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Almost 28, keep starting over

  • 15-12-2022 9:35pm
    Registered Users Posts: 5

    Hey everyone. I'll try to keep this as clear as I can. I just feel like I could really use some advice but I don't know who to ask without burdening them.

    I'm 27, working in a job I really enjoy in Dublin. I moved back in July 2021 after 5 years and had to reintegrate. Last summer, I was going to go away for 4-5 weeks in a row (with my time off) but opted not to, as I thought I should continue trying to integrate. I don't know why, but it isn't working. I am a very social, outgoing person and I could talk for hours (while also listening!), I always make people laugh, but something about Dublin, or me, just seems to block me from finding any kind of network.

    I was glad not to have done that trip in summer - I got closer with some friends and started dating a guy I liked (I am also a guy). But then at the end of summer, my best friend died suddenly and, despite trying to keep in touch, I've lost contact with our mutual friends who I knew through him. I say lost contact, but it's more they left me on seen or even left my messages unopened and I just can't bring myself to keep pushing, because this seems to always happen with me. I then broke up with my boyfriend because while he was great fun to be around, he was really nasty and possessive and saying horrible things about my late friend totally unprovoked and actually told me to ask myself why no one wants to be my friend. Aside from that, we had no intimacy, as he lived with his homophobic brother (and had no desire to change that) and I live with my dad, and that is part of what is starting to get to me. I lost contact with the people I met through my ex, and so here I am, back at square one and wondering why I bother staying in Dublin when I can't break this cycle and am tired of trying to.

    I can't tell if I am being overly negative or just can't see the wood for the trees, but I feel so alone. Almost everyone I work with is far older than me (we get on great but as colleagues), and of the ones who are my age I see one or two of them outside work, but not that often.

    In a nutshell, I can't stop dwelling on: 1. I am 27, single and cannot really change that unless I pour all of my income into a sh1tty rental or buy an apartment in a city I think I hate 2. My sister and all of my childhood friends have emigrated in the time that I was away 3. Anytime I do meet a friend, all we have to do is drink, esp in winter. I tried to join a language class, but the language I want to learn is no longer offered in person anywhere in Dublin. 4. I would love to leave again, I have savings to leave with but would really miss my job (I am very passionate about it) and, crucially, I can't figure out a secure enough plan for leaving, because if I leave again I want it to be indefinite because I feel like Dublin just takes, takes, takes and gives me nothing; even the friends I am somewhat in touch with, they all live 'close' to me but Dublin is just too hard to navigate fast so people aren't that up to hang out on weekdays. My best friend used to live 15 minutes walking from me, he was the one friend I always said I would really miss if I left, and he's dead now. I just can't stop feeling like everything is pushing me out of here, but the country I would love to go back to is not great for what I work in.

    I just feel like my life is happening elsewhere. I feel so trapped. I feel like I'm working a job I love and worked hard for, to earn a 'good' wage, but it isn't worth much in terms of purchasing power as a single young person in Dublin, so what is the point? I try to tell myself there is one, but if there were, why do all of my friends live abroad? The thing is - if money were not a factor, I would be gone in a flash. I hate knowing that, and I hate that it being a factor ties me here so much. It's suffocating and it's just been getting to me so much lately.

    Sorry that this ended up a bit long; I hope I was able to make it somewhat clear. Thank you if you read through it and please be kind with any advice you might give me. It has been nice just to be able to externalise it. 😊


  • Registered Users Posts: 484 ✭✭Shauna677

    TBH I think you would get better responses by posting this on Reddit/Dublin. This is a money site and it doesnt really deal with personal issues.

    I would suggest you join some groups in Dublin to broaden your social network. Google them and in few weeks, you will have so many new friends, you won't have time for brooding. Sorry about your friend's passing, that was very sad for you.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 9,815 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    Nobody but you can decide what is right for you, what I can do is give you some observations as someone that is over twice your age. This seems to be a very common trend among young people today - they are unhappy with their live and it all comes down to the place they live in…

    But here is the thing, I don’t think it would make much difference in reality!

