How do I start over?
September 8, 2010 8:47 AM Subscribe
How do I overcome this crushing sense of regret at my "lost 20s" and how do I build a life from scratch?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (25 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
I'm 28 and change.
Not going into all the details here, but my life was ruined when I was 18 and my father died. I dropped out of college and moved in with my mom and sis and spent the next 7 years in two cities just getting by.
I then hooked up with an old girlfriend and moved across country to play house for four years. I didn't make a single friend and honestly feel like I was sleep walking through that whole time. Things finally ended (THANK CHRIST!) five months ago. I've come to realize I never really loved her and I was just doing the easy thing, which is a recurring theme in my life.
To an outside party I had a lot of cool experiences (I worked in security at nightclubs and bars and fancy hotels), but for whatever reason I was an observer, not a participant. I never kept friends, I never went to BBQs, I've never been invited to a wedding. I realize this is my fault, but it doesn't hurt any less.
Now, I've found a 30 year old woman I love dearly. We've been seeing one another for 2 months, but it's been incredibly intense and we clearly felt a powerful physical and emotional connection the first night we met. She has had an amazingly rich (and wild) life. Lived in a commune, partied almost non-stop for 10 years, now she has a good job and is very stable. I don't have a single real friend, I can't stand my family, and I would be completely alone if it weren't for this woman. Whenever she references her past and talks about parties and good times and awesome experiences I have a deep pang of anxiety founded in regret. You never realize how much conversation is simply referencing past experiences until it physically hurts you.
I talked to her about it in a letter (except the pangs) and she was incredibly sweet, but I'd really like to not freak her out. No matter the intensity, it's been two months.
To add to this, I've also found it almost impossible to make friends since realizing I have none. I read the "Help me be a friend! Anyone's friend." thread and there was some useful stuff in there, but it seems like the ship has sailed on getting back that time in my life. There is a certain sense of community that is built in college/early 20s that seems impossible to recreate working 40 hours a week and paying bills.
Also, the few people I'm in contact with all are done with the wild times of their 20s. They want to watch a game and have a few beers and relax. I don't want to be Peter Pan, but I'd like to tear shit up for a little while. Not hookers and blow, but at least some memorable nights would be great.
Finally, my financial/career life is horrid. I've got no education, currently in a contract IT position with little prospects of a permanent gig. My credit is utterly shot because I just defaulted on $20,000 of CC debt I couldn't pay on when I was unemployed for six months. Also, I fucking hate IT, but I have expenses, and what I'd like to do (writing and/or comedic performance) is incredibly difficult to get into or make money on.
This is a LOT of shit to dump on you nice people, but I don't have health insurance.