Post Reply Reaching a certain point in life...
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Posted 12/5/15
(I honestly wasn't sure whether to post the following or not. It seems largely self-centred, though of course other peoples' personal 'slumps' are more than welcome to be posted here too. Regardless, I'd like to hear what people think).

I feel like even though I only recently turned 18, I'm at that point in life where I am SERIOUSLY beginning to question the choices I make currently which may, perhaps, lead me on to a pretty abysmal future. Why the sudden need to write a post about life choices? I was reading back over a recent general discussion post about if you could travel in time, when would you travel to? I expected most people to say very far fetched things such as the distant future or the 19th century or earlier, but to my surprise the majority of responses were going back to make sure their childhood selves don't live the mistakes they had to.

I've been thinking over my life goals a lot recently, my lack of dedication to them despite telling myself over and over that today will be the day - for the past FIVE years. Never have I been able to stick to a goal for more than two days. If I had seriously committed to every drawing challenge I set myself to this day (or at least the majority of), without trying to sound cocky I reckon I would be bloody good at drawing by now as would anyone. Since we're on the topic, I'm just going to embarrass myself with every unlikely life goal I've ever had or continue to have:

- Become great at illustrating/create a mini-manga web series or smthing
- Learn to create proper compositions with VSTs etc
- Become good at game creation (vague as hell, I know):
I want so badly to understand every bit of the process - 2D concepts, illustrations, programming, 3D asset design and development etc...basically, I ultimately had that typical MMO dream .____.
- Become fluent in Japanese

Within the last five years, I can safely say the only one I really improved at at all was Japanese where I successfully passed my JLPT N3 just after turning 17 this time last Winter. Admittedly (since this post seems largely pessimistic on my part), the other thing I have been proud of is doing part-time work to fund two trips to Japan for a month twice now (once over Summer 2014 and once again Summer this year). But even now my commitment to Japanese is gradually fading off and I know it's not due to lack of interest (I still enjoy talking with the friends I met over there a lot through Skype) but caused by my every-growing lack of discipline. Drawing has obviously improved, but nowhere near to the standards it should have done. I've started and stopped 3D so many times I basically end up starting from scratch every time I want to get back into it. Programming....I've touched on bits of C++ and Python and can write some VERY basic console window programs....again, lack of information isn't the issue there, just commitment.

The problem even extends to school. Once I had finished my GCSEs (we'll just say 16yo exams - I'm not about to try and explain the British education system to those who aren't familiar with it) and got back from Japan, my school were desperate for me to make a decision on what to study for my A-Levels (18yo exams of which the subjects taken and the results of those subjects largely influence what can be studied at university). I basically ended up running into a last minute decision and studying Economics, Geography, Business and English Language. Now don't get me wrong there were many interesting points and skills I learnt from studying those subjects, but did I see myself wanting to use these subjects in a potential career post-high school? No.

Once the end of that year came around (Summer 2015), I went to the school's office and asked to restart my A levels. I had thought long and hard about this, especially since I had this very painful feeling in the back of my mind telling me that I was a failure because I was going to stay on a year longer than all my friends and would be in a bunch of classes with no-one I knew from now on. Well, half a year into it now and it is pretty weird. However I did manage to change to studying Fine Art, Physics and Maths of which all are very interesting to me and in their own ways cater directly to the dreams I mentioned above. The core issue still remains however. I see people hitting themselves about their pasts and even for them it's not too late to change something. When thinking about it that way, anything I take seriously and start committing to properly from now could become something much larger in the future and make those dreams become highly realistic aims.

Anyone having similar issues (who isn't I guess is more the question) and wants to discuss it? Anyone who has gone through a major 'slump' so to speak and has advice for pushing on?

All comments are very welcome below, I look forward to hearing what people have to say. \(*^-^*)/
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It doesn't matter.
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Posted 12/5/15
Are you sure the things you wanted to do five years ago are still the things you want to do?
If you have to talk yourself into do anything mabe the real goal is what you end up doing instead.
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Posted 12/5/15
Hm, I don't know if I understand the issue, but here's what I think.

