Mid 30s and no progress in life - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-17-2020, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Mid 30s and no progress in life


Feeling like time has stopped after graduating uni in my early 20s. No progress since then. No motivation. All I want to do is to keep hiding in the house. I avoid friends or meeting new people like a plague fearing that they would ask the infamous questions like what I do for a living, etc. Also at this age they talk about marriage, owning properties, cars which I don't have the interest/motivation to talk about, let alone achieve them.
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-23-2020, 12:56 PM
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well, I'm 46 now, and... well, I feel the same way. I don't want to live in the city i'm in, but I also nearly never get interviews for all the jobs I apply for. I apply for jobs in-town out of town, and out of state. Dozens every month, at minimum. No traction. No job offers. Always just email notes about "thanks but no thanks".
I have two college degrees and I have yet to secure a job that requires a bachelor's degree.
I keep being tempted to apply for a local apartment but my income is not quite comfortable to afford rent.

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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-29-2020, 10:33 AM
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My biggest regret is studying science at university. I spent 3 years doing a bachelors degree and I did so well that they offered me a place on a funded masters degree. I did that for another year. What a waste of time and stress.



I should have studied something useful like medicine, nursing, electrician etc. I could kick myself.


I have savings in the bank and I am resigned to the fact that I will have to "re-train".


When I look back, I can see all the things I did wrong. I was far, far too timid and didn't socialise. I didn't take any risks and do the things I wanted to do. My friends were too geeky. I didn't approach girls enough.



No time like the present though, I suppose. I run as a hobby and started volunteering at local events. I have told my parents that I will tide myself over with a retail job for now and do some classroom assistant work. My parents are nagging me to get a car.



I often feel completely lost if I'm honest.
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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-07-2020, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jim11 View Post
Feeling like time has stopped after graduating uni in my early 20s. No progress since then. No motivation. All I want to do is to keep hiding in the house. I avoid friends or meeting new people like a plague fearing that they would ask the infamous questions like what I do for a living, etc. Also at this age they talk about marriage, owning properties, cars which I don't have the interest/motivation to talk about, let alone achieve them.

If you haven't yet, I think you should take medication to alleviate SA, then you would at least start getting out of the house more often for a start. Take one step at a time!
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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 08-24-2020, 07:47 PM
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Same...Im 30, live at home, and work in a call center. Ive been trapped as a caregiver for my dad, and now mom my whole life. We're poor. I don't even have a car.

He who is unable to live in society,
or who has no need because he is sufficient
for himself, must either be a beast or a god.
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-01-2020, 08:50 AM
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I can relate to being mid 30's (34) currently and having no direction in my life, no goals, no ambition, my life is just where it is. By now I have only achieved, graduating high school, being a black belt, having 1 job I failed at, having 2 relationships, 1 which I failed at and the other is nowhere near where I thought it would be. I don't have my own place, a car, a stable job, I'm just wondering through life.


I feel like a failure in life, still living at home, taking care of my parents, cleaning, drinking. So I can relate, I'm the same, I have 2 friends now (my current GF) being one and my friend Paul, and I have nothing worthwhile to show in my life,I am too scared to meet new people for the very same reason you are, I'm afraid they are going to ask me what I do.

I wish you success and hope things do improve for you but I don't feel like I have any hope of it happening for me

I m afraid of not being enough
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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-01-2020, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by flykiwi View Post
Same...Im 30, live at home, and work in a call center. Ive been trapped as a caregiver for my dad, and now mom my whole life. We're poor. I don't even have a car.
I'm also a caregiver for my grandma and mom, I clean, (don't cook) do laundry, grocery shop, make sure we have what's needed. Its hard but I wanted to say, I feel what you're going through and to let you know you're a diamond in the rough, can only imagine how grateful your parents are, at least I hope they are for all you've done for them, especially being poor. Don't drive either,

I m afraid of not being enough
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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-01-2020, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jim11 View Post
Feeling like time has stopped after graduating uni in my early 20s. No progress since then. No motivation. All I want to do is to keep hiding in the house. I avoid friends or meeting new people like a plague fearing that they would ask the infamous questions like what I do for a living, etc. Also at this age they talk about marriage, owning properties, cars which I don't have the interest/motivation to talk about, let alone achieve them.

