First world problems – an essay in not coping

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  • First world problems – an essay in not coping
  • Premier Icon andeh
    Subscriber

    So, I could actually be out riding my bike now, but instead I’m still in bed, reading this forum and thinking about my shit job and this shit town I’m stuck in. I’ve not been out on my bike since I got back from France a month or so ago and I’m really struggling to get back into it.

    I think I need some new friends. Over the years my assorted biking mates have all moved on to the pub and left me to roll alone. Even my normal, non_bikey friends are really grating at the minute. I find them so boring, the mundane things they talk about and the complete lack of desire to do anything even slightly different. I was at the pub last night (for the first time in ages, I don’t really drink) and despite trying to involve myself and empathise with their lack of perspective, I just found myself playing tower defense on my phone. I know, I’m a horrible person.

    Aside from going to uni, where I studied architecture, I’ve lived in the same backwards little town for my whole 23 years. I’m really struggling to find a job that I can throw myself into and , ideally, not get bored and frustrated with after a few weeks. I’m working at TKMAXX at the minute and detest it with every fibre of my being. I see my colleagues, some deep, intellectual, creative people, forced to “make sure all the coats are zipped up” and the waste of potential leaves me blind with rage. I’m eating my life away in that stupid shop, pandering to their ridiculous, **** introverted requests. I’m not even sure how I ended up there.

    In all honesty, I have no point to this post. I think I just wanted to share some of my 1st world problems around, see if anyone has any words of encouragement because it’s becoming increasingly hard to just get out of bed, let alone refrain from running a naked mock through the lanes of Meadowhall, collecting eyeballs on a sharpened coat hanger, shouting “I am Kroll! Are you not entertained!?!”

    peterfile
    Member

    All of this is of course a lot easier said than done, but from what you’ve just said (it sounds like a massive case of stuckinarutitis):

    being in your current job, current town and hanging around with your current friends is making you unhappy and you have no motivation to do the things you normally enjoy…

    …change the stuff thats not making you happy.

    Like I said, easier said than done, but it’s doable.

    There’s plenty of bike meets where you can bump into new cycleminded people. You don’t need to ditch the old mates, just make sure you’ve got a good balance.

    Also, no mention of a partner…you don’t need to be in a relationship, but even chasing someone can be surprisingly good at lifting your motivation πŸ™‚

    As for the job…there are others. Apply for some and move if you can.

    And get out on your bloody bike!! πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Start up a thread asking for rides in your area. You need to be around people with a zest for life as mtb’ers do. Get those endorphins flowing and the rest will sort itself out.

    Good luck. πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Get those endorphins flowing

    And then when you’ve finished, get out of bed, wash your hands and go ride your bike.

    In seriousness; at 23, I thought “oh god, I’m old, my life’s ruined.” In hindsight now at 40, the thing that was most wrong was my perception.

    There’s nothing you list there that can’t be changed, and whilst I appreciate that actually making change is difficult, it can be done.

    A job you hate affects everything else around you, so tackle that; start seriously job hunting, the absolute best time to get a new job is when you already have one. No pressure in interviews (you don’t *have* to get the job, you can bomb a dozen interviews and still be no worse off), you can be more choosy, and a bit cheekier in salary negotiations.

    Get that sorted, the rest will follow, I reckon.

    fingerbike
    Member

    I got like this ended up getting a one year work visa:
    http://www.bunac.org/
    Found some like minded bikey types on this here internet and got a room in a house in North Vancouver.
    Had an amazing time. Go and ride bikes in Canada for a year?!

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Naughty Cougar! πŸ™‚

    My take is that you need to feel good about yourself before job-hunting, ie building self-esteem and that’s why the bike comes in.

    The other thing I would say is that I’ve seen my son leave Uni, eventually getting a proper job, move to London into shared accommodation with strangers. It was a particularly stressful time for him due to so much change.

    oddjob
    Member

    FFS you’re 23, just get off your bum and go and do something. Get a job as a chalet boy for the winter, go do a TEFL course and work in the far east for a couple of years. Broaden your horizons, think of something you’d like to do and just do it.

