Friday, January 21, 2011

My Third of a Life Crisis

I am a walking contradiction. I am very cynical and people have described me as cold in the past. On the other hand, I wear my heart on my sleeve and get emotional very easily. It doesn't take much, good or bad, to turn me into a blubbering mess.

At my friend's wedding this past Sunday, I found my first grey hair. It caused a lot of emotions (none good) inside me. For the first time, I can say that I truly felt old. Later, TLS found an old picture on facebook of the two of us from my 21st birthday. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have always had a struggle with my weight and appearance (including a brief bout with anorexia in middle school). Even when I was a size 4, I felt like a very fluffy size 4, and that I was bigger than all of the size 6 and 8 girls I know. Anyways, I noticed that since that day, the then-skinny RAG had lost a lot of weight and I had gained it all and then some. TLS showed me that picture to try to show me how long we had been friends and how far we'd come since that night, but it just stirred up more negative emotions in me.

One thing that very few people know about me is that I never graduated college. I was in school for all four years and had a very rough senior year. A roommate and friend passed away. Several months later, I got very sick and was hospitalized and needed to have surgery. In between all of this, I lost a lot of time from all of my classes and failed nearly all of my classes. In trying to keep up in one class, I got further behind in another one, and so on, it was a domino effect of sorts. I walked with my class but did not receive a diploma. My plan was to go back the following year to finish up my degree, but then the place that I interned at wanted to hire me and created a position just for me. With the job market at that time being horrible (a friend of mine who graduated cum laude and was on the Dean's List ended up working at Target because that was all she could get), I decided that it was more practical to take the job, rather than turn it down, go back to school, and then not find a job a year later. It then turned out that one of the classes I needed in order to graduate was only offered at my old college in the spring semester. At 2pm. Two weekdays. That meant that I couldn't work and finish my degree, and that got pushed on the backburner some more.

Growing up, I was very spoiled. My parents gave me a lot but I also always had a job ever since I was 15. When I got laid off last December, it was a mix of emotions for me. On the one hand, I was glad that I had more time for my friends and family that I didn't have before when I was staying in the office until 9pm on some nights, but on the other hand, I was scared, upset, and felt like a failure. I cried A LOT. I still don't have my command sponsorship approved which means that for now, I'm still not allowed to apply for any jobs. I have been unemployed for a year now, which is the longest that I have ever gone without a job.

My 5 year reunion is coming up and I see all of my friends who are married, have jobs, have children, and some of whom are going for advanced degrees. I don't want children by any means, but all of my friends here have children. Plural. People hear my age and they automatically ask how old my kids are and if I want to have playdates because they automatically assume we have kids at our age. I met a 22 year old not too long ago who already has 3 children. I just feel insignificant around all of them and all of my friends who have accomplished more than I have at this point in their ages. (I do realize that I should take this with a grain of salt- a friend recently confided in me that she is jealous because without kids, TLS and I are able to travel around Europe on a whim, and she and her husband have not been able to do that because of their children- it's too difficult with strollers, etc. and far to expensive.)

After the wedding, my plan is to take online classes to finish my degree. My worry is that with that, my job prospects will still be limited. Finding a job on base is hard. People wait over a year to get a job, but I guess one out of two ain't bad.

Sorry for turning this into an emotional rant, but I've been an emotional wreck today and have needed to get it off my chest. I'm turning 28 this summer, which feels too old to be so unaccomplished. So I've decided that I'm turning 24 instead, that way I'm still in in my early twenties.


  1. Oh my gosh, I so understand what you are going through. I just had a major meltdown today because I realized I am going on 3 YEARS post graduating without a full-time job. I never thought three years ago I would be sitting here still jobless. But, all we can do is hold our heads up and know that what is supposed to happen, will happen! No matter if it's school or a job! :)

  2. Oh Hun, I share your feelings on a lot of this. I am turning 32 in 2 hours and 20 minutes. I work a menial retail job and my husband is a manager at a Walmart Neighborhood Market ( just a grocery Store). We JUST lost our Condo due to tax issues. We have no car. I can't have kids and all I ever see are friends on Facebook having 3 kids and huge houses and not living pay check to paycheck like we do. I was unemployed for 10 months last year and it almost ruined our marriage! I am not at the weight I want to be. BUT I look at the experiences I have had and the friends I have made and keep looking forward as much as I can. I have my bad days,,,, and they are often sometimes. But, Chin Up Beautiful!!!! Your Man LOVES You and lots of people have envy for you over that! Material things are material. Love is Forever!!!!!!

