontario had what was the equivalent of grade 13). In my last years of high school, I maintained good grades, but I was a punk rock kid who hated authority and didn’t want to answer to anyone. When I graduated high school in 1999, I didn’t want to go to university, but I had already deferred my scholarship, so I pretty much had to. I hated it and dropped out in November. I spent the next 5 years working as a fast food restaurant manager and, later, in a bookstore. I went back to university in September 2004.

In those 5 years, I learned a few things. From friends, family, coworkers… some just came to me. There are a few truths that you need to know.

You say that you dislike, or even hate, the “Money System”. Guess what? Nobody likes the “Money System”. Except maybe the very wealthy or those who work in finance. Money shouldn’t be what’s important; money shouldn’t be what makes the world go ‘round. You’re right. But unless you invent a time machine, there’s fuck-all you can do about it. That’s not an “ignorance is bliss” attitude; that’s called being realistic. There’s nothing you can do about it. The world is fucked up, and maybe that’ll be fixed at some point, but not in our lifetimes. You just need to learn to deal with the fact that, as much as it sucks, you need money to live. Get out of your parents’ bank account – they’ll be retiring soon enough, and they’ll need that money for themselves. Grow up.

You say that you like “non-practical” areas and that’s what’s keeping you from working. Give it up. Stop with the excuses. You like psychology? How is that at all non-practical? Get a degree; become a psychologist or a counsellor or a professor and do some super-cool research. You like astronomy? Ever heard of NASA? There are thousands of people who do that stuff for a living. Go to school. Not for business – for psych or astronomy. Why the hell not? You like nature – take a Fish & Wildlife course. Yeah, they exist. Become a veterinarian. There are tons of things you can do within your sphere of interest. Yeah, you can’t get into those fields without a degree, but let me tell you, it’s not too late to go to university at 30. When I went back at 24, I was terrified of being the “old woman”. Not so.

Okay, well, I have to get ready for class, so I haven’t said all that had originally come to mind. But seriously. Stop sitting around feeding off your parents feeling sorry for yourself. You’re the only one feeling sorry for you.

The world sucks. Being a grown-up sucks. Having to work in order to live sucks. So suck it up. You’re going to have to do it sometime. Better to get out there and start being a grown-up now than getting an even bigger shock to your system when you’re 40.

lbwhite89's avatar

Bravo @Seelix. Best answer I’ve read so far.

Judi's avatar

FYI, money is just a tool. It can be used and misused. Hating money because of the way it has been abused makes about as much sense as hating food because it can make you fat.
I think you might br using your philosophy as an excuse for not reaching your potential. If this is a true concern, play the game long enough to buy a few acres plant a farm, get a goat and some chickens and become self sustaining, but stop using mommies money and saying it’s because you hate money.

Summum's avatar

There were some very amazing answers and I would tell you to listen to the advice. There is nothing I can add that would say it any better. Read all those comments that others cared enough to direct to you and best of luck. By the way one thought. There is NOTHING you have to fix about yourself you are just fine the way you are. Now stand up and go to work. I relate to your frustration and I do understand it.

niki's avatar

thank you so much everyone for your advices.
I have to admit that some of the answers even ‘blows’ me so much, as I could never thought like those before, yet, they’re still very valid. it’s just a matter of perspective.
(I guess it shows how much one can really be “in the dark” and deny almost everything else, while locked up in his own room & ‘darkness’ hating and blaming all society, humanity and this world!).

And I think it’s really true,..I surely can’t blame the whole world (Planet) for only those few truly ‘bad’ humans who’re selfish and destroyer of everything in the name of profits.
Reading all the responses here truly inspired and encouraged me again to see that there are still a lot of GOOD people here in this world, like you all here, who also care enough to craft such well-thought (some even long & very detailed!) responses to a loser like me.

once again, thank you so much for all the advices. they are all really good ones and ‘mind-opening’ that I’ve never thought before.
now the hardest part: to translate ‘em into real Actions, and hopefully this time, an enduring one (instead of the usual ‘melancholic, mood-swing’ one like I usually do).

Judi's avatar

Keep us informed how things work out!

john65pennington's avatar

Judi, I agree with you.

I only have one suggestion for you.