    Don’t let people talk you out of it, there are always reasons NOT to do something, just make a plan and do it before you’re fat, miserable and married, wondering what might have been…

    Premier Icon andeh
    Subscriber

    Ha, reading back my post I sound like a right sad sack. It’s just one of those days, I’m not normally this self-indulgent…..honest 😯

    Thankyou for replying everyone.

    I need to get out of this town and enjoy myself for a bit. I went straight from being shafted by my degree to being stuck at home, I never took some “me” time. I’m really not ready for a normal job yet, the prospect makes me a little sick tbh.

    Money is the limiting factor here though, I seriously have no idea how some of my Uni mates managed to jolly around the world for 18 months without working.

    I might bugger off to the Alps for a bit.

    alpin
    Member

    I’m working at TKMAXX at the minute

    what’s the discount like?

    you sound half intelligent. piss off and do something.

    as said above, chalet bitch for winter or bike bum in summer.

    buy yourself some panniers and a cheap tent and bugger off across europe.

    apply for a job in Oz, Canada or Kiwi-land.

    or buy lots of weed, get stoned and stare at your penis all day long….

    A job you hate affects everything else around you, so tackle that; start seriously job hunting, the absolute best time to get a new job is when you already have one. No pressure in interviews (you don’t *have* to get the job, you can bomb a dozen interviews and still be no worse off), you can be more choosy, and a bit cheekier in salary negotiations.

    Get that sorted, the rest will follow, I reckon.

    This 100%. Job hunting when you have a job, even if you despise your current one, is a great position to be in. You will interview better than you thought you could because of the lack of pressure and applying for jobs will remind you there are other options out there, getting interviews will remind you have the potential and then getting one of the jobs will remind you just how good you can be.

    As Cougar said, as much as we probably hate to admit it, life generally pivots around your work. Get that right and the rest will start to fall into place. I wish I’d realised that when I was in my early 20’s.

    Money is the limiting factor here though, I seriously have no idea how some of my Uni mates managed to jolly around the world for 18 months without working.

    I remember thinking the same. Many of them were bankrolled by their parents whilst i was thinking “but what about my career!”. However at 23 its difficult to understand how much time you have to correct any mistakes you make. If you head to the Alps or choose a career thats not great – it doesn’t matter. You’ve got time to do something else. The important thing is to do *something*.

    Not wanting to ride is a symptom of other stuff getting you down, and as great as riding is, biking can’t fix that stuff by itself. Though it can allow you time and space to think.

    Premier Icon andeh
    Subscriber

    TK Maxx discount is shit. 10% and it’s strictly for personal use, no friends or even direct family.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    The other thing I would say is that I’ve seen my son leave Uni, eventually getting a proper job, move to London into shared accommodation with strangers. It was a particularly stressful time for him due to so much change.

    Change? Stress? I did pretty much exactly that apart from I left school at 17, got a job, got another job and was SENT to London. I arrived in Limehouse with a car and a bag of clothes, nowhere to stay, knowing nobody. By that evening I had digs and a housemate, and I never went home again other than to visit. I moved around for about 4-5 years then stopped in Farnborough where my last job was.

    OP – remember, work means diddly squat. The sooner you realise that the better. Most people I see with an ‘important job or career’ gets stressed, works too much and is’t really very happy. What do you want on your gravestone? ‘He loved his life and his family’ or ‘ He loved his job’ ???

    Either way, if you don’t like it l, change it. MTFU basically! πŸ™‚

    I might bugger off to the Alps for a bit.

    Or do something useful?

    Volunteer to dig holes in Africa, help out at an orphanage in India …

    Will get you out of your hometown, away from your deadbeat mates and alter your perspective in other ways.

    And

    do it before you’re fat, miserable and married

    Premier Icon Del
    Subscriber

    I’m really not ready for a normal job yet, the prospect makes me a little sick tbh.

