- This topic has 6 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 9 months ago by Anonymous.
December 11, 2022 at 7:21 am #411706
The past year has not been kind. A little over three years ago, I left my home and moved to a different country to pursue further studies. Everything went okay at first but six months in the pandemic started and like most I was left isolated. For almost two years I lived in a small room, alone, in a new country without much interaction with people. I don’t have much friends and I don’t have any family where I currently live because as I was starting to meet people, I was forced to isolate and stay indoors. All my classes were online so I didn’t get to meet my classmates. It was okay at first because I am a homebody but after a while it was too much to bear. I became depressed and unmotivated. Long story short I was lucky to finish my bachelor’s program.
I am now continuing on towards a masters degree. My ultimate goal is to permanently stay here but I don’t know if its what is right for me. Lately, I have been feeling much more unmotivated and lonely. My productivity at school is close to nil. I simply have no motivation to study. Everything is back to normal but I feel like my emotions and mental state is still the same as what it was during the pandemic. I feel so burnt out. My mind is exhausted, my heart is exhausted, and my body is exhausted. But thing is if I stop then I have to leave and I am worried that this opportunity may never come my way again if I decide to stop.
I am so torn between taking a break and pursuing my dreams that I can’t draw the line between needing to work harder to achieve my dreams versus maybe this is something I am not meant to do and I am only forcing what it’s not meant for me. Am I feeling these things because I am forcing something that isn’t supposed to be in the first place? Or is this a test from the world? I want to take a breather but that would entail sacrificing everything that I have worked hard for thus far. I thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life but now I have no idea. I feel so lost. I’m already 36 and I’m still stuck trying to find what I have to do or what would make me happy. I should be grateful for this opportunity. Not many from home have the opportunity to study abroad. Is all this worth it? Should I stay even if I am unhappy?
Sharing because maybe an outside perspective can help me look at things differently.December 11, 2022 at 8:30 am #411713AnonymousGuest
“Six months in, the pandemic started and like most I was left isolated. It was okay at first because I am a homebody but after a while it was too much to bear. I became depressed and unmotivated“- this is what social isolation does, it makes us depressed and unmotivated. This is true for all social animals, humans included: we derive our energy and motivation from in-person, real-life social interactions. Even homebodies require daily or every-other-day social interactions.
“For almost two years I lived in a small room, alone”- prisoners who are in danger if they are let into the general population in prisons, and are kept isolated in a cell all day for their own physical protection, will beg to be let out into the general population no matter the risk for their lives. Our social needs are as real as our needs for food and water.
“I am now continuing on towards a master’s degree. My ultimate goal is to permanently stay here but I don’t know if it’s what is right for me. Lately, I have been feeling much more unmotivated and lonely. My productivity at school is close to nil. I simply have no motivation to study. Everything is back to normal but I feel like my emotions and mental state is still the same as what it was during the pandemic“- congratulations for earning your bachelor’s degree! What is right for you, no matter where you live and what you do is to interact with other people, and in ways that are meaningful to you.
“Am I feeling these things because I am forcing something that isn’t supposed to be in the first place? Or is this a test from the world?”- I don’t think that it’s either one. I think that what is supposed to be in your life is… meaningful, daily interactions with other people.
“I feel so lost. I’m already 36 and I’m still stuck trying to find what I have to do or what would make me happy. I should be grateful for this opportunity. Not many from home have the opportunity to study abroad. Is all this worth it? Should I stay even if I am unhappy?“- you desperately need meaningful social interactions in your life ASAP (and it will be worth it!). Without such, you can’t feel grateful or happy about anything. Question is: how can you get this need met?
anitaDecember 17, 2022 at 3:53 am #411921LemonTreeParticipant
I share similar experiences as you, I have moved overseas to study, and I eventually got my residence in the country where I am staying now. So the next step for me perhaps is to think about whether I want to give up my citizenship from my home country. But I don’t have to worry about it now.
I hope you don’t mind me listing a few things here, as I find it easier for me to organise my thoughts:
1) Could it be that the lack of motivation has little to do with pandemic, and more to do with what you feel about pursuing a master’s degree in general? I get that the pandemic has made things worse for you, as it made you feel lonely, however I see that there is motivation for you to meet your friends at school, and less motivation towards doing the actual work of completing your degree. Of course I could be wrong, this is to do with psychology, we can’t see what others see and it can only be an opinion. Or ask yourself this question – if it wasn’t for the pandemic, would you be motivated to study abroad?
When I said “motivated”, what I mean is that you’re truly happy about your decisions and you will follow through. So it is less to do with extrinsic motivation, it is more like intrinsic motivation that I’m referring to. So whether you’re genuinely happy about doing it. If the answer is NO, it is more like something that you think you shoulddo (there is an expectation or you feel that you’re responsible for doing it, vs. it is really what you deisre), then I would say you’re not motivated to do it.
For me, motivation is important. Everyone’s experiences are different. However, for me, I am quite capable of doing different things, so I have to be sure that what I do aligns with my skills, values and motivation so that I can be truly happy with what I do.
