Jazz Guitar
Learn how to play jazz guitar with our eBook bundle
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 27 of 27
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Morro Bay, Ca
    Posts
    506

    supportive friends?

    This has nothing to do with jazz but I need to vent. Continue at your own peril...

    I moved here about 14 years ago with my ex-wife. I was working for a local guitar manufacturer and moonlighting doing construction. The ex and I split shortly after we got here. I didn't know anyone, and ended hanging out at the bar with work buddies feeling sorry for myself a good bit of the time. Then the recession came...that didn't help things.

    But life is peaks and valleys, and sure enough, the economy turned around, I met a great girl and got remarried, and life has generally been much better for the last several years.

    A couple of years ago, I decided to go back to school to get my engineering degree. I'm 41 now and it's been a huge shift in my day-to-day life trying to be a good student. But I'm not doing bad. I currently have 70 semester credits completed and a 3.3 GPA. I'd like that to be better, but not terrible for an old guy. I haven't been working much since I've gone back to school, but we knew that going into it. We're not missing any bills or going into debt for any of this. We're not wealthy, but we have plenty of money in the bank to support this endeavor.

    My wife sees this as a good long-term life plan and has been very supportive. She encouraged me from the beginning and is probably the biggest reason I decided to return to school.

    However...my friends are the least supportive group I can imagine. They all think I'm wasting my time. Rumor has it there has been some actual wagering on whether or not I will fail. One of these friends lives for free in a house his parents own and works occasional construction jobs for beer money. Another friend blows glass in his shed as his main source of income. A couple work minimum wage assembly-line jobs. But they think I'm the one wasting my time and have even called me lazy for doing this. They seem to think that since I'm not at the bar drinking with them, then I'm not doing anything.

    This probably shouldn't bother me, but it does. I'm trying to do the right thing and think long-term instead of in the moment. It's taken a lot of time and effort to make it this far in school, and it will take a lot more time and effort to finish. But the haters are wearing on me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Lady Lake Florida
    Posts
    164
    Dude, they can never take your education away from you...keep up the work.

    Sadist thing about this post is that after you get your education, you are not likely to hang with this bar crowd.

    Nobody hates you. They dislike your motivation which is a gift you should not forsake in any pursuit.

    I hope you're a player because music can relieve some of the tension.

    Good luck.
    If you can distinguish between rehearsing and practicing...you're better than half way there!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,724
    There is an foreign language expression which translates loosely as: "The cat's paw can't reach the meat, so the cat says that the meat smells bad".

    Anyway, your friends are wrong. Keep your head up.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny View Post
    There is an foreign language expression which translates loosely as: "The cat's paw can't reach the meat, so the cat says that the meat smells bad".

    Anyway, your friends are wrong. Keep your head up.
    Exactly. Sour grapes.
    White belt
    My Youtube

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    5,046
    Quote Originally Posted by morroben View Post
    Another friend blows glass in his shed as his main source of income.
    Larry Brebes?

    I played in a rock bar band with him around 1980 in the SLO area. A fine guitarist. An fine "glass blower" also.
    Attached Images Attached Images supportive friends?-larry-brebes-jpg 
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    1,306
    Forget the haters. You have something on them if you want to think about it that way.

    Many years ago I was in a relationship and decided that I was going to pursue an advanced degree during nights and Saturdays. It was really for the benefit of both us for me to do it, but she didn't see it that way. We broke up and she was engaged to someone else within 90 days. That told me that all she really wanted was to be married in short order. I think they were divorced within 3 years. I am glad that I stuck with it and got the degree. She wasn't the right woman for me anyway.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Morro Bay, Ca
    Posts
    506
    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    Larry Brebes?

    I played in a rock bar band with him around 1980 in the SLO area. A fine guitarist. An fine "glass blower" also.
    No. There are a lot of people blowing glass around here. There are also a lot of Brebes....that family has a lot branches and historical significance in this area. I know a few of them but not Larry.

    Quote Originally Posted by lammie200 View Post
    It was really for the benefit of both us for me to do it, but she didn't see it that way.


    I'm glad my wife is supportive and sees the big picture. It would be impossible if she didn't.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    1,306
    Quote Originally Posted by morroben View Post
    ...I'm glad my wife is supportive and sees the big picture. It would be impossible if she didn't.
    Yeah, that is huge. Good luck with it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    673
    If your "friends" aren't adding anything positive to your life they aren't worth spending time with. Life's too short.

