James wrote:BORING, RAMBLING, UNEASY OPENNESS INCOMING; FEEL FREE TO IGNORE:
So, as I've alluded to somewhere-or-other, found I coming back from the elation of reuniting with university friends and their lovely wedding to be a bit of a disheartening experience. I don't want to be too glum about it, but I have to admit a certain degree of dissatisfaction with my life as it stands, particularly the social aspect. My down-South friends are great, but they are few, and generally cover a very specific subset of social interaction, so spending time with my up-North friends reminded me of how much I appreciate a bit of variety. Also, and perhaps I run the risk of being accused of BIG SISSY GIRLINESS, but the wedding itself, as a culmination of a nine-year relationship, acted as a reminder of the lack of romance in my life, and gave me an unsettling sense of having gravely wasted my time. One thing that in retrospect I really appreciated about the wedding was a friend commenting on how my idiosyncrasies had been missed. I found this really touching, in part because I often find myself with a poor sense of who I am, and what I have to offer.
Anyway, in light of Ian's disappointment and the advice offered to him, I decided that wallowing can only make things worse, and that the only way to feel better is to start changing things I either don't like about my life, or fear may be counter-productive, albeit probably in very small steps. One thing that probably accentuated my malaise was the fact that on my return, my flatmate and family were away, and the rest of my local friends were busy. The prospect of going from my first party experiences for years to total solitude was pretty bleak. However, another of my great failings is disproportionate anxiety about the prospect of embarrassing myself or otherwise being judged (as ridiculous as that may sound). As such, I decided to try to turn my time alone into an advantage, and do something I'm normally very anxious about: cooking some proper goddamned food. It's utterly stupid, I know, but more than laziness (which is undoubtedly also a factor), the main reason I don't feed myself properly is that I'm very nervous about messing up and making a fool of myself. Of course, as EvilJekyll has pointed out, you'll never get better at anything without practice. Which I know, but I still allow myself to be disheartened way too easily. Anyway, I went to the shop on the way back from work today, and forced myself to pick up some ingredients and not just take the easy option. Altogether too much time and mess later, and I have a casserole in the oven. Nothing spectacular, I know, but at least it's not an oven pizza or whatever. Hopefully it comes out OK.
Christ, I've completely lost track of where I was going with this. I've also been trying to pay more attention to making and keeping the flat clean, as I think living in squalor probably isn't very good for the psyche; you know, self-respect and all that. I'm hoping that if I can be a bit more responsible and diligent, I can feel better about myself, and perhaps shake off some of the anxiety I feel over all the ridiculous trivial stuff like buying clothes and applying for jobs and talking to people I don't know and so on. Or maybe not. Maybe that's something completely different. I don't bloody know. A part of me says that all prior evidence indicates I won't keep this up, but I shouldn't be defeatist. That could become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
I should point out that I don't think cooking a bit and not being a total slob is a recipe for bliss, but hopefully it should provide an environment more hospitable to happiness, and give me fewer things to feel embarrassed about.
Aaaaanyway. I don't know. I'm not really sure what to do about the social life thing. My friend group is pretty insular, and I'm not really sure of how to go about finding other people that I want to spend time with. I guess I could join a club or something, but I'm not really sure what, and it kind of baffles me that anyone finds the time for that sort of thing. I keep feeling I've kind of buggered myself up, and left this all way too late.
This isn't going anywhere. It's just an unloading of things that have been on my mind. I hope it hasn't been too glum. I'm trying to be positive, as I understand that's the best way to end up in a more positive situation. I feel like I'm revealing myself to be quite ridiculous and pathetic, but I can't keep letting that hold me back, and I've spent far too long typing this nonsense not to post it. Also, it doesn't score well on the positivity front.
I should also point out that this is an awful lot of bold talk after not much actual activity. Consider it a plan-of-action, I guess.
TL;DR: WAS A BIT MISERABLE, TRYING TO BE A BIT MORE RESPONSIBLE AND HAVE MORE SELF-RESPECT, PERHAPS THAT WILL HELP, WHO THE fork KNOWS?
Whaaaaat? I think you should visit a hooker.
Yes, I went through a very similar patch post uni and having worked for a while and becoming mired in the mundaneness of it all. I had friends disperse to all parts of the world, kept vampiric hours and thoroughly abused my body on the weekends. I was unhealthy and unhappy and felt very alone.. then I fell for a female who was in a relationship and that took care of my mental state, so it was all a shambles and a very dark period of my life.
I got sick of being in that situation, though. It took a lot longer than it should have taken any reasonable human being, but I just got tired of the self-imposed misery.
I made a few more bad decisions... but I ended up moving to the other side of the country and having to really become entirely self-sufficient and my own person.. which was liberating.
I wasn't that guy that I was with my friends all the time. Nor was I the same guy working in the same decidedly unpleasant job. Nor was I the guy pining after the woman I couldn't have because how rickin'-frackin' annoying does that get after a while?
