If you lose money, you can always make more. But time? You can never get lost time back.
My grandma is 86 years old, born in 1930, when the Japanese were occupying Korea. Anyone who's met her is charmed by her splashy, matchy-matchy fashion sense and broken English: she greets all my friends with "Hullo! Berry nice to-meet you!" and bids good-bye with "I love you!"
Grandma's short-term memory has been steadily fading. She tells me repeat stories from her senior community center: she's been making impressive progress in her adult coloring book. Snack is always better than lunch. She wants to take dance class, but she's too shy. "If I were just 5 years younger..."
Her long-term memory, however, is still in great shape. She remembers every sweet detail of her coming-of-age. Here's the one she tells the most often:
"As a young woman, I wanted to be a nurse," she confided. "I was smart and could have done so. But your great uncle said college is no place for a woman and I should instead learn how to cook well. And I obeyed, because I was scared. I should tried." This misstep has deep roots in her consciousness. Few ideas cause more inner turmoil than "I should have shown up for myself when I had the chance."
While my grandma's shot at a career full of meaning has passed, you still have yours. Take it. Free/affordable resources and services abound that make it easy to create work that's both purposeful and profitable.
Find a way to do work that matters to you. It's 100% possible to find career fulfillment, even if your job is currently the pits.
So, tell the truth: How long have you been stuck and wasting time?