I feel stuck. Here's the facts as I understand them (insert usual apology for length of personal issues/relationships-type post and redundancy of "what do I do with my life" question here).
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (10 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
-Mid-30s male. Single, no real dependencies or major obligations.
-Decent career as programmer, but I'm bored and lack passion.
-No savings other than some retirement (401K). About $40k in debt (blech). But mostly low-interest (some of that is CC I'm paying off slower than I should). I'd like my finances to be better but they're not completely awful--I'm on top of things and paying off debt, just slowly. While I used to be less so, at this point I'm generally a pretty responsible guy.
-Broke up with woman after long relationship a few years ago and haven't bothered to try again. Relationships scare me now, since I don't want marriage, kids, etc. and don't know why, and it seems everyone my age does. I do crave contact and, you know, sex, and it's not like I'm super unattractive, but it seems too loaded and difficult to actually try even going on a date (which I haven't done in a year). It's easier to be alone, but I'd be lying if I said I was happy with this, and I've now developed this fear I'll be alone the rest of my life. I also have started feeling misanthropic when I see couples being couple-y or hear people talking about their dating/engagement/wedding/child plans, it makes me want to scream and tell them they are stupid robots. Methinks this may be a wee bit unhealthy.
-I really don't like living in the (northeast U.S.) city I live in. I want to move to another country, preferably somewhere warm, low cost of living, interesting, where English isn't spoken (very much), but where I could maybe find a job regardless. Thailand would be my ideal, for example, or somewhere else in Southeast Asia. I just like that area, been there a few times. Or maybe Latin America. I want to get out and see the world, experience it in a different way.
My current job would be some people's dream job--it would have been mine if you'd asked me a few years ago: part-time, pretty good pay, interesting work which is basically like "think of cool things and do them." Prestigious organization. Lots of autonomy and flexibility, positive co-workers, great really nice boss, good environment and benefits. However, I'm ambivalent about it. BUT, I dread finding another job that is any worse that this, even though I have some itch to do something else that is actually satisfying. I think I've been burnt on tech for years now and haven't addressed it. I'm just not sure what I should be doing, I'm also afraid of losing too much income, and maybe this is the crux of the matter. I can't enjoy this (pretty great) job and I can't move on because of fear. People I tell about my job are always impressed and inside I'm like "whatever..."
I think that the colder climate and lack of friends and lack of love and lack of satisfaction in my work is killing me. I have no real interest in making new friends because I want to leave, and the friends I do have here--while great folks and important to me--are all married, with kids, have bought a house, etc. I have none of these things and for better or for worse no ambition to get any of them. In and of itself this makes me feel kinda like I don't fit in and can't relate, but it's compounded by not having a clue of what I *do* actually want. I have short term goals, like various hobbies, which keep me entertained and busy--it's not like I'm sitting around watching TV all the time--but if you asked me what my passion was and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I would have no idea.
I'm in therapy now and have been for a while. I feel depressed sometimes, fine a lot of the time, but stuck. I read my own question and I think I'm so privileged and whiny, I should shut up. But something needs to change. I don't think depression is my problem but a symptom...it's been like this for too long. Honestly, a lot of the time I feel useless, like a worthless man-child who has no point to his existence, and I feel dissociated a lot of the time, it's hard to concentrate at work. When I was younger I never felt like I didn't have any ambitions or dreams, but now it seems I don't. I'm not sure when that happened but there it is. The worst, most fucked up thing about all of this is that I think on some level I'm starting to "thrive" on the self-pity...I've started feeling addicted to feeling hopeless and bad about myself. This makes me disgusted and impatient with myself which is not very helpful either!
My question is simple, MeFites: what do I do? Thank you for any help you can provide, it's much appreciated.