DEAR ABBY: I’m almost 40 and still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I don’t know what I’m interested in or what skills I have. It’s not for lack of trying. I’ve taken aptitude tests, IQ tests, and personality tests and I’m still no closer to the answers. I don’t know how to choose a job and just accept it. That may be the reason I never finished my degree – I kept changing majors.
I live with a family member and owe $25,000 in student loans. I can’t afford a car and the financial stress is killing me, not to mention the emotional and mental toll and low self-esteem. I need help. I should have figured this all out a long time ago. I would be grateful for any good and well-founded advice. – LOST IN THE MIDWEST
RATHER LOST: Check online to see if you are eligible to have some of your student loan debt forgiven. This may be possible if you have been making payments for many years. As for your inability to choose a career, it would be appropriate at this point to find a job that you are qualified for and that pays enough to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head .
If there is low-cost psychological counseling available through your county’s mental health department or a local college or university, it could be helpful in clearing you of blocks and boosting your self-esteem. So it can’t hurt to reach for it. to. Sloth is your enemy.
DEAR ABBY: I’m planning to go on vacation with my mother and sister. It seemed like a fun idea while planning, but as the date gets closer I realize that it may not be possible for my sister and I to get along and remain civil during the trip.
We are now in our mid to late 20s and I was hoping we would be mature enough to handle our differences calmly. However, recent events have proven otherwise. Our relationship has deteriorated to the point where anything I say or do triggers her and it’s impossible to talk to her.
We never had much in common and our personalities are like oil and water. I’m thinking about retiring even though I was looking forward to visiting New England and seeing my favorite singer’s concert. I don’t typically take time off from work, and I don’t want to risk wasting vacation days and potentially being unhappy by walking on eggshells. I know arguing with her won’t lead to anything productive. How can I deal with the situation differently? – Finished sister in New York
DEAR SISTER: You said you were hoping that despite your differences, you and your sister would be mature enough to spend a vacation together. Instead of backing out at the last minute, why don’t you decide to be the more mature sister and just not argue with her? This way you can see New England and enjoy your favorite singer’s concert. You don’t have to spend every free minute with her; You are not joined at the hip.
If the trip proves unpleasant, agree to accompany your mother and sister only under certain circumstances – perhaps for breakfast or dinner – to keep peace in the family.
Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and created by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.