Ask Amy

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 9:00pm

DEAR AMY: I'm almost 25, and over the last few weeks I have found myself at a fork in the road with bad GPS.

I have many friends pushing in many directions, the very limited support of my family, and unemployment. I also have mixed feelings about everything.

On one hand, I could go to college.

In the past, this wasn't a priority for me. I valued education, but I've never fit in well in a classroom setting. I catch on quickly, get bored and lose interest in finishing whatever task I have in front of me.

I can't deny that school could be great for me, but I just worry about my ability to stay with it. Or I could leave the relative comfort of home and see what the world has to offer.

Part of me (perhaps the dreamer) has always liked this idea. However, I have a lack of resources to do it, and the well-learned terror of doing it without those resources. Or I could stay the course and find another job that will pay the bills while I spend my free time on the small joys.

This is a plan I stuck with for a long time before a string of bad luck halted it. This leaves me where I am today. I'm tired of hearing people tell me what to do, yet desperate for advice.

— Paula From Detroit

DEAR PAULA: Let me suggest yet another route.

Find another job to pay the bills. I suggest trying to get a job in a busy restaurant, where the pace of the work will prevent you from getting bored or overthinking things. Also choose a class or two to take at your local community college. Your goal should be to complete your schooling successfully, in manageable portions.

You should also get an evaluation to see if you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Mine is an armchair opinion, but your issues and challenges are consistent with somebody who has ADHD.

If you have it, a diagnosis and counseling will help you understand your challenges and work with them. If you don't have it, learning about this disorder will help you gain insight into your own impulses and behavior.

And yes — continue to appreciate life's small joys. Your life's GPS might be a little faulty right now, but enjoying the little things will help while you search for your "true north."


DEAR AMY: My friend has had plans with me for the last two Friday nights. Definite, solid plans.

He stood me up two Friday nights in a row and called the next mornings to say he fell asleep at 6 p.m. on one Friday and at 8 p.m. the next Friday.

He didn't sound remorseful at all.

When I began to get upset, he said, "Well maybe you shouldn't make plans with me on Friday nights." This guy is a social butterfly, and I find it hard to believe he would not go out two Friday nights in a row. He works daytime hours, so it's not as if his schedule gets in the way.

I want to make sure I am not being disrespected, but I also don't want to ruin a friendship by accusing him of something.

— RP

DEAR RP: Don't worry about being disrespected. Realize it.

Your friend is also providing you with your answer.

Don't make plans with him for Friday nights. In fact it's not necessary for you to make plans with him at all. The friendship ball is very much in his court. When he can figure out how to honor his plans with you, you'll have your friendship back.


DEAR AMY: I'm responding to "Facebook Friend," who had a question about posting photos of her friends on her Facebook page.

I teach a high school course on computers in society, and a big chunk of our discussions has to do with ethics. I am so disappointed at the number of people who indiscriminately post photos to the Web. When it comes to children of friends and family, I always get permission from their parents before posting pictures.

Facebook Friend should remove any pictures, no questions asked, when her friends voice concerns. Also, she should make more of an effort to check with friends before posting their faces to Facebook.

— Melinda

DEAR MELINDA: I agree.

Send questions via e-mail to askamy@tribune.com.

Filed under: Lifestyles

1 Comment on this post:

By: BenDover on 9/17/09 at 6:17

Grow up Paula. Perserverence is a sign of maturity so show some... get a job... get out of your mom and dad's house (you're 25 for God's sake) and get into school. Stop using the fall-back of your parent's place as a crutch for your immaturity.