First of all, don't worry, you are still very young, you have a lot of time to decide on what to focus; everyone has their own pace. I've known people who had 'their goal' set from the very beginning, and kinda got stuck on a rut. I've known people who didn't know what to do or what they should put their energies into, and they actually obtained great fulfillment (and are still at it) later on in life.

As to my personal experience, I tried to focus on many things at the same time: art/design, martial arts/esoterism, medicine, etc. With all of that, I was like "Why did I learn all of that? How am I going to use all of those things so apparently separate form each other? In what am I going to focus?" I was particularly distressed because I wanted to be involved in several things, I wanted to participate on making a video game, in making a tabletop roleplaying game, teach and learn more martial arts and mediation techniques, heal myself and other people, etc.

Little by little, throughout the years, I noticed that things started to complement each other. Many things happened, for example: I worked on scripts and character design for an eroge, worked in colaboration on making an expansion for an rpg, taught self-defense and mediation techniques to kids who were being bullied and security guards who had their hearts on the right place, I am currently familiar with alternative healing methods that you will probably call me a liar if I said what you can heal with pressure points, breathing methods, and/or a few natural and chemical reagents. And I've met so many unique people from different parts of the world because of that.

And I would not have been able to do any of that if I didn't 'aimlessly' wondered from one discipline to another. You will find a use for everything that you learn. So, keep going with your path, see where it takes you, I'm sure you will find out that everything was worth it on the long run. Oh, and don't listen to those who pressure you into doing something if your 'gut' tells you otherwise. Trust yourself without falling into overconfidence; it's hard, but I believe it's possible.
Posted 12/5/15
You must only contemplate life choices when you are looking at death in close proximity. With all the time you have, there are endless possibilities. You could end up at the top of the stack, a nobody at the bottom or wherever in between. Anything can happen at any time which could make or break your plans. You don't have a crystal ball showing you the results of all your decisions.
ztdz 
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17 / M / Mexico
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Posted 12/5/15
never feel sorry for yourslelf sometimes i whish some thinks were different but ieven if i had the chance to change them i will not change any of them if decided something theres no way back never regret if you wanted to do something stop feeling sorry stand up and do it


sorry for my english but even if its bad im not gonna edit it
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23 / M / Texas
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Posted 12/5/15
I wish things were different most of the time but I never once wanted to go back and change it (contradictory I know) because I know those choices are what made me who I am today and I'm proud of myself despite my failures and shortcomings.
Posted 12/5/15
There is plenty of time to explore new possibilities or contemplate returning to accomplish tasks yet to be set forth. I admire your willingness to share . I wish you happiness and you'll find your niche.:)
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29 / M / U.S.
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Posted 12/5/15
At 18 you have your entire life ahead of you. There is really no reason to freak out about it.
Posted 12/6/15
I am the epitome of failure, so you're not that bad... yet. You're still 18, you have a whole life ahead of you and, you can still have a future if you change your ways now. Don't procrastinate any longer.

When you get to my age, it becomes harder and harder to do anything due to age discrimination in some work places, in addition there's also the feeling of mid life crisis for men. Start young, work hard while you're young, because opportunities may not exist any more.
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18 / F / Croatia
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Posted 12/6/15

EarthLight22 wrote:

At 18 you have your entire life ahead of you. There is really no reason to freak out about it.


It's quite hard to stay calm when we've got brainwashed into thinking we'll end up being useless if we don't make the right decision now. Everyone tells us to be careful and take responsibility: parents, teachers, etc. That only makes it worse. -_-'
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Posted 12/6/15
Don't get too hung up on ideas you had at 13. You're likely just losing interest in those hobbies. Starting a web comic isn't a life goal, it's a hobby.

For your education, focus on your "day job" which might have applicability to your hobbies. Maybe you could do graphic design for web sites, architecture, international business...
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