Starting Anew

Piling on, I'll recommend lots of the same things. I don't think this precise thing has been mentioned, so I'm hoping it's a positive contribution.

I offer two points:

* Travel
* Don't wait too long

On the first, even if you can run around the States. You may find a place that offers enough to offset whatever work you're doing. For me, Albuquerque calls me. The desert, the mountains, proximity to so much cool stuff. I mean, I sat on the side of a mountain and watched clouds form. Don't even get me started.

On the second, while respectfully avoiding hijacking your thread, I'm in a similar situation in that I'm over a decade into a job I hate daily and feel that any substantive change requires a big step. That's about where you're at. Thing is, I have a mortgage and several mouths to feed and other responsibilities contingent with being a father and homeowner. It's not impossible for me to change my work, but I've waited too long for roughly the same fear you feel. (I'm reading this thread selfishly.)

If you can help it, don't wait until you've added even more inertial dampening to your situation. Take an odd second job. Start trying new stuff to find something that drive's you. A few years ago i came home to find my wife, having never had that thing that really compelled her, crying in the kitchen. Why? The grandeur of the universe, the scale of things, had newly overwhelmed her, shaken her. She began studying physics at university and even though she found that she wasn't interested in more university education, she still gained something from it.

I hate to make or read universal wisdom on the human condition, but I feel that we could do well to put ourselves in vulnerable positions to move on.

Hope that helps.

FlamingPeasant wrote:

Go hike the AT. Will give you plenty of time to think.

Or the PCT. Or go do farm work in Australia. Or work on a ship somewhere. Nothing says escaping the midwest like becoming a sailor.

@IHateDRM

Glad we're helping each other. All it took was more courage and less fear. I'm moving on from the years of uselessness to society and my psyche, to something positive.

@boogle

I sort of put that thread out of my mind because I thought it was something I couldn't achieve. I liked reading the first page or two, months ago, but stopped since it felt a little "inside baseball" to me, and I was intimidated. Favorited, and I might find time for it if I decide that's my direction.

@Montalban

Added to my limited daily reading material.

@Mimble

I'm pretty sure I know how/why I was in the head space I've been in. I've had a few years to think about it.

Talking to the people in charge is a great idea, and one I'll definitely use!

@Sonicator

Exactly, I'd love to have that pull, that drive to a specific goal. Inspirational videos sounds like a good road to travel.

@FlamingPeasant & muraii

I'd love to travel. To see the world and feel a part of it. I could even have an epiphany. My issue is that I feel I've squandered enough of my time, that I need to progress other aspects of my life before what could prove to be an amazing experience. Also, Winter's a pretty damn good excuse.

Take care and be strong, muraii.

muraii wrote:

Piling on, I'll recommend lots of the same things. I don't think this precise thing has been mentioned, so I'm hoping it's a positive contribution.

I offer two points:

* Travel
* Don't wait too long

This a thousand times. I have few regrets in life, but one of them is that I didn't travel when I was younger. I'm making up for it now and I somehow managed to sort out what I wanted to do in life and where I wanted to live, but college was helpful in that process. My advice to anyone at your point is roughly the same. You're young, but on the cusp of needing to think about "getting serious" and planning for retirement, etc.

So before that time comes go travel. See the country. See the world. Take jobs in other places if you can. You're bound to stumble into a community where you feel at home or find the kind of work that rewards and challenges you. More importantly you'll have some sense (if and when you do "settle" on what to do with the rest of your life) of what you really want to do with your life. In your position it can be paralyzing because you feel like you need to make the "correct" decision right now. You know something needs to change, but people are often fearful of changing and doing the "wrong" thing. Problem is you don't know what the "wrong" thing is. So it's better to figure out through experience.

cyrax wrote:

@FlamingPeasant & muraii

I'd love to travel. To see the world and feel a part of it. I could even have an epiphany. My issue is that I feel I've squandered enough of my time, that I need to progress other aspects of my life before what could prove to be an amazing experience. Also, Winter's a pretty damn good excuse.

I would disagree with both of those things. Travel can happen whenever you want. My wife and I travel extensively now but it's REALLY expensive. It's expensive and companies don't tend to love someone running off for 3 weeks, much less 3 months. In your shoes I would most definitely try to be a semi-employed world traveler for a bit. I would do it in a heartbeat. This is a terrible economy still. You're not missing out on any life-changing job in all likelihood. You're not going to waste your life by *living* your life.

