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Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 02:56 PM   #1
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Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

Ok, I am sure this is the wrong place to post this, with you all being the best of the best achievers, but I really don't have much in common with other people I talk to on regular basis. Before I begin I will certainly agree that there is always worse and not everything is bad but.....

Did any of you get out of school and go through your 20s kind of disappointed with how things turned out or are turning out? If so, was it because your expectations were too high or was it just a long string of bad luck? Was there a point in your life when you became comfortable with your direction?

I can't help but be bummed out and disappointed with a few things, especially when it comes to job opportunities. In other words, I think I am starting to see that certain doors to certain jobs are closed when I feel it should be open. Oh well....just wondering if there was anyone else out there with similar experiences and don't worry guys - I am not on the edge of 20 story building while I type this.

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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 03:29 PM   #2
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

I want to start out by saying: Hi Wildcat! I miss your posts.

Now for the preaching: Dude, you are so young. Most in your age group haven't hit their stride yet. Most will not hit their peak earning levels until their late 30's to 40's. You have so much time to pave the way for your career. You got graduate school out of the way, which is a monumental achievement.

Patience, grasshopper...
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 03:47 PM   #3
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

I didn't land a decent job until I was 27. Until then, I was pretty frustrated. But things took off after that and I had some good years with a High Tech Megacorp during the "internet boom". Hang in there, try to gain as much experience as you can, and the opportunities will come.
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 03:54 PM   #4
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

After I graduated with a MA from UK, I taught high school for a year. *I was disappointed in the impact I could make, so I decided to go to the west coast. *I was over educated and under experienced and when I got down to my last 50 dollars, I took a job as a factory worker . . . lying about my education to even get the job. *For a period of almost 20 years I took jobs that I'm certain disappointed my parents, but really didn't bother me too much. *I finally went to a trade school for computer programming and made a decent career out of that. *I think in the beginning I had higher expectations ( I know my parents did), but somehow I always worked my menial jobs into comfortable situations where I was happy. * As long as I was happy . . . well the rest seemed unimportant. *
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 04:18 PM   #5
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

Sure. When I graduated with a BA we were in Cleveland and the job market sucked. I delivered pizza for 6 months after graduation to pay the bills, then found a job in my field, but at starvation wages. I toughed that out for a year and change, then we moved back to NYC when I got the first (not so great) job offer. After I paid for the moving van rental, I had about $150 left to my name, so it is a good thing we were living with my parents. As a married couple, we lived with my parents for 21 months while I did one job I hated, got fired, and took another job I hated. We finally bought a condo and moved out, and shortly thereafter I got my first decent job. But it took 4 years of scrabbling and siht jobs to get there.

You'll get traction, wildcat. Keep trying. If you want advoce on resume, presentation, etc. just ask. Aside from the criticism and nitpicking valuable suggestions you will get here, my DW is a professional career counselor and I could get you some advice from her.
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 04:22 PM   #6
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

My low point was 2 1/2 years into college and I still didnít know what I wanted to do. All the classes seem so hard. I had a lot of trouble getting good grades. I compared myself with my friends who seemed so focused and determined. On top of this I had a string of ďbadĒ girl friends which didnít help my money situation. Looking back, Iím amazed I got thru this.
Later on I pulled myself together, got a BS degree. Got a job 6 months after that.
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 07:07 PM   #7
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

hey w.c.

Yeah, I think your 20s are about adversity and proving yourself, unfortunately....I am not sure what your expectations are, but the work world is full of a bunch of petty people all wanting to have their selfish needs met....work on getting yours met first and forget about all of this teamwork and other assorted b.s..... It's just there to try to keep you in line....

Also, at your age, I would consider starting a business if you can....I think that is by far the better choice than a job...I didnt start doing some stuff on the side until my early 30s and it really helps a lot for me....no boss
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 07:14 PM   #8
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat
Did any of you get out of school and go through your 20s kind of disappointed with how things turned out or are turning out?*
Yup.

I graduated with a BA in Finance in 1993. *By then the economy was officially out of recession but was right at the beginning of the "jobless recovery". *I remember shepherding into large halls with hundreds of other job applicants who were all seeking the same handful of shitty back-office positions. *I ended up taking one because paying the bills was more important than pursuing a specific career goal. *

For the next 4 years I sent out resumes . . . to no avail until I finally landed a job that was tangential to where I wanted to go. *After a year there a better job opened up. *A year and one-half later I finished my MBA and a very good Wall Street job kind of fell in to my lap.