    Keep working towards your goals and don't waste time with those who will drag you down.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    'Tis safer under the bridge...
    Posts
    6,806
    When you finish your engineering degree (Civil Engineering, I guess, since you were in construction?), morroben, they will still be carping and nothing would have changed with them. But you have changed and for the better, for I do not think education is ever wasted. The anti-education crowd lives in a world where they fear change. The world is changing whether they want it or not. Education is the only buffer against obsolescence. Good for you that you are going back to school. Solving those differential equations wiill keep your mind sharp and beat off dementia! Let them cry into their beer...

    I will keep those construction skills sharp though. I don't subscribe to the thesis that a white hard hat engineer does not have to know how to lay a brick wall or mix Portland cement.

    PS My brother in law was a civil engineer, retired now, who went to MIT and Northwestern Uni Kellogg School of Management. He knows how to scree a cement floor and lay a brick wall. He started in construction as a lad and worked his way up. Blue collar working class and proud of it.
    Great Deals with Great Folks: max52 (Guild-Benedetto Artist Award); prickards (Ribbecke GC Halfling); Cincy2 (Comins Concert)

  11. #11
    It's your life, not theirs. Do what you think is best.
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    North Coast Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,785
    You are on the right track. Stay the course. Better friends will find you. And be grateful for a supportive spouse - priceless!
    Best regards, k

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Morro Bay, Ca
    Posts
    506
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    When you finish your engineering degree (Civil Engineering, I guess, since you were in construction?)
    I'm leaning toward electrical, but I have more connections with civil so that's still a possibility. At this point, the schooling is mostly the same. Calculus, physics, etc. But I have enjoyed and done well in the electrical classes I have taken. And most civil engineering firms have some electrical engineers on staff, so they're not mutually exclusive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    I will keep those construction skills sharp though. I don't subscribe to the thesis that a white hard hat engineer does not have to know how to lay a brick wall or mix Portland cement.
    I agree with this sentiment. I think many white collar types could be helped by learning the fundamentals of a trade. And I think many tradesmen could stand to take a class or two. Basic math is always helpful. And just the discipline of taking a class can be beneficial. The 'us against them' thing between the two is silly, and I catch that kind of thing constantly from friends and former coworkers.

    That being said...I've had a couple of knee surgeries, and a couple of years ago had a bad shoulder injury. While I don't want to lose my trade skills, I also have no desire to be climbing ladders, swinging hammers, screeding concrete etc when I'm 50 or 60. At least not on a regular basis. That was a pretty big motivating factor in going back to school as well.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    3,117
    You would think as you get older you should get less sensitive to slights, but that's not the case. But, you do have the perspective of wisdom and experience to help out.

    Maybe you can find a way to deal with and deflect the friends' criticism while still remaining buddies...don't know if I could, but some people can. (Hey, some people are friends with their exes...)

    Anyway, my hat's off to you. This is probably the last time in your life it will be relatively easy to make a move like that. Believe me, after 50, it gets astronomically hard to make a big change.

    He who isn't busy being born is busy dying. A Minnesota guy said that, and I agree with him.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Mystic CT
    Posts
    1,502
    They're afraid they're losing you. I went through a lot of that when I quite drinking, which was literally to save my life, but my "friends" couldn't deal with it. Turns out the next batch of friends weren't lazy drunks, and I found myself in better company. As a full-time guitarist, I've made lots of changes through the years, because new challenges come along and I am a "Gemini Project Person", so I have to go after the next cool thing that excites me. This has given me experiences in jazz, classical, flamenco, rock, blues and African music, and as my career winds down, I find that my music reflects all of those experiences and is quite original-sounding, even if playing standards. It takes a while, but one should build one's own life, I think.

  16. #16
    There's a saying that basically states "you become an amalgamation of the five to 10 people you spend the most time with"; the group behavior is the normal/standard/acceptable thing to do. It's up to you to decide the quality of people you surround yourself with.

    "They seem to think that since I'm not at the bar drinking with them, then I'm not doing anything". Well, if that's all one ever does, it could be difficult to imagine or remember what else there is to accomplish. Keep moving on; seriously, if they're actually betting on you failing it shouldn't be too difficult to walk away from them. The sign of an absolute loser is to criticize someone not for failing, but for trying.
    Ignorance is agony.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    3,995
    Also, you are showing your friends that one can change their life if they are willing to sacrifice and work hard enough. By pursuing this educational goal, you are taking away their excuses - plus, you are probably a good party buddy. Who wants to lose a good party buddy?