As far as winter goes, they don't really have winter in some parts of the world. Not in the way you currently know it. My wife and I went to Costa Rica a couple of years ago and we were blown away by the capacity for expats to make a living abroad (same with Guatemala). We came across B&Bs, restaurants, dive shops, hostels and all kinds of places where kids were working for rent and food while learning a trade.

One of the most beautiful places in the world is Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. There's a hostel / restaurant there called La Iguana de Perdida where kids cook, clean, learn how to scuba dive and then later teach others to scuba dive. It's quite incredible. They manage to cobble together a living that allows them to see the world and experience a new community and then many of them move along to the next place. I was so jealous when I saw that, it was ridiculous.

Hey man. I'm glad you posted this. It takes guts.
I was struggling to find what I wanted to to (and still do a little). I strongly agree with tracking down a community college class that sounds interesting. Don't worry about a career or degree track. Just take one class. Take something that sounds interesting. Even if it doesn't lead anywhere, you're likely to meet new people who share an interest with you.

DSGamer wrote:

One of the most beautiful places in the world is Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. There's a hostel / restaurant there called La Iguana de Perdida where kids cook, clean, learn how to scuba dive and then later teach others to scuba dive. It's quite incredible. They manage to cobble together a living that allows them to see the world and experience a new community and then many of them move along to the next place. I was so jealous when I saw that, it was ridiculous.

When I did my scuba qualification the place I went to had a career development programme. They did full dive master, boat skipper even tractor mechanic training (tractors are used to launch the boats) and the trainees work for the company in the mean time. Our instructors were a couple of 18 year old girls who were awesome.

I use a lot of air when I dive, so on the last dive when I ran out they stuck me back on the boat and I chatted to the skipper. He had been a network administrator for a bank, had thrown it in to learn to dive, give classes and wash his boat while other people dived, he was one of the most satisfied people I ever met.

i nearly signed up when I got back to shore, there's still a part of me that regrets not doing so, especially this year.

I've skimmed because I am lazy, not because I don't care.

Try this when you get 5 minutes.

http://www.myfuture.edu.au/

The section you want to explore is the guide, but maybe watch the YouTubes first.

It is Australian, but I promise it won't recommend just a choice of cattle rearing, sheep droving, or crocodile hunting.

I had a career crisis at the start of this year. I'd been a Designer for almost 19 years. It managed to pick out that the thing I cherished most from my old life was communication (visual and verbal) and the mentoring I got to do with the younger designers.

I'm now on a path to becoming a teacher on their recommendations. Give it a go, you have nothing to lose (except a bit of time) and it may help steer you in a direction you hadn't decided to follow or realised you were interested in.

At the very least it might give you direction on those community college courses you might want to sample, and they could always transfer to future academic credits through a recognition of prior learning if you take it further that way.

Dude, at 26, you have squandered nothing. You're just getting started.

FlamingPeasant wrote:

Dude, at 26, you have squandered nothing. You're just getting started.

I'll add to that, I'm 39 with two small kids and doing the life reboot. You are never too old to change, or left it too late to try something new.

m0nk3yboy wrote:
FlamingPeasant wrote:

Dude, at 26, you have squandered nothing. You're just getting started.

I'll add to that, I'm 39 with two small kids and doing the life reboot. You are never too old to change, or left it too late to try something new. ;)

Would be interested in how you're going about it, if you're up for it.

I don't feel I've come closer to a decision. I'm pretty sure I over think things, and try to come to a near perfect solution. I take my time in strategy/tactics games, and it's the reason I had to give up Frozen Synapse. Turns were taking up to 30min. At the same time, being cautious has advantages. I think I need to find a balance of preparation and action.

I'm going to give myself some time tonight to make a list of near future goals until I can't think of anymore.

Whenever I make up my mind, I feel like a could leave within a few days. I've got most of my belongings organized. I'd need to sell a few things, give old clothes away (wow was that closet full), and pack the rest.

Transportation is another issue as I currently own no means of it. I suppose it's best for me to do that after I get to my destination, because I wouldn't want to return to solve any issues that might arise.

