"My question to you is: Does everybody go through this stage of frustration and doubt or is it just me?"

Date: Mon, 25 May 98 20:32:20 GMT
To: cybrgbl@deltanet.com
From: DeltaNet Form Processor (formpro@www.deltanet.com)
Subject: Guest Book Signature

The field values for the form received were:

City?="college park"
Findout="Just surfed on in!"
How is life treating you?="not too good"
comments="I stumbled on your home page and you seem very imformed and wise. I guess I am writting because I am looking for some advice. Since I graduated from college in 1996 life has not been treating me too well. Most of the jobs I have had have been temporary and without any personal fullfilment. I guess I am very confused. I am not sure what I want to do with my life and just can't seem to get a break. I can't find a decent job that pays the bills and brings me fullfilment. My question to you is: Does everybody go through this stage of frustration and doubt or is it just me? i see some of my friends starting their careers and becomming succesful and i'm still stuck, and is not for lack of trying. Sometimes I feel like i am in a dark tunnel with no light at the end. what do you think the intellectual masters would say about my condition. Did you ever felt this way, and if so, what did you do about it? thanks for listening. And please i would really appreciate it if you don't post my comments on your webpage. forgive my mistakes but i am not too good with computers.



      Dear Julio,

      I am afraid I cannot give you terribly solid advice on what to do with your adult life; for some, this question is more easily answered than for others. For me, it was difficult and still is not a finished matter. But I am much happier and settled than when I was newly graduated from college and trying to figure out my place in the "real world." But through patience, reflection, and suffering we learn and mature. Well, hopefully we learn and mature.

      I have this piece of advice: Think about what you wanted to do when you were eight-years old and why. Then try to translate the germ of that motivation into a commensurate job in the adult world. I urge you to choose a career path out of a desire to achieve something personally valuable and not simply to pay your upkeep or to garner a prestige or respectability which while important to others might not be to yourself - to thine own essential self be true, and all that. Follow that desire you had in childhood when you were not influenced by fear of accumulating bills, lack of worldly success, etc. I think that would be a great place to start! I look back and wish I had done more of that myself. But we doubt ourselves and our vision of what we should do with our lives! "As soon as you trust yourself," Goethe reminds us, "you will know how to live." Where do your talents lie? What are you good at and enjoy? Where do you feel comfortable? But keep in mind the following advice from Thoreau: "I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes."

      I remember how when I was your age I was so scared and intimidated by the enormity of a hostile adult world. I look back now and see such a fear is misplaced; all you have to do is realize what is most important to you, figure out how you can best nurture this through your work, and then go get it done. The "world" is by itself indifferent to you, and you can either stand up and do your work or languish in obscurity. There do exist "breaks" and opportunities everywhere -- at least in the United States -- if you are willing to look closely and work hard enough for them. The important thing, in my opinion, is to makes goals which truly are important and enriching to you individually and then to single-mindedly work towards and achieve them. The vast majority of people, in my experience, live lives of frustration and dissatisfaction in jobs that they do not find fulfilling. That is sad, since we spend so much of our adult lives working! But it is not written in the starts that it must be that way. The keynote speaker at my high school graduation put it well: "Identify what you love to do and find a way to get paid for it." I think it is neither more simple nor more difficult than that.

      I cannot say what the "intellectual masters" would say, but this is my free advice to you - and you know what they say about free advice...

      I wish you much luck.

      Very Truly Yours,

      Richard Geib

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