S called me up yesterday at work. I'm terrible at staying in touch with friends, he's not. I'm fortunate.
Basically the conversation revolved around his current problem: he's bored at work and he's wondering whether it could relate to something 'more serious'. His wife, he married in June last year, finally got a steady job, they're happy together, his kid just turned 2 and is doing great, they bought a new house,… Though every indicators seem to point things couldn't be better he has the feeling he's not happy.
He's concerned about bothering people near and far with his problem but can not help doing it. It's like saying you have a health problem when the appearance totally contradicts this statement. All the more difficult to find a sympathetic ear.
Me: “S, how old are you?”
S: “I'm 33…”
Me: “You're going through the early 30s' crisis”. Everybody does. I did”
S: “What shall I do then?”
Me: “Learn to live with it. You should start accepting the fact there are questions that may remain unanswered and it's Ok. I'm giving you my feedback but that may not suit you. Have you considered seeing a counselor? I did because I wanted to change direction in my career but it partially worked out. It did well for I though you know how difficult she can be.”
S: “Ok, but why now? It's getting embarrassing talking about it because people who know me obviously don't understand what I'm complaining about”
Me: “It's the lack of progression. It also surprised me how long after shool it took me to realize I was stagnating but in a way it makes sense since it takes a while for things to settle down: you changed job, you went up to the UK, came back here, had a kid, got married, … This takes time but now that you seem to be on rail tracks you start to wonder if this is really it.”
S: “I was wondering whether I should change job again. I'm getting bored with this one. I applied several times but failed everytime because I don't know for sure what I want to do”
Me: “Yup! Changing job might not be the answer because you might end up, 6 months later realizing matters are just the same. Even worse, the more often you would change job the faster each would become tedious. No more alternative then.”
S: “What did you do?”
Me: “Like I said I saw a counselor but it didn't work out well. I think I asked the wrong question or rather the one I asked turned out to not be appropriate then. I was looking for a change in direction of my career after we would determine my psychological profile but by then my company was doing dangerously bad so I stopped the analysis and instead applied for the job I have now. In my case it was a matter of priority: bills got to be paid.
My question remains partially answered since I know now I'm INFJ but it's for me to reinitiate the process and go all the way this time.”
S: “Seeing a counselor costs a lot. ad minima* 2 ot 3000€”
Me: “If you so decide to go see one make sure you ask the good question. That's my point.”
The rest and end of the phone call consisted in various considerations about us needing to see more of each other.
*: that the mot à la mode. I'm getting tired of people using latin especially when it's not that much à propos.