I’m stuck in my life, I can’t seem to get anywhere, but then again I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing. I’m a 22 year old male who has a decent job, an ok apartment, and some bomb ass friends. I make enough money to live, but not to save. I’m in a relationship that’s grey: don’t want to be together, but can’t live without one another. I wish to further my education, but I’ll be honest with you, I’m not very book smart. I’ve found a hobby that I can go to a trade school for, to improve my skills and turn a hobby into a career, but the problem is that I can’t save to get there, and it’s an out of state school.
I’ve worked with the school director and he said he had a place for me to stay, free of charge, he had a job ready for me when I got there, but I guess the real problem is, I’m scared. To be at a place where I have no contacts, no friends, and I worry about something going wrong when I get there, and I get stranded. No money, no place to live, no friends to help get you. I mean, the list goes on. I’m afraid of my life taking a different path and I don’t make it back to my home state? I have family and little sisters that I would be devastated if I didn’t see. Am I being a wimp? Do I just need to go for it? What are some solutions for saving money?
I need help Papabear.
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Ah, there it is again: Fear. There’s a reason we have that fear instinct within us. When we lived much more primitive lives, it was a helpful emotion to help us run away from things that wanted to eat us. It got our adrenaline going. There is also a reasonable fear instilled in us (most of us) to keep us from doing things that might kill us, such as walking a tightrope with no safety leash or net across a canyon. That’s why we have fear: to protect us. Some people say that a soldier afraid to face bullets in action is a coward, but I would say that is a reasonable fear, a sensible fear. Also, the bravest person on the planet is one who can say he or she is afraid of getting shot while on duty but goes ahead and faces that danger anyway. They are much braver than the person who has no fear.
But there’s the other kind of fear: the fear of the unknown. This fear, which is only based upon the anticipation of some kind of harm, even when that might not be the case at all, is debilitating, as you have discovered. Such fears indicate, well, I won’t say cowardice, but definitely a lack of chutzpah, gumption, or cajones.
Foxtek, you find yourself in a current place where, while you aren’t making any progress, you are at least comfortable. You have friends and family nearby, so, while not prosperous, you are content enough. Now, if you are happy with that, there is nothing wrong with it, but you indicate you want something more out of life, and that always involves some risk. Anything worth having is worth a bit of work and some risk. Sometimes, you might fall flat on your muzzle, but you will have learned as a person and grown with it. That’s how we develop as people. We take risks.
In your mind, you are conjuring up all these awful “what if” scenarios. What if it doesn’t work out and I am stranded? What if I don’t like my choice and can’t go back to my old place and job? What if what if what if....? That’s no way to live. Also, you can reverse that scenario. What if you stay where you are and you lose your job? What if you stay where you are and your little sisters decide to take opportunities themselves and move away from you? Many things can happen that standing still won’t help you avoid.
And what do you have to gain? A better education, a job you enjoy, and the possibility of making great new friends and possibly even a new love interest! You never know!
Let me give you an example from my own life. I was still working for a company in Michigan back in 2000 and was getting more and more discontented. I didn’t enjoy my work, but staying employed there meant job security and a health plan. But I was growing increasingly miserable. Now, I could have stayed there, but I decided to take a risk and went freelance. It was a little scary at first, because if you suddenly lose your clients you have no safety net, unlike when you lose a corporate job and can get unemployment for a while at least. But, with the help of some moral and financial support from my wife at the time, I was able to do it and I am quite happy not to work for “The Man” anymore.
You are cutting yourself off at the knees because you are imagining the worst-case scenario. Now, it’s okay to think of what can go wrong and make a contingency plan, but don’t run away from what can be a real opportunity for you just because of your fears.
I’m not saying this opportunity is right for you—only you can decide that—but the fact that you have the director on your side and will have a job and place to live tells me that karma is on your side. That’s a great sign. If this is something you really see yourself doing in the future to get more job satisfaction and a better financial payback, then you should do it. Go in with a bad attitude and believing you will fail, and you will likely create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Go in there expecting to succeed, and your optimism will go a long way toward making that happen for you.
As for solutions for saving money, that’s an entirely different letter. But, to be brief, you can cut all unnecessary expenses (entertainment, dining out, buying things you don’t actually need like games or whatever) and set aside a set amount of your income each month. There are many books you can get online to help you in that area.
Good luck, Foxtek, and let me know how it goes for you.
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