I Have No Idea What To Do With My Life

I've been on and off and on again with anti-anxiety and antidepressants for 2/3 of my life.   I'm 34 now, and only once did i have passion for a job (a job which lasted only 7 months).  I've never know what i wanted to do when i grew up. I had no attraction to anything in particular.  I was very good at math and science and computers, and focused my education in those fields.  I would have liked to have taken more art courses, but I couldn't see any real income potential from what i saw was a hobby.

By the end of high school, I was STILL browsing the long list of careers that matched my strengths and NOTHING was jumping out at me.  A bit of panic as I go into my first year of College, but thankful for general science. Then I change my focus a few times, Computer Science, Organic Chemistry, Pharmacy. By the end of the 3rd year, and still no real direction, I drop out of University. 

After dropping out, my minimum wage retail job wasn't going to cut it.  I get my first grown up job as a Gate Attendant (security) which led to a position as Receptionist.  After about a year of that, i was already bored, and start browsing the classifieds. I see a trade school add and wonder why this position never came up in my lists of careers when i was in high school. Another student loan and 3 months later, I have a Flight Attendant Diploma (with honors).  A year of throwing my resume at airlines and FINALLY get hired on a half year contract.  Then there was no renewal the following year as the airline I was with went Bankrupt, so i go into credit card services.  I was hating my job, prepping my resume to go back to the airlines... then one September morning, watching the tv in the staff room, we watch the attacks on the US.  As much as I loved being a flight attendant, I didn't think it was a job worth dieing while doing. 

You can imagine that the credit card company gig was less than fulfilling. In fact it got to be so overwhelmingly stressful for me that i had nervous collapse.  I was driving to work one day, and had the biggest panic attack of my life. I didn't know where i was or where i was going.  So I'm off work for a couple years, finding my senses again.  

Still not sure what i want to do at this point, i go back to an industry that is familiar. I get a job as a bank teller. Way less stressful than the previous job. But leave it to life to mess this up too. A year after being hired at the branch, I get into a serious motorcycle accident while going home for lunch break. 6 months of physiotherapy later, I can walk on my own again (well, still with a leg brace, but no crutches anymore). 6 months after that, they throw me back at work.  I was still heavily medicated, and signing my name without hesitation was something i had only remastered in the previous couple weeks.  A month of errors later, I am fired from the bank and fall again into depression.

After about a year and a half, I feel well enough to find work again.  My focus was to find something i could enjoy more than something that could make good money. So at 29 years old, with my education and experience, I start my part time minimum wage job as a dog walker/attendant for a doggy day care. After a couple years of 30 dogs a day barking away and no raise, I decided to move on to find something else.At this point I'm applying to jobs that i think i'm qualified to do, not looking for what i'll enjoy, because frankly, i STILL don't know what i want to do with my life.

I see an add that makes me say Hmmmmm and put in my application.  Water Care Analyst. Not minimum wage, close to home, retail for pool and Hot tub chemicals. I get hired and for the past 2 years, i've been working part time for a swimming pool care company. For the past 3 months, I've been laid off due to it being slower in the winter for a pool company.  I should be back to work again next month, but that doesn't stop my family from critisizing my 'career' (just a job to me). According to them, I need to "get a full time job with benefits, and pension... and so what if it's no fun, life isn't a circus".

You would think out of all of the traditional careers to choose from, that something, anything would be slightly attractive.  I get frustrated at myself for what feels like lack of ambition.  I want to feel about work the way I did when I was a flight attendant.  I want to look forward to waking up and going to work. I want to enjoy doing a job well done. I want to talk excitedly about my job with my friends and family. I just don't know what that job looks like.

Lately I've been toying with the idea of becoming an entrepreneur. So already, benefits and pension are an issue.  But that issue can be handled later. Why do I want to be my own boss? Mostly because I'm frustrated with seeing others profit from my hard work.  I'm tired of making money for other people. What do I want to do? I don't know. What do I like to do? I don't know. recreationally? I like the outdoors, nature. 

If startup captial wasn't a factor....... run a cross country ski/ mountain bike camp. Renting out cabins, skis in winter, bikes (and if a lake nearby, kayaks) in summer, and guiding tourists into the woods.  This is something I can see myself doing.  I can't see me finding a half million dollars to get underway. and that's before purchasing any land.

So right now, I browse entrepreneur and franchise websites. Hoping that something inspiring comes along. Looking for anything that will let ME work for ME. This is kind of like groceryshopping when you are hungry but not sure what for. Both are a good way to spend too much money on something you may not really want to begin with.

Ploquit Ploquit
31-35, F
4 Responses Feb 23, 2010

why let 9/11 stop you from doing something you really enjoyed! the chances of being involved in something like that are so remote its not even worth thinking about! sounds like having a stimulating job is something that you really need in your life - my advice would be get back up in the air!

what about working as a DJ then you can start doing work for yourself you then get money for your idea for outward bound.

I can relate to your dilemma. And..... I'm hungry and don't know what I want to eat.

I really did enjoy the flight attendant job... that was before 9/11. Since then, i've not been interested in flying as a career.<br />
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I'm trying to figure out what does stimulate me. Trying to find something I find interesting