Due to this WONDERFUL economy...

…and my inability to live with my debts on my horrible income, I’m moving in my dad’s 2nd apartment in MD (he had to get a job out of state because of the shitty economy as well). My lease is up in the beginning of February, so that’s when I’m going to be moving out.

Hopefully, because I’ll be next to Washington, DC, I’ll be able to get some sort of government job, or at least a job that will be able to USE my degree. Yeah, I live in Syracuse, and I’m too embarrassed to say what I do for a living. I’m not the only person that’s lived around here that can’t get a job up to their capabilities due to the shitty economy of Syracuse even BEFORE this recession. I kinda feel like a failure, to be honest. I know I’m only 24, but I still feel like I’ve failed at life. I mean… I’m moving in with my fucking DAD. My dad. Nothing wrong with the guy or anything, but it’s just such a step back from living with my ex, and then living with myself.

I hope that it doesn’t last too long or anything, because I feel like a tool for having to do this. Like a leech, honestly. But I can’t even pay the minimum payments on some of my bills because of my lack of funds right now, and when it comes to paying past credit card bills (I haven’t even USED one in over a year) or rent, the choice is obvious. Sometimes I really wish I could hit the reset button. Oh, would I do things differently.

But yeah… the main concern is that I don’t have a lot of (real life) friends as it is. I have two here in Syracuse area and one in Boston. I’ll be going far away from all of them. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to make new friends. If I’m not, I’m going to be bugging a lot of people by phone. I also wish I was an engineer or a doctor right about now, because then I don’t think I’d have to worry about as much monetary bullshit, at least. I wouldn’t likely have any free time, but at least I’d be financially stable.

I’m sorry to hear that you’re having such problems, Roun, but at least you do have a place to go. I wish you the best of luck looking for a job, and if you might have a better chance at putting your degree to use, maybe something good will come out of this in the end. Just look ahead and don’t let yourself sink low, it won’t last forever.

Are there any places you can go to meet new people that might have similar interests? Creative writing courses or something like that? Keep your eyes open. Good luck!

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with moving in with your father, and there’s nothing wrong with the academic choices you have made. Being a doctor or engineer would have left you off more financially secure, but you didn’t choose those. Why? Because you loved something else more. At least that’s what I hope you chose it for.

Moving in with your father will give you another interesting experience under your belt, and that’s just what a creative person such as yourself needs to keep going. I’ll probably be living with my parents well past 24 (hell I’m 22 now and still in college) so there’s no shame in that. Don’t let the general consensus pressure you into thinking you must accommodate to some sort of social norm. ESPECIALLY when you don’t even have popular superficial bitch friends to tell you otherwise.

I know this is something I have to deal with myself a lot, but try to look at the positive side of things and keep on writing. Write until your fingers bleed.

You know, roughly 80% of Italians up to 30 still stay at home (average age 36) and the respective figures for Greece aren’t heart-warming either (minimum wage, “obligatory” car, rents grumble). I know it feels like a step back, but if it can get you a new, better job it’s just a temporary setback.

I hear you saying you got some regrets, but that’s part and parcel of being human. All your experiences, bad ones included, have added up to make you into the person you are.

Lastly and most importantly: You are not your job. Period.

There’s a Greek saying that work is nothing to be ashamed of. Ours is an age of more options and fewer borders, but at the end of the day you still have to pay the rent.

T.S. Eliot wasn’t a banker. Bukowski wasn’t a post office worker. You are not your job.

Weilla: Actually, one of the things my dad was thinking of doing is having me enrolled in a course or something to meet people. He said that he and mom would pay for it, although I’d feel bad for doing that. I guess I could enroll in a screenwriting or creative nonfiction course though, because I haven’t taken formal courses on those. I have an English degree (creative writing focus) with a philosophy minor. So yeah- that’s why there aren’t very many jobs out there for me. I have qutie good editorial and writing skills though (when I bother paying attention to grammar, which I don’t really on these forums :-P).