How old are you now? The college age years and your 20's where you are just starting your career are tough and confusing times for a lot of people. Do you have a job at all right now? What do you do job wise?

My advice is you have to start setting small goals. Careers goals, social goals and financial goals. Physical fitness goals as well. Dont worry if your behind other people. You want to be the best version of you that you can be. We all have different issues and struggles we have to deal with.

Motivation can be tough so like I said set small goals. Set a specific goal each day. Apply for x number of jobs. Hit the gym or workout x times per week and try to start conversations with people x times per day or week. Do that you will look back a year from now and see you made some great progress. Write your goals down really helps as well you dont want to just want them in your head.
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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-05-2020, 10:56 PM
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I'm in a similar tangle. Covid19 crisis has messed up plans even more for me I'd say. I was doing okay, had a weekend job, which then shut down. I am now unemployd, I live with husband and 2 children. But I'm not building on my job experience. I was also, on top of the weekend job, a head chair of an art show (this year had to be virtual) that is held once a year. I have to manage the committees and it is all volunteer. I literally fall sick before a meeting where I have to speak in front of 40 people or so. I accepted teh position because like you I am 34 years old and have not landed a "career job" yet. My weekend job was a salon as receptionist/front desk person. Not good pay and not that interesting. I really want a job as a web designer/developer. And again, now with covid19 everyone is after same work from home positions. Too much competition and I look awful to be out of the work force too long , not even ever having much experience in my chosen field. Ugh.

"As soon as you're born you start dyin'
So you might as well have a good time"

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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-06-2020, 05:39 AM
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You talk about a lack of motivation. Do you really have no motivation for anything at all?
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post #11 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-30-2020, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hypestyle View Post
well, I'm 46 now, and... well, I feel the same way. I don't want to live in the city i'm in, but I also nearly never get interviews for all the jobs I apply for. I apply for jobs in-town out of town, and out of state. Dozens every month, at minimum. No traction. No job offers. Always just email notes about "thanks but no thanks".
I have two college degrees and I have yet to secure a job that requires a bachelor's degree.
I keep being tempted to apply for a local apartment but my income is not quite comfortable to afford rent.
I got invited for most of the position I applied for but I never get passed the interview. I just sit at home now afraid to face the society because according to a society, a normal grown up must work a job, otherwise, he is abnormal.

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My biggest regret is studying science at university. I spent 3 years doing a bachelors degree and I did so well that they offered me a place on a funded masters degree. I did that for another year. What a waste of time and stress.



I should have studied something useful like medicine, nursing, electrician etc. I could kick myself.


I have savings in the bank and I am resigned to the fact that I will have to "re-train".


When I look back, I can see all the things I did wrong. I was far, far too timid and didn't socialise. I didn't take any risks and do the things I wanted to do. My friends were too geeky. I didn't approach girls enough.



No time like the present though, I suppose. I run as a hobby and started volunteering at local events. I have told my parents that I will tide myself over with a retail job for now and do some classroom assistant work. My parents are nagging me to get a car.



I often feel completely lost if I'm honest.
Yup too timid and afraid to socialise are two of my many problems. I went for funded postgrad studies as well but I never regretted or getting stressed out of it. I was actually enjoy it because I can do the research on my own pace and my advisors are quite supportive in my research.


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Originally Posted by NotFullyHere View Post
If you haven't yet, I think you should take medication to alleviate SA, then you would at least start getting out of the house more often for a start. Take one step at a time!
To be honest, I don't know where to get help. Mental issues are not something we openly to about here, unfortunately.

