1. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Something missing - Advice? Experience?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Andrae Smith, Aug 4, 2014.

    Hi,

    So this question is primarily directed at you older members (meaning those of you with life exp past 20), although it's open for anyone to comment. :)

    I've had the strangest feeling, for a few days now, that something is missing from my life, and I'm not sure what it is or might be. I t could be friendship, a relationship, adventure, excitement, a sense of wonder... or it could be the thrills of certain fantasy/adventure fiction (not reading as much as I did when I was younger), which would fill my head with all kinds of wonderful thoughts and emotions and such... Or it could be spirituality, in which I have been slacking a tad... but it feels bigger than most of that...

    Anyway, has anyone ever reached a point where you've felt something was missing from your life? What was it (if you don't mind disclosing)? What did you do about it?

    All comments welcome!

    Andrae
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Um, I don't want to depress you, but it might be just that you're growing up. That little Andrae in you who couldn't wait for Christmas morning is fading into history. Adulthood beckons, and in some ways it sucks. In other ways it's great, but there have been plenty of times in my adult life that I've yearned for my own lost innocence. That might be part of what drives me to write - I can recapture my sense of wonder in my own fiction. If I've got a story on the go that I'm proud of, I'm less cynical.

    Anyway, here's hug in case you need it: :friend:
     
  3. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Andrae,

    How do I be discreet about this.... You mentioned a while ago you were practicing chastity, is that correct?
     
  4. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Do you have friends to do silly stuff with? 'Cause that's when I've felt most "alive", when doing things with friends, or as it is nowadays, with my husband (I do have friends as well, but they aren't as important).

    Some people are loners, though, so the void could be filled with something else. A new hobby, a nighttime adventure, learning a new skill, or even something like delving into an entirely new genre in music or literature.

    You just moved to a new city and state, and started a new job, right? That's like turning a new page in your life, so this is a great opportunity to do something to develop yourself, to grow, and gain new experiences.

    I'm reminded of the speech in the TV show The Misfits that Nathan gave to this Virtue group that condemned all the crazy, potentially self-destructive stuff young people do.

    (Warning: language)



    Not saying you have to be exactly like that, but the point is that it's a good idea to gain lots of experiences while you're still young, be it through partying or enjoying a new comic. That could help; at least it has worked for me. I also have one "rule": I have to go abroad at least once a year. Suppose this isn't possible since you live in the US, but maybe visiting a new city or a state at least once a year would be a good goal for widening your perspectives, trying new things, meeting new people, etc.?
     
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  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I think this is normal. At points in your life you will stop and say 'hey, I'm having a GREAT time,' or 'I'm really happy right now,' or 'why didn't I think of this earlier,' but most of the time you'll just be humdrumming along. Some things you can seek out, other things will (or won't) come to you. If you want an adventure you can seek and probably find one. If you want to find the love of your life ...well, that's something you need to be open to, but you won't be able to go out and 'find' it in the sense of finding the perfect pair of shoes.

    The one thing to keep in mind is that the older you get the more avenues close down. If you have a good job you don't want to lose, that means you won't be able to take other, equally pleasing jobs at the same time. You will probably be tied to living in one place, which means you can't live everywhere else as well. If you find and marry the love of your life, then you won't get to keep that option open any longer. And, sadly, as you get older, people leave you, people die, places change. You can't keep hold of all the good stuff. And of course you will physically deteriorate to some extent as well, which will influence what you can do. You're going to struggle at the age of 35 to become a professional ballet dancer, if you haven't trained to do that already. Sorry, but it's true.

    However, there are always new possibilities within the scope of the life you end up living. As @KaTrian suggested, you can decide to visit new places, make new friends, take up new interests, learn new things, have fun in lots of new ways. Or you can work on perfecting your skills in a direction you've already started. I think it's the journey that's important, not the destination. We all know what the destination is. It's the journey that will give you satisfaction. But just like a real car or train or donkey-cart journey, some of it will prove more exciting and fulfilling than other bits.

    And of course, there's always coffee...
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  6. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Over 20 is 'older'!?


    Passion.


    It all boils down to passion. Be it something you love doing, someone you love, or a cause you really care about. It all boils down to passion. If you have a passion for something or someone, life is a breeze. Life is exciting and motivating. If you don't, it's as boring as hell.
     
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  7. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Hear, hear! :D
     
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  8. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    20+ is OLDER! :(

    Anyway, yes, I know what you are talking about. There are many names for it: the post grad-blues, existential angst, boredom, a realization of lifes and your own limitations - either way, it's a sign you are growing up my friend. I don't want to say it gets worse from here, because while it mostly does life is still very fun. Fill the void with travel, with learning, fill it with the things that really make life worth living; because if all you ever do is work then ...