    • You mention the housing crisis for instance, every developed country has one of some type or other, so I don’t think there is any way to avoid it. You might reduce it a bit, but it is still there.
    • You mention the age of your work colleagues, the reality is that the work force is growing older all over the world including most of the third world. So it is to be expected that most of your work colleagues will be older.
    • I can’t comment on the gay community as I’m not gay and would not presume to know. My daughter is gay as are two of my neighbors. They are all in very long term relationships, so not really ‘on the scene’. I think their situation would be much of a muchnesses as if they were in Ireland, but I don’t really know.

    Your late 20s is an odd time if you have not figured out what you want do - old friends are working on their careers, build families, working on acquiring a home and so on. And if you are not in the same grove you start to loose touch because you no longer have common interests. Added to that is the reality that the ‘talent pool’ for picking a partner from is reduced dramatically. Again moving countries won’t change that and there is the added disadvantage that most people there have already chosen their friends so it is more difficult to join in. There is the expat crowd but these are very transient and not great for long term friends.

    I’d be reluctant to tell anyone to move to another country as a way of solving these kind of problems because I don’t think it will. Your answers has to come from inside, you need to figure out what you want to do and Dublin is as good a place as anywhere else to do that.

    It may well be that you decide that you want a more French, Italian, Germanic, American or whatever life style as part of your plan and move for the reason and as part of a plan that can work because you have a clear objective.

    I don’t know what the answer for you is, but I wish you luck in discovering it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 alittlelost22

    Thank you Shauna and Jim for responding :) Shauna, I have tried this but the problem seems to be a lack of said groups... I can't find any classes for the language I want to learn, and when I went to a language exchange to practice the ones I do speak, I literally ended up having every single person (eight of them!!) complaining about the housing crisis to me. Like, I get it and I agree, but it totally ruined the evening, made me never go back and also underlined how awful life is here for young people.

    Jim, I thank you again but respectfully disagree that Dublin is as good a place as any to figure out what I want to do, because it specifically impedes me from doing any of it - moving out, and therefore dating meaningfully. To me there is no 'might' or 'a bit' regarding moving countries for a better housing situation - I have lived in 5 countries (including capitals) and I have never seen anything as consistently horrific and dystopian as Dublin, I would never have moved back had I known how acute the crisis had become in my absence, but now I feel stuck. I can't stomach the thought of sinking my entire life savings and 25+ years of wages to come into a crap apartment in a suburb of a small city. I also found it far easier to date in larger cities as there is higher population density. I'm not trying to be contrary and I am very grateful for your advice, but sometimes I feel like people who have only lived here or who have lived here for a long time don't understand these concerns.

    I do really think you're right though regarding moving just for the sake of it and needing an objective, and I will continue to think that over. In fact, I have been since I read your insightful reply. I moved home from one of the countries I lived in with the lesson that money is not everything, and in some ways, by staying stuck in this rut of earning a 'good' wage that can't give me any meaningful lifestyle, I'm not living that lesson out. I'm just scared of moving again and losing the huge enjoyment I get from my job. Maybe 2023 will be a year of changes. 🙂 Merry Christmas to you both.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,003 ✭✭✭Ficheall

    "when I went to a language exchange to practice the ones I do speak, I literally ended up having every single person (eight of them!!) complaining about the housing crisis to me. Like, I get it and I agree, but it totally ruined the evening, made me never go back"

    Is there any chance you brought it up?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 probablyunavailable

    When you go through a difficult time, you can find out about some people around you. You might feel sad about the lack of friendship from some people. You could see a positive in that you have seen their true colours.

    My simple advice is to do things that you enjoy doing. There are social meetup groups. Take part in what is of interest to you. Maybe there is something you can try that is a step outside of your comfort zone.

    You have mentioned dating but no desire for a committed relationship? My modest advice is to have social hobbies that are of interest to you. Find peace with where you are. Possibly volunteer to help good causes.

    You have mentioned language a few times. I have heard of people helping each other with their respective languages online. Possibly you can help people with English and they can help you with the language you have learned.

    Peace be with you!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,609 ✭✭✭maninasia

    As somebody quite a bit older than you who movved back to Dublin recently from overseas, with family in tow, I commiserate. You think its bad for a young single person, try finding housing, getting kids in schools,or access to healthcare?

    Personally I think Dublin is rather **** with a lot of social problems and poor living standards in terms of housing and infrastructure, with miles of boring suburbia and a very rough around the edges inner city, and it takes a LOT of money to raise those living standards to live in some Tonier neighbourhoods. Those Tonier neighbourhoods are full of middle aged and elderly people so not much craic for young people either.