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Originally Posted by flykiwi View Post
Same...Im 30, live at home, and work in a call center. Ive been trapped as a caregiver for my dad, and now mom my whole life. We're poor. I don't even have a car.
I got myself a pre-owned car a couple of years ago. My mom helped me to pay 30% of the total cost of the car. Of course, till these days I haven't pay back my mom.

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Originally Posted by The Patriot View Post
I can relate to being mid 30's (34) currently and having no direction in my life, no goals, no ambition, my life is just where it is. By now I have only achieved, graduating high school, being a black belt, having 1 job I failed at, having 2 relationships, 1 which I failed at and the other is nowhere near where I thought it would be. I don't have my own place, a car, a stable job, I'm just wondering through life.


I feel like a failure in life, still living at home, taking care of my parents, cleaning, drinking. So I can relate, I'm the same, I have 2 friends now (my current GF) being one and my friend Paul, and I have nothing worthwhile to show in my life,I am too scared to meet new people for the very same reason you are, I'm afraid they are going to ask me what I do.

I wish you success and hope things do improve for you but I don't feel like I have any hope of it happening for me
Thank you. But I don't feel like there's hope. Anything that could go wrong will go wrong for me eventually.

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Originally Posted by chrisinmd View Post
How old are you now? The college age years and your 20's where you are just starting your career are tough and confusing times for a lot of people. Do you have a job at all right now? What do you do job wise?

My advice is you have to start setting small goals. Careers goals, social goals and financial goals. Physical fitness goals as well. Dont worry if your behind other people. You want to be the best version of you that you can be. We all have different issues and struggles we have to deal with.

Motivation can be tough so like I said set small goals. Set a specific goal each day. Apply for x number of jobs. Hit the gym or workout x times per week and try to start conversations with people x times per day or week. Do that you will look back a year from now and see you made some great progress. Write your goals down really helps as well you dont want to just want them in your head.
I'm now 36. To be honest, I'm kind of give up finding job. My last application was in March. Went to the interview and of course, as always, got rejected.

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Originally Posted by Khyle785 View Post
I'm in a similar tangle. Covid19 crisis has messed up plans even more for me I'd say. I was doing okay, had a weekend job, which then shut down. I am now unemployd, I live with husband and 2 children. But I'm not building on my job experience. I was also, on top of the weekend job, a head chair of an art show (this year had to be virtual) that is held once a year. I have to manage the committees and it is all volunteer. I literally fall sick before a meeting where I have to speak in front of 40 people or so. I accepted teh position because like you I am 34 years old and have not landed a "career job" yet. My weekend job was a salon as receptionist/front desk person. Not good pay and not that interesting. I really want a job as a web designer/developer. And again, now with covid19 everyone is after same work from home positions. Too much competition and I look awful to be out of the work force too long , not even ever having much experience in my chosen field. Ugh.
I'm not downplaying your struggles but it sounds like you're miles ahead of me. You also sounds like a brave and responsible person for yourself, your partner and kids.

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You talk about a lack of motivation. Do you really have no motivation for anything at all?
Yes as if I got no hope left. Why even try right? The best I can do is to feel sorry for myself.

If memory serves me right, aren't you the one who went for postgrad as well? Did you further phd?
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post #12 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-02-2020, 10:39 AM
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My biggest regret is studying science at university. I spent 3 years doing a bachelors degree and I did so well that they offered me a place on a funded masters degree. I did that for another year. What a waste of time and stress.

I should have studied something useful like medicine, nursing, electrician etc. I could kick myself.

I have savings in the bank and I am resigned to the fact that I will have to "re-train".

When I look back, I can see all the things I did wrong. I was far, far too timid and didn't socialise. I didn't take any risks and do the things I wanted to do. My friends were too geeky. I didn't approach girls enough.

No time like the present though, I suppose. I run as a hobby and started volunteering at local events. I have told my parents that I will tide myself over with a retail job for now and do some classroom assistant work. My parents are nagging me to get a car.