    In my opinion a life without pleasure is not even half lived.

    Essentially: What @Selbbin said.
     
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  9. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    It could be all that was said already, and it probably is. But to me, these acute feelings you describe usually mean I need to keep my eyes and ears really open, because a new and exciting opportunity is coming my way soon. Too often, we are too busy to notice or even recognise opportunities, we might be hell bent on working out one part of our life, that we miss an opportunity to work out another. Pay attention and meditate. I hope it's a good one :)
     
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  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I'm 25, which means I was born in the ancient, ancient year of 1989, so I know what you mean. Sometimes I look back and miss my childhood, miss the innocent days when everything and anything seemed very possible. Real life tends to smack you with reminders that not all things are possible. Sometimes I look back at missed opportunities and begrudge myself, yet at the same time I'm pleased at the opportunities I had managed to take.

    But like others said, even if you can't physically move anywhere, or travel anywhere outside your city, you can still explore and have adventures. Get into a genre you've never tried before (for me, it was chick-lit), or find a hobby that interests you. You're not dead, so there's still time. Start now so you can have years of enjoyment! :D That's my motto.
     
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  11. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I have that feeling when I don't think I am living up to my full potential; a wasted intellect, an unfulfilling job, etc.
     
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  12. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    last year i felt the same way as you did (im 20 btw) and if it wasnt a for a friend pointing me towards Paganism (mainly the Asatru/Norse Paganism path), i would probabaly still be feeling the same way. i was happy, but when this was first pointed to me, things started to click, and everything now makes a little more sense, and because of that, i have been fortunate enough to make the most of everything i have done this year so far. a new job, which has good hours and pays well enough for me to remain at home. the opportunity to go back to college to get the right qualifications to go to university (which has been an ambition of mine for a while, but with no direction as to what to do, i couldnt get there), plus making more, awesome friends where i live.

    yes ok, i dont have an "other half" but i know that in time, that will come to change, i cant force that. but hel im enjoying where i am here and now!
     
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  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I was 19 years old in 1989. I could be your dad. ;) (and had I been, oh what a tragically interesting life you would have had)

    To @Andrae Smith,

    You're going to feel like this from time to time. It's natural and normal. For one, as you get older time goes by more quickly. This a phenomenon all people feel and which has been studied. It has to do with the relative way in which the mind and memory deal with new happenstances that bear similarities to past ones. This quickening leads us to feel anxious. Are we doing it? Are we living it? Are we having the time and the experiences we're supposed to be having at this moment? I made a joke earlier to Link about being old enough to be his dad, but that joke is at my own expense because I would swear on my eyes that I was his age just ten minutes ago. I figured in my mid-40s that my mid-20s would feel like ancient history, but they don't. They feel like just yesterday.

    Do what you're doing, and do it well. Pay attention to the people around you. Enjoy them. Take pictures. If there's one thing I would change about my youth, it's not the things I did or didn't do, it's that I didn't take enough pictures, and memories fade. Every once in a blue someone from my past on Facebook posts an old photo with me in it and I hurry to download it because it's such a treasure. My friend Sonja posted a picture just yesterday where we were at a party we threw for her to celebrate her reenlistment. You only see me from the back, but still, it's a little piece of evidence that I was there, in Berlin, in the summer of 1989, having drinks at a friend's apartment, and it was a fantastic time and place to be. And it helps fill the space of which you speak. ;)
     
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  14. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    You have exactly the opposite awards as me now. Freaky.
     
  15. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    I'd like to know myself, as I have been in a love/hate relationship with life since I turned 19 :D
     
  16. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Ah, but could you raise a half-blind, half-deaf baby with a lot of medical issues? With your salary in 1989? Something to think about. ;) I honestly wouldn't have blamed you had you put me up for adoption.

    Now that would make an interesting storyline... *takes notes*

    Not that I think you'd do such a thing, mind you, my dear Wreybies. :D
     
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  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, the answer is yes as regards the scenario you give. I was in the military for a couple of years already by then. Uncle Sam would have provided. My fitness as your gay daddy married to your soon-to-be-divorced-from-me-when-she-discovers-my-affair-with-Sgt.-Steve-Hicks mommy is what is actually in question. ;)
     
  18. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Ah, didn't know that! So...in this hypothetical example, would I be going with you and your hubby, or would my hypothetical mom demand she take me with her? :D

    Dammit, this is all shining up to be an interesting story! :D :p Someone should write it. Maybe you can?
     
