Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Where are you and where are you going?
ZAFCorrection
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by ZAFCorrection »

@THF

Those are pretty awesome attributes to look for in a place. I'm not familiar with Pioneer Valley, but I know of a few places in the West which would probably argue they embody those values (e.g. Berkeley and Portland), but yet they are hotbeds of NIMBYism and other douchery.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

Thanks guys : )

If anything, all of these issues post-grad will help me identify what I should include more of in a life, and what I should avoid!

OTCW
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by OTCW »

It's a journey, not a destination. A little platitude there to remind you to just enjoy the ride. You seem smart enough to do whatever it is you want, just need to find it.

niemand
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by niemand »

TopHatFox wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 5:45 pm
... identify what I should include more of in a life, and what I should avoid!
... and if it can’t be avoided (because not everything can!) then maybe strive to learn how to accept it and/or learn strategies to deal with it?

If you were a counsellor/coach/mentor, what would you tell someone when they came to you with issues like yours? Would you be able to help them? Or would you tell them to quit their job and studies and skip town as if this was the solution to make the real underlying issue(s) disappear?

If you were receiving some counsel would you reject it outright because you know you know better? Do you have no blind spots?

I’ve given you some simple ideas to deal with your work situation (and a hint that larger issues may be at play). The workload strategies have been +1ed by Scott and C40. Will you consider the advice?

Please take the above on the context that I’m meaning you well and wishing you the best THF.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

Yeah, agreed, or work through it, find ways to cope or make the situation better. I’d say hard work and perseverance are paramount, just as much as putting them to work in the most fitting paths as you identify better fitting paths (or new ones) over time.

-----------

I think what you're saying is actually really important. If you frequent thru-hiking forums, many young thru-hikers experience severe depression after finishing the hike. Many of the cited reasons involve not having a role to play in society, nor the money offering flexibility to explore different paths. Some of them kill themselves afterwards, in fact. The ones that experience these feelings less seem to be the ones that already had a compatible life before the hike to go back to, rather than the ones using the hike as an escape.

I think the work I'm doing now -- of determining what role and places in the world are compatible with my being -- is some of the most important work that can be done for an individual. By comparison, van living or thru-hiking almost seems easy, in the sense that the goal is clear, there's already a pre-established community, and you don't need advanced credentials to do it.

And I'd say I'm actually doing much better than I was last year haha. With only 55K, living in a shitty apartment in NYC, no idea what to get an advanced degree in, a messed up jaw, and thinking working in finance was the answer for me. :lol:

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RFS
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by RFS »

I'm glad you're taking a step back to take stock of what you've accomplished already. I am in a similar situation, having acquired some FU money and an infinitely better big-picture scenario than 3-5 years ago. It sometimes blows my mind to think that there were days in my old job that I didn't like at all, deep in student loan debt, where I felt better than I do now. I guess that speaks to the power of perspective and having a good process.

Also, as a means for figuring out those high-level, "what do I do with my life?" questions, I strongly suggest setting the bar for improving your life low enough (this is different for everyone, but if you think about it, your brain will tell you what you need to do.) I find that when I do a good job of ruling myself on the "little" things, the big things fall into place.

niemand
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by niemand »

As you are contemplating your future life, I hope you will avoid the mistake to believe that there could be some external condition that will make you happy/content.

In the end it doesn’t matter where, what or who we are, we can’t avoid suffering - all we can do is choose how to respond. All said and done, happiness/contentment is an internal condition and it is now.

If you learn the right internal coping strategies that enable you to make the now negative a non-negative, then you’ll be fine no matter where you are or what you do.
Have you read Man's Search for Meaning?

bigato
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by bigato »

Well, external conditions *are* relevant to well being and no amount of coping will make up for a bad enough environment. That said, I agree on the general idea that being more resilient is a very useful skill to have because the environment is often out of our control.

niemand
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by niemand »

Yes, external conditions relevant, but they are only one component, not the solution and not sufficient on their own for contentment.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

MAY 2019: A Fork in the Road?

