I don't have answers, only a personal story, one that kind of mirrors the cruise story above.
My JW upbringing led to me turning away lots of scholarships to pioneer. I went on to work crap jobs and no matter what I did I ended up back in the cleaning industry. I could earn more money than the other skills I had to work with. No matter how many times I got out of cleaning, I ended back up there. My wife and I started our own business (self-employed) and although I'm really good at cleaning my mind craved more. I was always looking for something else to get into so that once again I could get out of cleaning. Over time I grew to hate it. I was depressed and suicidal at points, not that I can blame it all on cleaning. The lack of fulfillment there was just one piece of the puzzle that was my life that I hated and wanted to leave.
One day I had a perspective shift. Instead of fighting it, instead of trying to get out of cleaning yet again, I decided that maybe Jehovah (this was back in the dub days) was trying to tell me something because I always ended up in cleaning again. So I stopped trying to control everything, surrendered, and took a look at what I did with fresh eyes.
I don't just clean houses. I get to help families maintain their sanity. I get to work with my wife and don't have to work long hours and not see her. I get to talk to really nice, interesting people. I get to listen to podcasts and books and learn all day about anything I want. I get to talk to people about their problems and offer guidance and help, or just a listening ear, which is sometimes all people need. I get to talk to people about what's going on in my life as well and get that same listening ear, or sometimes a helpful word. Every morning on the way to work we start our day in the car by listing our "happy's", things that we're grateful for or looking forward to that day.
So here I am doing the exact same work that I was doing for all of those years that I yearned to escape. I saw no point to it. It was just something to do. But cleaning gave me so much, including a group of supportive friends, not just clients, but true friends that my wife and I relied on during the most difficult time in our life while leaving the Witnesses behind and DA'ing. That thing that I wanted to run away from became my lifeline and I can never appreciate that enough.
Sometimes a simple perspective change can make a world of difference. I don't know what the future will hold. For my whole life I thought I could control it by simply doing enough or being enough as a JW but I was miserable. Now I freely admit that I don't know what the future holds but that's not all I have to look forward to anymore. It was the JWs that had me always forward thinking and now I live in the present and I'm sure to find things to appreciate. I take a camera with me every day to force me to look for small things like a cool cloud formation, the sun reflecting off of something, a flower, a dog, some kids playing (ok, I don't take a pic of that so that people don't find me creepy but I can still appreciate it), and just so many little things that make life beautiful.
Find connection in the present, and the future will hold whatever it will hold. You can't control it. Joy or happiness are feelings in the present. Find that and you won't worry so much about the future. Admittedly, I have some persistent unwanted thoughts about the future myself, but when I start going down that path I bring myself back to the present, and in the end when my time comes instead of feeling awful that life is ending, I want to be able to look back at all of the cool things I got to do, the time I shared with my wife, and the friends that I made. I want to appreciate what I can have an influence on and forget what I can't. I hope the same for you.