| All things being even, you should be able to cast Fireball (at full target, no bad environmental mods, the dice roll neutral or better) at 70 TM.|
So, let's talk hardcore versus... softcore? Ew. Uh. Well, you know what I mean.
DragonRealms has a character development "arc" that literally lasts years. This may be daunting, but it's the nature of having an almost limitless potential for character growth. The magic system and the spells therein are designed to accommodate up to ~1200 ranks (which, honestly, isn't high enough, but that's a later problem).
In the grand scheme of things, we front load content. By 200 (out of ~1200) ranks in a skill you're able to cast any spell in your guild which is under the purview of that skill. By 80-90 you'll be casting the vast majority.
I sympathize with your situation, but I think this comes down to taking the long view. You don't need to be a hardcore play-12-hours-a-day person to get there, but you do have to accept that it's going to come in weeks and months instead of hours or days.