I’m not really seeking advice about dating or relationships, but you did say people can ask you anything, so I’m asking. I kind of feel like I’m failing in life. I had always envisioned that by the time I was 30, I would be in a career I loved, with a man that adored me, and in a nice house with a dog. Unfortunately, I’m 28 going on 29, and I’m not even close to achieving any of this. I’m up to my neck in student loans, can’t find a GOOD man anywhere, and I’m stuck in a job I hate that’s going nowhere. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for what I do have; but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed. I guess my question is, do you think I should feel like a failure? I hoping you can help.
Dear Almost 30,
You’re absolutely right about me saying ask anything, so I’m glad you have. The feelings of failure you’re experiencing right now are actually quite common for people around your age, and heck my age, to have. You feel like you’ve done everything you were told to do, and have nothing you were “promised” to show for it. You got yourself into college like you were supposed to, you graduated like you were supposed to, and you took that not so appealing entry level job like you were supposed to. However, 6 or 7 years later you find yourself stuck in a job that you can’t stand, and Sallie Mae digging in your pocket so bad you barely have enough to cover your other bills, let alone save for a house. And to top it off, every could be prince charming turns out to be a frog. By now I’m sure you, and others reading this, feel a “yes that’s it” in your spirit. LOL!
Here’s the thing, despite what your favorite shows or movies tell you, there is no clean cookie cutter road to attain your dreams. It’s not that common for people to go to school, get the degree, and walk away an instant success story. And really that’s okay. I’ve come to learn it’s about “paying dues,” and unfortunately there is no way to determine when any of us will be finish paying until we reach that point of success.
Now if the job you’re in right now is one that you can’t see fulfilling you long term, start thinking about your passions in life and your talents. If you could do anything in the world and didn’t have to worry about the salary attached to it, what would be? Think long and hard about the answer to that question. If you don’t know where to begin with this thought process, don’t be afraid to bend God’s ear and ask him for some direction. Once you start to gain some perspective on the intersection where your passion and talents meet, start doing some research on jobs that lead to careers that will truly fulfill you. (FYI: If you love basketball but don’t have the talent to play it, then seeking to be a NBA player may not be in your best interest. But if you really love basketball, and have a talent for the business side of things, perhaps you should pursue a job working behind the scenes for the league.)
As I’ve stated before, I’m not the biggest fan of Drake, but he had a great point when he said “everybody dies but not everybody lives.” It’s never too late for you to start living. Whether you’re 30 or 65, it’s not too late. So keep your head up!
Going forward here are my suggestions.
- Pick up a copy of Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive. This is an amazing book, and really helps you focus on discovering your God given talents, and taking such talents to propel you into success.
- There is also an excellent book by Joel Osteen entitled Break Out! I recommend you read it. It drives you to hold onto faith, endure through your rough times, and really pushes you to pursue the dreams your reality tell you can’t happen.
- DO NOT think of yourself as a failure. You aren’t one. Failure is in giving up and accepting the status quo, even though you want more. You’ve recognized you want more in life, so now it’s up to you to go get it.
- DO NOT give up on your dreams of finding a boo either. Love is much like the weather. Humans can’t control when a storm is coming, no more than they control when they actually meet Mr. Right. Be patient.
- Research ways in which you could possibly lower your monthly student loan payments. Contact Sallie Mae and her squad, and ask if a better repayment plan can be set into motion.
As always nothing but love,