Author Topic: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?  (Read 6348 times)

tooqk4u22

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2559
I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« on: June 01, 2015, 12:59:37 PM »
This is a question for those that have fired but took a bit (emotionally/psychologically) to get there.  We are or can basically FIRE, which might or might not require a few tweaks but I have been struggling with OMY syndrome and have been exploring why? 

The common ones initially came to mind:
-fear
-conservative risk appetite
-ego
-venturing into the abyss

But as I thought about it more I think it is because I have no identity or interest in anything specific.  I don't want to not work but I want to do something I am interested in and only when I want to do it. 

Anybody feel this way then pull the trigger and ultimately months or whatever time "found" yourself?

brooklynguy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2204
  • Age: 40
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2015, 02:15:46 PM »
Have you seen the "Back to the Beginning" post on Dr. Doom's blog?  In typical beautifully-written Dr. Doom style, he explains how he views early retiring as coming full circle back to the "what do you want to be when you grow up?" starting point, and how being faced with endless possibilities is part of the appeal.  (He also has other good posts about how to go about figuring out what to do with your time in retirement, like the "Building a Vision of LIfe Without Work" post, but the first one seems particularly relevant to your question.)

Tyler

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1174
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2015, 02:59:13 PM »
@Tooqk: I understand where you're coming from -- I've been there.

Reading your pain points, it strikes me that the first four are all related to fear.  Even "ego" probably can be restated "fear of losing respect".  Don't expect to have foolproof plans to mitigate all fear ahead of time, as that's an impossible task.  You'll be ready to retire once your self-confidence to adapt outweighs any fear. 

Identity is a tricky thing.  First, it's really hard for people who put a lot of identity into their careers to form a new one while still working.  I knew I needed to quit and decompress to have any chance at building something new.  And second, I think it's really common for early-retirement hopefuls here and elsewhere to pour way too much identity into FIRE itself.  Counter-intuitively, this leaves many people unprepared for life after the "goal" and uncomfortable when they're not ready for the customary next step of quitting.

One exercise that helped me was to take a break from both work and FIRE.  A completely unplugged vacation is helpful for this.  Focus on things that motivate you unrelated to either.  How can you improve your happiness, even in small ways? 
« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 03:51:38 PM by Tyler »

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28438
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2015, 03:19:46 PM »
I don't either.

However, I have recently decided that the question "What do you want to be?" doesn't matter to me.

I'm more concerned with "Who do I want to be?"
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Financial.Velociraptor

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1735
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Houston TX
  • Devour your prey raptors!
    • Financial Velociraptor
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2015, 03:54:40 PM »
I don't either.

However, I have recently decided that the question "What do you want to be?" doesn't matter to me.

I'm more concerned with "Who do I want to be?"

Spy makes an important distinction.  I had a friend who used to introduce himself to new people at social events and ask "who are you?"  New peeps almost always responded with what they did for money.   "No, not what do you do; who ARE you?"  It's amazing how many people are befuddled by such a line of questioning.  A lot of people thought he was being a jerk but he was genuinely trying to be helpful and get people to see past the Western mindset that work=identity.  Painful for a lot of folks.  Your trepidation is largely because for the first time in your life (in essence) you are looking into a mirror.

So really Tooq.  Who are you? [singing The Who version in my head]

tooqk4u22

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2559
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2015, 04:20:19 PM »
Brooklyn - thanks, both of those resonate with me.

Tyler - fear is definitely an issue for me, but I kinda know it is false one so it will solve itself money wise - the ego part is self induced not so much external, I don't give a shit what people think of me (outside of DW and kids) but I struggle internally.  I have thought a lot about what you said and I think ultimately I am the type that will need to dive in, be removed to decompress/reinvigurate, and then it will be figured out.

ARS/FV - that is probably more what I talking about (not what but who)....I am jack of all trades type and like to do a lot so "what" won't be too hard.....except when the mastery of the "what" comes into play and turns into work again :).  The "who" is much harder because it doesn't mesh well with typical conforming BS job/venture....think of a type A persone that like a bee also likes to float flower to flower whenever he so chooses.....I have no doubt I can fill time.

I know, I know that part of the answer is your FIRE who cares.....you can do it for free...etc..etc.  Sorry, but my mind doesn't work that way....if I am doing something productive that benefits someone else making some sort of revenue then I expect to share in such revenue regarless of whether or not I need it.  This sentiment of course exludes volunteering, helping the neighbors (unless it becomes regular and the expect it), and what not.

Good stuff, thanks.


Cougar

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 344
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2015, 05:13:52 PM »

it can take some time searching.


I found I like astrophysics and yes I do like to take on the hardest things, I also learned Russian a few years back; but I never thought I would. I knew I like physics but looking up at the stars never gave me any interest. however, doing the calcualtions to figure the different energy levels of stars and figuring how stars work is fasciniating.

for instance, the energy from the sun we are feeling today most likely started in the sun's core over 150,000 years ago. makes waiting OMY seem pretty easy now.



Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3576
  • Age: 83
  • Location: The oubliette.
  • Ghouls Just Wanna Have Funds!
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2015, 05:21:55 PM »
I stopped really wanting to be someone/something a while ago.

Now all I want to be/do/grow into is a happy person.

I have no idea how to get there, but at least I'll have a whole lot of time to figure it out.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 11:51:03 PM by Frankies Girl »

G-dog

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16510
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2015, 08:46:54 PM »
Re:your title, I've never really known either - so I decided long ago that I would just not grow up (seems overrated).

This hasn't hurt my (recent) FIRE plans, but at 55yo, I may only be FIR!

