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Young professional voices uncertainty

Posted: July 12, 2013 2:32 p.m.
Updated: July 15, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Dear Annie: I’m a young professional, and I have nothing left. After eight months of searching for a job in my field, I moved to a small town 12 hours away from family and friends to take a graduate-friendly position.

Two months in, the firm let me go, saying there wasn’t enough work for me. To make matters worse, my successful friends back home are telling me about the jobs they love and the exotic vacations they’re taking.

Annie, I feel like such an idiot. I have always been the good son who worked hard, volunteered, went to college, got good grades, finished his degree and put in long hours at an after-school job. I sacrificed so much and put off all the things I wanted to do so I could be the "perfect candidate" who gets the great job, the nice car and the house. Now I’m homesick, on government assistance and no closer to finding work. I’m convinced it’s all been for nothing.

I’m starting to resent my friends, even though it’s not their fault. For the first time in my life, I have no idea where I’ll end up. My anger is so stifling that I can’t breathe. I decided to backpack across Europe when the unemployment checks run out, but that made my father so nervous that he offered me my old room back.

What should I do? Move back in with my parents and be the hardworking loser in a loser job? Or should I follow my dreams for a while and do something wonderful before I start again? -- Joe Not-So-Cool

Dear Joe:

Dear Annie:

How do we let her know we don’t want him there without making her angry? -- Awaiting Your Help

Dear Awaiting:

Dear Annie:

I have a suggestion for her: Please give your child the gift of music: lessons, theater, live music, parades, recorded music, music teachers and lectures on musicians, or hire a band student to tutor him. Band is a great experience, and music will help keep him engaged and give him a means of expression. -- Band Mom

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

"A Coping Mom" wrote that her 9-year-old son is legally blind and has epilepsy. She said he is often quiet and withdrawn and that he is impulsive and does inappropriate things in public, so leaving the house with him can be challenging.
Why did she suddenly decide to bring her husband? Did he demand to come along? Might he be ill, and she is reluctant to leave him home? You need to ask her nicely why she finds it necessary to bring her husband to a women’s gathering. Explain that it is unfair (since you cannot all do the same) and that it inhibits your conversation. If she has a good reason, please tolerate his presence. Otherwise, he needs to find another form of entertainment once a month.
I am one of six women who attend a girls’ night out once a month. About six months ago, one of the women started bringing her husband. She is the only one of us who is married. This is making all of us very uncomfortable, as we don’t feel we can talk as freely with him there. We all think she should know better than to bring him with her.
Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you can do all the right things but still struggle, while others seem to skate by. But it sounds as if you could use a break, and backpacking across Europe can be an opportunity not to be missed. So go ahead, but understand that when you return, you will still have to find a job, and your father’s offer may no longer be available. Use the experience for personal growth and learning, and come back refreshed and re-energized.

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