You're sitting there, looking at your craft pick up bits of Rez from a large asteroid. You can't actively mine the thing, so you're left with waiting for the nearby space station to do so.
You're in a Level 40 system. You're underlevelled for such a place, but what else can you do? The systems at your level don't have any weapon or item upgrades you need (come to think of it, you haven't seen an upgrade for 10 or so systems!), and the missions there don't make it worth your while. Levelling up? All it does is give you the option to add a few percentage points to your weapon's strength, or your shield strength. You're sure it adds up, collectively, but it doesn't really make you feel any stronger.
You ask yourself why you're even here, a L30 ship in a L40 system. See, you got a mission that takes you to a nice Level 30 system. There's two routes to get there: go through this L40 system, a L45 system, and a L55 system... or go completely around the galaxy. You quickly realize that you're doing the best thing you're able to. You'll use the Rez you're mining to buy Goons. You'll sell those Goons to make the UTA like you, and then sell more of them to unlock the UTA gates. Maybe if you have some left over, you'll sell some to increase your level.
So you sit there, mining, knowing what you're going to be doing for the next three systems. You hear the game has Zombies. Some day, you hope to see them.