    MTFU. seriously. can’t afford to do anything, can’t afford to go away, but getting a ‘proper job’ makes you feel sick?
    it’s your choice mate but between zipping up coats and doing some sums and some drawings and likely getting paid a whole lot more for time you have to give up anyway, i know what i’d be looking to do.
    sorry if it all sounds a bit harsh but what do you think the rest of us are doing? we’re all just muddling through best we can.

    mafiafish
    Member

    Not much help but I’m 23 and am in a similar boat (though have a few good bikey mates). I’m going back to uni as even though I’ve got a decent job, it’s mind-numbing and the only other jobs available at the moment are even more menial, require an engineering degree or are high staff turnover sell!-sell!-sell! type affairs. Therefore I’m taking a change of scenery and the opportunity to engage my brain again.

    I would agree with cinnamon girl that trying to meet some new biking friends is a good idea, gives you something to luck forward to each week as well as the mood boost from exercise.

    Spending some time in the Alps might be a good idea or it might not be, you won’t really earn anything, will have to work silly hours possibly be obsequious to ****holes and might find all your resort mates are merely airheads. Then again, you might make life-long friends, maybe some job connections and have a right old laugh.

    TEFL might be a better option, any time spent working in a different culture is useful from an employment perspective and you’ll likely have a better disposable income (in real terms) and work better hours, allowing you to see and do a bit more. If I’d have had my time again I’d have done a TEFL straight from uni, lots of friends had a great time while I just applied for jobs and got depressed.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do, and remember you’re still extremely lucky in the grand scheme of things!

    andeh – where are you? We’ll be riding round t’Peak bank holiday weekend if you fancy ranting at a bunch of fat old knackers of varying degrees of bitterness whilst pissing yourself laughing at us wheezing up hills and mincing down them?

    Social pace like.

    scuzz
    Member

    Couchsurfing.org – fantastic community of travellers. As long as you’re willing to put some time and effort into your profile, people all over the world will be more than happy to have you stay on their sofas and show you around their cities.
    For free.

    It’s also a vibrant community in itself with local meets and the like.
    You have no excuse. Do it now.

    will
    Member

    What others have said in regards to applying for jobs whilst you have one, you’re in an ideal situation, with a good degree and you have a good sector to work in.

    I’d look at moving somewhere busier like London, plenty of jobs, loads of stuff and opportunities for young people, join a bike club, make friends etc…

    For what it’s worth, i’m 23, moved to London because I got offered a job there and haven’t looked back (been here just over a year) yeah I wont be here for ever, but its good fun.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    OP – remember, work means diddly squat.

    I disagree. Work is what you spend most of your time doing, so it has to be something you like.

    Working at TK Maxx sounds absolutely awful, I feel for you OP.

    And I know how annoying it can be when people suggest a lifestyle that you just wouldn’t feel happy with (like couchsurfing for example) and then blaming you for not doing it.

    You need to sit down and figure out exactly what it is that you want and then how you are going to get it.

    corroded
    Member

    Don’t waste these years in a dead-end job in a dead-end town. Work out what your ambitions are. Set yourself some difficult goals. Go and be whoever you want to be.

    Squidlord
    Member

    Do something that scares you.
    I was in the same situation many years ago…
    (Wavy lines, voice-over)
    I did a TEFL and emigrated. Decided to see it as an adventure. Reckoned I’d be able to go back to live with my parents doing a crappy retail job anytime. it’s not all been plain sailing, far from it. But it’s rarely been dull. I’m very happy I did it.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    Name and shame the Shit town. Never know, some of us might be round the corner from you.
    Seriously, find a proper job (anywhere!), if you really want to go into architecture (after all, you’ve spent years studying, you should at least try and find out if its the career for you). Earn some decent cash for a while and save it up. Meet new people while you’re at it. Work for a couple of years, so it looks good on your CV. Then spank said cash on an 18-month trip round the world, possibly getting a proper job halfway round (Sydney/Auckland etc) then either stay there, or come back and settle wherever the heck you feel like.