@DSGamer

Thanks for the suggestions and inspiration.

@Phishposer

High-five!

@m0nk3yboy

I only did the first part (3 page survey), and it gave me a limited list of jobs that was very apparent from the survey. Perhaps it gets more specialized as you use it?

@FlamingPeasant

Overall, that's very fair. It just doesn't feel like it from my experiences.

@muraii

I'd love to see more sharing from this topic, too, not just confined to my growth. Anyone's more than welcome to share their own struggles. I invite you to.

Come visit Seattle and stay with us. I'll show you around and give you a chance to stretch your wings.

There's a house in Akron that I'm sure would put you up for a while (though you should check with them before I volunteer them).

@cyrax: I think I did more than three pages. Not sure if they've truncated it, or if there is more to follow through. I went through what seemed like 20 pages, where they asked questions like inside or outside. Adding numbers or digging a hole. That sort of thing. It even suggested airline pilot as one of my options.

I think it got more interesting in some related suggestions when I started filling out personal attributes and other information in the profile. I think it is (or was) one of those sites where the more you drop in, the better, and more tangentially related, the skill set references/recommendations get.

muraii wrote:
m0nk3yboy wrote:
FlamingPeasant wrote:

Dude, at 26, you have squandered nothing. You're just getting started.

I'll add to that, I'm 39 with two small kids and doing the life reboot. You are never too old to change, or left it too late to try something new. ;)

Would be interested in how you're going about it, if you're up for it.

If cyrax is OK with my grabbing a bit of thread space...

Pre-reboot:
I worked fulltime as a Graphic Designer
Wife worked part-time
Between us we cleared enough to 'get by' with two small kids (aged 3 and 4.5) and cover Daycare costs on the 2 days a week my wife worked (no family to use as support).

Reboot:
Wife now works fulltime, same salary as I was on previously (Graphic Designers get sh*t pay down here, even ones in 'senior roles' like I was).
I slot my study into the two days that the kids are in Daycare, looking after them fulltime on the days I'm not in Uni. One will be starting pre-school soon, so that will make things a bit easier too.
I took up a night fill position at the local Supermarket to cover the financial shortfall. I work 6pm-Midnight, 5 days a week, which picks up the slack financially. I also do the occasional freelance Design job for a few old contacts I made in the industry. We use that as bonus money for things we haven't budgeted for.

It's a fair bit of work, and I'm pretty wrung out, but every time I get down, I remind myself what I'm doing it for, or steal a hug from the kids, and it picks me up.

Let me if I've missed anything, or if there is something more you'd like to know

cyrax wrote:

@FlamingPeasantOverall, that's very fair. It just doesn't feel like it from my experiences.

Oh yeah, I believe it. I felt so old at 26. And I was coming out of a skibum/pothead phase with a similar lack of direction. You have plenty of time, don't stress yourself out.

m0nk3yboy wrote:
muraii wrote:
m0nk3yboy wrote:

I'll add to that, I'm 39 with two small kids and doing the life reboot. You are never too old to change, or left it too late to try something new. ;)

Would be interested in how you're going about it, if you're up for it.

If cyrax is OK with my grabbing a bit of thread space...

Pre-reboot:
I worked fulltime as a Graphic Designer
Wife worked part-time
Between us we cleared enough to 'get by' with two small kids (aged 3 and 4.5) and cover Daycare costs on the 2 days a week my wife worked (no family to use as support).

Reboot:
Wife now works fulltime, same salary as I was on previously (Graphic Designers get sh*t pay down here, even ones in 'senior roles' like I was).
I slot my study into the two days that the kids are in Daycare, looking after them fulltime on the days I'm not in Uni. One will be starting pre-school soon, so that will make things a bit easier too.
I took up a night fill position at the local Supermarket to cover the financial shortfall. I work 6pm-Midnight, 5 days a week, which picks up the slack financially. I also do the occasional freelance Design job for a few old contacts I made in the industry. We use that as bonus money for things we haven't budgeted for.

It's a fair bit of work, and I'm pretty wrung out, but every time I get down, I remind myself what I'm doing it for, or steal a hug from the kids, and it picks me up.

