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On A (somewhat Rambling) Personal Note...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Saundie, Nov 30, 2013.

On A (somewhat Rambling) Personal Note...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Saundie, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. Saundie

    Saundie Prototype Staff Member Tagged

    Good evening, gentlemen. In a rare break from tradition, I am going to post something of a personal nature. Bear with me; I am not having a mental breakdown, nor am I coming out of the closet (sorry to disappoint you Amish). It seems to be more like a mild version of what most people call a mid-life crisis; a quarter life crisis, if you will. There’s nothing really wrong per se, I’m just having a general pervasive feeling that I’m not where I should be in life by now.

    Those of you who have been around a while may remember me dropping a massive amount of weight a few years ago. After years of suffering morbid obesity, I spent a year going from 330lb to 165lb. It’s probably the biggest change I’ve ever made in my life, and while many people would see it as a great success, I can’t help but feel as though I’ve merely fixed something that I broke. It feels as though I’ve simply gotten myself back to what passes from normal.

    My career feels similarly underwhelming. Having spent a decade working in IT (with a gap of a year while I got my weight under control), I’ve only just managed to move up from the first rung of the ladder. The fact that I work for a financial institution in London means that the salary is quite a bit above the national average, there are good perks including a training allowance, and there is at least some degree of opportunity for promotion. Despite this, I can’t help but thinking I should be doing better by now, though to be honest I can’t think of anything specifically I could be doing.

    As for my personal life, well, most people would say that it has the largest scope for improvement, but I actually place it below everything else. The only thing that gets to me about my current situation is that I still live with my parents, which isn’t uncomfortable, but it’s certainly embarrassing. It puts me off of pursuing any meaningful relationships with women, as I can’t bear the inevitable shame of having to confess that I’m still living at home. I don’t feel dependant on my parents, however, and it’s not as though they’re still doing my washing, cooking etc but still, I don’t feel as though I am my own man, as it were.

    The main problem, I guess, is that I still don’t feel like a “proper man” – I still feel like a teenager who’s trying to decide what to do with their life. I know that most of the members here are roughly my age, if not a little older, and I would like to see how you dealt with these sort of self-doubts. How do you reassure yourself that you’re not completely wasting your life? Is it all about personal relationships, being a family man etc. or is there more to being a man than even that?

    By the way, if you managed to get this far; thanks for reading this little essay.
  2. DragonSVD

    DragonSVD Professional Target Staff Member Tagged

    I hit something of this nature around 26. I wasnt where I wanted to be and honestly, I didnt have a clue how to get there. Then The dot com boom opened up for me. I moved to silicon valley and started to get my life together. Just didnt really know where that was headed, but at least i didnt have to worry about paying rent. It honestly took me until I was 30 before I felt confident in what I was doing and my skill set. I met my wife at this time (almost 14 years ago). By 35 I was starting t lose it again, hated my boss, but didnt want to leave the company because we were preparing to move to prague in 8 months. i suffered though it and we finally did move. The ONE thing I completely regret is not getting my finances in order when I was younger. I bought my first house at 34, should have been a lot earlier. Now you have a great opportunity to begin that process too. This kind of thing really adds some direction and responsibility to your life. As you said, living with your parents isnt that great, but I hope you have been able to save a good deal of cash. BTW, living with your parents is not embarrassing. That is only in your head because you feel like you are being judged for it, but it probably comes because you feel guilty about it in some way. A girl that matters isnt going to care, and when it matters enough with the girl, hell you can move in together :) Seriously, you can just tell any girl that you need to tell, that you live at home because the rent is cheap and honestly you are saving as much up as you can for your financial future. THAT is going to be something sesible girl would love about you. Hell, i wouldnt not in any way call myself handsome and most people would think that my wife was with me for money, except when I met her I didnt have any :) I just took care of her every chance i could and that gave her the sense of security she needed more than having a hot husband.

