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I want to stop being such a self-indulgent person

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a male part-time worker in my mid-20s. I’m studying by myself to take an employment exam for police officers. I’m distressed and kind of want to disappear because I feel like I’ve been left behind by other people in my generation.

I’ve taken the exam three times, each time unsuccessfully. I plan to continue trying until I turn 30, so I just have to focus on studying hard. However, I feel uneasy, suspecting I may be tackling something impossible to achieve because it’s hard for me to work part-time while studying. Preparing for the exam by myself is tough enough.

I’m not a diligent person by nature. I haven’t accomplished anything rewarding. In the first place, I hate to make an effort. When I was in school, I didn’t do my homework or prepare for exams. I dropped out of university before the second year because I aimed to be an actor. However, I gave up on this dream two years ago and started to work part-time.

I know I’m responsible for all these things, so I don’t regret them. However, I feel miserable that I still work part-time and live at home, while many people of my generation live on their own with regular jobs or have gotten married. I feel really bad for my parents, too.

I once thought of leaving my parents’ home, but I can’t afford to live on my own. I also don’t want to give up on becoming a police officer. What should I do to change myself, as someone who is still dependent on his parents financially and lives a self-indulgent life?

K, Saitama Prefecture

Dear Mr. K:

You say you want to change yourself and get advice on what to do.

You seem to be aware of all your weaknesses and things you should change for the better. So I won’t point out those things. I just suggest you improve the shortcomings you’ve already realized.

Maybe it’s better for you to take the plunge and leave your parents’ house to start living alone. I mean that you should do whatever you can on your own without anyone’s help. I believe you can live off your income as long as you’re sincere about your work.

If you can live day by day on your income without any trouble, it will make you feel confident about yourself and discourage you from complaining about your life.

I suggest you tell your parents your decision to become independent of them. You should bind yourself with your declaration so that you can’t give it up. Your parents may try to stop you, but you must shake them off and keep going your way.

Working as a police officer is very demanding, as they need to make immediate decisions at crime or accident scenes. You can’t be a police officer if you aren’t self-reliant. You should simply work hard to improve yourself.

Tatsuro Dekune, writer

(from Feb. 7, 2018, issue)Speech

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