Let me if I've missed anything, or if there is something more you'd like to know :)

Thanks. My wife and I have talked about a similar switch. I finished a degree I loved but compromised on, hoping it would open up some doors. Of course, in hindsight, that's not how it works. I still value the education, but something's gotta give. I'm working on that.

Not sure if I want to not work full time, but we home school our youngest boys and I enjoy when I take time to work with them. I'd like to do it more, but I'd also like to keep our standard of living up. I guess it takes factoring in the quality of living too, and I currently cuss a lot during the work day. I assume it's probably the same at other companies, by induction (it's still humans I'd be working with) so unless the work is sufficiently closer to what I want to do (for which I'm currently underqualified), I don't want to jump ship.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Thanks for taking the time, everyone.

I've made a commitment to myself that I'm going to tell my parents tonight. Not to much of a reason beyond it was on my mind today at work. I would also like to move within a few weeks, and I think it's only fair if my employer knows he'll be a man down shortly. Also, I just had to decide this around Thanksgiving. Right now, it feels weird to potentially tell my family that we may not be together for Thanksgiving. It's seventeen days away. That may be a good goodbye, as most of my family will be there.

@Edwin

That's extremely generous and kind of you. Minutes later and I still can't think of anything else to say. At the least, thanks for giving me a clear(er) option. I'll seriously consider going across the country. Adventure!

@oilypenguin

?

@m0nk3yboy

That's fair, I'll invest more time into the site tonight.

@FlamingPeasant

I'll try not to. I'm trying to use it positively, to help drive myself forward.

Thanks for sharing, m0nk3yboy and muraii.

Just goes to show being nervous shouldn't have a hold on a person's social interactions. Hmm? Oh, I told my parents I would be moving out shortly and they reacted like I told them the Sun would come up tomorrow. Definitely not what I was expecting. Maybe I caught them off guard? They didn't seem surprised...or, well, anything. They just made a few reasonable comments about moving, and we went back to watching TV once the commercial was over.

Well, back to planning.

cyrax:

I get the feeling that they've been seeing what you've been going through all along and were just waiting for you to make a move. In some ways, pushing kids out the door defeats the entire purpose of it - to inspire them to have initiative and ambitions.

I doubt it, knowing them. I was expecting a negative response. Well, I guess I can be positive and hope my departure is welcomed.

FlamingPeasant wrote:

Dude, at 26, you have squandered nothing. You're just getting started.

This is so important to grok. No one gives a sh*t what you do in your 20s. Best thing you can do is explore and try different things.

What qualifications does one need to teach English overseas? I know we have some Goodjers doing that.

cyrax wrote:

I doubt it, knowing them. I was expecting a negative response. Well, I guess I can be positive and hope my departure is welcomed.

They've been hanging out for 'no kids in the house' sex for almost 27 years. Don't be surprised if you get home and they've already got you boxes and some packing tape.

Apologies for that mental image

m0nk3yboy wrote:
cyrax wrote:

I doubt it, knowing them. I was expecting a negative response. Well, I guess I can be positive and hope my departure is welcomed.

They've been hanging out for 'no kids in the house' sex for almost 27 years. Don't be surprised if you get home and they've already got boxes and some packing tape.

Apologies for that mental image ;)

That is a weird mental image. I don't think my parents use boxes or packing tape during sex.

I don't think so, at least.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:
m0nk3yboy wrote:
cyrax wrote:

I doubt it, knowing them. I was expecting a negative response. Well, I guess I can be positive and hope my departure is welcomed.

They've been hanging out for 'no kids in the house' sex for almost 27 years. Don't be surprised if you get home and they've already got boxes and some packing tape.

Apologies for that mental image ;)

That is a weird mental image. I don't think my parents use boxes or packing tape during sex.

I don't think so, at least.

Are you sure?

Durex is a brand of condoms made by a UK based company.
It could also refer to:
A popular brand of adhesive tape manufactured in parts of Latin America and the USA by 3M

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durex_(disambiguation)

Chumpy_McChump wrote:
m0nk3yboy wrote:
cyrax wrote:

I doubt it, knowing them. I was expecting a negative response. Well, I guess I can be positive and hope my departure is welcomed.

They've been hanging out for 'no kids in the house' sex for almost 27 years. Don't be surprised if you get home and they've already got boxes and some packing tape.