    Now, here is something else to think about. IT isnt fun really, no one ever appreciates what you do and most finance people are trying to figure out ways to cut your budget to make it impossible to get anything done. So, it can be really stressful and not very rewarding to be in IT. I hated it when I did it. What I found was that I had a knack for security. I also found I liked it more than IT, hell it even pays better. People hate me more then ever, no one likes security :) BUT there is great satisfaction in doing the job well. My main websites have 200,000 attacks a day on them and none have ever gotten through under my watch. My suggestion is to consider a change from IT to something still IT related but more specific. Try a more people person role perhaps IT Project Management. It wont hurt you if you want to stick with IT later. Same with security.

    Here is another crazy suggestion, go to university if you havent, and if you have get an MBA. Night school can help you in your career and you get to meet some interesting people that arent from work. When I moved to Czech I did that, signed up for a 6 month intensive Czech language program at the uni here. I only stuck with it for 4 months before getting recruited for a job but I still have friends from that class. You might even consider trying a new job in another country, can be fun. Hell if I was your age and not in a relationship I would even consider getting an IT job on a cruise ship :) Heard that can be really fun as most IT on cruise ships are considered officers.

    Not sure if any of that helps, but this is preparing you for mid life crisis which is worse :)
  3. Saundie

    Saundie Prototype Staff Member Tagged

    Thanks for taking the time to reply, Dragon-SVD. I have read your post a few times over the past week, and I have to say you do make some reasonable points.

    You are right in saying that I feel guilty for still living with my parents. One of the main reasons I am still here is my extremely weak grasp on my finances. I am terrible for making extravagant impulse purchases, and that has meant that I have essentially no savings. Even if I had saved just 10% of what I've earned over the past decade I'd feel a lot better about the situation, but the fact is I piss my money away on useless consumer junk on a constant basis. Despite being fully aware of my tendencies for quite some time, I still haven’t been able to rein in my spending.

    To be brutally honest, I can think of few things less appealing than going to university at this point. I’m finally in a somewhat respectable job, earning somewhat respectable wage, and to go back to school now would feel like such a huge step backward. I also cannot think of anything that I have sufficient interest in to pursue all the way to degree level. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but a couple of years ago Uni fees were increased dramatically in this country; it’s not uncommon for people to finish a three year degree with over £25k of debt. I can’t help but think such an amount would be better invested in property – it would be enough to put down a deposit on a place of my own.

    Don’t get me wrong; I don’t feel like an abject failure. I don’t feel like giving up and calling it a day. I just feel constrained by my inability to decide what I want out of life. Unlike most guys my age, I am really not interested in going out drinking every weekend, chasing women for one night stands and the other related hedonist pursuits. Without wishing to sound arrogant, I’ve always believed that lifestyle to be a cop-out for blokes who aren’t prepared to cultivate something more meaningful and therefore worthwhile.

    The problem is, I’m struggling to find what it is exactly that I want to cultivate. I realise that I am probably coming across as hideously pretentious, but surely there’s more to life than being a wage slave during the week, then pissing it all away at the weekend. I’m not saying I want to become a priest or anything like that, I just want to do something that actually means something. Working in IT would be more rewarding if people saw it as a wonderful facilitator instead of an unfortunate but necessary evil.

    I keep making half-hearted attempts at getting my **** together, looking at various philosophies to try to find a suitable framework from which to build upon, but nothing seems to stick. It makes me wonder if I’m looking in the wrong places for inspiration… though I really am going off on a tangent now!
  4. DragonSVD

    DragonSVD Professional Target Staff Member Tagged

    Yah, and the hardest part of change is leaving your comfort zones, even if they dont really make you all that happy. Look into cross training, or self studying in InfoSec. You may find you like it and it would give a chance for change, probably better change in my opinion :)

    I pissed away all of my money too until I was 29 and change to the InfoSec role. I have never been a go out partying or one night stand guy too...and my hobby at your age was gaming :) that was my nightly round of fun, 6 hours a night at least playing Asheron's Call I think at that time.
  5. Saundie

    Saundie Prototype Staff Member Tagged

    So really what you're saying is that I need to get over myself, that it's time to look beyond my comfort zone and put some effort into trying something new? I must confess, the idea terrifies me. I am completely unaccustomed to failure, having been so risk adverse I rarely do anything I could fail.