Think you might have chosen the wrong path in life?

United States
April 8, 2009 6:23pm CST
I don't know why, but for some reason, I have been fighting against everything that I currently have. I have a nice house, a great husband, and three well-behaved, wonderful pets. But I'm not happy. I am not real fond of my job, and lately have been asking myself the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Problem is, I'm grown up. I'm 32, I have a masters degree in biology and work for an environmental consulting firm. The problem with that is that it isn't a satisfying career. I'm just not happy. I have thought of many different things I'd rather be doing, but all of them either require more money than I can afford for schooling to learn the trade (dog training, pilates instruction, etc.), or will not provide me enough income to replace what I currently make, which would sink us. Part of me is wondering if this desparate attempt to find a different career path is just a front for unhappiness in another area of my life. I really want children, but my husband is gone all the time with work, and I don't see it happening any time soon. I am openly depressed about that, I'll admit. But I can't figure out if I need to explore other career options, or just stick with what I'm doing. Do any of you ever feel like this?
4 people like this
19 responses
@livewyre (2455)
9 Apr 09
I would encourage you to pursue your dream whilst you can - don't be tied to a mortgage and a career that you don't want. We had a child five years ago and for nearly a year, my wife continued to work (part-time) but it made her unhappy. We did the calculations and realised that if we were very careful, we could survive on one income. No frills, we don't get holidays or eat out or even get take-aways, but we are a happy family. You are still young and are in a position to make choices - ask your husband if you can talk to him about your career and let him know how you feel - you need to tackle these issues as a couple. I can promise you that if you do have a family, then any career will seem like a very poor second best to Motherhood - if you can find a way to survive on one income or one plus part-time, then you will be set up to become a family - if not, then you need to really think about your goals as a couple.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Apr 09
This is really good advice! I would LOVE to not work or work part-time. However, I actually do want the mortgage, because I don't want to lose this house! But I do think that we could seriously cut back on some things in order to make that happen. The snag I have run into in the past with this, is the fact that I still have so much school debt, and my husband is quick to throw this in my face whenever I suggest doing something different with my life. He makes me feel guilty for wanting to go a different direction, since I have already racked up so much debt going in the direction I'm in now. And I believe motherhood is far superior to any career out there. Believe me, I have been bitten by the "I need a baby NOW!" bug. LOL I think I need to sit down and plan out how I want my life to be, and then sit down with our finances and figure out how to make it happen. Thanks for the advice!
@livewyre (2455)
10 Apr 09
I wish you all the best with whatever you decide to do as a couple, children are a huge responsibility and equally a huge blessing - I hope you will be a happy family some day.
@jpso138 (7868)
• Philippines
10 Apr 09
Well, if you think that you are not satisfied with what you are doing right now, I guess it would be time to think of other options. There is no stopping you from doing such. The important thing is you have to let your hubby understand the situation and have his support. You will always be successful as long as you have the heart and mind to do it. Best to you and may you have the best in life.
• United States
10 Apr 09
I agree. Getting hubby to understand the importance of what I want will be the hardest part. Empathy isn't his forte. I wish you the best as well. :)
@jpso138 (7868)
• Philippines
11 Apr 09
I see, that would probably be difficult at the start. Just try to do it slowly considering that you know your hubby more. I just hope that he will understand. A good relationship is based on trust and understanding and of course support. Hopefully he will learn that. I hope that you will not find this post encroaching into your personal life. There is no intention there.
• United States
11 Apr 09
Of course not. It takes a lot to offend me. :) And thanks for the advice! He eventually gets it. It just takes a few months of persuasion.
@lumenmom (1996)
• United States
8 Apr 09
I don't know the true answer for you, but I can say that if you believe your passion is elsewhere, in order to pursue it you may have to make some tough choices. You mention you would not be making as much as you are now, but most people who start over in a different career path don't start very high. This may mean you have to make some standard of living changes in order to lessen your financial burden. I know this can be done because I went from making approx $50,000 yearly as a single person for several years to where I am now at zero income and I am surviving quite well. I did not intend to be where I am but once it happened to me I was able to see and utilize other opportunities I would have never looked for had I not lost my income. For years I slaved at a job that stressed me out so bad because I was afraid of losing my income, only to lose it anyway (due to health and other issues)and I am doing much better than I ever expected. Don't be afraid to pursue your passion and even though you don't know how it will all work out. The universe is wonderful at supplying us with what we need. Don't let your fear of losing income enslave you. You will not sink. Children are wonderful to have and if that is what you are missing you have to find a way to make it happen....just ask him for a few minutes of his time:) The bottom line is if you are unhappy that is a sign you need to so something different.
