Disillusioned

Dear Dr. Darcy:

I’m 24 years old and I’m already becoming disillusioned with life. I expected to be a high-earner in my chosen profession, never considering that I’d graduate during the worst economy in history and that I’d be lucky to be employed let alone a high earner.  I still haven’t found the right guy.  I follow all the rules – I don’t have sex too soon, I take care of myself, most people think I’m a great catch…but every relationship ends with a variation of the same theme:  They ‘can’t give me what I want.’   It’s ‘not me, it’s them.’  They, ‘aren’t ready for a relationship.’  Have I mentioned that I’m not looking for one either?! My parents are getting frustrated with me as well. They just don’t understand that everyone’s parents are helping their kids in this economy.  It’s not my fault that I can’t get a job in fashion. Would it kill them to supplement my expenses for a little longer? Anyway, I’m ready for your tough advice.

ANSWER

Sweets, I’m actually going to go easy on you because you remind me of myself at your age.  You are not disillusioned...  You could stand to be disillusioned.  What you are, Sweets, is a little delusional.  And not just about any one area in your life – it’s across the board.

Let’s start with career. You are correct – it’s a terrible economy.  You are trying to break into a profession that is always hard hit during bad times.  You essentially have a degree in whipped cream.  Stop looking for a fancy design job and start pounding the pavement.  You can’t afford to be selective right now.  Actually, you can, and that’s your parents’ fault.  They are enabling you to drag your heels (which I suspect are red soled) by providing you with financial support.  They need to cut you off.  And you need to feel the heat which will propel you to get a job, and I mean a real job.  Not a fancy job – a, “You want fries with that?” sort of job.  I lost my job 2 years after graduating from Columbia University and I shoveled horseshit in a barn for 6 months while I built my company, Alternatives.  The difference between you and me?  I didn’t have anyone willing to pull my weight – and I also had a mortgage.  It’s amazing how fast you can run when there’s a train chasing you.  You’ll never realize what you’re made of if your parents keep disabling you.

Now let’s look at men.  Actually, let’s look at something else:  You.  You are the common denominator among all those men who initially seem to be good candidates only to turn into commitment-dodging guys.  They are picking up on the same scent from you.  There is something you are doing that's giving off a come nest with me vibe, and until you recognize it, you're going to be Guy Raid.

Your life is trying to teach you something.  Everything is not someone else's fault and the longer you look outward to solve your problems, the longer you'll be stuck on this chapter of Life 101.  If you want to advance to the next chapter, you have to learn the lesson that's under your nose. Take responsibility for everything wrong in your life and do something different.

Writer's Stats: Female, straight.