  3. I think you are going through something very common for our age (I just turned 28). You are kinda getting into the zone where you feel like you should at least be married and know what you're doing with your life. Ha, at least that's how I feel! I feel like I hear of so many folks that honestly never find out what they want to do. Ever. So do what makes you happy!! If finishing your degree will be satisfying to you - you should do it. If working at a retail store makes you happy - do it! Etc. etc. Do what makes you happy because if you do, you'll succeed. I promise! Hold your head up! And now go have a glass of wine!

  4. I agree with Annie, do what makes you happy. Now would be the time to go for your degree. Things always happen when we are not expecting them. Have faith, you are still young, you have your whold life ahead of you. Think of it as an adventure. Try to find something positive out of this. I know you will have your down days, we all have them. That is why we are here, to help pick you back up!
    I know things will work out for you. I have faith in you!

  5. Girl I know EXACTLY how you feel! Took me 5 years to get outa college and I still didnt get a decent degree. I finally got a job, its ok, nothing special. Im surrounded by friends getting married, having babies, going to grad school, working great jobs. I am living at my parents house at 24 with few friends, no boyfriend and no real job prospects for the next year.

    Trust me, your doing a lot better then many many people. Its a fact that the later in life you have children the more well off you are and the better you can provide for them. My parents met at 28, married at 30 and my mom was 32 when she had me - & I have 2 younger siblings.

    Trust me, your doing great!

    :hugs from this yankee belle:

  6. I just want to give you a hug right now!!!!!!! :-) sending thoughts your way. Just know that you are fabulous and everything will work out for you! Can't wait to follow what's next for your life!!!

  7. I think a lot of people feel this way sometimes... it is totally normal! Besides, having kids at 22 is so rare nowadays. If it makes you feel any better I didn't get married till I was 28 and I still don't have kids!!

  8. Let me tell you that being 24 aint so grand these days either. Barely anyone I know from high school or college has a "real job." I think it's going to be hard (for all of us 20-somethings) in the next five or so years, because our dreams in high school and college anticipated very different circumstances...not the crazy economic situation going on now. We're all on Plan B or C or D it seems!

    Furthermore, your last few years, while they may not have been filled with the "successes" you initially thought they would-- have led you to this point-- where you are with the love of your life, about to get married and share your life together. Everything else will fall into place!

  9. We should have a pity party! Haha, I understand though. Except for me, I'm torn between all the people I knew in high school & college who are getting higher degrees and these awesome jobs and the women here that I know that have so many kids (it does amaze me when I meet the women here at 22 with 3 kids, as well) I did finish my degree, and I had plans here for a job - but just the one, and it turns out to be a disappointment and a bit of of a health risk for the time being =/ But I HATE being home so much, and I hate even more than I'm not, well, seemingly useful for any sort of finances, and I've been working for years... But I too, have been out of work for about a year now, and it's gotten old. Feel free to send me a message if you wanna complain some more or simply chat. =)

  10. Girl, I didn't get my bachelor's until I was 24 1/2. And I "finished" grad school in spring 08; however I don't have my masters. All I need to do is write my thesis. So, I too am sort of in a similar boat. You are fine! I'm 30 going on 31 and don't have kids. Wish I could be touring Europe right now:)

  11. I feel you on the kids thing. I am still single one of like 3 friends who are and people look at me like I am strange and it doesn't help that I don't want kids and people don't understand that either. I feel behind and like something is wrong with at times. But I have to remember I am happy with my life and you should too. Good luck with classes!

  12. Delurking to say, I must be the only American on the planet who thinks 3 kids at 22 is CRAZY TIME! What a waste of one's youth and beauty - and so much harder to make a marriage last when folks marry that young. It's not 1970 anymore. ;)

    Don't fret, dear! Age 28 is still so YOUNG! You have all the time in the world, please don't wish it away. Studies have shown that having a first baby after the mother's 30th birthday leads to higher standardized test scores and greater educational outcomes for the child (see the book "Freakonomics" if u don't believe me) There is a definite upside to your supposed plight! Hugs to you.

  13. wow. i am so glad you shared all of this information about yourself- i always love hearing more about my blogfriends.
    i feel like you have experienced so much in your life (your YOUNG life!) - and while it hasn't always been positive experiences (esp. during your senior year) they are experiences nonetheless and they have helped to mold your character and your perspective and have really made you who you are today (someone we are alllll grateful to know!).
    i always try to think of time and age as being relative (try being the operative word). i'm not the same person as my friends and we've had different life experiences, so i can't expect to be at the same place they are... it's just so hard because i get jealous.
    chin up, friend!

  14. Hugs sweet friend! Don't worry, you are not the only one having a "third of a life" crisis, I am right behind you!

    Stay positive!

  15. I too do not have a degree however, I have been a vice president of a major corporation and a Manager of another Insurance Company. So without it has not set me back, so don't worry.