I wish I’d seen your blog and had a wider, less fearful view of the world in my 20s. I was just trying to get out of poverty and then get out of my head, so I followed my scholastic abilities right into nowhere with an M.A. in English and lots (lots) of debt.

I’m a really good poster child for your warnings.

What if you’re in your mid-30s, and you made the wrong mistakes (or took no risks other than borrowing on the future) and you find yourself entrenched? I (and probably lots of others) could use your no-holds-barred take on it. Planning any Make the Most of Your 30s When You Didn’t Make Your 20s Count seminars?

I am going to be a junior this fall at a too-expensive liberal arts college. I am considering pursuing a MS degree from Boston University (they offer some online classes) in international marketing.

Should I transfer to a cheaper college (because I can get a good education at UCSC for a better price) or stay at the one I’m at?
I’m concerned that transferring to the JC then to the UC (I don’t have enough credits currently) would make me seem indecisive and hurt my chances of getting accepted.

I recently lost my job and am at my wits end. My nerves are shot and my anxiety is high!  I was encouraged and inspired by your blog and postings. However, when money is an issue and bills are mounting, how do you stay focused enough to pursue other interests when so many other matters seem to take precedence at at time like this???

I’ve been reading your blog, and you are right, self-pity gets me nowhere. Yet I have anxiety because I have forgiven myself of my past, yet I cannot forget as the choices haunt my life.

1) I am 40 in Dec.
2) I live with my mother who exasperates me endlessly. I am the eternal teenager and now, in order to just avoid conflict, I have accepted my role as one.
3) I have a daughter in college for nursing. My other is 16, goes to high school, and is working at a tea shop. She lives with me and my mom.
4) I’ve been in poverty.
5) I’m in school, getting an Associate’s Degree in Science, but I only have 8 credits.
6) I’m unemployed–I worked 10 years as a Montessori instructional assistant–stayed too long because I knew I was in for another dead end job.
7)I have great anxiety because I feel like a bum with my mom. I’ve never been financially independent. So now that creates the low self esteem and confidence.

I know you can’t tell me what to do. I had a child at 19 and another at 22. So I’ve never really known myself. Just that I am a very kind person. After ten years and those last two years in that horrible job, I don’t want another dead-end job. I’ve thought about a business. I don’t know what —I’ve babysat and cleaned in my life and that is not my idea of a fulfilling job. I can’t sew. I can barely cook. I don’t have musical talent. And people have always run me so running a business?? Not to mention, how would I start a business on food stamps and school loans? I can barely afford gas for school. All excuses I suspect.

I know all you probably see is negativity, yet these are the realistic facts. I’m stuck. And I feel screwed and desperate. Like I should go to work at the Dollar Store or McDonald’s for less than what I had made at years of the other dead end job.

Enough of a sorrow email, I have just felt compelled to write. Cause I’m a mom. And I feel pathetic with my stance and that I have failed my children.

I was wondering if you had any advice at all about how you overcame eating disorder/ other problems when younger? 

Because I’m 21 and bulimic and kind of like a failed university student, as in I’m meant to be in my fourth year now of Arts/Law in Sydney, but I haven’t completed a single subject this year and have a history of withdrawing from subjects/ only doing part-time loads because I essentially feel afraid that I’m not going to do well enough so I don’t even try.

And I’m kind of at a point now where it feels like my life is over, and I have no future in anything, and I’m fat, and can’t seem to do anything and that I’m completely alone (even though I somehow have a really lovely boyfriend, but we are currently fighting because I keep feeling like he doesn’t want/ like me because I don’t feel worthy and he feels really upset that I don’t believe his words/ actions that are apparently evidence that he does like/ want me.)

I am on the 6-8 week waiting list to go to a residential/ inpatient psychiatric hospital to try and deal with the Depression/ Bulimia. But still, until then, and even after then, I just don’t understand how/ what I’m meant to do?

I am writing a blog post round up of the best advice on the topic of defining your own life. So, I want to ask you, how would you define the phrase ‘a life on your terms’. Or, asked in another way, what does that phrase mean to you as an individual?

I have questions about performance reviews:
What can I expect to happen at a performance review?
How should I prepare?
I have been preparing for my performance review by tracking the goals they set for me and making sure I am meeting and exceeding them. However, I was curious if there was anything I needed to do right before my performance review?
Should I create a list of great projects I have worked on and results I have created?
Should I bring a list to the meeting to help me stay on track?
Should I send an email to my supervisors prior to the meeting with notes and details from the past year?
Should I expect a raise or do I need to ask for one?
I am expecting to get a raise at my review but I wasn’t sure if I needed to ask for one or if they would offer me one?
What if I don’t like the raise they offer me? How should I prepare?

I’m 33 and I worked on a start-up from age 21-27. Since then I’ve worked a number of different kind of agency / corporate jobs, which is probably not the right environment for me.

Should I stay in the job I have now, take advantage of whatever it does have to offer, have kids, and try a lifestyle business once I’m ready? Or should I try another start-up now and risk not having kids for another few years?