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General Category => Serious Discussion! => Topic started by: YoSniper on October 01, 2015, 05:51:38 pm

Title: Never give up
Post by: YoSniper on October 01, 2015, 05:51:38 pm
Early on, I never really ventured across this particular section of the forum, but after seeing many of the topics posted here, I feel I should share this story with all of you.

I may have a happy existence now, but this was not always the case. I had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way, and most of these lessons happened over the last five years.

Starting more or less in 2010, right after I graduated college, my life was filled with regret. The economy was terrible, and the dream of me getting a high-paying job right out of college quickly turned into the reality that jobs were not merely waiting for me. Up until that point, I had not really researched any companies, or thought about what specifically I wanted to be, or how I was going to contribute to society. I had figured that merely something would come along, and over time I would tailor my abilities to fit the function.

What I ended up doing was waiting tables at Big Boy for a summer, which was not at all what I wanted to do with a Bachelor's in Engineering degree. I was hesitant to go to graduate school, because I hated the idea of going into debt, and my parents had graciously put my through my undergrad, and I knew for a fact that they couldn't pay for my graduate degree (not that they would want to.)

Ultimately, I was convinced by the woman who would become my wife to attend graduate school, and take out a few grand in student loans. I also moved out of my parents' house, which was long overdue, and rented a flat in Detroit while I attended Wayne State University.

At first it started out okay. I went through a couple of contract jobs through the university to get some form of compensation. It paid the bills, but I was literally living paycheck to paycheck. Obviously, this would not work out as a long term thing. The hardest part was that part of my Master's degree was supposed to involve some form of research, and initially I was on a path where I was expected to write a thesis. The problem was that I was never interested in anything enough to really want to do research, and I didn't have any obvious choices in front of me.

When I finally came up with some skeletal idea of what I could do research on, I quickly learned that someone else who worked at the university, and who was actually finishing up his undergraduate degree, had done more or less EXACTLY that topic. Completely out of ideas and direction, I diverted to the "general option" for my Master's, which only required one semester of "research," and I somehow half-assed my way to an A in that class. Basically, I wrote about various quality engineering tools, stuff that I still have no interest in, and that I think is the most generic shit that any fuck with half a brain could come up with, but it checked the box off of my list and put my one step closer to my degree.

I should mention that during this time, I had taken a contract job with Chrysler. The job paid considerably more than what I had been doing through the university, and it had "Engineer" in the title, but I quickly realized that I did not enjoy the work one iota. First of all, I have (and have never had) no interest in the automotive industry. Car engines are like the human brain to me, but beggars can't be choosers, and this was the only viable opportunity I had been offered in recent months.

It was a less-than-desirable existence for me. On weekdays I would wake up earlier than I could bear, drive to work, have a candy bar and a bottle of Coke for breakfast, sit on my ass or argue with suppliers, go out to a fast food lunch, sit on my ass some more, drive home, go to class and have my eyes glaze over, and then come back to the flat I was renting for maybe a couple of hours of free time. My dinner would consist of Subway, Chinese leftovers, or a TV Dinner because I still couldn't cook worth shit.

On weekends, I would drive two hours to see my then girlfriend, who had a full-time job she enjoyed. But then I would have to drive two hours back to repeat the same weekly routine.

I was almost completely secluded from human contact. I'd talk to friends on Skype occasionally, but I didn't really hang out with anyone except for my girlfriend. I started getting this delusion that I was expendable, that the world wouldn't blink if I suddenly didn't exist, and that my girlfriend could do infinitely better than me. Friends from high school didn't contact me, and no social organizations in the area even marginally piqued my interest.

And finally, in December 2012, the shit hit the fan. My contract with Chrysler was terminated without notice, and I was once again back at square one looking for employment. What little purpose I had had just evaporated. I was fortunate that my girlfriend (who had just recently become my fiancee) was willing to take me in at the condo she had just purchased for herself.

I want to state that if I envied my fiancee's success at all, it was very marginal. I was (and still am) extremely happy for her success that she achieved through sheer ambition and hard work. But I couldn't figure out why I didn't have the same kind of drive or fortune.

Seven months passed by, and I was still unemployed. The beginning of 2013 was the absolute worst time of my life, and I would fight a starved grizzly before I would ever go back and relive that nightmare. Every day, I would look for jobs that mildly looked interesting. Most calls I received were from head hunters that wanted to pull me back into the automotive industry. Thankfully, none of those worked out, even though I was extremely desperate at the time, and the constant nags from both my parents and my fiancee's parents did not help. "If I hadn't found a job yet, I obviously wasn't trying hard enough."

I started writing down some of my thoughts. I never showed them to anyone, but I wanted to keep track of my emotions so that if things ever came to a head, people would understand what I was going through. I look at some of those pieces now, and I am amazed at just how depressed I was at the time. I remember thinking that if I finally made the decision to take my own life, the first thing I would do would be to alienate my fiancee completely, so that she wouldn't feel so bad after I was gone.

That was my rock bottom. That was mostly what was going on behind the scenes when I created my YoGameReviews channel. The engagement over the internet gave me a little bit of encouragement that I meant something, but ultimately it was the woman who is now my wife who kept me from crossing into the dark. She saw in me something that I could never see myself. I still don't understand it, but she saved my life without ever knowing it.

In July of 2013 when I finally found employment, I slowly crawled back into a happy existence. I was doing work that I enjoyed, and I was being recognized for it. And then in 2014, I received yet another opportunity that reduced my commute and increased my pay, and I've been at that job ever since.

I want to stress that because I never gave up, I am here today, and I'm happier than I have ever been. If you're feeling like your existence doesn't matter, I highly recommend that you:

- reach out to friends rather than waiting for them to reach out for you.
- continue to do what you love, and make it public so that you receive recognition.
- never settle for a crap job because you don't believe you can do any better.
- if all else fails, seek professional help.

The most important lesson I learned from all of this: never take anything for granted. Appreciate the people who love you, and appreciate the things that make you happy.
Title: Re: Never give up
Post by: Fatih on October 02, 2015, 12:20:06 am
This is a good read. People need to hear more of this stuff.
Title: Re: Never give up
Post by: Katz on October 02, 2015, 11:06:33 am
I've been through hell and back in my most recent years of my life as well, so I can easily relate. I really can't stress enough how much my friends/closest individuals helped me through the toughest times. There will always somebody who will like you for who you are, no matter what situation.
Title: Re: Never give up
Post by: null on October 03, 2015, 11:20:01 am
As a person who just started college and living alone, this thread has been an amazing read. I'm glad that you could find happiness. If it's not too personal, what is this current employment of yours?
Title: Re: Never give up
Post by: YoSniper on October 03, 2015, 01:29:29 pm
As a person who just started college and living alone, this thread has been an amazing read. I'm glad that you could find happiness. If it's not too personal, what is this current employment of yours?
I caught a real break and wound up working at a Gas and Electric utility. The best part is that my job largely entails what I love to do: program all day.

I should stress that this wasn't just a mere stroke of luck. My resume had been circulating around the company after I had applied and been rejected for several other positions in the company. Just happened to come across the right person's desk!

Also, at the time of the interview, I had my previous job, so even if the job hadn't worked out, I would still be doing work that I enjoyed and was recognized for. That job was creating bills of materials and creating technical drawings for fire trucks.
Title: Re: Never give up
Post by: LOLGAMMER on October 22, 2016, 06:10:58 am