2) You mentioned in the heading that you’re “lost and mentally, emotionally exhausted”, and you’re making connections between your logic and feelings i.e. you think that the reasons contributing to your emotional burnout are mainly to do with your studies. I mean, I can’t do the same for myself, I can’t see it from an outsider’s perspective, and it takes the right person that can vibrate you with the same wavelength and is receptive (and can communicate well with you verbally) to help you figure out what is really happening. If not it really depends on introspection. It is how well you understand yourself in comparison to what is really happening in reality. Of course, this is what I want to achieve in theory, that I might not be able to fully comprehend, as I have my own limitations as well, but this is what I try to do.
I have my own issues as well, and it is kind of hard for me to explain to others how I really feel, and what I think is not the same as what others think about me, so it is not always accurate to rely on others’ opinions.
But is what you’re feeling a direct consequence of the things that you’ve mentioned above? It could only be a tip of the iceberg that reflects something beyond the surface i.e. the bigger problems that you have to face to really find purpose in your career (or studies).
3) Not sure what subjects you are studying, and what you want to do afterwards. One thing for sure is that what you do might not even be remotely related to what you’re studying now (it is sad but true). If you’re lucky then you can find something relevant. However, I have also noticed that you would prefer doing something that makes you happy. So for me it seems that studying is the second best option, not what you have in mind that you think would give you true happiness. Now you have to understand that you cannot balance the two, because it is impossible to not like what you’re doing and feel happy at the same time.
For me I choose something that is best for me that I am happy with. So that even when there are challenges they are not impossible to overcome. Because I know for a fact that I love my job, even if I move to another company, this is still what I am going to do for my life. I have other options too.
Going by what you said, I suppose it is entirely possible that your dream job does not require you to study abroad. I could be wrong. Because I can only gauge the situation going by what you said. Now if this is the case, then I guess the most logical decision is still to finish off what you have started, but if you think it is too much for you, and regardless of whether you have completed your master’s degree, you would still stick to what you think if the best option for you..
Then I think you’ve answered your own question.
4) This is something that I tell myself when I am not sure about whether my decisions are correct: If I am CERTAIN that I am going to like it, then it is a YES. If I have any doubts (it is a MAYBE, or I have to think about the reasons why I might be right or wrong, and I keep going in circles), then it is a NO.
You should be at peace with yourself, any decisions that you make should make you feel comfortable (even if you decide to challenge yourself, then it should still make you feel good). For me, anything that makes you feel bad is a bad decision.
P.S. For example, I don’t get along with certain coworkers, I have tried to find reasons why I might be wrong, that they could be doing well and there must be reasons why I must be wrong when there is a conflict (as they seem to be adamant that they are correct). I am not comfortable with that. I have been thinking hard about how to make things work, and how to increase the merchandising standards, as we’re not really doing well compared to other high end retail stores in the area. I was so exhausted that at one point I told the manager, could you please ask the others to just stop that one thing that is stopping me from finishing on time that can be done in 10 mins which is now taking 1 hour to do as I am REALLY GETTING FRUSTRATED. I have been thinking about tactics, like how I am now already in the main clique, and I have good connections (a big spider web) for similar positions that I can fill in the organisation so I can easily move horizontally to do the jobs that I like to do, I know half of the managers. So I can kick their a**, I will break up their clique, and I also worry about what if there are new additions to the team, the dynamics might change, so I will need to increase my spider web, get ready for any changes, and do some politicking if necessary.
And I am not comfortable with that. I find myself in a rut. Of course talking about it makes me feel better. I like to make endless rants about everything. But after going through the things that I have mentioned above, I return to work and I can keep a cool head. I think about whether this is how the way things are connected, and whether I have been deceived by the stories that I tell myself or what I have been told by others.. I won’t go into the details, but then I will often find something that is a YES for me, and it is often a straightforward solution that shouldn’t make you too depressed.December 18, 2022 at 1:57 am #412055
Thank you so much for your response. I think you are absolutely right. I had not realized how much social isolation affected me. I have no concrete answer to your question yet but you made me rethink and reasses things. I have a lot of introspection to do to find out what is meaningful to me.
GDecember 18, 2022 at 2:15 am #412056
Thank you for your response. I’ve learned a lot from your thoughts and I’ll use your ideas as a guide to finding out the answers to my questions. I think I really need to think and reassess my feelings and what I want. I have a lot of introspection to do.
GDecember 18, 2022 at 8:37 am #412061AnonymousGuest
You are welcome. You wrote that you have a lot of introspection to do, and in your original post, you wrote: “I want to take a breather but that would entail sacrificing everything that I have worked hard for thus far”-
– you can take mini-breathers during the day by doing some kind of exercise indoors, and/ or by going out for a daily, fast walk (as I do): it refreshes the mind as oxygenated blood literally rushes to the brain, and certain chemicals are released in the brain, chemicals that bring optimism to mind. At different times of the day (or at night) you can relax into a video or audio of mindful meditation available online… a mini-vacation.
anitaDecember 22, 2022 at 4:30 pm #412440AnonymousGuest
How are you, G???