The fear of "Too Late"

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The fear of "Too Late"

Post by bomaye on Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:36 pm

[Reminder that I used to be the member Mad/Moose. I set a few bridges completely on fire the last few times around and would rather not have someone uncomfortably wander into the thread looking to help and then discovering that.]

So in another year, I'm going to be 30. I am very behind in the experiences of my own age-range, I'm closer to a teenager than a 30 year old.

- Never had a job
- Never really been on my own or independent. To be honest independence has always scared me, it made me feel like I should know what I'm doing when I really didn't
- Never been to a party.
- Never been on a road-trip with friends.
- Never had a g/f
- Never had... IRL close friends I guess we'll call it? I was the one friend who everyone said "You know, you're the only one who doesn't tell me any secrets." I did hang out with a bunch of people for a little bit (sorta...) but that fell off. There's a few online people I can talk about anything with that I'm pretty thankful for.
- To be honest, I'm not even sure I've ever been clothes shopping on my own before.
- I've never been one who had a passion or an interest that I absolutely must chase. I have a hard time making decisions about big things like "what do you want to do with your life?"

I feel like I kind of stupidly missed my chance to be a complete human being and there's only a life of loneliness and failure and shame left to me.
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by Werel on Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:15 pm

I'll try to avoid the crutch of platitudes here, but it's so tempting to reach for "it's never too late!" or "old dogs can certainly learn new tricks, and, like, do them better than puppies!" Because human plasticity is a lifelong characteristic, not one which drops off after adolescence. It's just plain not too late for you to learn those skills and be a kind of human being you want to be, even if most people have already gotten started on that learning. Your neurons don't perma-harden and become immune to new knowledge and skills once you hit drinking age, or 29, or 50. Plus, you've got the advantage of being smarter, more self-aware, and more life-experienced than a 14 year old, so learning how to e.g. do a job or buy clothes will likely come quicker at your age than at the age most people start trying that shit.

On the other hand, you're not wrong to fret about having a perceived experience deficit, and feeling like you're at a disadvantage because of it. Just because you can still learn new shit doesn't mean it won't take time, and if you're feeling a time crunch (is it the 3-0?), of course you wish you'd already put in a lot of those hours. If I were desperate to be a pretty good guitarist, I'd be pissed that I hadn't started learning chords when I was five. I could have had so much of the work already done. But I can't go back and start learning chords at five. All I can do is start banging them out now, at 28, and acknowledge that I'm probably not gonna be joining any bands by 30. I won't never be a guitarist. I just won't be one as soon as if I'd started earlier.

The bottom line is, you didn't miss a chance to do those things at all. You missed a chance to do them before 2015, or maybe in your teens and twenties. You can still do them. A lot of those things (jobs, dating, close IRL friendships) require you to build skills that, yeah, lots of people started building when they were younger. But man, it's not like the option has vanished. Frustration is a legit response to your situation. So is sadness, or regret, or fear of the task ahead. But despair? Certainty in your hopelessness? Naw. These things are not off the table for you. You're just starting late.

(As for the stuff on the list: how much of it is shit you, personally, actually want, as opposed to components of the Default Adult Package? Not everybody has a life-inflaming passion or dream, and I don't think everybody needs one to have a fulfilling life. If you're feeling like you're not a complete human being, pick out the one or two things most central to that feeling and prioritize the hell out of them.)

edit: cosign reboot on practical shit like starting with volunteer work. Low-stakes and intro-level is always a good place to start.


Last edited by Werel on Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by reboot on Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:16 pm

I am probably not the best person to address this since I have been doing a lot of adult type things (e.g. working, self care) since I was in my teens. However, if you want to try to change things up, start with some small things like going clothes shopping in your own, doing the grocery shopping for the house, etc. You might even consider volunteering somewhere since volunteer work is work and the whole "how do I manage professional type relationships without stabbing anyone" can be experienced.