I often feel completely lost if I'm honest.

Interesting to see my post from 7 months ago.


The volunteer work didn't improve anything. I volunteered at a number of community running events but I quit after a while because it was always the same clique of older people and it felt boring and pointless. I started running a lot more though, 30-40 miles a week and am a lot fitter than before. However I am also bored of running around my local area.


I took refresher driving lessons and I am much better than I was previously, which was a surprise.


Still unemployed. Like you I haven't applied for jobs in months. I kind of gave up. I have however applied for medical school. I sat the gamsat admissions test and have to write my personal statement.


My experience of academic study was not good. The tutors couldn't care less and some of them didn't even reply when I wanted a reference. I did physics and then a masters in nuclear science. So far these degrees have done jack **** for me.
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post #13 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-02-2020, 11:15 AM
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Similar state. Except I already lost all my friends, so no one really cares to ask me about this stuff. And family knows I'm pretty damaged.

I feel like during uni, life was a lot easier, so many people to choose to associate with or not. Too much free time, etc. I didn't realize how fast things would change after grad.

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post #14 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-02-2020, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting to see my post from 7 months ago.


The volunteer work didn't improve anything. I volunteered at a number of community running events but I quit after a while because it was always the same clique of older people and it felt boring and pointless. I started running a lot more though, 30-40 miles a week and am a lot fitter than before. However I am also bored of running around my local area.


I took refresher driving lessons and I am much better than I was previously, which was a surprise.


Still unemployed. Like you I haven't applied for jobs in months. I kind of gave up. I have however applied for medical school. I sat the gamsat admissions test and have to write my personal statement.


My experience of academic study was not good. The tutors couldn't care less and some of them didn't even reply when I wanted a reference. I did physics and then a masters in nuclear science. So far these degrees have done jack **** for me.
No improvement for me either. Seriously, I don't know where you got that energy to do the volunteer work and working out. I've none. Everything feels like a drag.

It's good to see you try to enter a different field. It's certainly not easy for those not comfortable with change.

I did my PhD knowing that I will be going nowhere with it. Not sure that piece of paper is a blessing or curse. It looks like a hindrance for sure.



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Similar state. Except I already lost all my friends, so no one really cares to ask me about this stuff. And family knows I'm pretty damaged.

I feel like during uni, life was a lot easier, so many people to choose to associate with or not. Too much free time, etc. I didn't realize how fast things would change after grad.
I've lost all my friends too. But most of the time I feel good hiding alone without having to update social medias every minute.
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post #15 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-02-2020, 12:17 PM
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I've lost all my friends too. But most of the time I feel good hiding alone without having to update social medias every minute.
Yeah, hiding does feel better honestly. I remember in like ~ 2012 my last few friends from uni kept calling me every time they went out and I made excuses every time. They knew I didn't want to be with them, they just didn't know why and I wouldn't tell them. Just let them fade away.

I still sometimes receive FB messages from old 'friends', sometimes I respond, sometimes I ignore. I'm never really sure what's the right thing to do with them. I hate faking stuff, and pretty much all everyone does on FB and stuff seems fake to me or just designed by an evil god to make me feel bad about my life, lol. I feel like every photo or 'update' people post is preceded with "LOOK AT ME DOING THIS COOL THING AND SMILING WHILE I DO IT "

I donno. I'm just a bitter old person maybe

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post #16 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-02-2020, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, hiding does feel better honestly. I remember in like ~ 2012 my last few friends from uni kept calling me every time they went out and I made excuses every time. They knew I didn't want to be with them, they just didn't know why and I wouldn't tell them. Just let them fade away.