Pooperman

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2880
  • Age: 31
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2015, 05:49:53 AM »
My fiancée always tells me to grow up. I always wonder why I should. I feel you there G-Dog. I like lots of things and nothing in particular. I've had the pressure to be defined by my career, but I can't care less about careers in general. I hate authority and I hate bullshit (though I make an exception for my own bullshit). Still, I do have some overarching goals. Things I want to see before I die. An example being virtual reality. I don't claim to understand.neuroscience at all, but I'll help fund breakthroughs that push towards that goal (and the others).

Retired To Win

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1494
  • Age: 73
  • Location: Virginia
  • making the most of my time and my money
    • Retired To Win
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2015, 06:31:15 AM »
... I have no identity or interest in anything specific.  I don't want to not work but I want to do something I am interested in and only when I want to do it. 

Anybody feel this way then pull the trigger and ultimately months or whatever time "found" yourself?

When I first pulled the trigger 14 years ago, I was just happy to BE retired.  But that state in a little while morphed into a "okay, what do I want to do now that I am retired?" state of mind.  And the answer evolved and changed.  And keeps evolving and changing.

The first year or so, my answer to that question was to (1) do my own home's remodeling and then (2) sell it and another property so we could get down to just having one place.  When I got past that, I developed an intense interest in the American Civil War and spent a lot of time visiting and walking some of that war's battlefields.  That morphed into a heavy passion for hiking in general (which I now do 3 times a week).  And (somehow) when I discovered MrMoneyMustache a couple of years ago and read his post about starting a blog, I got first intrigued and then hooked on that idea.  So now I spend just as much time writing and developing my blog as I do hiking.

And now, astronomy is starting to creep into my brain.  So... who knows what's next?

forummm

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7388
  • Senior Mustachian
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2015, 07:16:15 AM »
For me, FIRE is the ability to be whatever I want to be and can achieve, even if that goal keeps changing. I think ARS is right that "who" is more important than "what". That's more of a constant for me.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16059
  • Age: 63
  • Location: NorCal
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2015, 01:56:48 AM »
God, I used to worry about this all the time when I was working. I was good at what I did, but I never really felt like I was doing the very.best.thing. Then I finally FIREd and haven't thought about it since. Er, that is, until I read this thread. I think I'll be happier just reverting back to not thinking about it...

Arktinkerer

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 320
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2015, 08:18:40 AM »
I don't want to grow up!  I want to become more child like--less worries, less cares about the time, more inquisitive about small things, more joyful, less serious, more willing to screw up and laugh at my own mistakes, more willing to try new things...

The Pigeon

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 126
  • Location: San Francisco
  • Now *I* drive the bus! *FIREd*!
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2015, 11:42:46 AM »
I don't want to grow up!  I want to become more child like--less worries, less cares about the time, more inquisitive about small things, more joyful, less serious, more willing to screw up and laugh at my own mistakes, more willing to try new things...

YES! This!

DoubleDown

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2076
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2015, 10:17:08 AM »
Maybe asking yourself a series of "Why?" or "Does it matter?" probing questions may be revealing??? I mean, to me it is clear that you can have a fulfilling life without ever figuratively discovering the cure for cancer, but my wife is the exact opposite so I get that there are different perspectives. But honestly, I see her fixation on always doing something, always have to be earning to be valuable, as a pretty big crutch or hang-up that just leads to unnecessary stress and lack of happiness. For example, if you feel you must always be doing something productive or earning revenue:

Self: I must always be doing something productive
Self: Why?
Self: Because I don't feel useful unless I'm doing something.
Self: Why?
Self: I think that is what demonstrates or distinguishes the value of people.
Self: Does it really matter? (i.e., are people really only valued by what they produce?)
etc...

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16059
  • Age: 63
  • Location: NorCal
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2015, 02:06:43 PM »
Maybe asking yourself a series of "Why?" or "Does it matter?" probing questions may be revealing??? I mean, to me it is clear that you can have a fulfilling life without ever figuratively discovering the cure for cancer, but my wife is the exact opposite so I get that there are different perspectives. But honestly, I see her fixation on always doing something, always have to be earning to be valuable, as a pretty big crutch or hang-up that just leads to unnecessary stress and lack of happiness. For example, if you feel you must always be doing something productive or earning revenue:

Self: I must always be doing something productive
Self: Why?
Self: Because I don't feel useful unless I'm doing something.
Self: Why?
Self: I think that is what demonstrates or distinguishes the value of people.
Self: Does it really matter? (i.e., are people really only valued by what they produce?)
etc...

I used to be that kind of person until cancer knocked some sense into me. Luckiest lesson I ever learned.

We all want to feel as if we made a difference/matter in the world, but aren't sure how to go about it. Hint: Unless you went to med school, you're unlikely to cure cancer. You're more likely to experience lasting success by focusing on the quality of the life you build around you. Family, friendship and community involvement are the things that matter the most (IMHO), not your job or how impossibly clean you keep your house.

Achieving this is a lot easier if you can get and keep your financial shit together, hence the unending value of this MMM community.

Arktinkerer

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 320
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2015, 10:11:08 AM »
This belongs here...

Retired To Win

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1494
  • Age: 73
  • Location: Virginia
  • making the most of my time and my money
    • Retired To Win
Re: I don't know what I want to be when I grow up?
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2015, 01:39:51 PM »
... We are or can basically FIRE... [but] I have no identity or interest in anything specific.  I don't want to not work but I want to do something I am interested in and only when I want to do it. 

Anybody feel this way then pull the trigger and ultimately months or whatever time "found" yourself?

If you are doing earlier retirement, you don't HAVE to have THE answer right away to what you want to do with the rest of your life.  One of the beautiful things about having time is that you can take the time to try, explore, experiment.  Sooner or later, THE answer will hit you.

But to put yourself in that position, you have to let go.  Don't OMY.

Good luck.