Posted in the Chicago Forum
Since: Jun 09
#1 Apr 21, 2013
EAR AMY: I am a 24-year-old college graduate living in my parentsí basement. I never have a day off because I work seven days a week ó weekdays as an unpaid intern and weekends at a minimum wage job. Iím ambitious with a clear head on my shoulders, but entry-level jobs in my field seem to have disappeared. Since graduating two years ago, Iíve applied for 140 jobs. I feel overworked, underpaid, overeducated, in debt with student loans and stuck.
Itís as if Iíll never have my own place and be a real person. The tunnel seems long and dark, without any light at the end. Iím wondering how long it took you to launch into full-fledged adulthood and if thereís any hope that one day Iíll reach it.-- Millennial Generation
DEAR MILLENNIAL: I graduated from college into a tough economy and with no clear direction. The difference between then and now is that companies did not expect college graduates to provide unpaid labor; internships were opportunities during college, not after.
I worked in a bicycle shop, in an art gallery, taking tickets at a movie theater and as a lounge singer at night. I never lived at home post-college, but I rented a small room in a group house. It took me three years to get my first ďprofessionalĒ job.
If you are completely confident your internship will yield opportunities, then by all means keep at it. But you are applying for jobs right and left, which tells me your internship might not be the answer. My advice would be to reverse your current balance and work more at your paying job and less at the internship ó and continue to look for entry-level jobs in your field.
You are already a ďreal person.Ē And this is real life. You will succeed.
DEAR AMY: Your letter from ďConflictedĒ really hit home. A friend and I have seen each other for a week at a time at a summer program for the past 12 years. We are both married and in our 50s, and we have been with our spouses forever. Two years ago, we disclosed our strong feelings for each other, after keeping them private for about nine years. Last year the relationship turned sexual.
Neither of us wants a divorce. We donít want to hurt our spouses, but we would both rather be married to each other than our spouses. All year long we secretly e-mail and talk on the phone.
Once we both exposed our feelings for each other, the relationship skyrocketed in intensity. I mention this because Conflicted was considering talking to her supervisor about her crush on him.
I know weíre both living a lie, and Iíve considered counseling, but Iím not sure what that would accomplish. We both know we should put our feelings for each other on the shelf and be true to our spouses, but there is no way we can stop thinking about each other.
What is your take on this situation?-- Really Conflicted
DEAR REALLY: Seeing a counselor would force you to explore not only what you are doing but why. And then you might need to change. No wonder you donít want it.
You donít seem to want things to be different. I think some people do have a high threshold for living a double life. There are definitely cases where people carry on long-term affairs while balancing separate domestic lives, but this is neither honest nor authentic. So I think you should ask yourself,ďAt the end of my life, how do I want to look back on my choices?Ē You should do your best to pass through this life maximizing your happiness while minimizing your harm to others.
Maybe this current balance does that, but I donít think so ó and I donít think you think so, either.
DEAR AMY: I loved your snappy answer to ďUnsure,Ē who was seriously wondering if she should ask her housemate about bags full of garbage he was hoarding in the basement of the house they shared.
Sometimes you must laugh out loud when these questions come in!-- Fan
DEAR FAN: When Iím not crying, Iím usually laughing. Thank you.
#2 Apr 21, 2013
LW2 is giving married people a bad name--and I would be to throw LW2 out of the U.S. if it were in my power to do so.
#3 Apr 21, 2013
LW1: Great advice from Amy. You are fine. Today's economy is challenging and it takes luck, timing, and fortitude to succeed, but you WILL find your way. You are educated and clearly not lazy. When I was first starting out, I discovered that lack of work experience was my biggest stumbling block. Believe it or not, those minimum-wage jobs will help you get into better positions. Fine-tune your resume and polish your interview skills. I once took a course that helped me improve in those areas, and it was extremely helpful.
LW2: If you don't end this, it is just a matter of time before one of your spouses discovers the truth and your have-your-cake-and-eat-it situation comes to a dramatic end. If you were married to this other person, the day-in and day-out routine might become just as stale as it is now with your current spouse. You are daydreaming. Wake up. Put your energy into your marriage if you don't want a divorce.
#4 Apr 21, 2013
LW2 - Netflix/rent the film Same Time Next year.
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