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Thread: "Right" thing to do vs. what you want to do

  1. #1
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    "Right" thing to do vs. what you want to do

    Hi there. Maybe I'll explain a little about me so you can get sort of an idea of where I'm at in life.

    I'm 23, I have my bachelor's degree, and I currently work full time. I still live at home with my dad, and saving to possibly purchase a place to live instead of rent.

    Here comes the issue. Basically my whole life I have done what others have told me to do. I got my first job at 14 because that is what my parents wanted. I went to university because that's what my parents wanted. It isn't as though I didn't enjoy it; however, I wish I could have taken some time to work in between to try to figure out what I really wanted, rather than taking a subject that I was good at. Even today, I still do various things because my parents want me to do them, not because I want to.

    I am consistently being bugged about going back for my masters from my mom. She constantly says "you need to do it for me" or "you will be better off" without even so much as to listening about what my proposed career plans are. Lately, all this has made me realize is how my whole life I have just done what they wanted me to do, and I wish I could have done at least something out of the box rather than just following the cookie cutter pattern that has been drawn out for me.

    More and more, I would like to move somewhere else and do something completely different but for some strange reason I always catch myself thinking of the negatives of doing something rather than the positives. If I move somewhere completely different and change my career, what if I fail? What if I'm not good enough? What if my parents won't support me because I am not doing what they want me to do?

    As well, I know it is also a horrible thing to compare your life to someone else's but I look at my friends and 3 of my best friends are engaged and have recently purchased homes of their own. And for some reason I am scared that if I go off and do something else for a while, but then fail and have to come back, that I will be so far behind in life. Yes, I know it is irrational because everyone does move at different speeds and not every person is the same.

    I hope this post makes sense. I just do not know how to shake these negative thoughts from my mind and go out on a limb in my life for once and do something completely different. I am tired of living in my hometown and doing the same thing every day, and following what others want of me.. Is there anyone that can give me advise on how to shake these negative thoughts from my life and move forward? Thank you.

  2. #2
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    No RISK no REWARD:D

    Did you not ever go study abroad or anything like that ?

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    Platinum Member Jetta's Avatar
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    I had parents like you, and I stopped listening around age 19. At least you are contemplating not listening after completing a degree. My advice, parents love you and want what is best for you. They want you to have a secure future. They see that master degree as securing it a bachelor degree isn't enough these days really, it helps but it's really not enough. You can go on your own and suffer the consequences or listen to their wise advice. Good luck with your decision. I wish I would have listened I'd be much happier all the way around.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Everyone gets negative thoughts... "negative self talk"... and many of us over indulge and allow these thoughts to drag us down rabbit holes of anxiety and depression. In reality, most of the time it's just fear that has no real basis in reality. I call it the "tiger in the room" syndrome... the fear is that we will be mortally wounded by some event/choice that we make, when in reality unless there is an actual tiger in the room with us we are just allowing our feelings to control our lives. In your case, you are allowing your parents to decide what you do with your life.... and now you are ready to take some risks and be independent... Totally normal stage of development for someone your age (I have a 25 year old and she still seeks my approval about things).

    You sound like you are already self-aware to a degree. You are already asking yourself some powerful questions. Taking risks and walking through fear is hard, it takes a lot of courage. Self-reflection is key to understanding what you want to do, and finding the courage you need to move forward.

    That all being said... how do you feel about the fact that you have allowed your parents to guide you until now? It sounds like they have influenced you to make some good decisions... developing work ethic, getting an education, saving to purchase a home. You can look at that as a positive... you have wisdom well beyond your years in that you actually listen to and respect the advice your parents give you.