• United States
9 Apr 09
I completely agree! And I know the only thing holding me back is that fear of losing my income! I still have school loans, we just bought me a new car and have that payment, and our house payment is very affordable, as long as both of us continue to work. My husband is part of the problem. He says he'll support anything I do, as long as I can make at least what I'm making now. I will continue to pursue my options. Thanks for your encouraging advice!
@lumenmom (1996)
• United States
9 Apr 09
When I was your age I thought a lot like you in that I wanted to be practical, pay all my bills and be comfortable which my income at the time did allow that. What I did not count on was the complications from living an overstressed life catching up with me so early in life. I am in my late forties and feel like I'm 80 (no offense to our seniors because actually a lot of them get around better than me!) but I think you get my point. I like back and think, what was it all for? Now I am not able to do a lot of what I could have done had I chosen a different path sooner. I hope you and your husband can work out something that can help you keep your material things and at the same time pursue your dream. You'll feel happier, healthier and be able to contribute so much more in this life. The careers you mentioned are very lucrative themselves so you might end up making more money than what you are making now. I just wish you the best in whatever you decide to do.
@lumenmom (1996)
• United States
9 Apr 09
Sorry, on that last post I meant to say "look" back
@bunzor (303)
21 May 09
I think a lot of people end up feeling this this. They think one thing will suit them forever and it most often doesn't. I find it bizarre that the world has us decide what we want to be in our teens as most of us develop into very different people when we get into our twenties and beyond. Maybe you could look into courses you can do from home? Try and get in touch with people who do what you'd like to do and ask them what options there are for people wanting to get into their field. I'm sure you'll find people who are willing to advise and help you. Good luck, I hope you can find happiness!
• United States
21 May 09
Thanks! That's good advice. I have a lot of interests, so at this point, I am still trying to narrow down what it is that I'd like to do. I just know it isn't what I'm doing now. I can't do this forever. How boring and dull life would be!
1 person likes this
@williamjisir (22903)
• China
21 May 09
Hello cobra. I am happy that I have chosen the right path in life. When I was college, my major was teaching education. After graduation I started to be engaged in teaching and I have been teaching ever since. I love my teaching job and I am also very happy that I have a considerate and caring wife with two kids. I am satisfied with my life. Take care, friend.
• United States
21 May 09
I think that's great. I am very happy for you. I think everyone deserves happiness in life. It is the most important thing, more important than money or material goods. I am working on finding that happiness. I have a good job, a very loving husband, and a great animal "children." However, I am still on my journey. It hasn't ended just yet.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
17 Apr 09
It sounds like your restless. Sometimes ppl get stuck in a rut and wonder what lies over the next field. Even if they have a comfortable lifestyle they still dream of something different just to break the pattern. Since you say changing careers isn't a choice right now, perhaps you can look into taking some classes to learn a new hobby. Maybe some woodworking classes, painting classes, sewing, quilting, anything that holds your interest. When things get better and you can look at a career change then sit down and think it over. You might even find a new career in one of your hobbies. As always though, don't forget to count the blessings you already have. Many ppl would be thrilled to have a job, a nice house, a great spouse and 3 wonderful pets :) [b]~~AT PEACE WITHIN~~ **STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS**[/b]
• United States
20 Apr 09
That is exactly what I think it is! I am actually starting to consider Pilates insstruction, because it is a hobby I enjoy now and also a potential lucrative opportunity. I appreciate your response. It was very informative and insightful. And yes, I am definitely grateful for my house, husband, fur-kids, friends and family!! :)
@bunnybon7 (37950)
• Holiday, Florida
11 Apr 09
i think most people feel like this from time to time. its a form of depression over the economy, not feeling fulfilled in our jobs and/or not having one for some, or as in your case a longing to procreate.just hold on to your dream and try not to get to frustrated and impatient.