  19. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, Andre, I know you've moved to a new area relatively recently and had some stress related to the move, so that may be wearing you down. I have found it is always hard to move to a new area, especially if you haven't made any good friends, or even any friends yet. It's hard, too, if you've moved from a place where you were pretty happy. I know for me, I loved college. They were absolutely the best 4 years of my life -- I had many friends and was involved in many things. Then, I moved to a totally different city for law school and I knew almost no one. That first year was hard -- I didn't have anything I was involved in that I really enjoyed, and I didn't have any real friends (except one, but she had her own group of friends apart from me). It did get easier, and by my third year, I at least had a group of friends and we did a lot of very fun things, so it was much more fulfilling.

    I then had a similar experience when I moved to yet another city after I graduated from law school. It was tough adjusting to "real life," and it was a terrible time to be looking for a job in the legal field. We then moved two more times, and at one point, things were very bleak -- I had no friends in the area where I lived, my job was terrible, I had no money and no fulfilling hobbies. At that point, I really didn't know what to do.

    Then we moved back to Chicago, and I found a job that first, finally paid me at least a decent amount of money (not a lot, but at least enough to live on), but, more importantly, had a whole bunch of people roughly my age, and everyone was friends with each other. We saw each other socially outside of work, we all enjoyed working together, and I also felt like I knew what I was doing at work. I can't even describe how great this was. And I realized how very lucky I had gotten -- I thanked God every day that my life had finally come together, just because I actually enjoyed going to work every day and I actually had plans on many weekends. Plus, being in the city I loved made everything that much better.

    My husband then got a job back in Philadelphia, and I cannot even begin to convey the despair and sadness I felt. I was heartbroken to leave my beloved city and this job that I was good at and all the friends I had made. I had to choose between my husband and my city/friends/job, and it caused me a lot of stress. I made the move, and I still look back on that time as the best time besides college that I ever had.

    Things are okay now. Financially, we're better off than we have been before, and I have to say that is a huge relief. I also have two kids, so that's just a whole different thing, and of course provides it's own fulfillment. I started writing and have joined some writing groups and a book club, and that has enabled me to make more friends and have somewhat of a social outlet, which is huge.

    I know this is a long rambling post, but I guess my point is that at least for me, the most important thing was to find some group of people in real life who live in the area and that you can see on some kind of regular basis. The online community is great, and I do think that is a big help to me, since I have so many friends and family spread throughout the country, but there's no substitute for real life interaction.

    If I'm not mistaken, you're in a college environment, right? Take advantage of that and get involved in as many groups as you can to find a few that really interest you and give them your all. This is going to be the easiest time to get involved in something and to make some good friends.
     
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  20. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well, remember, we're talking about 1989, not 2014. In 1989 marriage equality was social science fiction. In the end what would have actually happened is that once your mom filed for divorce, if I were unable to get her to allege some other reason for the divorce, I would have been booted from the military, you're mom would have gotten you without contest, and cue tragically interesting rest-of-life. ;)
     
  21. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    @Wreybies, @Link the Writer, this is like a Days of Our Lives story working itself into existence.
     
  22. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I love So-Sci-Fi stories.
     
  23. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Ah, the good old quarter-life crisis.
     
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  24. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    It would make for an exciting story. A disabled child goes on a quest to piece together what had happened between his/her mother and father and uncovers something that winds up being a coming of age story for him/her. I'm already envisioning a scene where the child calls out the mother for her stupidity/bigotry.
     
  25. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    @Andrae Smith - Happiness and a sense of fulfillment are not usually acquired directly. They come as the byproduct of some purposeful activity. Being in a new place is certainly a disconcerting experience, but think of it as the chance to meet new friends with new perspectives. Being in college, you probably have an opportunity to involve yourself in things that you won't have at your disposal in adulthood - projects to serve others, to engage in political action, to promote the arts; all self-contained and ready-made for your participation. Jump in with both feet to whatever extent your means will allow.

    In my college years, I joined (among other things) a student partisan political organization of which I eventually became president. As a member, I participated in the four seminal events of my college career. In chronological order 1) helped get an underdog candidate elected to the New York State Senate; 2) met my wife (still married after 38 years); 3) helped get the same candidate re-elected in a year when his national party took a pounding at the polls; 4) organized a holiday party for a group of children with autism living in a state-run facility near the campus (a harbinger, as it turned out, of things to come for my wife and me). By the way, that State Senator was instrumental in investigating abuses at state mental hospitals and developmental centers, closing most of them, and crafted the law allowing for residential housing for people with developmental disabilities in their communities.

    In short, if you feel as if something is missing from your life, it probably is. You need purpose.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014

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