[quote="josephback, post:1, topic:246854"]
I'm 26 and have lived with friends twice, but convinced myself it was "God's will" that I move back. I pay rent right now, but still have this acute need to prove I can live by myself(no friend support or anything).
I'm also kinda financially insecure as I grew up in government subsidized housing and turned against "charity". I work a minimum wage job and I'm afraid that in the real world I would drown financially. That and it's hard to get motivated about anything because life seems like a treadmill. Something's missing.
I commend you for wanting to leave your parents and strike out on your own.
Why do you have an acute need to prove that you can live by yourself? What's wrong with living with friends and sharing the costs of an apartment? I think that's a very realistic way for young people to start out in life. It's kind of fun!
Frankly, I agree with you that you will drown with just min. wage. Perhaps you live in a part of the U.S. that is cheap enough that you could find a place and be able to afford it, along with all the other expenses of life in the U.S., on just min. wage, but wow, I can't imagine.
If you had several roommates who all had gainful employment, you might be able to live on min. wage by volunteering to do extra chores around the apartment, or perhaps doing most of the cooking, since you won't be able to chip in much towards the rent. That would work out OK. Is that a viable option for you?
I agree with others that you probably should get some more schooling, probably in a trade school or apprenticeship. If you stick with min. wage jobs, you'll never have enough money to get very far in life. If you're OK with an extremely simple life and a constant struggle to survive, then that's OK. But if you like the idea of living on your own, or if you have any hopes of getting married, or have other goals (buying a car, travelling, etc.) you will have to earn more than min. wage.
Could you get together with a career counselor, perhaps at your old high school? These people have tests that assess your interests and help you to hone in on what kind of work you would enjoy that would also provide enough income to make a decent living.
It sounds to me like you are struggling with the reality that in the United States, people have to work at a job in order to earn money so that they can buy things and live a decent life.
It's understandable that you are having a hard time internalizing the fact of getting a job and earning a wage. So many people in the U.S. have NOT accepted that reality, and they choose to just play instead of work. They live on handouts, either from their parents, from the government, or sometimes from a foolish friend (often a friend with a romantic interest). There are families who have lived for several generations on government dole. They don't know any other way to live because they haven't bought into the idea that they have to actually work to earn money to support themselves. And sadly, some of these people have the gall to complain that they don't receive enough money from the "handouts."
So perhaps you need to start out by sitting down and convincing yourself, once and for all, that in the United States, you must work at a job to earn money. This is not futile or "a treadmill." It's reality, and it's important to accept this reality and work within it, not try to deny reality and live outside of it in a fantasy world.
Another thing that it sounds to me like you are struggling with is the idea that work is not always enjoyable ("treadmill"). Again, it's understandable that you're having a hard time with this. So much of media has given people the idea that your job has to be fulfilling and spiritually-enriching, and something that makes an important contribution to humanity.
This would sure be nice, and some people manage to find jobs like that. But most of us end up in jobs that are not especially wonderful. We are bored, or overwhelmed, or physically tired, or in some other way less than thrilled to go to work everyday. If someone dropped millions of dollars into our laps, we would quit in an instant!
But that's just too bad, so sad, for us! No one is going to drop millions into our laps. What most of us have learned to do is find enjoyment on our jobs whereever we can find it. We CHOOSE to be happy. We don't expect happiness (or money) to fall into our lap.
So perhaps the next thing you have to do is stop thinking of "work" and "living on your own" as a "treadmill" and instead, see it as "life." And then you'll have to learn ways of thinking that help you to enjoy life rather than feel like "something is missing."
Finally, you really do have to do some hard work just figuring out what kind of hard work you want to spend the rest of your earthly life doing five days/evenings/nights a week. A guidance counselor would definitely help. OR you could do a lot of online research--I'm guessing that there are lots of websites about "finding the right career for you."
But it's work. It means putting away the video games, turning off the TV and possibly the radio, and spending many hours a day working at finding work.
One option that might be something to think about is joining the military. I personally would never want to do this because I wouldn't want to be killed in a war. But most military people are not killed in a war, just like most people who drive cars are not killed in car accidents. Military veterans end up with good benefits, including a lot of good options for paying for college. They also learn trades while serving. And they learn to be self-confident and make friends. Perhaps this would be something to think about.
I hope that some of my thoughts have given you something to chew on. Good luck to you.