Fill out a job application at a zoo nearest you. You will be mostly separated from the human race and in-touch with animals that you love. You may have some offtime, in which you can continue to write songs.

bunnygrl's avatar

@niki <hugs> you are NOT a loser, and you can’t think of yourself in those terms if you want to succeed at anything. You have a great deal to give the world honey, all you need to do is find something to make a career out of that makes you happy. The world does, at times, truly suck, but best way forward is to just accept this and be happy anyway. There are so many good things in this world that will cheer you up when you’re down, for me I come here :-) Our fellow jellies are pretty amazing people and will, in equal parts give virtual hugs as well as a kick in the pants when its needed, and I love them for it. Be happy and keep smiling honey,
huggles xx

trailsillustrated's avatar

I’m 50, jobless, unemployed, and living with relatives. with a post grad degree. I’m not afraid, and neither should you be. just sayin

Thammuz's avatar

The worst thing is perhaps of how I dislike, even hate Money (and Money system) so much.
You do realise that money is just a transferable stand-in for “I’ll do you a favour if you do me a favour”, right?

Because, unless you want to start trading stocks or manage a business, that’s all money will ever be to you, in practical terms. Ages ago you would have written a song and someone would have given you a goat for it, now they give you money which you can use to buy a goat. It’s the same thing only with one more step in between.

In fact, I am a musician/songwriter/composer, but the thing is: I am a very idealistic kind of musician, and I don’t like to ‘lower’ myself down to just “write a HIT song” that is cheap, low in messages.
The thing is that, if you’re good, you don’t have to. Look up Porcupine Tree. They’re not low on content, they’re not an “easy” kind of music and yet they sell very well and have a huge following. It’s just that it’s not a position everyone can reach, you’ve got to be really good, and that means learning a lot through experience, which I assume falls in the “details” you loathe so much.

And since I like mostly NON-practical fields such as philosophy, psychology, spirituality, even astronomy,
Hint: 50% of these are not a waste of time and can net you a profit. Other hint: They’re psychology and astronomy. Philosophy has always been the bread and butter of rich schmucks with too much time on their hands, and, well, spirituality, let’s not get into that or i’ll be writing this post until the end of the week. On the other hand, Psychology is an actually fruitful endeavour that can also bring you money. Assuming you’re willing to study and get a degree. The same goes for astronomy to a lesser extent.

1. if I do still have Hope for the future? in other words, can i still get a “second chance” to fix everything in my life (due to my ‘cursed’ personality), or it’s too late?
You know, I hate to say this so bluntly but you really sound like someone who always blames something/one else for their own problems.

Your personality is you. You can change. You can learn to bite the bullet. And while you can hope to change these things you can’t seriously think the universe is all of a sudden going to change to accommodate you. So, in short: You always have a chance, the question is “are you willing to compromise for it?”

If you know your personality is incompatible with the world around you (I personally disagree, i know plenty of idealistic people who can make a living without having to act like greedy assholes, but if you think getting a salary for serving drinks or doing otherwise menial tasks that don’t need any particular skill other than a functioning brain is “only being concerned with making a profit” suit yourself) then you’re going to have to change something. And i don’t mean “become a greedy self absorbed asshole”. I mean aim lower, take a shitty job to pay the bills and meanwhile look for something you like to do. Someone suggested working at a zoo in the thread, that could be a start. But the point is that you can’t simply sit there saying that you don’t find anything you want to do because it’s your personality, and you hate money, and you are an idealist and hope that the world will casually drop the perfect job on you lap. You’ve got to go out and look for it, you’ve got to know what you want to do. You’ve got to go out there and do something about it.

I’m sorry for being so blunt but I didn’t want to risk making the message blurry by sugar-coating it.

srtlhill's avatar

You gauge your worth every day not others. Every day you have a new start. Even at say 63. Good luck

kitkat25's avatar

It sounds like you are prefectly happy with the way your life is going right now and apparently your parents are okay with it too or you would’t still be living in their house. There are many jobs out there where you could use your potential without having to lower yourself or your standards.

YARNLADY's avatar

Maybe it’s time to return to the good ol hippie days, when we lived on the generosity of others, or in shared situations, where we raised our own wheat, made bread, sold it in our shared bakery, made our own clothes, and lived communally. Most of that has disappeared in the U. S., but many communities still live that way in other countries.

