Before I go on, I do want to acknowledge that I have a good life. I am blessed with a nice home, loving parents, a college degree, a stable job, and good health. That's more than countless people can say, and I try to remember that. But for years I've struggled with hopelessness about my future, as well as lack of self confidence, and it distorts everything about my life.
To give some background info, I work in the publicity department of a small privately owned publishing company. While I am fond of the company itself and have no desire to leave it, I'm really starting to hate my job. I do not enjoy working in publicity, and I've always hoped to be working in editorial by now. But the company is so small I'm not sure that door will ever open for me here. I have a great boss -- very friendly and laid back -- but she micro-manages to an aggravating level. This prevents me from gaining any real value as an experienced office worker, and it's stifling me as an individual. I have other issues with the position, but I won't go into that (it's not a typical publicity position). Basically, I spend every workday from 8-5 (with an unpaid lunch hour) in my office, bored and depressed, struggling to stay focused. I'm stuck in a dead-end job, and I feel like life is passing me by.
I have tried to break away. I seriously considered going back to school, but I'm driven away by the thought of more homework and loads of additional debt that could easily amount to nothing. I've job searched, but I can't find anything in my home state that's better than the job I have now (as far as overall pay, benefits, environment, etc.). I'm sure I could find a better job beyond my state borders, but I can't bear the thought of living so far from my parents.
In addition to my vocational struggle, I have no social life whatsoever. It's hard to meet people when you work 8-5 every weekday, and I am not the type of person to go out and mingle with strangers. I have always been an introvert, meaning I get my energy from within myself and my passions, such as writing, art, and gaming. Socializing with people I don't know can be exhausting for me, and it's not how I want to spend my evenings. Sometimes, however, I have so little energy by the end of the day that I can't bring myself to do anything more productive than watch TV or browse the web and listen to music.
I should mention that I don't own my own place. I currently live with my parents, simply because I've chosen to stay with them until my debt is paid off. I could afford to move out, but why bother when I love my parents and my situation at home is way better than any apartment I'd rent? I will be debt free next year, however, so I'll probably move out in the next year or two.
I'm not sure why I'm sharing all of this. Maybe to explain why I seem like such a slacker. I have always loved sharing my art and writing with people online, but in some ways I'm living a double life. My internet self does not overlap with my real life self. None of my friends (few as they are by now) or family know I've spent years working on a massive fanfiction, for example. So when my "real" life is so in need of improvement, my internet life also falls apart, and my productivity all but stops. Most of the time I'm just too depressed to bother with it. Sometimes people (in the "real world") ask about my art and writing, and I have nothing to tell or show because it's all so tightly wound into my internet life. I wish I had more of a balance there, but I'm not sure how to achieve that. I'm never inspired to do original art -- I barely find the motivation to do fan art.
My art and writing also frustrate me. I'm not a good enough artist to go professional (nor do I have the energy to keep up with such an unpredictable lifestyle), and I can't think of anything original to write and submit for publication. This prevents me from taking any real pride in the work I do publish here online. I absolutely appreciate the incredible support I get online, and I love that people enjoy my work. That makes me very happy. But once I sign off and step back into the real world, those accomplishments do not come with me.
I realize this is all partly my own fault -- I have my sheer lack of motivation to blame, not to mention my lack of confidence. But I honestly don't know what to do anymore. I studied English in college because it seemed like the natural path for me, but now I regret not looking in to degrees with better job markets. I'm considering a possible career change, but I have no idea where to turn. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Anyway, I suppose that's my tale of woe. I hope I didn't sound whiny, or come across like I'm looking for sympathy. I just wanted to explain myself. I wish I could add something like, "Things are going to be different now!" but my history says otherwise. *sigh* All I can promise is that I plan to catch up on replying to comments, and I would love to reopen commissions. Not sure when that will be, but hopefully soon.
Thanks for trudging through my ramblings.