One of my co-workers came to my desk mad that I hadn't done an assignment. Even when I pointed out that I had 20 million other assignments from 30 other people to take care of, they persisted, pointing out that a few of those other assignments weren't done either. So, I felt pinned to the wall and shared that I was depressed. Then we had a conversation with the boss about maybe trying to distribute the workload and maybe getting on anti-depressants. The conversation was friendly and I'm actually quite surprised to learn that the boss also suffered from depression for years.

I don't think I'd be able to continue this role without anti-depressants, but I don't want to be on anti-depressants to be able to feel okay doing my job, and I also don't think the work distribution will really have a manageable difference in my work load. The position just seems high-stress by nature. On top of that, the free masters I've been getting is in administration, and clearly administration is not for me.

Don't really know what to do now. Maybe put in my two weeks, take the GRE, and finally apply and get into a good school for psychology or counseling, as well as AC fellowships to pay for it?

Feeling so lost. The path to success sure likes to meander.

-------------

I was able to last a year, which is an improvement from last time. Yet, I have so much fear that I'll never really be able to hold down a job, certainly not a normal office one. But I also feel clueless as to other ways of making a living, feeling content long-term, and saving. I could use help.

daylen
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by daylen »

You have probably considered this, but why not get a more labor intensive job? How about an apprenticeship or a part-time cleaning job? Exercise and low stress work may help the depression.

daylen
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by daylen »

All the psychologists or counselors I know are miserable as fuck. Maybe the job attracts depressed people or makes people depressed. Seems like a bit of both.

Wash dishes a few days a week at a restaurant or something. Get a low status job and reap dividends not caring what others think.

Jean
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Jean »

I was about to suggest work in construction, but daylen was faster.

Smashter
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Smashter »

Sorry to hear that. I'd move west and try out a different kind of job.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Kriegsspiel »

TopHatFox wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 7:58 am
MAY 2019: A Fork in the Road?

One of my co-workers came to my desk mad that I hadn't done an assignment. Even when I pointed out that I had 20 million other assignments from 30 other people to take care of, they persisted, pointing out that a few of those other assignments weren't done either. So, I felt pinned to the wall and shared that I was depressed. Then we had a conversation with the boss about maybe trying to distribute the workload and maybe getting on anti-depressants. The conversation was friendly and I'm actually quite surprised to learn that the boss also suffered from depression for years.

I don't think I'd be able to continue this role without anti-depressants, but I don't want to be on anti-depressants to be able to feel okay doing my job,
I suggest never admitting stuff like that to co-workers. Zero upside, unless you count being pitied.
and I also don't think the work distribution will really have a manageable difference in my work load. The position just seems high-stress by nature. On top of that, the free masters I've been getting is in administration, and clearly administration is not for me.

Don't really know what to do now. Maybe put in my two weeks, take the GRE, and finally apply and get into a good school for psychology or counseling, as well as AC fellowships to pay for it?

Feeling so lost. The path to success sure likes to meander.
Gotta roll with the times :lol: . Look at this Ran Prieur quote from 2006:
How to subvert your job?

The worst way is to try to preach to your co-workers. The best way is just by thinking about stuff other than your job on time they're paying you for. You've got to build a sense of your own value and identity that has nothing to do with how you make your money. And if you let other people at your job see that, some of them might be inspired. The next step is to use job time to work on personal projects. People think Einstein was smart. He was just lucky -- he had that great patent office job that gave him a steady income and hours every day to do his own stuff.

Where are these "low pay, low status, easy" jobs?

Well, when I say "low," I don't mean Wal-Mart low. I'm thinking of low-end "professional" jobs, where you have a cubicle or maybe even a tiny office, and you can get away with doing four hours of work in an eight hour day. Of course you'll never get promoted, but you don't want to be! Those jobs are out there. The problem is there's no way to ask for them. If your job is too stressful, look for another one. Repeat until you get lucky. And go for boring over cool. A job at a video game company is likely to work you to death. The best job I ever had was as the flunky office boy for a lease administration office. Here's a great page of advice from Dan, How to find your Dream Job (dead link).