    You’re young, single with no commitments by the sounds of it and sale-able skills. The world really is your oyster.

    and in the meantime, its summer, its finally stopped raining, get out on your bike while the rest of us are stuck in work.

    Premier Icon crispo
    Subscriber

    My little brother is 22. He graduated from Uni last year and is currently living out in Whistler……and loves it.

    He worked at home straight after uni to earn enough money for the air fare and a little buffer, then went out to Canada in November and hasnt been back since.

    He was working in a hotel for the winter season and then decided it was so good he would stay and do a summer season. From what I hear of him now he rides most days with all the other 20 somethings out there, works to pay his way for accommodation and then uses tips for all his spending money.

    We went to visit him back in March and it was a fantastic place to be. He has had the best time and loves it, maybe something like that would suit you well?

    Think he just googled jobs in Whistler to start with and then found some job fair in London in September time.

    scuzz
    Member

    And I know how annoying it can be when people suggest a lifestyle that you just wouldn’t feel happy with (like couchsurfing for example) and then blaming you for not doing it

    OP: No blame intended. Maybe a little bit of a kick-up-the-jacksie, but if it floats your boat, go for it. (They’re not all hippies either).

    Premier Icon andeh
    Subscriber

    MTFU. seriously. can’t afford to do anything, can’t afford to go away, but getting a ‘proper job’ makes you feel sick?

    Well, when I say makes me feel sick, I mean the prospect of spending 8 hours a day sat behind a desk is hardly an attractive one. The money isn’t all that important, I’d rather do something I enjoy or, at very least, get a sense of achievement out of.

    To make it clear, I’m not looking to pursue a career in architecture, which is why I’m stuck for ideas. I’m creative and really don’t want a job operating a spread sheet. That said, you need an ultra specific degree to get a job in anything currently.

    flyingmonkeycorps – I’m in Doncaster, but sans car. If I’m not working and can get via train I’ll come for a blast.

    I really appreciate all the responses by the way, in all forms. It’s a case of getting options down in front of me, which this is helping me do. Ta

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Ok so people aren’t blaming the OP but really the surf-bum permanent backpacker thing – it takes a certain sort of person I think.

    Oh and DO NOT GET ANY KIND OF LOAN OR CREDIT WHEN YOU ARE YOUNG. Unless you are happy to sit at a 9-5 job for years. Some are of course.

    I’m creative and really don’t want a job operating a spread sheet

    It’s not as bad as working in TK Maxx.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    I can echo most of the above advice, but not follow it (20 years after OP!) 😐

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    Ah. Doncaster. I see your problem. I grew up in Wakefield.

    So no architecture, and not neccesarily chalet-bitch travel-bum.

    You got any savings? Do a mountain leader training course, and find a job as a bike-guide. If nothing else, working in “hospitality” will give you the opportunity to meet loads of different people. I know of someone who was working in a bar in London, got fed up with a loud-mouthed customer so gave a bit of lip back. Customer liked his confidence and gave him the chance to work with him in finance and he ended up earning a lot. πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I’m in Doncaster

    Ee, I was doing a site visit in Bawtry yesterday.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I’m creative and really don’t want a job operating a spread sheet

    It’s not as bad as working in TK Maxx.

    Plus bear in mind, it doesn’t have to be permanent. You seem to be viewing it as “well, when I get a ‘proper’ job I’ll be stuck doing it for the rest of my life.” You need to shift that mindset.

    Jobs can always be changed. Assuming you’re going to save up and have a holiday in a year, it’s better to be spending the next 12 months playing with spreadsheets than 12 months pairing up shoes, n’est-ce pas?

    meehaja
    Member

    Join the army. Its better than doing nothing, and at least after 3 years of that you’ll know wether you want to be in the army or not. Also, at 23 you could be an officer and get a decent wage, travel the world (plus all the bad bits, but y’know!)