I know of several households and co-ops where life is still lived that way.

ATW's avatar

What you do, and what happens next depends only on you. You can, as people already said, sit around and mope, or get up, stand straight and make some changes.

Life isn’t easy. Not for you, not for me. The worst thing one can do is sit around waiting for things to get better. [Mahatma Gandhi – Be the change you want to see in the world.]

ATW's avatar

Bruce Lee once said:
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

mrrich724's avatar

You need to make a choice. On your death bed do you want to be happy because you did not conform? If so, keep going the way you are going.

However by asking this question it seems like the answer might be “no.” Saying “that’s the way it is” to the money system is not an “ignorance is bliss” attitude. It’s practical. There has been some form of trade system probably as long as humanity has existed. To shun that is to shun everything in a sense. Get over it, or decide that you can’t get over it and be happy with what’s going on.

If you can cope with “playing the game” that you so despise (and you don’t have to give up all your beliefs and morals to do so), then you have to set goals for yourself! Decide (reasonably) when you want to be out of your parents house. Decide what you can sacrifice in order to achieve what you define as more important goals (creating your off-beat art or music or whatever). Then DO IT!

Unfortunately, in this world (and it’s not going to change any time soon, whether you like it or not) the only people who can afford to have your attitude are trust fund babies. Or those who are so engrained in their truth that “this” just doesn’t matter to them, regardless of the repercussions (like Siddhartha . . . but wait, he was a trust fund baby in a way).

lonelydragon's avatar

To some extent, I can relate to what you’re saying, being around the same age. Most people in our generation were told by our parents and college admission offices, “Do what you love.” However, they forgot to add that doing what we love will not necessarily put a roof over our heads. So if you want to live independently, you will have to compromise. The idea that you must either do the thing you love most for a career or live in misery is a false dichotomy. I am sure you could find a practical job that’s feasible for you to perform, even if it may not come as naturally as your art. And you can still pursue your passion on the side (i.e. performing, giving lessons, etc.). Or, as @Seelix suggested, you could try to parlay your skills into a career. Have you considered becoming a music teacher or therapist? It’s not too late to change your life, if you are unhappy with it, though you may have to go back to school.

golusinghania's avatar

@niki you just go in any field in which you are good

Disc2021's avatar

Firstly, let me just say I feel like I’m in complete agreement with you and the things you’ve said about humanity and maybe even our society. At one point of my life I was very much into eastern/Asian philosophies and what not – your post in a way made me reminiscent of that (in which, I thank you!).

I’m going to answer your question with a question: Why do you perceive yourself to be “cursed”? Why don’t you have a chance in this life? Nothing you’ve said leads me to believe you’re “cursed” or out of hope.

While I agree, you don’t quite see the world like most of the others – I dont exactly see that as a negative quality, but a positive. In my experiences, people like us show others what they cannot see. Though it doesn’t happen frequently, people do end up really appreciating me and I’ve been told I could be very insightful in a different kind of way. Every coin has it’s own pro’s and con’s and unfortunately it may not be easy for us to inspire everyone or “make it” in our society, but we do have a place and when we find it, it’s usually somewhere special.

So I say to you, go find that place! Keep searching for where you belong, is there really any sense in giving up now? There has to be something out there for you and while you may find it just by chance, it isn’t exactly just going to make it’s way right into your lap. Go forth, I say.

I feel like asking us (or anyone for that matter) what you’re supposed to do or how you’re supposed to find your place is like trying to cheat yourself on your own exam; it’s part of your journey and chances are you know better than any of us as far as what you want and where to start looking.

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mattbrowne's avatar

I think you also need a mentor.

niki's avatar

@mattbrowne you are truly right. I have sometimes come to a point where I think I need somebody else to help me see the things that I couldn’t see, and to sort of help pulling me out of the entrenched gutter of dark pit! it’s like how all of you here, have somewhat started pointing me to the right direction, better than never!

I do now have some practical questions, but what I want to ask is: is it better to create a separately brand new topic, or I could just continue here?