During the early part of my career it didn't look like I'd ever get out of the back office. *I kept pushing and refusing to compromise until eventually something opened up. *You never know where the break is going to come from, but if you keep at it, chances are it will happen. *
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 07:39 PM   #9
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
Now for the preaching:* Dude, you are so young.* Most in your age group haven't hit their stride yet.*...

Patience, grasshopper...
Exactly.* Rough patches do not discriminate based on age.
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 08:06 PM   #10
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

Yeah, of course everybody goes through crap. I went through mine when my mom died about a couple months into my first year of grad school. After paying for school and all the flights back and forth between Ann Arbor and NYC, I was literally down to my last $350. Even eating nothing but ramen noodles, I was looking at starvation. Strange, but all of a sudden, none of my relatives could be reached -- except for my grandma who helped me out despite her being not all that rich herself.

On top of the situation back home, the legendary Michigan workload, I also was working for a professor for free in the hope of securing a research assistantship the following semester. I don't know if everyone has experienced losing a parent, but it's a life-altering experience. I remember that I was able to work a lot as if everything was normal, but then sometimes I'd just sit there and cry my eyes out in front of the computer. Then for a couple of days, I'd be fine, and then not. It was like a roller coaster ride.

Of course, I had no car, so something as simple as shopping for grocery or going to work became an adventure with Michigan's winter. I remember slaloming through the ice-caked roads during a blizzard on my 40-lb. department store 10-speed thinking, wow, they didn't have this crap in the brochure, and am I glad I didn't buy any eggs because if I crash, at least I won't break anything other than my arms. When my friends asked me if I wanted to go to the cafeteria for some food, I told them that I really preferred my own cooking. The truth was that I couldn't afford the meal plan. The one thing I remember from that year was telling myself that if I can get through this, nothing much is going to seem like much.

Yeah, so when people tell you that they have x and y, it's because they have been through crap so that they know the value of having x and y. Besides, hardship isn't just a 20-something exclusive. There will be more, but I hope not much more.
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 08:12 PM   #11
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BunsOfVeal
Besides, hardship isn't just a 20-something exclusive. There will be more...
Yep, like a 40 year mid-life crisis! Now there's a rough patch most go through. All of sudden death is real and you start thinking about llife expectancy statistics, so you're in a hurry to cross those items off of your "Things I wanna do before I die " list.

Seriously, I believe what comes out of crisis is transformation. If the chaos/crisis is channeled right, you come out of the other side a changed and much wiser individual.
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 08:16 PM   #12
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

I agree with those above. Remember Cutthroat's message- if it doesn't involve serious threats to your or a loved one's health, it is no big deal.

For the rest of it, keep trying, have a few beers, get a few dates, and keep your eyes and ears open.

Ha
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 08:43 PM   #13
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

I had to walk up hill through broken glass to get to work...* :P

I was a slow learner... In and out of school three times before getting an ASS AAS in electronics. Married a ready-made family at 24, was broke as sh!t, worked punching out metal parts, making plastic bottles, making boxes, making creamed corn, making tomato juice, selling vacuum cleaners, stocking groceries, making pizza, moving chickens (don't ask...)...

Got the hell out of dodge, got a corp job, had quite a few good years. But that stupid little kid keeps comin' back!!*

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...p?topic=4419.0

Hey, WC, how the Cats lookin' this year?
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 09:39 PM   #14
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

A positive attitude will be your greatest asset. Read "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale. It will make a huge difference in your life - if you let it.
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-10-2006, 10:04 PM   #15
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

What doesn't kill you will make you stronger.

I think almost everyone goes through some rough patches in early, mid, and/or late life.* The time when you are down and depressed is exactly the time you need to get back up and be at your strongest.

The biggest lesson I've learned in life is that the person most responsible for the direction of my life is me.* One of my favorite books I have read with my child is "Harold and the Purple Crayon."* Create your own destiny and don't depend on others to solve your problems.* In my case I didn't want to depend on a company to give me a job and have a master to tell me what to do and how to do it, so I started my own business and did it my way.