Also, Robert comments:
...in 1998 I quit my bank analyst job with plans to start my business. I had about nine months of savings and time to play with before my expected opening date, so I got an $8.25/hour office job pulling faxes and routing calls. I worked about four hours a day at my "job" and four hours a day surfing the Internet, making calls, formulating strategies, in connection with starting up my import business. And those people in that office thought I was the most efficient and capable person ever to have that position.

And Patricia comments:
Colleges are good places to find those "four hours work / four hours net surfing" kinds of jobs. Anything with "administrative" in the title will usually qualify. If you have the right attitude ("I'm just here putting in time to get cash for a couple years") then they are also low-stress. People around you may be stressy, but you can learn to let that roll off your back.


And Jason comments:
Don't overlook security guards! The hardest thing about it is filling a twelve hour shift, and you learn a lot of stuff that helps you stay under the radar. The ideal job is where you sit in a shack with (monitored) internet access and check people in and out on the night shift. I also get a preview of what's coming for society, and get to test it now (tin foil does a great job of blocking an RFID badge). Before you apply know that your fingerprints will be put in the FBI files.
I was able to last a year, which is an improvement from last time. Yet, I have so much fear that I'll never really be able to hold down a job, certainly not a normal office one. But I also feel clueless as to other ways of making a living, feeling content long-term, and saving. I could use help.
Blue collar work. Once you get past the mental block of thinking you need to push paper or do something "smart," you can find a whole bunch of jobs that you might enjoy working at. I've said it before, but since you like hiking so much, you might like surveying. A survey company near me is hiring, let me know if you want some info.

TopHatFox
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by TopHatFox »

@Kriegspeil, now that the surgery and braces are done, I'm open to trying blue-collar work somewhere else, sure. I've tried a lot of white collar work, mostly the stressful kind, and that hasn't been good no matter how hard I try, but maybe blue collar work would work. I'd like some info please : )

At the very least I'm learning about what does and doesn't work in these different 'iterations,' but damn is it intense work.

daylen
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by daylen »

No info. Go in blind with an anti-fragile attitude.

Actually, do just a tiny bit of research, but do not look very deep. Use an optimal stopping algorithm. You do not have all the necessary information to make a robust choice.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optimal_stopping
Last edited by daylen on Fri May 17, 2019 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ego
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by Ego »

Whoa, slow down.

We all go through situations like this from time to time. It is certainly hard when things like this happen. Consider that you might be catastrophizing.

https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-catastrophizing/

Is one coworker complaining about an unfinished project a good reason to rethink your entire life trajectory?

You are a good person. You are smart. You work hard. You want to do a good job. These are the hallmarks of a good employee.

It is critically important to have someone in your real non-internet life who can remind you of those facts every so often.

sky
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by sky »

Management is never happy. Workers never do enough. Your response should be, "I'm doing the best that I can", and ask for help. Don't let them wear you down.

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unemployable
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Re: Fox's Journey: And Onto the Sunlight!

Post by unemployable »

Wow. I would be a lot more careful about bringing up (potential) medical issues, especially if they're not formally diagnosed. Many years ago I played that exact same card, mentioning depression even, at a temporary job. They fired me by the end of the week, although the agency kept me on. The company's customers do not care what kind of mood you're in, they want a deliverable.

I suspect you already see the problems with letting your boss also act as doctor.

I would just be factual with your supervisors -- you have been given more work than you have time to handle, and this is not fair to you. For all we know it is stuff that is beyond your pay grade/level of experience, and you're taking longer to do it than you should or otherwise messing it up. But after a point it is your employer's duty to realize this and give the right work to the right people, including hiring new people if necessary. Be proactive in offering a solution, for example decide which projects you enjoy the most/add the most value to the company/offer the best prospects for better work elsewhere and ask to prioritize those. I'm getting deja vu here.

I agree with others broadly that you should look into jobs with non-exempt (overtime for >40hrs/wk) status, although maybe not necessarily strict blue-collar.

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