Whatever you do, baby step it, because there is a lot to learn and it can be overwhelming
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by Enail on Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:33 pm

Hugely seconding Werel on pick the things that matter to you rather than just assuming you have to have the Default Adult Package to feel complete or successful or proud or connected.  

Don't forget that no one knows what they're doing all the time. People become comfortable with independence by trying things and learning a bit at a time, seeking help when they run into something they don't know how to manage, making mistakes and figuring out how to pick up the pieces and how to do it better next time.  It's okay to not know what you're doing, to start with low stakes and push just a little further than your comfort zone at a time and learn to trust your ability to handle things bit by bit.
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by reboot on Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:53 pm

Thirding the pick what you want to do, but encouraging you to at least learn the skills to support and take care of yourself because you never know what might happen and when you will have to do it. Learning becuse you have no choice is never the preferred method
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by bomaye on Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:07 pm

A major point of it to me is the judgement that comes along with it. It seems like a lot of adult-type stuff is based on being judged well by others. It's probably one of my major despair points, it's not stuff I can go back and undo and it is stuff that will stick for the rest of my life regardless what I do.
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by Enail on Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:23 pm

By 'based on,' do you mean that you can only succeed at adult-type stuff if you also succeed in being judged well by others?

You can't go back and undo past things, but people don't generally care that much about what's past as much as what's the case for you right now, so if you change something, what used to be probably won't stick to you all that much.
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by Werel on Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:32 pm

Enail wrote:You can't go back and undo past things, but people don't generally care that much about what's past as much as what's the case for you right now, so if you change something, what used to be probably won't stick to you all that much.

Yup, this. People forget things, especially things that aren't that relevant to them in the first place (e.g. your personal history). If you become a guy with most necessary adult skills, nobody's going to go around trying to pinpoint exactly when you acquired those adult skills. And if for some reason you want to disclose the fact that you got a late start, disclose it to people you don't think are judgmental jerks.
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by reboot on Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:36 pm

People tend to judge on whether or not you have the skills. They tend not to care if you learned them yesterday or 20 years ago. In fact, you are more likely to be asked where/how you learned something than when. And that is only if people think you are good at it.
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by bomaye on Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:15 pm

Enail wrote:By 'based on,' do you mean that you can only succeed at adult-type stuff if you also succeed in being judged well by others?

Sort of. It's an employment gap, or a lack of social skills gap, or a "you're [x] years old and still can't do/still haven't done [thing?]." It kind of feels like an easy way to dismiss someone, or an easy way for a potential friend to go like ["Yowwww, something's wrong with this one, I'd better avoid."]

I tend to think most people have some kind of judgmental jerk in them @ Werel (mostly because I have issues with being one myself at times, especially online), I'm not sure if I'm the kind of person who can bypass or hold up against that kind of thing, partly because I have a lot of experience with having a friend who's a judgmental jerk

reboot wrote:People tend to judge on whether or not you have the skills. They tend not to care if you learned them yesterday or 20 years ago. In fact, you are more likely to be asked where/how you learned something than when. And that is only if people think you are good at it.

Hrm, do they tend to care while you're learning it whatever though?


Well, I guess while I'm taking stock of things I consider to be big faults, I'll list things I think I can do

- I've been grocery shopping enough times that if I had to, I could do it on my own (though figuring out correct portions would take a little bit)
- I do have a license and can drive automatic.
- I do some of the cooking, enough so that this is another "if I had to, I could figure it out."
- I don't drink (maybe a negative? Everyone I know seems to have favourite drinks and knows how to handle themselves drunk-ish, but I'm extremely limited in this), I don't smoke, drugs aren't my thing (I don't do weed but I don't really count it as "drugs" anymore)

Probably a few other minor things
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by Enail on Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:31 pm

bomaye wrote:
Enail wrote:By 'based on,' do you mean that you can only succeed at adult-type stuff if you also succeed in being judged well by others?