Gila: Yeah, I know I should keep on writing. I don’t feel as creative as I used to, though. I almost think that coursework has sapped my creativity. At least, that was my excuse at first. I think my lack of social interaction within the past year or so after my breakup has hurt me as a writer. My dialogue used to be one of the best parts of my writing. Now I’m finding that I’m basing a lot of it off of movies and fictional dialogues, rather than real life dialogues. I remember all my professors praising me, and winning that damned award and all that. It didn’t get me jack, though. I kept working, and it didn’t get me anything but rejections.

Rigamorale: Yeah, I guess it’s because I’m an American. To an extent, I’ve been conditioned to believe that I AM my job, so when I’m a customer service agent (there, I said it), I feel particularly inadequate. I know that Einstein worked as a clerk in a patent office, and Lincoln went bankrupt and all that. I still feel inadequate. I feel like I’m less than my potential, and that really bothers me. The worst part is, sometimes I think that I’ll just suck no matter WHAT I do. I don’t know. I tend to be depressive about things anyway, I guess. But I’m going to seek help if I get employed by the government, because that will pretty much be free. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m sorry I’m being a downer and all. Please take into consideration that I got zero sleep right now and I’m back at work.

You’re not a Customer Service Agent. You’re a writer. So when people ask you what you do, tell them you’re a writer. Working in CS on the side doesn’t make you any less of one, and it gives them a more accurate picture of who you are.

I like what Rig said, but to be a little more specific, you are not your <i>cashflow.</i> Stop looking at writing as a hobby and stop looking at yourself as someone who wishes he could be a writer, if only someone would pay him for it. Your living situation isn’t what’s making you miserable. Your own flawed self-image is.

I think you have the same problem a lot of artists do starting out. You perceive an imaginary rift between yourself and the people who have already gained recognition doing exactly what you do. You think there’s some hard, definitive line you have to cross before you officially become what you already are, but it’s just not there.

Your situation may not be the best, but I think most of your problems are in your own head. Working in CS is only embarrassing if it’s the primary way you define yourself, but there’s no reason for that to be the case here.

P.S. I’ve never met an engineering student who wasn’t a douchebag.

I feel your pain, GAP. I’m 42 and, for the last 5 years or so, I’ve been living with my older sister (actually in the apartment beneath her house, more-or-less independently) after I developed Epilepsy. She’s a doctor, so she insisted on having me close enough to check on my health. Still, like you I don’t feel good living on somebody else’s expenses, plus I really miss my old home (Puerto Real is a nice but BORING town.) Now that I’ve decided I’m stable enough to live on my own again, I want desperately to move back… but first I must gain enough economic footing for it (I’ve been unemployed for years.) Still, I won’t rest until I’m independent again- I know I’ll make it, hopefully this year. So, for now, chin up, enjoy Life any way you can for now and be confident you that too will have your own home someday. :slight_smile:

There are all kinds of jobs you can get with writing skills. Not necessarily with an artistic bent, but it would probably be better than being a customer service agent. For instance, becoming a technical writer of some kind.

Don’t let the rejections get you down. They’re walls, and in the words of Randy Pausch, walls are there to keep out those who don’t want it bad enough. Keep working at what you love because it will pay off. At least in the meantime you have a place to live and you know the path to a steady income.

I graduated a year ago and I’m still living at home because of the economy. Companies in my field are implementing hiring freezes and whatever jobs are available are contracts and paying less with no certainty of full time because they know they can get away with it.

I myself am working a job I know is below my skills and is going to end soon but, I need the money. All I can do is keep moving forward.

You shouldn’t settle for less if you don’t feel like it, but keep in mind that your potential is affected by external factors (bad job market in Syracuse, recession, not being a Rockefeller) and that you have plenty of time in front of you. It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock n’ roll. Your “suck, no matter what” worry is baseless, as you haven’t yet had the chance to use your degree -apart from winning that damned award cough. Depression sucks, but working customer service isn’t shaming unless you think it is (overentitled, always-right customers’ attitude doesn’t count). Customer service is what you do right now to earn money. It doesn’t define you.