    Failing that, find a graduate recruitment scheme/management scheme in something that you can tollerate and spend your spare time being awesome.

    Failing that, get several crap jobs. Work in TKMAXX all day, a bar at night and maybe do weekends as well. Save every penny you can then next spring, go somewhere nice and stay until the money runs out. Repeat as necessary.

    mid 20’s are always a bit weird because you’re stuck betwen boring adulthood and elongated teens. You have an overwhelming sense of “need to be doing something” whilst feeling like whatever you are doing is worthless. Its the same for everyone really. I spent my 20’s trying desperately to get promoted from the lower rungs of the ambulance service having binned uni off to train to be a paramedic. I worked really hard and by the time I got to 30 I had a wife, child, house, was fully qualified and settled. I don’t regret my 20’s but if I could do it againI’d do it differently!

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    What are you on about? Spreadsheets are awesome! πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon DaRC_L
    Subscriber

    Was looking at web design stuff and came across this site:
    PaidToExist
    which seems to cover your position – they don’t appear to want money (which is good). If they do want money then I apologise…

    andeh – chuck me an email (willslater[at]gmail[dot]com) if you’re free at all that weekend, depending on who’s going / driving it’s feasible we could pass through Donny on the way down if there’s space in the car.

    You’d best not be an axe murderer or anything mind.

    nicko74
    Member

    I haven’t read the whole thread, but have read the OP, and it resonates a lot, both with how I felt at age 23 and with a few concerns I’ve had about a close mate.

    In my own experience, the solution was to jack it all in and go travelling. It’s a rich kid solution, no doubt, but saving up the money to go gives you something to work towards; being out there breaks you out of the same old framework and bull; and coming back you’ll be a more rounded, more interesting person with broader horizons and a better idea of what you want out of life.

    It sounds stupid, no doubt, and I’m sure it works better for some people than others, but seeing some fascinating places, having to socialise and hang out with people you don’t know does wonders for changing your view of the world. I’d say 3 months minimum, if you can afford it.

    When you get back, it sounds like you may want to move out of your town to somewhere else in the country – or a different country – because by the sounds of it you’re not really going anywhere fast there. But it’s easier when you have an idea of what your employable skills are…

    Chin up though; at 23 you’ve barely any employment history or skillset at all (wish I could say that to my younger self!) – the point at the moment is to do the sh*tty jobs so that you get those skills and history, to help you move on to bigger, better things.

    redwoods
    Member

    I feel antiquated now by remembering how I felt at 21 (cue those wavey lines again) stuck in a rubbish dead-end job in London, not many mates, bit lonely and wondering if this was all there was to life. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or how to get there but I knew I wasn’t happy and when a friend at work suggested I do Bunac (fingerbike gave a link earlier in the thread) I thought what the hell, got nothing to lose.

    It didn’t cost much (a lot of the costs like flights etc were covered by them) I actually worked on the summer camp programme they offer – spent 6 months in the middle of the Pocono mountains in Pennsyvania and spent another 3 months travelling all over with friends I made and had an absolute blast. Was scary as hell beforehand going to the airport not knowing what to expect and not knowing anyone, but it shook everything up and put me in entirely new situations and it was just what I needed to get me out of that rut.

    Really echo everyone elses sentiments who advocate volunteering or doing programmes such as these abroad. If you don’t know what you want to do (and lets face it many people, especially in their early twenties, don’t) this is the perfect time to get out there, discover new interests, make new friends and live the kind of life unburdened with mortgages and other commitments while you still can.

    Wish you the best of luck (and a token kick up the bum to help get you there too)

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    You’d best not be an axe murderer or anything mind.

    What’re you going to do if he is? You’ll already have been axe murdered.

    crikey
    Member

    ….I can’t remember being that young…..now, where did I put my glasses, Oh, not my glasses, those other things, teeth! Yes, my teeth, now I do know that you can bugger off to the US with bunac and have a great time and get paid a little bit for doing it. There may also be the opportunity to er… you know…. with ….the ladies…. Standard!

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