Oh ya, and don't sweat the small stuff.
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-11-2006, 12:28 AM   #16
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

...In 1971 I was 19 years old and married with one kid. I was going to school fulltime and working 50 hours a week in a gas station for minimum wage of $1.35 an hour. I was flat broke. After I finished an AA degree I joined the army for flight scool and Vietnam. In basic training while everyone else was pissing and moaning about how tough it was I was happily catching up on my sleep and gaining some much needed weight.
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-11-2006, 12:30 AM   #17
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat
Did any of you get out of school and go through your 20s kind of disappointed with how things turned out or are turning out?* If so, was it because your expectations were too high or was it just a long string of bad luck?
I think you're describing a quarter-life crisis.

A theme of the book was "I can't believe that I thought this was such a big problem last year." *Sometimes the problems went away, other times they were replaced by bigger problems. *Either way the original problems became much less significant or disappeared altogether.

After college, I managed to fail a major exam or qualification board every year for the next four. *I'd pass the makeups, and after two or three of these "failures" I was able to relax and stop worrying about them. *I'm not a big believer in bad luck, but now I believe in preparing for bad surprises because nothing goes perfectly. *At some point I realized that I was setting my personal goals too high too hard too fast and not able to keep the pace through the obstacle courses that I'd set up for myself. *Things worked out better when I gave my personal plans the time to recover from failures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat
Was there a point in your life when you became comfortable with your direction?
Let's see... college, graduation, qualifying at the first job, getting married, getting a graduate degree, buying a house, going back to sea duty, starting a family, falling off the career track... nope, nothing really comfortable there.

But things have been pretty comfortable since ER!
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-11-2006, 03:31 AM   #18
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

Yes Wildcat I can really relate to your post. If you have read my post you will know I am going through a bit of a crisis at the moment myself.

There are some very lucky people who manage to find a vocation/job that they like or dont mind doing, for the rest of us it is a hard slog

Try to be realistic about personal expectations, sometimes just being content with one's life and self is enough - let everyone else be the high achiever, find something that works for you and that you can be content with, the hardest part sometimes is to try and find some peace within yourself, IMHO counselling/meditation can help this


THis is the problem with a society based on the schooling/work ethic system - it is dictated to us that one has to go to school to get a good job to get a nice house and be a respectable member of society etc, this is superficial rubbish created by self serving people, it is this mindset whcih causes great anxiety and discontentment - we are all expected to play the game - those that dont are frowned upon as second class citizens

you are a unique individual, i hope you feel better soon

claire

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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-11-2006, 07:12 AM   #19
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arc
A positive attitude will be your greatest asset.* Read "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale.* It will make a huge difference in your life - if you let it.*
Heh, I hear a lobotomy will do great things for your outlook, too.
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?
Old 09-11-2006, 09:19 AM   #20
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Re: Anybody else here go through some rough patches early in life?

Rough patches early in life? OK.

Lessee, when I was a little girl in the 50s, my father's business went under. My parents borrowed money from friends to pay the mortgage (they eventually paid it back). I remember sitting around the kitchen table as a family, assembling cigarette holders to help make ends meet. It was a real assembly line, with each of us performing a different step in the manufacturing process. When we were a little older--my brothers and I were in 1st, 3rd, and 4th grade--mother went back to work, in a community where that was rare (we were lower middle class in an upper middle class community--my parents were the only adults I knew in the neighborhood without professional jobs or college educations).

After college, I had no clue what to do with my life, and worked a series of minimum/near-minimum wage jobs and had children early. At one point, with an infant and toddler, my husband lost his job and couldn't find another for a long time (this was the 70s recession). We were on food stamps for a while.

My first husband and I split up, and I became determined to improve my life. I got a mother's hours job (9-2) in which I could learn about computers, and 5 1/2 years later, just before my 40th birthday, and with a lot of encouragement from hubby #2, I parlayed that contract job without benefits into a career in technical writing and editing at Big Software Corp. 8 1/2 years later, I went from the Corp, where I learned my craft, to a startup. That startup enabled me to FIRE.

What a long strange trip it's been! I wouldn't want to relive it for anything, but neither would I change anything at this point.

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