As for writing and publishing and all that, you know how it goes. I trust you don’t want me to dig up the stories of books rejected by multiple publishing houses to become hits or classics. Keep working on it and writing (before starting work if it suits you better) and keep a stiff, stiff upper lip.

Much like the economy needs large injections of cash to get back on its feet…it’s time for you to start investing in yourself. There is nothing wrong with majoring in English or creative writing…however, I would strongly advise putting “Creative Writing” on your resume. Most resume scanners will see that and immediately think “poor social skills”, whether it’s true or not (seems at least partially true in your case). English isn’t that much better, but you’d be surprised the kinds of places English majors can get into, and since you have customer service experience, it should show that you have the ability to deal with people. You could take some more courses to put above that english major of yours as well. Remember that resume scanners start at the top and go to the bottom, so if you have say a one-year course on business management (doesn’t have to be that, but preferably something with more use for a business) above your English degree, they will see that first and it will “dilute” the effect of your English major.

In my case, I have a one year course in Chinese language and business from a university in Beijing placed above my equally useless degree in Sociology, and it always directs the interview in the direction of my Chinese ability, rather than lack of business expertise. So go learn Spanish, or become certified in some computer skills…anything to pad that resume out. You’ve got plenty of free time, and the added benefit is it’s always easier to make friends at school than at work - at school, you’re all equal, but at work, you’re still indirectly in competition with each other. There is certainly no lack of training schools in that area, being the nation’s capital and all.

And finally, there is nothing like learning something new to make yourself feel useful and alive again. We all have to sell our souls a bit (or a lot) to survive, and if anything now is a good reminder that the days of “just do what you love and everything will be alright” are coming to an end. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what kinds of jobs some of the most successful writers in the world had to take to get by.

I just have two more suggestions. Try joining planned activities, since they tend to make socializing and friendship easier. You could also tie this in with, as zeppeling suggested, learning new skills to bolster your resume/make you look more interesting. And try getting a job that uses writing skills, even if its something really boring, like, as I said, technical writing. You aren’t your aspirations; you are what you do, and the more you don’t write, the less of a writer you will be. If all else fails, go to grad school(if you have the money).

What’s your eventual goal as far as writing? That could help in formulating some kind of more practical, ruthless plan of action to get there.

Hades: Fair enough, I suppose that most of the problems I have is my self-image. I’ve figured out that it’s the reason that I’m lonely, too- because I convince myself that I shouldn’t bother persuing any sort of relationship (friendship or otherwise) because the conclusion will be failure. I think that I end up sabotaging myself a lot in job interviews and in my own writing for the same reason. I don’t know about the engineering thing. :stuck_out_tongue: I think I was more commenting on the doctor/engineer thing because when I was in high school, I was told that I could do anything. I had multiple aptitudes. But I slacked off in math and science because it wasn’t interesting (which is odd, because I find math and science interesting now). I just think that I destroyed so many opportunities for myself because of my idiotic slacking. But yeah, engineering students are pretty douchey.

Wil: I’m really glad that you strive for independence. I guess that’s a lot of the reason that this is grating on me, because I kinda like living alone, in one way. I miss living with other people, whether it was with my family or my ex, but I certainly DON’T miss other aspects of living with others (such as having to deal with movement of property, or someone eating your sandwich… mostly little things).

Curtis: I’m considering several different jobs in the DC area, some writing oriented and some not. I think that I’d be very good at any sort of editorial job. Hell, technical writing and copywriting wouldn’t kill me, either. Grad school isn’t really practical now, due to lack of funds, but group activities wouldn’t be out of it, I guess. I need to get in shape and quite possibly should join a writing group at some point, so there are a few things that I could do. I tend to write more when I’m pressured by a group than when I’m attempting to do things on my own, anyway. As for what my eventual goal is in writing… well… I’m selfish and egocentric. So naturally, I want to be remembered. I want to write at least one thing that will have me be remembered at least for a little bit beyond my lifetime, preferably much longer. I specifically want to be remembered for my writing because I believe that I have a lot to say. Of course, doesn’t everybody believe they have a lot to say? I wonder, sometimes.