I’ll probably start with my first nagging question:
Very shortly put, what if some of the things mentioned of what I’m interested/want to do, eg: Psychology, Vets, Anthropology, all require another 4 years more of Degree, in which, honestly, Time and Money seems to be the utmost problems/hindrances, as usual/typical ?

Btw, my education background was: I graduated with ‘double’-degree in Business Finance & Management, back in 2002 (8 years ago), which unfortunately, I’ve always found NOT much passion/interests in these two majors. I hate to say this in fact, but it’s the typical cliched case of “parents/family pushing me to take these ‘practical’ majors/study/degree”, plus combined at young age of 17 where I began my uni study, I was still very naive and didn’t know ‘how’ these all would turn out…like now!

So yes,.related with that question, I want to know if it is indeed very POSSIBLE for me to journey/expand into those new paths of interests, without going through the ‘formal’ 4-years Degree/study way? so?

niki's avatar

Otherwise, I am very afraid that I’ll have to ‘stuck’ here and basically just do ‘whatever’ job i have to do (even if the job sucks), in the mean time, to provide for myself (without relying/depending on my parents forever), while keep pursuing my musical dreams…

or is there actually a better way that I just haven’t foreseen yet?...

Thammuz's avatar

@niki Take a shitty but paying job to pay for the courses and get a degree in something you care about. That way a) you’ll be independent which is always a good feeling and b) being independent you won’t be forced to do what you parents tell you.

Judi's avatar

I have a friend who just finished her schooling to be a Nurse Practioner. At 50. It’s never to late.

anartist's avatar

Read this again:
but sometimes (or often) I just hate humans, especially seeing how so many of them can be downright greedy, selfish, and have NO concern for their fellow humans
and look in a mirror.
Stop being such a spoiled self-centered prima donna!
You are lucky your mother doesn’t chuck you out on your arse.

anartist's avatar

adding to @Thammuz ‘s comment: You will be surprised how much more you like, enjoy, and respect your parents when you are no longer living as a dependent. Independence does wonders for the character.

blueiiznh's avatar

You only see the world you make.
Start making one for yourself.

In the words of my father and his generation:

Suck it up and do something about it.

longtresses's avatar

Your question sounds similar to this one.

You just have to start somewhere. This is a great book on career decision making or allowing yourself to pursue your dream.

You seem to have a lot of worries. Instead of letting the worry hang over you, you should grab a piece of paper and break down this whole ambiguous “worry” into issues. You should stop thinking and take real action. I think you will find any course of action meaningful and contributing to a clearer understanding of who you actually are. Stop living from the head up and go out and get life experience, that is.

If you have many interests, you should pick one. You can’t be a master of all trades. Don’t worry so much about not getting “there.” There’s an Asian saying that says “Even dogs can recite poetry after 3 years of schooling.” If everybody else can do it, why not you?

28 or 30 is not too old. It’s a blessing actually. You’ll have 30 more years in the work force—more than half your life. Don’t wait until you’re 40 and wish that you were doing something about your life today.

Starting from today, you should make a weekly goal. If you’re not doing anything this week, you are already wasting your time.

niki's avatar

@longtresses thank you, as well as for referring me to a person with similar dilemma like mine, at least I know I’m not alone in feeling this..
but I’ve taken your advice as well as many others here, and will work on it,.slowly but sure.
I just hate to only talk about “making a real difference” but not walking the talk, by still leeching on my parents’ hard works & efforts.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I find it hypocritical that you disdain money, yet mooch off of those (your parents) who do what they have to do to keep you fed and a roof over your head (money) and pay for your internet (more money,) so you can afford to sit around being other worldly and unique and announcing your greatness it to the whole world (lazy.)

Get a job.

blueiiznh's avatar

Apathy will not get a person very far.
It may help if you find something you are very passionate about and simply let your love and passions help you make the next decisions.

longtresses's avatar

You know, seriously, it’s not so much the money that’s the problem. This is about identity. In many Asian families children are never asked what they want to do once they grow up. It’s just not brought up or discussed. As a result they have difficulties branching out on their own, unable to override the way of their family.

In general, in families that children are never asked about “what they want to do when they grow up” don’t have a chance to declare or refine their distinctiveness. This is perfectly functional in Asian society. Kids do what their families have been doing or they follow their friends; it doesn’t bother them. The more ambivalent kids get pulled by these influences.