Sort of. It's an employment gap, or a lack of social skills gap, or a "you're [x] years old and still can't do/still haven't done [thing?]." It kind of feels like an easy way to dismiss someone, or an easy way for a potential friend to go like ["Yowwww, something's wrong with this one, I'd better avoid."]

I tend to think most people have some kind of judgmental jerk in them @ Werel (mostly because I have issues with being one myself at times, especially online), I'm not sure if I'm the kind of person who can bypass or hold up against that kind of thing, partly because I have a lot of experience with having a friend who's a judgmental jerk

Yeah, some people might use it to dismiss you, so I think you're going to want to filter for non-judgmental jerkishness. I do agree that most people have some judgmental jerk in them, but what other people are doing/have done/know how to do is much more varied than you think, so don't underestimate how common some of those gaps are. And people can react to things in different ways depending on the context and how you introduce them, so just because someone's got the capacity to be judgmental, that doesn't mean they're automatically going to aim it at you.


reboot wrote:People tend to judge on whether or not you have the skills. They tend not to care if you learned them yesterday or 20 years ago. In fact, you are more likely to be asked where/how you learned something than when. And that is only if people think you are good at it.

Hrm, do they tend to care while you're learning it whatever though?

My guess would be that it depends what the thing you're learning is and what the context is.


Well, I guess while I'm taking stock of things I consider to be big faults, I'll list things I think I can do

- I've been grocery shopping enough times that if I had to, I could do it on my own (though figuring out correct portions would take a little bit)
- I do have a license and can drive automatic.
- I do some of the cooking, enough so that this is another "if I had to, I could figure it out."
- I don't drink (maybe a negative? Everyone I know seems to have favourite drinks and knows how to handle themselves drunk-ish, but I'm extremely limited in this), I don't smoke, drugs aren't my thing (I don't do weed but I don't really count it as "drugs" anymore)
Probably a few other minor things

That's good! Staying aware of what you've already got a handle on is important to not getting overwhelmed or defeatist. I found cooking a pretty big one to learn, so I'd call that a big plus that you're comfortable with that.
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by reboot on Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:56 pm

A big thing to learn are how to manage finances. For example, can you figure out your household's monthly expenses? Taxes and how to do them are also important. You do not wantto get jammed with those without having the basics under your belt. Laundry would be another big one. What to wash at what temperature, how dry it, etc.. If there is a chance you can get stuck with maintaining a car, learn the basics of what needs to be done when (e.g. air in tires, need new tires, when to change oil). Basic household cleaning is also important.

Nice thing is you can learn all of this at home. Ask whoever currently supports you about household finances and taxes and maybe take on some of the management if they will let you. Practice laundry, which is more a matter of reading labels and paying attention. Read up on the car online. Take over some household cleaning after learning from whoever does it now. No one needs to know about you learning this stuff outside of your household
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by bomaye on Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:53 am

Taxes, I'd probably just go to someone to do them. The Canadian tax code is way too complicated.

Managing finances, I get the general idea of live below your means and generally how to keep track of things. My family is extremely tight with financial information, though, so I'm not likely going to get real numbers on this until I was finally doing it on my own.

Laundry, oi. I once asked my mom "can you show me how to do laundry" and she was dumbfound that I didn't already know and I was like "how could I know, you're the one who does them for all of us." She still didn't even show me afterwards -_-

House cleaning doesn't really worry me. I come from an OCD family, that information would be easily available if I needed it

Hrm, needing to know the signs of a car needing something would probably be a thing. I'm not much for car maintenance or knowing how those things work, so that'd definitely be a learning experience.
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by Wondering on Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:10 am

I second reboot that laundry is mainly just reading labels and paying attention. But the settings on the machines can be confusing, and knowing how to sort things into loads can be, too. Here's a how-to on laundry that I read myself because I've never used or understood permanent press.