    I would recommend you try move other places in Ireland like Galway, Cork, Limerick even though they also have housing issues.

    But how about moving to that country you want to learn the language of? Just go and do it! Or a bigger International city ? Your job sounds like the only reason you are sticking around. Sure I only got my first decent job at 30, you already have one and will have more in the future, don't sweat it too much..

    Dublin is boring these days there isn't any craic there for young people who have no money left over and nowhere decent to live. I knew the city in the 90s and it was a brilliant place for young people then.

    Having experienced the **** state of affiars here I have no intention to settle back in Dublin , it's not worth the 'ticket price' (and I even have the money and the network there somewhat). Other parts of Ireland still are though, very much so . Explore your options in Ireland and abroad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 551 ✭✭✭winstonia

    Over to England I'd say

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 alittlelost22

    This feels like a bit of a dig, but no, I didn't. I made and make a concerted effort not to. All I asked was "do you like Dublin?" / how they were finding it - open conversation - and without fail they said no and explained why. I am a very upbeat person (aside from this thread) so no, I didn't bring it up, it is just pervasive.

    I also commiserate, but the only reason I don't have to worry about any of that is because it is literally unaffordable for me! I can't afford commitments or to advance my life, but I also don't feel like it's feasible to pack all that in (yet?) just to go into the unknown. I'll probably never be able to afford to have children in Dublin.

    I totally agree with your assessment of Dublin though; I don't know if some people's view is more rose-tinted but that's literally it, sprawling, boring suburbs and a small town centre. I would never move anywhere else in Ireland though as it is just my job keeping me in Dublin; I'd rather go further away. It's sort of one string tying me down heavily. The language I want to learn is actually Russian, so I shouldn't go there! 😅

    Thanks for the advice; I'm glad to hear of a relative success story post-30 and the fact that you don't plan to settle here makes me feel like all is not 'lost' so to speak. I know people who moved at 29, 30 or more, it just feels like it would be a big step back careerwise for me, but there is so much more to life, when you don't live here anyway. Best of luck to you too with adjusting.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 alittlelost22

    I might have overgeneralised a bit. I would indeed like a relationship, but I am tired of meeting guys, not clicking romantically then being discarded because they see it as all or nothing. It happened recently with a guy whose company I really enjoyed. Also, for one reason or another (and some friends have said the same), I find the Dublin gay scene is almost exclusively foreign exchange students who are kind of floating, or other Irish guys who live at home - not criticising them of course as I am one too, just that it means neither of us can meaningfully engage in the relationship. I would like to find someone with a career / some stability in their life (rich given this thread, I know, but career-wise I am pretty settled), and I just do not come across that in Dublin at all.

    I think I'll try social meetup groups. I'm going to go to the language exchange again and try a different language, maybe I'll meet different people. New social groups can be my 2023 hobby. 😊

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,813 ✭✭✭✭Idbatterim

    It sounds like the only thing that you will be giving up in Dublin is your job. You are still young. I'd try getting out of here, but it would need to be to somewhere you could afford your own place... maybe belfast? I think rents up there way cheaper, but its only up the road from Dublin and not that much of a move...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,159 ✭✭✭Citrus_8

    The paradox of our society - the population is growing, but we have lots of unhappy people, especially the young, so called, the media and technologies' generation... I'm a few years older than you, but also facing the same issues in my life. It was extremely frustrating to me just a few years back, but now I mostly just try to squeeze anything positive out of my daily life... Odd days I would meet friends or have a nice chat to the colleagues, but I think that the Internet goodies has transformed people in just a few decades so that it is so much more difficult to firstly motivate someone to get out for a meeting and then to just have a nice time or even a chat... I doubt our (globally, not just Ireland) society will change into better: we'll have more and more introverts and single souls living their own private lives... We're simply loosing an interest and motivation. ...Weather and your other mentioned factors are also making a difference and here are we.

  • Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭mct1

    Reading your posts it seems you have two conflicting sets of priorities:

    1. Your job/career
    2. Everything else - more dating/a relationship, moving out into your own place, learning Russian, getting out of Dublin

    When it's put like that, which will you choose, because right now you can't have both. So where can you find everything in the second priority list - plus a new job.