Also, in Asian society their sense of self or who they are is fulfilled through relationships. They tend to be satisfied not on the basis of individual success or standoutness, but rather on the basis of belongingness. If you don’t belong in your group, it gets rather awkward. You can’t burn bridges too.

Many children of Asian immigrants have a similar problem regarding ambivalence about what they want. It can be conflicting, considering that in America to be functional requires a very different mindset.

@niki You’re Asian, right? I don’t know how much I understand your situation. You seem to be torn between your own needs and your parents’ old ways. I think that’s where it all starts, and you add other issues into this, and you drown yourself in a preponderance of irrelevant issues. You kept saying you’re confused, but actually you’re asking for permission to do your own thing. You already know that you want to do music but this whole follow-your-passion thing doesn’t fly with your family and friends.

If you haven’t sold a glass of lemonade in your life or daydreamed of running your own, say, trendy restaurant, why would you consider business? Business people are excited about opportunities and new ventures. You’re not. So what are you doing there?

So….... this is getting long. You need to do whatever you need to do. Actors go to acting school and land auditions and take risks. You want to be a musician, you’re not an exception. It’s also ESSENTIAL that you surround yourself with like-minded people; we become our environment. Stop wallowing in guilt. Tell your parents that you need 3 more years and you’ll be off on your own. They will understand. Make up your mind and don’t waste time looking back.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Where did Asian come in? What did I miss?
My folks never asked me what I wanted to do or be when I grew up. They simply made it clear that after HS I would either A) Go to college or B) Move out. I A and B’d.

longtresses's avatar

@Dutchess_III I saw in his previous posts that he’s Asian. In Asian families connection is more treasured than independence; I rarely hear about the move-out ultimatum at age 18.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well….somebody has to make some money! What’s he going to do when his folks get old and die?

niki's avatar

@longtresses yes you’re correct, I’m an Asian. even more, I’m Chinese-Indonesian, and it seems like all the “nightmare” combination that you could think of, in terms of pursuing anything ‘creative’, let alone in something non-mainstream such as music!

What is somewhat tearing me apart is the fact that I used to study for 4 years & graduated from US (LA) in Business Finance & Management degree, all which also were because of ‘pushed’ by my Chinese parents & uncle, and afterward went straight back to Indonesia, to work in the running family-business for 7 years, which I eventually quit because I simply couldn’t hold it any longer, I have NO interest at all in continuing the business.

As if to make matter worse, I have always been the type of an ‘obedient, obeying’ kid who held all my feelings inside (introverted) and never voiced it out to my parents,..but last year was the climax, as I simply couldn’t hold any longer,..and I even honestly often almost cried whenever I’m seeing some (not many though!) friends of mine who’ve kept pursuing their dreams, and some MADE it, and they look very happy!..while here I am, just getting all down, depressed, even blaming the whole world, for almost 7 years.

So now I’m deciding that things really need start to change,
or I’ll probably go into a much worse condition.

niki's avatar

and I don’t know if things are already late or not (that’s why I asked some other questions back then in fluther, about whether it’s all too late for me to pursue my true, utmost dream as a musician),..but I do know that I better get started now,..or I’ll REGRET it even much much more into a worse condition!

and @longtresses , you’re right once again,..I think I seriously need a change of environment, because my current environment (ie: family, society around me) seems seriously hampering my dreams, they even view it as ‘abnormal, crazy, silly’ dreams, and too often told me to just get REAL or be Realistic!
but I think, if being sour in the name of “being realistic” is all there is in Life,.then it’s probably better for me to NOT continue living, I mean, what for?! isn’t Happiness is really really worth fighting, chasing, and to live for??

So yes,..I would really need to change environment, and I’m actually seriously thinking of moving & studying overseas for some periods of time (maybe 2 years),..but again as I’ve mentioned above, the problem is the usual: Time & Money, also parents’ responses!
so here I still ‘stuck’ and trying to figure out what I really have to do to break this problem, get into my dreams/goals in life..

Seelix's avatar

Why does what your parents think about you studying abroad matter? You’re an adult. If you want to do it, do it.

rooeytoo's avatar

If you are liberated enough to refuse to work in the family business then you should be liberated enough to do what you want to do.

