Originally Posted by JLibourel
If I had to advise anybody, especially a young fellow of 30, about whether life is worth going on with, I'd certainly tell him to hang in. You never know when your luck is going to change. You may suddenly find a great job (I did after years of unemployment and underemployment), win a high-dollar lottery (no luck there for me!), meet the girl of your dreams (I'll take the Fifth on that) or any number of other good things. If you're only 30, you've probably got 50 years ahead of you, so try to make the best of them!
Very true and good advice, Jan. I was in similar circumstances back in my early 20's, not really seeing how things were going to shape up and feeling a heavy malaise. I'd done everything "right" (all the right grades, all the right school, a number of job offers and offers of grad school, etc.) and it all just felt, blegh. What made it worse was that nobody understood, and I got a lot of the, "how can you be depressed... look at all yo'uve got/done!"
The solution came, for me, in the strangest unexpected circumstances (as you said, a new job COMPLETELY unrelated to those other circumstances), which completely changed my outlook. A year before the change, I'd never have thought it possible. Again, everybody's circumstances are different, but I agree that time and circumstances can change quickly, often for the better.
I also think that sometimes a complete change of venue can be a good option. Obviously, nobody wants to jump into the unknown blindly, but a new place, new circle, new activities, etc. (that are positive!) can often be a good idea... at least for me.
It reminds me of this passage:
Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.