    In the end, you may inspire some of them, should they want to create more economic options for themselves.

  18. #18
    Beware the power of the weak over the strong...

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Port Townsend
    Posts
    936
    Friends who discourage you from following your dreams aren't friends, they're drinking buddies.
    Some days it's not even worth chewing through the restraints...

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    East of Eden
    Posts
    5,083
    You're married...and also have friends?

  21. #21
    At 41 you're not old, you're young.

    Say goodbye to the proletariat, and hello to the bourgeoisie.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by morroben View Post
    That being said...I've had a couple of knee surgeries, and a couple of years ago had a bad shoulder injury. While I don't want to lose my trade skills, I also have no desire to be climbing ladders, swinging hammers, screeding concrete etc when I'm 50 or 60. At least not on a regular basis. That was a pretty big motivating factor in going back to school as well.
    Yeah, at 41, that's probably not a HUGE deal, but it will get bigger as you get older. I'm 52. Just this year I started getting some back pain that's getting into my hip. I'm trying to help with exercise and keeping stress off it as much as possible, but it never seems to go away completely. I was telling that to my father, who's 82, and he said something along the lines of, "Yeah. That's gonna happen, and you've only got more to look forward to." (And he's in pretty good shape for his age.)
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Baja Baja Oklahoma
    Posts
    2,372
    Those aren't friends, just acquaintances. Friends don't act that way. Keep on with what you're doing, and make some real friends, and leave the losers in the bar.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    www.rwtwguitars.com
    Posts
    899
    “Waste of time?” Not to get all metaphysical, but time just is. It can’t be wasted. Are you enjoying what you do? Do you have a sense of purpose? Then guess what? Turns out you are enjoying what you do and have a sense of purpose. Lots of people lack that. Many people believe that is what it looks like to be living a good life. If you can answer “yes” to that, it sounds to me like your “friends” may be the ones making less use of today than you.

    Yes, it’s true. An engineering degree is no guarantee of improved economic situation. This isn’t the seventies anymore. You don’t go to free higher education and automatically get a high paying job. There are thousands of hard working young people graduating with crushing debt, an engineering degree, and a job asking you if you want soy in your latte. There may not be a big payoff in economic opportunity for you at the end of your studies.

    If you are living today solely for some payoff tomorrow, if today lacks joy, purpose or meaning for you, if today is only a grind, then maybe your friends are being friends.

    But just from reading your post it sounds to me like what you are doing is engaging you and giving you a sense of purpose. What better use of your time can you have than that?

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    1,306
    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    ...

    But just from reading your post it sounds to me like what you are doing is engaging you and giving you a sense of purpose. What better use of your time can you have than that?
    Yeah, it's probably a good idea to avoid crushing debt.

    You will likely find that finishing the degree will take you to new levels of confidence that you didn't have previously. That is a good thing and something that will become part of your human fiber.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Morro Bay, Ca
    Posts
    506
    We won't be going into any debt. Obviously, nothing is guaranteed in life, but I'm not too worried about my prospects after school. That's pretty well lined out already. I'm fortunate to have a lot of connections at various engineering firms. I had discussions with people about job opportunities before I ever started back to school. I wouldn't have started it without an endgame. There are a couple of paid positions available to me already that pay similarly to construction work, but I want to get through another semester or two before I take on a 9-5 job again. That will require me to cut back on the credit load at school, which will make it take even longer to finish the degree. The degree improves the pay scale substantially.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    82
    Besides repeating the advice you should ditch those guys, think hard about your major and what industry you want to be in. I'm an EE, my major was in electronics, now my specialty is machine controls for pharmaceutical equipment. Automation is ever increasing in manufacturing. My sense is that construction is cyclical- but I know that the power field needs people. Lots of retiring engineers in the utility sector, and growth in solar & alternative energy, smart grid tech.

Join our Facebook Page

Get in Touch


Jazz Guitar eBooks
How To Get a Jazz Guitar Tone?
Privacy Policy

 

 

Follow us on:

Jazz Guitar Online on FacebookJazz Guitar Online on TwitterJazz Guitar Online on YoutubeJazz Guitar Online RSS Feed