Dear Annie

Dear Annie: I recently turned 27 and feel as if life is just passing me by. I try so many different things to find career opportunities and to meet other people but nothing leads to anything, and I am always stuck back at square one.

It seems like nobody ever gives me a chance. Is there a way to move on in life without sacrificing your identity? Right now, I’m terribly alone. Outside of a few family members, I have no social life, no love life and no career opportunities. It wouldn’t be so bad if I could just have one of those pillars. I’m stuck in a small town where I haven’t met anyone my age since high school.

I’ve participated in and studied politics, history, theater, film, acting, writing, literature, journalism, economics, music, songwriting, music business, building inspection, psychology, the Bible, athletics and general business. I’m a better person for being involved with these various subjects but they haven’t led me anywhere. It hasn’t gotten me anything or anybody. There’s got to be more to life than being the wrong person in the wrong time and place.

— Lonely Renaissance Man in Training.

Dear Renaissance Man: Be kinder to yourself. You are young and have so much life ahead of you. When reading your question, all I could hear was someone who believes that he will always come out the loser, when I see someone who has a great deal to be proud of. Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the giants of the Renaissance, was an artist, architect, scientist, philosopher and many other professions. I would encourage you to speak with a therapist. One of my absolute favorite quotes came to mind as I was considering your letter: “The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives; some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t. Get plenty of calcium. Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t; maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t; maybe you’ll divorce at 40, and maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either — your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body; use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it; it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own. Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it, but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Get to know your parents; you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.”

— Mary Schmich

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to