mid life crisis

I recently came across
this link

Which is relevent because…

Since early childhood, I loved computers. Before I got an IT degree, I detoured for some years, due to drug abuse, travelling etc. Then after I got my degree, I travelled some more. I eventually returned home to my small country and I eventually got a job in programming.

It was a long road to qualification, and just before I got qualified, I found skydiving. I love jumping, it’s the one thing in over thirty years that puts a genuine smile on my face.

People can’t believe the change in me when I’ve come back from jumping, I’m a completely different person. Happy, where before I was withdrawn, quiet etc.

The article I linked to talks about a study where “…the reward circuitry in their brain gives them less satisfaction than normal…”

That is ringing serious alarm bells for me. I’ve always had the feeling that I don’t get the same out of life that other people do. That I have to really push hard to get happy - eg jumping is a pretty extreme thing to do to get a smile on your face.

So I’m 33 years old now and I’m really sick looking at computers. I would even go so far as to say I wish that I’d never seen one!

I have no idea what else I would do with my life. There aren’t many opportunities in my country and I’d love to just take off again somewhere, but that just smacks of running away from my problems. Although that said, I’ve still got the travel bug.

This all came to a head recently. Events in my life highlighted that I’ve been sleepwalking towards 40 with nothing to show for it. I’ve been away from jumping for some years now and I’ve set myself the goal of getting my wings back by December - I’m off to Spain for one last tango with altitude!

So to my question. A new career for someone who knows little else than IT. Should I just buy a plane ticket and see where I end up? The problem with jumping as a career is that it would take significant investment in both time and money before I could make money at it…

I guess I could wash dishes or pack parachutes to make ends meet, but I don’t see myself prospering enough to make the money required to get to instructor level with skydiving doing that…

It’s crunch time, decision time. Well, soon anyways, I gotta do Spain in December. But after that, I just can’t see me sitting behind a desk coding for some faceless company forever in a freezing cold wee country, lucky if I’m allowed two weeks off in a year to indulge in the only thing that has put a smile on my face …

And then I look back to that eight year old kid who got a computer for his birthday. And I’m terrified that turning something I love into a job is going to backfire…again

If there are any DZO’s out there, anywhere in the world, who need a website written, please get in touch - will code for jump slots :wink:

So your ideas folks, and please make 'em good!!!

go on, somebody say something!!!

IME, most of us have to really push hard to get happy–and happiness never lasts. I’m no shrink, but I don’t think you’re in the minority here.

As far as the rest of your post is concerned, it’s not like I don’t understand the need to break out of life’s slumbers, but are you sure this is the way to go? After all, you state that you’ve loved computers as a kid. And now you’re sick of them and want to try something new. Hey, I’ve been there. I understand. Congratulations on turning your life around, by the way. I know it’s not easy to do, and it sounds as if you’ve really come a long way.

Here’s the thing. Skydiving. You want to chuck computers, which you’ve been into since you were a kid, and take an entirely new route for skydiving. Well, OK. If you’re sure this is what you want to do for the rest of your life, I wouldn’t want to stop you, but are you sure? Doing something for a living is very different from doing it for recreation, even if you love doing it. Are you sure you’re not going to eventually get sick of skydiving? The way you describe it makes it sound that if you do decide to go for it, you’d be putting everything on the line to get your instructor’s certificate.

Do you need an instructor’s certificate to get work around skydiving places? If you’re willing to sacrifice, could you get a couple of part time jobs working around skydiving centers (or whatever they’re called). It might take you longer to get the certs you need, but after that time, you might well know exactly where your interests lie, and anyway, from what you said, going straight for the instructor’s certs isn’t an option for you anyway.

I’m afraid I can’t help you with any specifics. Skydiving is something I’m just as happy to know absolutely nothing about. :smiley:

That’s what I’m afraid of. I’d hate to wake up in ten years time thinking I should’ve stuck with the desk job, em, right now though, I’d really love to put it permanently behind me.

An instructors cert is a meal ticket. Good money. I could bum around the dz, packing parachutes, odd jobs etc., but I don’t think I could make the kind of money required to (a) live (b) get qualified…

Part of me says this is just a mid-life crisis, but I don’t want to regret any more of life, and that’s all I’ve been doing lately …

Heh, you and me both. Come to Boston sometime, and I’ll buy you a beer.

Then again, I wouldn’t call what you’re going through a mid-life crisis, particularly since you’re only 33. It’s not 18, but I doubt 33 represents the midpoint of your life, unless you get sloppy packing your own chute. Maybe you just need a change of scene. I found this paragraph in your OP particularly interesting

It just so happens that I’m going through what you are right now too. The only difference is that I do know what else I would do with my life (It’s just a matter of getting there) and my travel bug is tempered by a happy marriage. But about the feeling of being hemmed in and sick of what I’m doing and wondering where my life is going? Oh yeah. Yeah, I’m with you there.

Honestly, your future plans in skydiving notwithstanding, maybe travel would be the best thing for you. The first real travelling I did was in the army, and it changed my life for the better more than I could have imagined. I wasn’t much younger than you are now. There was something about an entirely different environment that just shook the Etch-A-Sketch on a lot of my problems back then, while helpfully providing me with brand new ones and gave me new direction in life. It sounds as if you’re trying to tell yourself something.

Boston is a nice idea. I was in the airport once. But, last time I was in the states, I was on a tourist visa and 3 months turned into 18! I doubt they’d let me back in!

I’d invite you to Ireland, but I’m leavin’! Here, if you ever take the notion to go skydivin’, look me up!

33 could well be my mid-point in life. I’m left handed and we’re known to check out early.

As for packing my chute, I’m very neat with my canopy - I’m not one of those folks who just stuff it into the d-bag! Programming has made me patient and meticulous and I doubt I’ll go that way…

…it is 2am in Ireland tho, and I’ve gotta drive to the middle of nowhere in 4 hours and teach 60 people how to use a new computer system…Aaaaargh!

reaches for suitcase…

Give 'em hell! :slight_smile:

I used to run a skydiving club in college and I spent a fair amount of time talking to the DZ owners and managers. I mentioned skydiving as a career and the universal response was “Stay in school and get your degree”. The joke around the DZ was if you want to make a small fortune, start with a large fortune and open a dropzone…

Stick with your job. Work someplace where you enjoy showing up each day (doesn’t mean turning backflips at the prospect), they respect you and it pays enough to support your life including the things that you do for fun (like going at the door at 13.5 on a nice sunny day).

I got my degree. And my “career” sucks. I live in a country with eight months of winter. Cloud base is too low, or wind speed is too high and when you get to altitude, the relative wind is ball freezin’!

I want out.

I’d hoped to fly camera until I’ve got enough scratch to get instructor rated and tandem rated and teach instead of buying the dropzone!

I’ve heard a fairly decent existance can be made in this way…