I loved teaching kids in college. I enjoyed volunteering. I love cooking for my friends, baking and distributing tasty things, doing (some) favors, cooking dinner for my boyfriend, making my mom tea, and listening to friends' problems.
But man, trying to help someone when there's very little you can do, and you don't think any of your actions can help them is scary. Even if you know they're going to be ok! JD is sitting next to me reading right now, and I still wish I could make him tea or a sandwich or something and magically make him all better-- but I can't, he's doing what he needs to do to get better, and there is no way in which I can accelerate the process. Not even by repeatedly asking him if there isn't anything else I can give them.
I do feel helpless over my own problems sometimes, particularly the ones involved in being "adult" but there's always some plan of action I can follow: make a budget, make a list of cities, rank things that are important to me, just start applying to jobs.
In this case, there is literally nothing I can do. It's a strange realization for me-- and made me have a bit more empathy over the way my mom has sometimes overly worried at me. It's hard usually being able to find some way to fix a situation-- and then, realizing some situations, you just can't fix.