Lex: Yeah. I do hear a LOT of people working at jobs that are way below their level. I somehow take it harder when it’s me, for some reason, even though I can understand it when it happens to other people. I guess that’s a little harsh.

Rigamorale: Actually, if it was JUST customer service I probably wouldn’t be nearly as bitter as I am. I hate trying to shoehorn sales into people that really don’t care about buying extra stuff. Hell, I’ve gotten written up for not selling to someone that clearly couldn’t afford a product. They didn’t even want the damned product, but apparently I didn’t push someone on SSDI hard enough for an extra $30 month charge. Asshats. I feel morally compromised working here, to be honest. I feel like I’m becoming spiritually bankrupt, and even a little less caring about other people than normally. There’s no shame in customer service, but there is shame in what I do.

zeppeline: Oh, no. I put my major’s name- “English Writing Arts.” I think it looks better on a resume than Creative Writing. I didn’t realize that I could put business courses in there, because I did take a few three credit business classes (business management and a general business course), but I don’t know how applicable they are for a resume. I was thinking of learning Spanish, because I kinda zoned out on THAT in high school due to lack of interest, and that would probably be in my best interest to go into. If that was the only course I was taking, I’m 100% certain I would ace it, because I’d focus all of my energy into it. That isn’t a bad idea at all. And you’re damned right about the whole feelgood myth. I was fed that bullshit ALL MY LIFE, “Oh, you can do whatever you like, man. Everything will turn out allright!” But that’s just a blatent lie just to inflate self-esteem, or whatever the Hell they’re calling it these days. Not everybody gets to be the President; somebody has to be cleaning the toilets. I’m just not going to be the toilet guy. :stuck_out_tongue: And no offense meant to everyone else, because you were all helpful, but zepp hit the fucking nail on the head the whole post.

As for what my eventual goal is in writing… well… I’m selfish and egocentric. So naturally, I want to be remembered. I want to write at least one thing that will have me be remembered at least for a little bit beyond my lifetime, preferably much longer. I specifically want to be remembered for my writing because I believe that I have a lot to say. Of course, doesn’t everybody believe they have a lot to say? I wonder, sometimes.

I think you’ll probably be miserable as long as you only have a vague desire to be well-known and artistically fulfilled, but no real idea how to achieve that or even begin to achieve. Maybe try setting small, attainable but challenging goals - like getting stories published in any magazine or e-zine. You’d be surprised how much creating a concrete plan with steps can ease your mind. But meh, you’ve probably had enough advice by this point.

I just got like a dollar raise

Curtis: If I didn’t want any advice, I wouldn’t make a thread like this, now would I? :-p

But your point is well taken. Perhaps the reason I’m always so frustrated is because I see the beginning and the end, but don’t take the steps in the middle. Kinda like the Underpants Gnomes.


Wow, I haven’t seen a reference to Underpants Gnomes in forever. :smiley:

It seemed appropriate.

No, not everyone gets to be president, but that does not automatically make sanitation the only other option. That is thinking too extreme. There can be glory in the underground, and you should be proud of any accomplishments you make with your passions, in this case writing. There’s nothing wrong with aspiring to be head honcho, but that is only going to make the fall worse for you and brings you to the point where you are at now (or were).

Curtis has some excellent advice with submitting pieces to small magazines and what not. I think too many people aim to be the best there is, forgetting the fun and excitement of doing what they love. Often it is the small things that are the most rewarding and best felt. And remember the vast multitude of things from the past that we still study and learn from today. If you make enough material and get it out enough, you’re bound to be remembered by someone.