I think I have wasted my whole life to be honest.
I am Joe, I have been a lurking for a while. I created this account to get my story across, I have no idea what I am planning to achieve by doing so, but I hope it can help those who are at crossroads and are stuck between passion and safety.
For the past 15 years of life, I have been a dentist, a path that I chose after leaving a job to study further in the hopes I will make more money. I do not even know why I cared about money when I did not even spend any of it. I met my wife before I started school, when I was 20, when I was a risktaker, a dreamer and wanted to change the world.
Now I’m in a place where I have chronic pain, a cheating wife, kids who don’t love me, a life of staring into mouths all day, a dull brain, no more passions and hopes, no real purpose in life.
I wanted to work as a social worker or an educator, but my parents and wife thought that I could help people in other ways that pay well. They convinced me to take dentistry and I did. I hated every minute of school, I did not want to be in a place where my back would ache, neck would ache and it was not solving the real cause of the problem, but just the result of what happens after people let go of their teeth. All my friends convinced me that it will be rewarding, and I will make a lot of money when I am out of school and I let them.
When I was a young man, I wanted to do so many things, I used to play music, I wanted to become a musician, I wanted to be a teacher raising future people who could change the world. I loved physics and mathematics, but my parents told me to follow money instead of passions.
Today I have 2 kids, a wife and they all expect me to provide them with a luxurious lifestyle. I have never cared for money, the most enjoyable time in my life was when I was sleeping on a futon in a rental running a small business selling jars of jam made with strawberries from a local farm and also working as a tutor for a bunch of spoilt kids. I had very little, but I was happy, I feel like I should have become an educator/business owner instead of taking a career I hate.
From the past 15 years, I have developed chronic pain from doing dentistry, gained at least 20 kilos, made a million dollars but for what? I can’t even do anything because of chronic back pain.
After becoming a dentist, I worked 9-4, 5 days a week, I would come back home exhausted, plan my next day, manage the business side of things, have dinner with my kids and wife, sleep and repeat. Have a few weeks here and there as holidays where I would take my family away for a vacation.
My kids don’t even talk to me anymore, my wife and I have not had sex for months and I’m 100% that she’s cheating on me with a better-looking man who is older than me, I have seen her phone and confirmed this, but I will not bring it up because I don’t have anyone except her left in my life, she has been my only support throughout this and if she leave, I have nothing left. My kids will probably be split and hate their dad because their mom has raised them, my life feels like a joke.
I remember when I was in my 20s, I used to be popular with the girls, I had countless opportunities to go out with girls I found more attractive than my wife but I didn’t because I cared for her. In hindsight, I should have just done what I wanted to. Maybe my wife would still be attracted to me, I would be healthier and fitter.
If I had my life all over again, I would not settle down so early, I would date more and find more interesting friends, I would never choose to be a dentist!
I should have stuck to my passion for business/physics/teaching/music etc. Even though I would have been broke, I think I would not have cared, I would wake up everyday working towards a better future, work harder because I am not handed money on a silver platter, the list can go on.
I feel that it's too late to go back to pursue my passions now, my kids have expectations, my wife has expectations, society thinks that I am useful and important.
Sorry if this is a long read, but I just had to say it. I truly have made a joke out of the one life I was given by choosing money, stability, safety, other people’s opinions over my real passions.
To all the people stuck between money/stability/safety and passions, just chase your passions because the safe path does not guarantee that you’ll live a life that was worth living.
TL:DR – I ruined my life by continuing to do what I hated – dentistry. It has ruined my marriage, health, family, my passions, my mind. Do what you are passionate about, f*** societal expectations.
I was not expecting this post to get so much attention as it has, I just posted it as a whim to tell atleast someone about it. I was very emotional at the time and did not proof read anything that I typed.
Honestly reading your thoughts, encouragement and most importantly your own personal stories, I feel like I'm gaining a new perspective at life and how I can change it, for the first time in a very long time, I feel that maybe this is not the end. I don't have to die a slave to a system that does not support my life or adds any value to my life.
I will put down answers to recurring questions below as they come up and keep you guys updated on what I will do with my life in this post. Thank you reddit for giving me hope.
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