Feel Like A Failure

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Post by Dannyboy on Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:21 pm

Ugh, well, once again I'm on here feeling sorry for myself Sad

Things were feeling good for awhile, I was learning guitar, I just got a new dog a couple of months ago. I've been going to AA every week since I last posted, though I have relapsed a few times since. I think I made a friend in AA (its hard to tell, he has schizoaffective disorder and he's very shy, though he call me a friend) and I've started volunteering down at the local homeless shelter. I've even got back to exercising daily. Up until right now, I didn't even really care that I don't have a girlfriend...that I've never had a girlfriend.

But then I got back into a OkCupid, liked a bunch of people, messaged some more, and proceeded to be either ignored or quietly rejected. What's worse is that, looking at the profiles, girls in my age range (I'm 24 now) want to date someone with a stable, profitable career. I still live with my parents, and all I've got is a part-time job at the library making 10.50 an hour.  I am taking graduate classes online, but with recent political events I doubt a Masters in Library Science will be worth a dime in a couple of years. Looking at all these OKC profiles, all these girls seem to have these great careers and their own homes, I've fallen so far behind, I'm like a child.

I've thought about trying to move out before, but the only jobs available to a History major don't pay nearly enough to afford an apartment. Plus, my parents don't want me to go and keep telling me I should finish Grad school and get a full-time job before i move out. I don't know, I just feel like an absolute failure right now.

Edit: And then I finally get a reply from a cool girl who plays guitar and is in a band...and she thinks being gay is a sin. Why do I let myself get my hopes up.


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Post by Enail on Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:46 pm

It sounds like you're doing a lot of great stuff, so try not to let the stuff you're feeling bad about keep you from remembering that.

Online dating profiles can be a little like Facebook pages in that people are showing their highlights and you're not seeing the ways they're struggling. Tooooons of people are living with their parents at 24 and beyond, tooooons of people don't have great careers and their own homes. I suspect OKC can be rough on people who don't have those kinds of checkbox things, because they're easy to quantify and put out there at the top of the list as a yes/no, whereas the more intangible positives - volunteering! likes dogs! working on a grad degree! - can be a little less obvious, so it's not set up for you to put your best foot forward.

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Post by yunoquestionmark on Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:29 pm

There's a whole lot of forces working at once against you here.

People in the 18-35 year old age group, in the US, are going to be the first group since before the war to have a worse standard of living than their parents almost guaranteed. We don't buy cars, we don't buy houses, we don't by flashy engagement rings if we even get married. All of that's of course rational for the media to blame us for the economy, without ever thinking that because of the recession + automation + globalization there's simply fewer well paying jobs going. Finding a 35 hour a week retail job, no matter how well paying it is, is never going to allow for the kind of upwards mobility enjoyed in years passed.. not anywhere anyone would want to live anyway. Young people overwhelmingly skew liberal so they want to live in places that are progressive and that almost certainly means the coasts which drives up prices for houses to the point where very few can afford to move there.

I've personally found people's minimal qualifications on OKC to be ludicrous in the extreme but then again at least in my area the same ones have been on it every time I've tried to use it going back nearly 6-7 years... and I agree all it has ever done is make me depressed to look at it.

I've done a lot of the same things you have, taken up martial arts, tried to further my education, done some volunteer work, and honestly I've found that while it kind of helped me feel better... the real problem for me at least is object fixation. I want the things that society tells me I should want, but I'm not sure why I want them. Every day i wake up and I don't have a wedding band on, a suburban house with 2.5 kids and 2 SUV's in the garage some how is a bad day even if nothing is really going wrong. It's just.. marketing. Marketing is so insanely powerful and digs so deep into your brain that it's hard to get rid of it.

Superficial marketing is what we consciously recognize as marketing, buy this car or this brand of ciggarettes or ask your doctor about this perspcription... we recognize and can drown out stuff like that.. but what's harder to drown out is stuff that's everywhere in the media and society. Couples are held up as the ideal in films, tv shows, books, etc... our entire tax code is built around privledging not just couples but couples with children. Single people aren't just derided as having something wrong with them, they are actively punished by being forced to subsidize families. You pay for public schools regardless. You pay for child tax credits regardless... and they keep punishing you because they want you to conform.. but when you have an issue where it's difficult to conform you're met with endless frustration.

I didn't start getting "on my feet" until I was 30... I'm still barely making ends meet but I was 29 before i was able to move out of my parents house and that's with two bachelor's degrees... but I didn't want to move where the jobs were.. if I'd wanted to move to ohio or some midwestern GOP stronghold I could have found work far more easily. I didn't get my first girlfriend until I was 27. But I've definitley found that gets easier as you get older, though that's obviously me speaking as a guy... I know the inverse is often the norm for women.

Just keep in mind that every millennial is basically being asked to run a race with a concrete block tied to their foot. If you have any type of neuro-atypicality you have one tied to the other foot as well. I don't think it sounds like you're doing too badly at 24. I really wish I had started learning to play an instrument back then but I didn't, so you're ahead of me there! Go play with your dog, learn a new chord, go for a walk, and try to question the deep marketing that's been implanted in your head.


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