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/08/02/heading-out-on-your-own-day-2-how-to-do-laundry/

Now, if you have a more modern washer or dryer, they may have more self-explanatory settings/buttons.

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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by reboot on Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:40 am

bomaye wrote:Taxes, I'd probably just go to someone to do them. The Canadian tax code is way too complicated.

Managing finances, I get the general idea of live below your means and generally how to keep track of things. My family is extremely tight with financial information, though, so I'm not likely going to get real numbers on this until I was finally doing it on my own.

Do some guesstimating. Look at the groceries and add up price. Sneak a peek at the utilities in a couple of different seasons. Not sure if there is a mortgage, but that can be guessed by looking at house prices in the neighborhood. Add in needing someone to do taxes. If shit goes down (and it always does) it is good to know what you need at that moment rather than trying to sort it out in the shit.

Laundry, oi. I once asked my mom "can you show me how to do laundry" and she was dumbfound that I didn't already know and I was like "how could I know, you're the one who does them for all of us." She still didn't even show me afterwards -_-

Take your own clothes and practice. Read the labels. The washer dryer controls are relatively intuitive.
[/quote]
...

Hrm, needing to know the signs of a car needing something would probably be a thing. I'm not much for car maintenance or knowing how those things work, so that'd definitely be a learning experience.

Luckily they come with a manual and there is a ton of stuff online. And I am not talking fancy stuff, unless you develop a taste for it. Knowing when to change the oil (another expense to add to budget), when tires need to be changed short of a blow out, what the dash lights mean, etc. would be enough
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by bomaye on Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:17 pm

Wondering wrote:I second reboot that laundry is mainly just reading labels and paying attention. But the settings on the machines can be confusing, and knowing how to sort things into loads can be, too. Here's a how-to on laundry that I read myself because I've never used or understood permanent press.

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/08/02/heading-out-on-your-own-day-2-how-to-do-laundry/

Now, if you have a more modern washer or dryer, they may have more self-explanatory settings/buttons.

This kind of thing doesn't seem too hard, just pay attention and read labels.

reboot wrote:
Do some guesstimating. Look at the groceries and add up price. Sneak a peek at the utilities in a couple of different seasons. Not sure if there is a mortgage, but that can be guessed by looking at house prices in the neighborhood. Add in needing someone to do taxes. If shit goes down (and it always does) it is good to know what you need at that moment rather than trying to sort it out in the shit.

I don't think I'd be able to, my mom is insanely paranoid about anyone seeing her finances. The most I've ever gotten is complaining about groceries being in the $200ish range for four adults. They paid off their mortgage years ago after a passing of an uncle, my mom says it's relatively cheap to live in this house but I don't really know what that means.



Luckily they come with a manual and there is a ton of stuff online. And I am not talking fancy stuff, unless you develop a taste for it. Knowing when to change the oil (another expense to add to budget), when tires need to be changed short of a blow out, what the dash lights mean, etc. would be enough

That's no biggie, then.


My biggest anxieties is figuring out how to afford to live (School? A degree? Can I afford that debt?) and kind of feeling like a generally useless human being because everyone else has seemed to figure it out and they're off having crazy adventures and handling their lives (I know this is kind of creating a straw man and that most people hide their difficulties or don't display them on facebook or whatever, but I think most people have a decent handle on things and have the kind of friend support network that I just don't have)
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by reboot on Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:37 pm

OK, that stuff can be figured out online. There are a couple of calculators available like this one where you can plug in expenses. You can Google to find rent, utility, etc in your area. Pick the midpoint of any estimate for any expense. For groceries, go to the store, add up foods you would eat in a week and then add in sales tax. Remember to include cooking oil, spices, etc.. For rent, look up the average rent for a 1 bedroom. It will not be perfect, but it will be close enough to get an idea.

I do not really remember your back story too well, so apologies if this is a dumb question: did you complete high school? If no, look into getting an equivalency degree. If yes, apologies. 40+ year old memories suck.