    What I am hearing is that you just want some independence and to make some decisions for yourself. Perhaps instead of taking a gigantic step and moving away and changing careers, start asserting your independence in smaller ways... this gets them used to the idea of you following your own mind and heart, and will help you build confidence to make those bigger decisions down the road. Also, don't be afraid to fail... every successful person, every fantastic idea and innovation, generally has many so called "failures" that have helped them get where they are. The only way you really learn about yourself is by making mistakes and failing at things.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    The first step would be to find a place, perhaps with roommates. Then you can start living more independently from there.
    Originally Posted by sleepingsick
    I'm 23, I have my bachelor's degree, and I currently work full time. I still live at home with my dad

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    Well, what career is it that you want to do? You should tell us. If it's running off to be a travelling musician, I might advise you differently than if it were a prima-donna job lined up.

    While a master's degree would be beneficial, it isn't always necessary. You have one life, so go live it.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    Really, you need to move out asap. I had a negative mother, she was a lot like your parents. I quit listening to her in order to live my life my way. She didnt like that, but too bad. I didnt do anything illegal or immoral, so she had no reason to be so negative.

    Anyway, my take is you dont believe in yourself because you have never done anything you actually wanted to do. You sound like a people pleaser and because you live with your parents it's easy to fall in that trap. You need to get up and get out of that trap. You dont get a degree in something because mom says you need to, you do it for you.

    Find some friends to share an apt. with and get out on your own and start to live. If you fail at your job, so what? That's how you learn! Dust yourself off and get another job. You won't grow as a person until you start living life on your terms. Sometimes moving away is the best option, then they cant show up at your door and rag at you!

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by maew
    Everyone gets negative thoughts... "negative self talk"... and many of us over indulge and allow these thoughts to drag us down rabbit holes of anxiety and depression. In reality, most of the time it's just fear that has no real basis in reality. I call it the "tiger in the room" syndrome... the fear is that we will be mortally wounded by some event/choice that we make, when in reality unless there is an actual tiger in the room with us we are just allowing our feelings to control our lives. In your case, you are allowing your parents to decide what you do with your life.... and now you are ready to take some risks and be independent... Totally normal stage of development for someone your age (I have a 25 year old and she still seeks my approval about things).

    You sound like you are already self-aware to a degree. You are already asking yourself some powerful questions. Taking risks and walking through fear is hard, it takes a lot of courage. Self-reflection is key to understanding what you want to do, and finding the courage you need to move forward.

    That all being said... how do you feel about the fact that you have allowed your parents to guide you until now? It sounds like they have influenced you to make some good decisions... developing work ethic, getting an education, saving to purchase a home. You can look at that as a positive... you have wisdom well beyond your years in that you actually listen to and respect the advice your parents give you.

    What I am hearing is that you just want some independence and to make some decisions for yourself. Perhaps instead of taking a gigantic step and moving away and changing careers, start asserting your independence in smaller ways... this gets them used to the idea of you following your own mind and heart, and will help you build confidence to make those bigger decisions down the road. Also, don't be afraid to fail... every successful person, every fantastic idea and innovation, generally has many so called "failures" that have helped them get where they are. The only way you really learn about yourself is by making mistakes and failing at things.
    Great advice.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Basically my whole life I have done what others have told me to do. I got my first job at 14 because that is what my parents wanted. I went to university because that's what my parents wanted.
    This is pretty much the standard trajectory for any of us who've lived as dependents with parents through college age.

    If you want to move out of your parents' house, then take as many jobs as you'll need to save enough money to do that. Meanwhile, you can spin yourself into misery, or you can use your creative intelligence in more productive ways that will support your efforts to enjoy your experiences rather than sabotage your focus and create unnecessary misery.

    I'd thank Mom for her encouragement and I'd tell her that I won't take grad school off the table, but she has a far greater chance of seeing me pursue it if she'll back off and allow me to explore potential ideas about this as my life experience widens. There is no deadline on grad school, and if she wants to maintain a good relationship rather than provoke resentment from me, she'll adopt patience and consider the subject closed unless and until I raise it with her again.

    Head high, this is all natural stuff--provided that you don't drill yourself into a deeper hole to climb out by ramping up urgency. Channel that energy into interests rather than using it to build frustration. That's your percentage play, because frustration is not a good platform for decision making.


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