I know this is too long, but I don’t know how to transition and I married a man who was succinct so I didn’t have to be, so I am banking off of content interest for you to keep reading. But I don’t feel entitled for you to keep reading if you are bored – I just couldn’t figure out how to edit this down further and I really needed to write you after reading your blog.
I have spent the past 20 hours in three days reading your blog. I’ve probably read over 50 posts or so, and they all revolve around the self-acceptance and fulfillment or career change categories. I am very interested in reading your homeschooling and parenting categories soon since I am almost 63% sure I will be going off birth control after my husband and I come back from our China trip in 2017.
I am 28 years old (ticking clock and parents aching to be grandparents working against a fear that once I have kids I will always think “what if” if I don’t figure out “what I should be doing” now) and feel like I’m in a job that wastes my potential. I know I shouldn’t blame the job, but I blame myself for being too weak and scared to leave this job that is a 5/6 on your test for “do you have a good job“… so I tell myself I should shut up and be grateful.
I am an ENFJ, but sometimes I test as an INFJ. I think I’m 50/50 on the Introvert/Extrovert thing because I love helping people at work, but I get tired of being constantly around them (so I work virtual and in-office) and I am very independent and need an escape to think.
This also may depend on at what time I take the test. If I take it around holidays when all my free time is taken up rushing to and from family events which I am very bitter and guilty for feeling bitter about right now, I test as an INFJ, but when I’m taking the test while I am at work or was just around cool people, I am an ENFJ. I love my family, but I can’t say no to family events because we live 2 hours away and it’s not like I see them every day… so perhaps I am just a guilty and bitter ENFJ with no family boundaries.
I am a programmer analyst who changed from being a systems analyst last year. I have been caught in analysis paralysis on my next career move for over 3 years. I have been at this company since my 2010 college graduation.
My company likes me enough to keep me even when I had a quarter-life crisis last April and said I am about to quit so they gave me a coding job I asked for to replace my database job but it didn’t get better because I don’t like data, I like reading about research based on data. (TBH I think they keep me because I’m fun, not because I’m good at coding) But I thought I should make myself get a degree in something I was bad at because it would be a good character building experience for me. And because it would fulfill both my parent’s expectations (and I had no time to think of any for myself) I think that was a big mistake.
The only part of my job I like is when I am helping people find answers to their problems. But I don’t want to learn the code anymore to be the answer to those type of problems so I don’t see how I have any more use here except to keep doing a mediocre job at learning to code and then giving people sort of knowledgeable advice about something I don’t really like. But I end up feeling good I helped them and that keeps me going. Sort of.
My dad is a successful engineer and manager and loved us based on achievements (grades, contest wins) and my mother was a very emotional and creative best friend who raised me to “get a degree” because her husband would definitely marry a woman with a degree if she died. My parents are still married after 36 years and are quite happy with each other for what its worth.
My friend is abused and I have been helping her through her issues. This makes me feel fulfilled and interested because it presents a challenge where I need to convince her to make better life choices to get away from the abuse. I looked up “victim advocate” job on indeed and apparently a master’s degree is required…. so I dropped that idea because having to get a masters degree for that sounds stupid since I’m already doing a great job at helping my friend now. I actually ended up counseling many coworkers about their relationship issues or lack thereof these past 5 years. I’m good at getting people to open up. But to be a psychologist I’d need a doctorate and I’m 28 with a ticking clock.
I tried to go to art school and business school at the same time. The art school because I wanted art and the business school because I thought it was the smart and practical thing to do to support that art.
I felt mentally raped by art school as they were all crazy drug addicts who thought my representational art was kitsch and their over-sexualized abstract art was high brow. I saw no other options in art. The school gave no other options to be a different type of artist. So I quit. I did something practical that I thought would give me a stable income so I got a business degree in computers. I am sort of a happy person in general but existentially miserable.
From one of your posts, I tried to remember my greatest feeling of accomplishment and super fun or peaceful moments as a child. So I remember interpretive ballet dancing on stage many times and enjoying it, mostly because I enjoy moving around and also knowing people are being entertained by it. Now I pursue wushu, a performance martial art 3 times a week. I remember setting up house for dolls with friends in a low hanging camphor tree. We climbed and jumped off the branches. We were at home there.
I now live in a stilt house on a lake built from wood and fixing it up feels good. I liked helping my grandmother with her chicken and rabbit feeding chores. I also remember laying in a meadow by a forest in really soft grass and it felt awesome. I currently have 5 chickens and think 15 would be even more fun – so I guess I’ve done pretty well in actualizing my childhood aha! moments. I realize this and feel more ungrateful that I am still complaining about my career.
I know you’ve heard this before… but I think I still want to be an artist. After all the career books and repetitive analysis I have done in the past 3 years I look back on my notes and I keep coming to this conclusion. I make some art, but I feel guilty about it because the art doesn’t make money to help support myself or my family so its only for myself. Then when I catch myself feeling like this I become scared to death I will become my mother. She is too guilty to do anything for herself and never tried to capitalize on her natural artistic talents.
Right now I just want to sit the work computer down and go to my art desk and make art. I have been in the flow state with this before. But I would be a bad employee if I did that. But I’m not a bad employee if I type this long winded expose of my life to you after reading 50+ of your posts in the past 3 workdays.
But am I cut out to be an art entrepreneur? In 5th grade, the kids liked my art and commissioned different Pokemon, and I drew them and received fair compensation. I was proud of how well I could make Pokemon drawings and sell them for 25 or 50 cents but then a jealous kid told on me and the teacher said I couldn’t do that in class. I was so guilty I did something the teacher said was wrong so I quit.
I am a people pleaser to my own fault, and I don’t want to die having pleased everyone but myself. I’m scared because now I’m 28 with a ticking clock and probably have maybe 2000/10000 expert hours of art combined under my belt. I want to draw pictures of awesome stuff, have people see it and love it and want it, and then pay me for it. So then I can buy everything plus health insurance with it and feel worthy. I know there are successful artists that do this. But they are all already successful. I’m just starting out. It was easier to explore when I was a child and had no adult responsibility or a baby clock.
I want to ignore people (INFJ) but I just can’t (ENFJ). Women have it harder than men in these existential crises because of babies. And I still want babies too.
If you got to this part of the mail, my question is what do you think I should do? I would love to know your opinion about my situation. I finally feel braced and ready for any hard truths I may hear.