    Would you consider London? There's plenty of single accommodation to be found here: There are plenty of evening classes in every subject imaginable, and no end of opportunities for connecting with others - just be prepared to travel further, for everything. It means uprooting from your Dublin job and finding something over there but that shouldn't be too hard? I wonder if the whole change of vibe wouldn't do you good, for a while anyway. I always think it's a young (ie under 40) person's city? I lived there from the age of 23 to 35 and it really does have everything you'd want. Just a thought.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭Count Dracula

    Hi op, please recognise this as some sincere advice. I am a good deal older than you, but I immediately recognise the walls you are placing in front of yourself. Before scaling walls, or ignoring them and walking in other directions, I think you need to establish who put them there and how you can avoid them being put in your way in the future. They are only walls that sit in your mind.

    At 27 I felt I was old. Everyone at 27 thinks they are getting on and somehow should be maybe somewhere else in life? Read this thoroughly, your life is still very young, fruitful and brimming with great opportunity. Please don't forget or refuse to acknowledge this, you have a long life ahead of you, you are still very, very young. Make of that what you will, but if you do just one thing with my advice, please stop comparing or contrasting your life or existence with anyone else? This is your life, your opportunity and your future, make sure you recognise what that encompasses, nobody else really cares about it, only you.

    I am sorry you have lost a close friend. It is horrible when this happens. I have lost more than one I can tell you. This is life and regrettably it brings with it such heartbreak. Try not to let this become an issue for you, there is nothing you can do about your friends death at this point apart from wallow in overindulgent lament of how or why or whatever... it is all meaningless, your friend is now gone. That does not allow you to not mourn him, but you should respect him by letting him now rest in peace, honour his sad passing by striving ahead in your own life, it is what any friend would want you to do?

    If you like your job here you should stay in Ireland and relish it. You will spend 30-40% of the rest of your working life actually working. It is imperative that you are content in this time space and are being happy with it. Job satisfaction is the key to a healthy and happy existence and every normal person has to work for a living. Life will offer you many complications and uncertainties, having an enjoyable sustainable job will only help you maneuver through these challenges, which, as you are well aware, are clearly in the middle of?

    You have been away before, you know what that encompasses. Going away again will spit you right back into that mix of nothingness. You may not enjoy your new job and your potential for such a sacrifice is hardly worth taking. Don't ever throw away things that benefit your existence, you always need things that you can rely upon. Who gives a phuck about the price of housing, deal with it? This is easily one of the biggest and tallest walls you have built for yourself, it looks massive from where I am standing. Living with your Dad should not really be too big a deal as regards life progression, your Dad loves you and whilst he may not understand your sexuality maybe it is time he started learning how to, other family also need to accept this along with whatever friends YOU decide to keep. That's right, in YOUR life YOU get to make YOUR own decisions, decisions that should consider their implications, but you should also be satisfied with taking responsibility for them.

    Responsibility is a beautiful thing. It is one of the most important things you will take on in your life. It offers great freedom and zero reward, but it does allow you to gather your own convictions and enjoy the benefit of doing whatever the phuck you want. When you understand this and garner the expertise to realise this, your life will really begin to evolve to levels you probably right now cannot fathom or reconcile with? But believe me, once you take life with an open heart and a curious honest tenacity, you will regret ever wasting time contemplating your existence, you can do that when you are 90 odd years old and stuck in a nursing home watching crap TV. That sucks.

    You should never regret not doing the things you want to do. You are so young now, with oooodles of opportunity. Don't waste your time analysing it too deep, just live it the best you can and enjoy it. Don't try to persecute it with goals or tasks or brutal 5 year objectives... that shight is for basket cases who could potentially bore you to death. Yes have a broad plan, if you want one, but don't stress it if you don't. Your life is not a plan pal, it is an exceptional opportunity to enjoy a wonderful existence? Not everyone or everything on this planet gets that option, don't waste your option, just make the most of it and above all things enjoy it. No one else can enjoy your life better than you can, remember that and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. This is YOUR life, YOUR opportunity and YOUR future, past and present.