The more I listen to you talk (I want to say whine but I am trying to be kind) I come to the conclusion that you need counseling. You seem to have a lot more issues than just the inability to cut the apron strings. Do yourself a favor and find someone who can help you.

anartist's avatar

There’s such a thing as working [even in the family business] by day and doing music at night, solo or with a band. Lots of people do it. If you have small talents, you can start small, parties etc. Or if you are able to, local clubs and beyond.

My nephew was an underachiever, hard driven by his Wharton Business School father. All he wanted to do was rap music. No college no nothing. He went to work for a local restaurant as a bus-boy and did his music, first with school friends [The Commom Crew], then alone as Loki. He developed a following in the area, now plays many area and non-area clubs, colleges and universities.

He also kept working, made it up to bartender at the restaurant, went back to school in business and is developing a recording studio business. My brother and sister-in-law finally attended one of his concerts. It’s the passion TO DO that you need. Liking people helps too. He genuinely likes the people at the family restaurant where he works, at his university, and his family, friends and fans. [He’s away from his Cleveland venue right now doing a tour in Minneapolis MN and ?.

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keobooks's avatar

If I were you, I’d go get an evaluation at a sliding scale mental health clinic. You may have very low level but pervasive depression – aka dysthymia. With this condition, you may not feel depressed, but your motivation threshold will be set very low and you will have almost no initiative to get up and do anything.

Even if you don’t have any sort of condition at all, but just lack the motivation, a councillor can help you find direction. Sliding scales are based on your income, so you won’t have to pay much. Maybe you could get help paying for it if you still had no money.

willynills's avatar

niki, I really empathize with your situation. Many of the other commenters are trying their best to give you dose of reality, but I want to give you a dose of sympathy. I think that you sense and feel the evil in the world more than many people. I think you cannot function well in this great evil that pervades our society. You are hurting because the world is hurting you. And you cannot escape the world without more pain. I think it is ok to slow down and reflect on the great evil of the world. I also think it is ok to blame the world for much of your pain. You are not in complete control. You do not have complete personal responsibility or control. And yet you are told by so many people that YOU are the problem, that YOU are ill. You are suffering in a cruel world. Many of us are suffering in this cruel world. We are increasingly pressured, even by our fellow man, to live a mechanical life. We are told that we are what we do and that we are fully responsible for what we do. This is not true. We are not completely, or even mostly, free. You are not insane for rejecting the money system. You are not insane for avoiding the perversions of the business world. You are hurting. I think you should choose courage in the face of this cold and uncaring world. You live in a world that largely does not know you or care about you. You are largely alone. This is hurting you. I think you should continue to complain about the world. The so-called realists need to be reminded of the pain it is causing you. Some would advise you to shut up and get on with your life. Fuck them. They are less realistic for ignoring the pervasive pain. While you should be honest and vocal about how society is hurting its members, you should also seriously seek the islands of good in this life. Some people do care about you. Nurture them and hold them dear. Everyday life is full of minor happy moments. Scoop these up like little gems and remind yourself of their existence. Your impulse to move beyond the existing economic menu is correct; take it a step further and redefine yourself in stereo; you are more than what you do or have done economically – much more. You are unique. You were put in this world for a reason. You are the only one who see the world as you see it. So your relative solitude is also a gift. Walk through life – don’t run. Savor life in all its facets. Challenge this great evil that continues to kill the souls of man. Challenge this economic machine that makes men turn on each other. You are important in this lonely world. Take heart and show the world that you are here to stay.

niki's avatar

@willynills : heart and soul is deeply touched by your comment.. your post not only give ‘answer’, but it has greatly encouraged me, and gave me strength and inspirations needed to continue the path that I’ve been walking, and to know that there’s nothing wrong with me, that’s very strengthening.
I’m also very glad that I’m NOT alone in feeling all like these, and that there are other person/people who can ‘see’ things like I do, and even confirmed furthermore in such a clear writings!
I really can’t say thank you enough for your post! from the bottom of my heart, once again: thank you! :)

LuckyGuy's avatar

Hey @niki It has been a long time since you posted this question. Please let us know how your situation changed. Did you progress? Did things improve?
Do you have advice for the next person with a similar problem?
Thanks. People care.

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