• United States
11 Apr 09
I can partially blame the economy, but not totally. I regretted my job decision before the economy hit the crapper this badly. I will hold onto the dream, as you suggest. I know everything will work out. It always does. :)
• United States
9 Apr 09
I am probably in the same situation. Three years ago, I was petitioned by my father to go here in US. Everybody way back in my own country says that I'm lucky to be here. I don't feel that I am but I'm thankful cause one thing I learned, I will never be happy if I don't follow what I really want. So right now, I'm trying to hold on where I am, I'm trying to learn everything that I could learn, while I'm making my move, and planning my way to the path where I really wanna be, which is to go back home. Life is short not to enjoy it. It's either we'll teach ourselves to love what we have right now or do something to go to that path where you really wanna be! Goodluck Cobra and Happy Mylotting! =)
• United States
10 Apr 09
Thanks, maiyhenzkee! Sounds like your happiness lies in your home country. Good luck in planning your path to home! I agree that life is too short not to enjoy it. :) Happy mylotting to you as well.
• United States
9 Apr 09
I know what you mean. I am 27, and I am nowhere near where I thought I would be in life. I just this past week started college, and I am obtaining a degree in Child Development. I though I would be well out of college with a degree, and already starting a daycare center, or something similar by now. Now it looks like that won't happen for atleast another 5 years. I also hope to be married with a couple kids by this age, but I am not even getting married until next Spring, and I have no children yet. I am happy that I am finally getting there, but it took me forever to get going, and motivate myself to do so. If you are truly not happy, I suggest you look into what other career options you have with your current degree. If you don't like those career choices, then I guess seek out another degree plan for yourself.
• United States
10 Apr 09
I am currently looking for a different job (that doesn't involve consulting), which might help my situation. However, I feel more desire to express my creative side lately, and I am thinking about shifting gears and doing something like Pilates instruction. I didn't get married until I was 29 (my husband was 39 at the time). We don't have children yet, but that is a focus for the near future. I did see my life going in this direction about 5 years ago. I was happy when in school, learning, and then travelling the country as a wildlife biologist. I think I'm getting burned out on consulting. Some people can do it forever, some can't. I don't think a degree plan is in my future, unless I run into some serious money. Then I would consider veterinary medicine. I already have a masters in biology, so I've got some school debt to pay off from both undergrad and grad school before I go tacking on another 20K!
• China
9 Apr 09
I think perhaps you haven't found the true calling in your heart. All you have done looks reasonalbe, family, work, etc. Maybe it's the common value of the majority of the society, but not yours. I suggest you look for some consulting of career choosing.
• United States
10 Apr 09
That is good advice. Thanks! :)
• Romania
9 Apr 09
I think daily about choosing the wrong path in life. And yet i carry on making the wrong choices (I suffer from several addictions and depression). It is very hard to find the right way in life when the darkness is blinding your eyes.
• United States
10 Apr 09
There are times when I am depressed and NOTHING can break me out of it. It upsets my husband, because he can see that I'm unhappy and wants to do something to help, but he can't help me. One of the ways I have successfully broken out of a cycle of depression is through exercise. That, or getting out into the garden and pulling weeds. I find that if I engage myself in a physical activity that I enjoy for a little while, it really helps to lift my spirits. Good luck in finding your happiness and a remedy for your addictions. :)
@smartjack (521)
• India
9 Apr 09
im a BMS student of commerce. i just took this stream just because my friends went in for it. but now i realized that it wasn't for me. my interest is something else and not what im doing right now. i have done a great mistake by flowing towards the stream.
• United States
10 Apr 09
I actually went for what I'm doing out of a love for wildlife. I got my bachelors in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M, and a Masters in Biology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. However, my career choices haven't been all that great. They were great when I was taking contract wildlife positions all over the country. That was fun, and I got a lot of field experience. It is the consulting that I keep coming back to. I do it for the money, but after a couple of years of it, I can't stand it!! The easy fix for me would be to get a natural resources job. However, the way the economy is going, it is hard to shift jobs right now. If you want to do something different, go for it man! Life is too short!!
@vivianchen (2648)
• China
9 Apr 09
Hi Cabra 1368, Yes, i did have the same feeling like time once in a while. It's just like everything is perfect and everything is not perfect, things are conflict! I think you need to cool yourself down, life is too smooth for you. What about think of some of your friends who is suffering for life? Does that make you start thinking you should treasure what you've have? Be happy!