    Finally, don't be stressing on deteriorating friendships, it happens in every life as the 20's come to a close. People clique off and settle and become less naive or open as they were at 20 when the world was a bigger and brighter place to dive into. Let those hermans phuck the phuck off to whatever they want to do and wish them welll...... and count yourself lucky that you don't have to deal with someone who is not really interested in dealing with you? You will meet lots more people who are interested in you and your life. By all means reciprocate these new beings and situations, it is from these new beginnings that your life will really escalate in a positive and prosperous direction. You should enjoy that and I think you will, trust me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 alittlelost22

    mct and countdracula, thank you both so much for your direct and detailed advice. actually, while thinking about all of this over the last few days, the key points both of you make came to mind - which means they are definitely right. Before I reply individually, I thought I'd add some positive updates 😊

    • I applied for a job in another country which I doubt I will get, but it gave me a sense of proactivity
    • I had a wonderful time on NYE with a new friend who introduced me to even more friendly people
    • I have decided that one of my objectives for this year is to try to change my housing situation - this is the 'middle ground' between moving (= losing my job) and keeping my job but having this lack of freedom. I will see what I can do regarding pay rises and loans.
    • On a similar note, I'm trying to get used to the idea of travelling alone. I have a trip booked where I will see some friends who live in the city, and I am thinking of trying some trips where I wouldn't know people because (as you said, Count Dracula), I don't want to regret the things I don't do and even if it's not perfect, it's less boring than not going.
    • Slightly pessimistic note, I did some extra work over the holidays and a friend wryly pointed out that I am a) working through my holidays to earn more money, because I haven't much else to do but b) I am earning this money that can't buy me out of my difficult situation. It gave me food for thought at least. The absurdity of it all and this total collapse of the social contract is making me feel that I'm almost silly for not jumping ship. I am sleeping really badly right now due to this stress, and I'm currently asking myself why I treat myself this way.

    @mct1, I have really considered London as I loved it there when I would visit (I am a teacher, and I trained to teach in southern England). The only thing is it's almost like a career change - teaching there has almost nothing in common with the profession here, and 1/4 of the people I trained with never went into it in the end (I did, as I moved away from the UK, but I had no intention of trying it there after seeing the reality of it). A nice middle ground that I am considering is tutoring or some kind of private teaching. A girl I know was sick of living with her parents but couldn't justify Dublin rents, so she got transferred to London and loves it and feels that it's worth it. I will plan a trip to visit my friends and really think that one through. Thank you again :)

    @Count Dracula Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed reply. I agree about my friend - he would never have wanted me to live a sad, boring life and I try to meet new people and do new things as that is the influence he always had on me and that is part of what I miss about him. I think a side effect of his passing is that I am even more aware now that this wholly 'satisfactory' existence is... well, not what I dream of, and I could be gone tomorrow. As mc1 said above, I almost need to choose between career and literally everything else, but as you also rightfully say, we work for so long that I am painfully aware of how lucky I am to have a job I love, even if it doesn't actually allow me to afford to live here properly. Regarding my youth, I have become aware that 27 is indeed so young - that is why I feel I am being 'young and rash' if I leave, but wasting my youth if I don't. There just doesn't seem to be one good answer.

    As for housing, I can't help but care - you say you are older than me, so I am unsure if you've seen just how bad it is right now, but I simply can't see any point in paying 50% of my wages for a cobbled together 'studio' that is actually just a repurposed living room in an old house, living further away from everything than I currently do. It's just so awful to look at in Dublin; I would rather earn 50% less and live with dignity in another country. So I save what I can and know that if/when the day comes that I decide to leave, I have this to fall back on; I couldn't live extorted like that with no hope of getting away. As for my dad, I feel that he might take it badly if I moved out without moving away because the subtext is essentially "I am moving to get away from you". But then my room is next to my dad's, so there is just no way I could feel comfortable dating while living here. He is totally accepting of me being gay, but ... it's just not the vibe you want when you're 28. 

    You tell me that I am the only one who can enjoy my life, but the problem is my 'life' (in a meaningful, human sense) seems to be clashing completely with the idea of staying in a job I love, because I am in a city I want to get out of. But your points have given me a lot of comfort and points to consider, and I will read them again over the coming days.

    Thank you to both of you and to everyone else who took the time to respond. I feel a lot better right now. I found it hard to open this thread as I was so worried people would dismiss my concerns and say I was irrational, but I am glad to know I am not alone and that there are kind strangers willing to offer advice. 😊 Happy 2023 to you all.