As for paying for school, are you interested in anything academic? Because if not, you might want to consider an apprenticeship. I cannot remember where you live except it was Canada. You might want to look at what is available. The nice thing with apprenticeship is you get paid something rather than paying.
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by eselle28 on Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:41 pm

In terms of budgeting, you might also want to take a look at this site too. It requires some trust, but it's able to track your actual expenditures, which is a way to get a handle on what you're currently spending your money on. It also has a budgeting tool that you could play with using average expenditures.
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by bomaye on Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:51 pm

I did complete high school.

These budgeting tools also seem very useful.

reboot wrote:
As for paying for school, are you interested in anything academic? Because if not, you might want to consider an apprenticeship. I cannot remember where you live except it was Canada. You might want to look at what is available. The nice thing with apprenticeship is you get paid something rather than paying.

I've always been very "I don't know" about this kind of stuff. I'm not sure if I'm smart or social enough for academics type things (I can pass school, that's not hard, but being someone an employer would choose, I could easily see myself getting stuck with a student debt). Trades are like... I don't know if I'm physically strong enough or can tough enough to last in that kind of work. I've been doing about 2 hours of physical labour per day for my neighbour and I'm dying as it is :/
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by Enail on Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:22 pm

Not all trades are physically demanding!
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by reboot on Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:46 pm

Yeah, lots of trades are operating machines which requires memory and intelligence rather than strength. Even in mining there is less brawn and more operating big equipment.
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by Werel on Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:29 pm

Figuring out what you can tolerate doing for a living: another thing volunteering is good for. You get to try doing a bunch of different kinds of tasks and see which are least unpleasant to you, in lower-stakes circumstances than a paid job. Try signing up for a couple gigs at small organizations that need help with everyday job-type duties like cashiering or data entry or moving boxes of supplies from place to place. Figuring out which types of work you hate least, or maybe kinda enjoy, gives you a lot more to go on when considering the big "what do I want to do with my life (or at least for a job)" questions.

Seconding the idea to look into skilled apprenticeships. A Canadian friend did one at a butcher shop and learned a lot while also getting money and meat.
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by bomaye on Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:40 pm

I gave it a few days because I was trying to get off caffeine stuff too, but that crash is too rough

Werel wrote:Figuring out what you can tolerate doing for a living: another thing volunteering is good for. You get to try doing a bunch of different kinds of tasks and see which are least unpleasant to you, in lower-stakes circumstances than a paid job. Try signing up for a couple gigs at small organizations that need help with everyday job-type duties like cashiering or data entry or moving boxes of supplies from place to place. Figuring out which types of work you hate least, or maybe kinda enjoy, gives you a lot more to go on when considering the big "what do I want to do with my life (or at least for a job)" questions.

Seconding the idea to look into skilled apprenticeships. A Canadian friend did one at a butcher shop and learned a lot while also getting money and meat.

I live in a small-ish city (30-40k), there's much less room for choice and what I can "tolerate" and what is realistic to live on don't seem to match up that well. And a degree is both the entrance to doing anything important and an anchor that ties down your finances regardless if you actually get anything with it or not.

I don't have a lot of optimism for the future when it comes to this stuff, the world doesn't want people who aren't struggling against whatever's put in front of them with a smile on their face, which kind of adds the idea that I'm Too Late and I don't know if there's much that can be done about it.
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by Enail on Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:07 pm

Before ruling things out as impossible, look at the details of what you can tolerate and how you can live. The details matter for this stuff. I'd think you'd do better to look at more career-oriented training, apprenticeships or college rather than a university degree, since the latter are more costly and don't always translate as well as they're supposed to to actual job-getting, especially in a smaller place.

The world is made up of a lot of different kinds of people, not all of whom expect everyone to be struggling with a smile on their face all the time.
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Re: The fear of "Too Late"

Post by bomaye on Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:24 pm

I did four straight hours of physical labour today without realizing it Sad
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