• United States
10 Apr 09
LOL, you sound like my husband! He is always telling me, "you have a nice house, you have a good job, you have a loving husband, you've got nothing to be unhappy about!" I do think about other people I know, and I am doing better than most of them. It still doesn't change the fact that I know I could be happier doing something else. I just have this horrible feeling of restlessness. My mind changes from day to day on what I'd rather be doing than what I'm doing now. I'm sure I'll figure it out one day!
@skyla26 (285)
• Philippines
9 Apr 09
sometime im wondering also that if iam walking in wrong pathway in life because for now i feel im so naughty, easily angry to others but sometimes i think its just a pressure in life or circumtances
• United States
10 Apr 09
I also carry around a lot of anger. I am much easier to anger than my husband, who is irritatingly happy all the time. I have found a few creative outlets that really help. Pilates, walking my dogs, and playing guitar are all things I do to help me calm myself. Find something you really like to do and spend some time every day doing those things. Or take up meditation, which also helps with emotional issues. I know that a walk with my dogs does absolute wonders if I've just had a fight with my husband or am upset or frustrated with the day's happenings.
@AXLAERO (426)
• Philippines
9 Apr 09
yes i also feel that way because i dont know what else is missing in my life.i have two kids that makes me feel that i still want to go on with my life.but there are times that i feel alone and sad.i have a husband but our relationship is not so good and happy.i love him but i dont feel happy and i feel that theres something missing.i feel that there is something wrong and theres a missing part that is missing in my life but i dont know what it is.i want to be happy and thats what i always dreamed of eversince i was a kid.i came from a broken family and my grandma is the only person who's always beside me because my parents already have their own family and i was left with my grandma.i know that i have two kids now but i still feel unhappy and i feel that im still alone maybe its because i have a problem with my hubby.i want to change my life and move on but i dont know how to start.
• United States
10 Apr 09
I think that you should maybe look into marriage counseling. I go back and forth in my relationship. I can't help but think I could have done better. But I hate that I feel that way, because I know and I am shown that he loves me so much. And it would break my heart to crush him by saying that I don't feel in love with him sometimes. However, it might comfort you to know that most relationships are not just absolutely wonderful all the time. Everyone goes through trials and tribulations. It is up to you to decide if you can live with the things about your husband that you don't like, or if it is time to cut the cord and work on yourself. My best friend divorced her husband, and she is very happy that she did. If you really think that is what you want, you need to hire an attorney and just go for it. There is no "easing into" something like that. As for me, I am staying by my husband's side. I do love him, and I know that he loves me. We have things we need to work on, but I think we will be okay.
@underdogtoo (9599)
• Philippines
9 Apr 09
I am inclined to think that I have been led to where I am now by forces which I do not fully understand. I feel like being swept in some kind of flow or current. I would like a little more control over my life, if I could. Cheers!!!
• United States
10 Apr 09
That's funny, because I feel the opposite way. I feel like I've been too in control of my life, only I've led it in a direction that I thought I wanted it to go, but perhaps I am wrong. I can't help but wish some unknown circumstance would come along and stir the pot. I like spontaneity. :)
@albert2412 (1782)
• United States
8 Apr 09
I spent so many years working for the US Postal Service, but most of the time i did not feel that my job was very fulfilling. I stayed with my job because of the money I was making at the time. I am now retired and wish that I had done something more useful in life, life being a Christian misister. I would suggest that happiness is more important in life than money. I think you might find life more fulfilling for you to just stay at home and to be a good mother. Something might happen to you (car wreck or something) where you will not be able to have children. Go ahead and have the children now and teach them to become good Christians in life.
• United States
8 Apr 09
I would love to just go for the happiness, but unfortunately, we would lose the house, which we both love. We need both of our incomes, so whatever I do, I would need to figure out how to keep making at least what I bring in now. Most of the things I have thought about doing would not bring me at least 50K a year. I make good money and work for good people. I am still looking for the right career/opportunity. I am hoping I find it and everything works out.
@rocketsky (1014)
• China
14 Apr 09
sometimes we all choose some things to do , and things always be in the wrong direction . we need often to review our action and make things better
@myskysky (38)
• China
9 Apr 09
I've been told to do things that i'm fond of and now i've the importance of it.Every success is based on pains or failure.Consequently if you're not ready for frustration or depression i would like to be not for your exploration.Anyway if you can afford i will support your optimistic idea.