I still sometimes receive FB messages from old 'friends', sometimes I respond, sometimes I ignore. I'm never really sure what's the right thing to do with them. I hate faking stuff, and pretty much all everyone does on FB and stuff seems fake to me or just designed by an evil god to make me feel bad about my life, lol. I feel like every photo or 'update' people post is preceded with "LOOK AT ME DOING THIS COOL THING AND SMILING WHILE I DO IT "

I donno. I'm just a bitter old person maybe
The last person ever contacted me was my uni friend about a year ago. It was through email because I don't use social media. She wanted to catch up but I never reply it. Kinda feel bad about it but I do not wish people to know that I don't have any progress in life after uni. It's embarrassing.
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post #17 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-02-2020, 04:24 PM
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The last person ever contacted me was my uni friend about a year ago. It was through email because I don't use social media. She wanted to catch up but I never reply it. Kinda feel bad about it but I do not wish people to know that I don't have any progress in life after uni. It's embarrassing.
I think it depends on the person contacting you. Sometimes it can be someone who likes your company and just wants to get in touch, other times people like to collect 'data' about how everyone's doing just to make sure they are "above average" or something I donno. (It's a really annoying feeling, especially if people aren't self-aware of it)

You really have to ask yourself if you like the person's company or not, did you enjoy your time with them, etc, or was it just a chore. I regret cutting ties with some friends honestly. I was too embarrassed and too sensitive I expected them to offer support and they didn't so I just cut them out. I feel like I could've given them more time and open up a little more and see.

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post #18 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-02-2020, 08:58 PM
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I made an account just to reply to this thread. I'm probably going to regret it like I regret everything I do or don't do.
I feel exactly the same as the guy from the first post. Life is a drag , I'm not enjoying it at all.
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post #19 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-03-2020, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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I think it depends on the person contacting you. Sometimes it can be someone who likes your company and just wants to get in touch, other times people like to collect 'data' about how everyone's doing just to make sure they are "above average" or something I donno. (It's a really annoying feeling, especially if people aren't self-aware of it)

You really have to ask yourself if you like the person's company or not, did you enjoy your time with them, etc, or was it just a chore. I regret cutting ties with some friends honestly. I was too embarrassed and too sensitive I expected them to offer support and they didn't so I just cut them out. I feel like I could've given them more time and open up a little more and see.
I guess she's the former. I used to confide in her about my problems. She knew my struggles in finding job, getting a partner and so on. I'm pretty comfortable around her but at the same time, feel embarassed because she's doing really well, while I'm going downhill. She had her struggles in the past for sure but she seems strong and determined to get out from them. I'm kind of guilty for cutting her out.

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I made an account just to reply to this thread. I'm probably going to regret it like I regret everything I do or don't do.
I feel exactly the same as the guy from the first post. Life is a drag , I'm not enjoying it at all.
I feel your pain.
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post #20 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-03-2020, 02:55 AM
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No improvement for me either. Seriously, I don't know where you got that energy to do the volunteer work and working out. I've none. Everything feels like a drag.

It's good to see you try to enter a different field. It's certainly not easy for those not comfortable with change.

I did my PhD knowing that I will be going nowhere with it. Not sure that piece of paper is a blessing or curse. It looks like a hindrance for sure.

I've lost all my friends too. But most of the time I feel good hiding alone without having to update social medias every minute.
I worked in academia for some 10 years, always in part-time freelance positions. Financially and in terms of security, all of that education gets you nowhere. I was broke during all of those years. Very ****ing broke.

At some point, I decided to monetize my education. I thought tutoring was beneath me (and I was of course massively overqualified) but it actually paid rather well. Within a few weeks, I made more money tutoring than lecturing. In the US, lots of people need SAT tutoring. Google says it pays $70/ hour but I know people that make $150+/ hour doing that. And they are booked up! You want to look into that.

The tutoring led to other things (tutoring clients asking for more academic help). Again, I tried it once and that became the new thing. I actually turned it into a consultancy business. I have run that for 6 years now.

Anyone with a Master's degree or a PhD should look into tutoring. Try it, you will be very surprised at how easily you can make a living. Try not to use an agency to get clients though. They take too large a cut. Write yourself a little website with Wordpress and advertise online.
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