Apologies for that mental image ;)

That is a weird mental image. I don't think my parents use boxes or packing tape during sex.

I don't think so, at least.

Thus formed the kernel of my next (read: first) script, working title "Parentnormal Activity".

I'm casting Julie White, natch.

So apparently my Dad didn't hear my little talk on moving out the night before. I thought it was odd he didn't say anything. I feel gleefully foolish about that. He had a surprisingly heartwarming talk with me before work the next day. He mainly talked about his feelings, which my parents never do, and general thoughts about life and moving on. It made me feel really good to see that side of him, which I've only seen a few times, the side that should be the default for humankind, especially family. He's been nicer in general since, which is great.

I still haven't opened up about my feelings though. I didn't think I would want to before he talked to me. I just figured I'd relocate, then relieve years of emotion onto a psych, and move on with my life. My heart says to open up, but the humanity in me doesn't want to take a dump on their hearts and tell them that they were sh*t parents.

I had a longer response typed up and ready to go, but my toddler climbed over my keyboard and zapped it.

Basically, I had nothing to add that others had already mentioned, but wanted to say that I was in a very similar position 8-10 years ago (28-30) and restarted. It sounds like you're on your way, so I'm sure you'll sort things out soon. I may do a soft reboot in 2013. As m0nk3yboy mentioned, don't worry about being too old at 26.

I wouldn't mention your dissatisfaction with your parents to them. I don't know if anything really constructive will come of that, unless you know of a reason why such a talk would turn the situation around. They'll probably just think that you're trying to offload blame for your unhappiness.

peedmyself wrote:

I wouldn't mention your dissatisfaction with your parents to them. I don't know if anything really constructive will come of that, unless you know of a reason why such a talk would turn the situation around. They'll probably just think that you're trying to offload blame for your unhappiness.

Sure, and true, but that would be part of the catharsis. When I was younger, immature, and naive, I mostly blamed them and the circumstances around me. Now I know I share a great deal of the blame, and I'm the owner of my actions, or lack thereof.

Time for an update almost a month later. Fortunately for my pleasure, but unfortunately for my dedication, I had a bit of time off in the weeks following my last post. My co-worker had surgery, so I got a few days off. Then, the next week I don't think I had to work a day, just odd jobs if anything. I spent all my time reading articles, forums, and twitter, watching videos, and playing games. I lost my drive. Honestly, that's what always occurs a short while after I put my mind to something.

After falling off the wagon hard, I'm ready to stand back up. I had a 10 hour day on Tuesday, sitting in a Bobcat most of the time, I had a nice flash back to reality and what's important. I told my dad that since he needed me the next day, it was going to be my last. I spent Thursday perusing job and relocating sites, in which I found that no game company advertises for internships. Of course it won't be that painless. Friday was goof off day, even though I constantly told myself otherwise. Later in the day, I got inspiration from the unlikeliest of sources, the Spike VGAs. No, their original content didn't do it for me. Rather, it was the celebration of games, future and past, that got me emotional. I love this medium. So what if it's going to be hard, at least it's something I look forward to striving toward.

That's my goal and I'm sticking to it. I want to work in the space, but I need to find my strengths. My first step is to make a game. Not too big a step given the tools of today, but quite time consuming. I think it's necessary for me to prove to myself what I'm capable of, and test out what I like. I used last weekend to try and develop in Stencyl, but around my 3rd roadblock I couldn't find a solution, so I stopped working. I'm going to be better at asking for help, which is to say more than none.

Thanks to CY's Hug Marine articles, I've got the software downloaded I'll use, and I even setup my own website (Wordpress!). Putting rubber to road, I'm going to make my game in 48 hours, challenged by Indie Speed Run. Motivation! To make a long post shorter, I'll end by saying follow me on Twitter and Upgraded Life, my blog. Networking!

Teach English in Asia. You will be treated like a king, you'll be on a tight budget but you'll never be broke, but nobody I know who has ever done this has regretted the experience. Generally if you want to remain in an urban semi-westernized atmosphere, work in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan or Shanghai. If you don't mind getting rural, Northern China, Philippines, or Vietnam.

It's not a permanent answer, but definitely will etch-a-sketch your life and put everything in perspective.