Well I've been lurking around these forums for several months, reading all these great stories and methods, dreaming of what my life could be like. In the meantime I've been working in a kitchen at a shitty "mexican" restaurant, i.e. americanized mexican. I guess I decided to post finally because well, I'm sick of the way my life is working out. If I keep on my current course I know its not going to end well. And I guess I come here of all places, because there are so many of you who are successful, independent, self-motivated, etc. Intelligent and full of potential, many of you are probably younger than me(23) and make god knows how much more money than I've ever seen. I was a typical slacker in school growing up. I could get As on most tests without studying(except math, my weakest point because I was never motivated to do homework), and all my teachers regarded me as intelligent. So many types I heard that same old comment at parent teacher conferences...."He could do so much if he would only *apply* himself..." Again and again I heard it said that I could be all these great things, if only I *tried* harder. I spent most of my time on the computer outside of school, and I learned a lot about Linux, computers, coding, but never actually learned a programming language to completion. I could do a little VB in high school, it was a cinch and I got an A+ and college credit. Learned some perl, but never kept at it to be good. Went to college, failed because I did no work, switched to an English major, became an alcoholic and failed some more. I've worked in kitchens most of my life, and I finally quit my job yesterday. I have got to get out of the restaurant industry; the stress is driving me to drink constantly and when I don't, blow my money on pills and weed. So I need to find a new job, but I want to start IMing on the side and one day be my own boss. I don't know why I'm so afraid to pursue coding/IT. I was great at it before I entered the workforce. I learn fast, my programming teachers were always impressed with me. I'm always the one people have fix their computer or ask for advice. I have a whole library of CCNA material, 3 routers/switches I snagged of craigslist to get my CCNA since my college opportunities are fucked. But I haven't done anything. I hear a lot of people say "take action", but it feels like its more difficult. What do you guys think? What advice do you have? Have any of you been in a similar position, and how'd you get out of it? I appreciate any constructive criticism and comments.