I made some more bad decisions, but along the way I kind of managed to build up experience and refine my tastes and opinions and, you know, become more of a fully-fledged person.
In hindsight, this is basically what everyone does. They grow up and sort out their poopcakes.
At the time, I felt like I was miles behind because there is a huge amount of pressure on individuals of certain classes and backgrounds to become what they are meant to be in a very short amount of time.. and make the decisions that lead to this at an age when you are a raging ball of neuroses and hormones. I had friends making money and starting families while I was still living in ridiculous circumstances, damaging myself and just playing video games and watching tv in the dark, but I no longer really care what the others have done, because it tends to even out in the end.
I still get depressed when I think about the straight line of work and family life that opens up before me, but things are by no means as bleak as I imagined them to be those years ago and happiness finds me in the most bizarre places.
Mistakes and bad decisions haunt me, too. I also think of dumb things I did when I was a kid/teenager/adult/yesterday. It's like some kind of neurotic masochism. Still, at least I have some stories to tell.
So, in closing, I would say that you don't have to make wholesale changes to your life to be happy. If you want to move away, move away. If you want to find another job (oh fellow arts student and jack of most trades), keep and eye on vacancies in sectors that you have an interest in and passion for. If you want to party the pain away, go have some fun. If you want to come out of the closet, throw the doors open, sailor! If you want to meet new people and try new things, don't dismiss every experience out of hand and give yourself something to look froward to. For instance, I spend a fair bit of time gardening now. Gardening.
I was never interested, but here I am pottering around with a pair of secateurs and seaweed emulsion. I even show interest in sports
every now and then, because it is actually a reasonable tool for meeting people, conversation, getting some structured exercise and teaching my sons all sorts of things.
Yes, physical activity is a lot more important than I ever hoped to admit. When I'm active, I feel a lot better about myself and other people, I fit into my clothes and I don't seem to get stupid little sniffly illnesses. Also, I'm getting older and it's amazing that all my bits still work properly, so I should probably try to keep it that way.
Do you have 24 hour gyms there? The ones here give you a key card so you can go in whenever you like. Even 3:00am when there is no one around and you just want to mess around without being judged. I generally go at about 9pm because that is my "free" time. My gym is something like AUD$20 a week and when you join, like most gyms, they give you an overview of the equipment, rules and a free session with a trainer, which I didn't end up using. Don't worry about feeling self-conscious in a gym because chances are, everyone else is either just as self-conscious or under intense physical duress
And another thing: These whey protein and metabolizer powders and drinks are absolutely everywhere at the moment. I am surrounded by people at work, males and females, who use this stuff religiously. I don't use it, but I know guys who have twenty different tubs and jars of all sorts of bizarre stuff that they take as part of their regime and most of these things are to mitigate the negative effects of the previous concoction.
Anyway, I guess my biggest point in this probably useless ramble, is don't be so hard on yourself. No doubt you are because you're exceptionally bright and conscientious about things and you're internalizing everything that's lead to this situation.. when mostly, it's just dumb luck that things work out the way they do. I seem to be telling a lot of people to chill out lately, but I'm surrounded by people driving themselves into unhappiness through self-imposed thoughts of inadequacy, vanity and just unnecessary stuff. So many people lose sight of who they are by fixating on what other people perceive them to be.
No you haven't left this all too late. You are young and what the fork does age matter anyhow? I mean, look at Johnny Depp. The man is 90 years old and he still looks like a fresh faced 20 something and not a hairy mole-covered geriatric with erectile dysfunction. Probably not relevant, but I marvel at the guy.
ntw3001 wrote:My social life (and career) was disappointing so I decided to temporarily ditch the whole stupid scene and go to Canada. It might sound slightly depressing that the reason I decided to do that was because I had no reason to be in any particular place.
Oh I see. Australia not good enough for you. Fine.. but that sounds like the perfect reason to not be in that particular place anymore. And who says you can't just go and then return with a bit more perspective?
Something that does annoy me about you Brits is the fact that you are basically an hour or two away from a whole bunch of completely different countries with awesome histories and cultures
. God knows if I wasn't on the other side of the world, I would have cut a drunken swath through Europe in my early twenties, but that's just me and my romanticized notions of friendly rural communities who would let me stay in barns and drink their grappa while rolling in the hay with their virginal daughters after paying me to pick grapes in idyllic surrounds.
EvilJekyll wrote:If more spamusers lived closer together we would probably be hanging out together. Maybe that's a little utopian, but I wouldn't mind.
A distinct possibility, but who's to say our close proximity wouldn't tear apart what we have now? TEAR IT APART.
Jvcc, I advise caution with dating sites.. I have some friends who have had bad experiences. I know the need for companionship and physical/emotional fulfillment is ridiculously strong, but don't let it drive you into potentially awkward and dangerous situations, will you? You're smart and sassy, but you can't control everything all the time. Sorry if I sound like a dad, but I am one so I kind of have the right.
Null, where are you?