How do I, at 33, grow up?
April 24, 2010 7:11 PM   Subscribe

How do I, at 33, grow up?

I recently broken up with my ex of five years. No real reason, other than a vapid sense that I was not ready for marriage and did not feel ready to live the adult life that was put in front on me.

Now, since leaving the house and starting again, I do look around and realise people are married with commitments and responsibilities as well as fleshed-out careers. Mine, sadly, is going no where.

So, I would love to know, how do you pull yourself out of this slump? Does anyone have experience of that moment where things changed and they got their shit together? How?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (32 answers total) 88 users marked this as a favorite
The first step in growing up is actually being aware of your situation, and wanting to change. So you're moving in the right direction. Time is now to start asking really profound questions like:
- what do I want of life?
- where do I want to be [career wise] in 5 yrs, in 10?
- same for relationships: Do I really want to marry? Where do i see myself 10 yrs from now?
- what are some responsibilities I feel I could carry on, even though I am not doing so today?

And then set some goals. Read books on personal growth. Take courses. Work at it.
Welcome to adulthood!
posted by theKik at 7:20 PM on April 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

1. Don't freeze up and wallow in your pain, no matter how much you may be justified to do so. How you live the worst parts of your life largely determine how the rest of it will go.

2. Pick one thing that you want to change (new job, meeting more people) and start working on that. Don't try to "have it all" in one go using sheer force of will.

3. Stop doing things for vague reasons. Try to understand why you'd want to do something and what the consequences of doing that will be before you do it. For example, what about "adult life" scared you? You don't have to be absolutely sure that your reason for doing something is correct, but you should have at least made a good faith effort to think it through.

And keep in mind the "life isn't a race" cliche. Maybe you don't have to live an "adult life" now or perhaps even ever, depending on what you mean by that.
posted by ignignokt at 7:23 PM on April 24, 2010 [6 favorites]

At 33 you grow up the same way you do at 3, one day at a time. People don't do these things on some sort of frigging schedule, everyone is different, and do things at a different rate. When you know, really know, it doesn't have diddly to do with what others are doing, you will have taken a big step towards being a grown up.

You didn't ask how you will know you're on the the path, but wtf I'll tell you anyway, because though I may be wrong it took me more than thirty-three years to get this close to being right, and the biggest thing is to learn that it isn't about you. You are a grown up when it is a lot more about what you give than what you get and, yeah, a lot of folks never get there, but think of all the real people, older people, you have ever admired, or even liked, and see if that isn't the one thing that set them apart. (btw, I'm not saying run home to your ex, not at all, often that compliance with a role is only a way to avoid, not a way to deal.)
posted by Some1 at 7:36 PM on April 24, 2010 [4 favorites]

I can think of one transition I made in the past five years that finally led to the realization that I was an adult and in control of my life. I stopped wallowing in shame over the things I'd failed at in the past and focused on where I wanted to go next and how I would succeed at that. I don't know how or why I changed my outlook like that, but the result was a massive boost in my self confidence that enabled me to achieve the kind of stability I needed.
posted by TrialByMedia at 7:37 PM on April 24, 2010 [23 favorites]

This type of dramatic situation has never happened to me.

However, I do suffer from anxiety and bouts of depression that make me slack on personal relationships and my own well-being. I did not go to college right after high school, and now, as a 25 year old, I am just about two years through college. I also have well-paying full time job, and I am engaged.

The biggest trick to getting your life together is confidence. You have to WANT to make your life better. Or, find someone who makes you want it (i.e. a partner who makes you want that "adult life"). It might also help to get some therapy if you can't simply "get" confident.

I apologize for assuming that you eventually wanted marriage as well. Being a bachelor is a great lifestyle for some people. But, just because you weren't ready for marriage with one person, doesn't mean it's not right for you.

Definitely try therapy.
posted by Lizsterr at 7:38 PM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Make a list:
Who do you want to be?
What do you want to be doing?
Why make these changes? (motivation)
How to make these changes?
Where do you want to be?
When do you want this to be?
posted by hungrysquirrels at 7:45 PM on April 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

Pick one thing that you want to change (new job, meeting more people) and start working on that.

This is a really good way to approach it. Make a list of things that you'd like to accomplish, pick one, and start working on it today. Feeling like you're progressing towards something can be a real bolster even when everything else is falling apart: even if a lot of things aren't going your way, you will be measurably better off in that one area than you were before, and you are working to make yourself better, which you can be proud of. When working towards goal #1 is established in your life, maybe even near the point of habit, it's a good time to throw goal #2 into the mix.

Also, I've personally found that making my physical and mental health a priority has made me feel a lot better about where I am in life. Eat well, commit to exercise, get enough sleep, drink in moderation. If you think you have any reason to see a therapist, do it. If you're feeling well and thinking well, you'll be better equipped to figure out your goals and your path.

Another thing that makes me feel grown-up: eventually realizing that I didn't have to do any of the things that I thought would make me grown-up. Five years ago, I was wearing high heels daily and trying to develop a palate for wine, because I thought those things made me sophisticated. Eventually I figured out that I don't like heels and I'm not that crazy about wine - and I feel a lot more sophisticated knowing that about myself and not feeling like I have to conform.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:15 PM on April 24, 2010 [6 favorites]

I started therapy at 33, and at 38 I have a much better (and better-paying) job. I have more and better friendships, I'm much happier and calmer, and more confident in my ability to be resilient and live life well. I have half a clue as to what I actually want out of life, as opposed to then, and I feel far more like an adult.

While therapy was the catalyst for a lot of this in my life, you can begin the road to adulthood with questions like hungrysquirrels'. What does a happy healthy adulthood look like to you? What steps can you take to get there? Meditate on the advice that your wise, content, 53-year-old self would look back and give your current self for the next 20 years.
posted by ldthomps at 8:22 PM on April 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'm 48, married, a home owner, and fostering two children.

How do I, at 33, grow up?

When you work it out, let me know. Near as I can tell, the story so far has just been one bloody accident after another; some lucky, some not.

Maybe I'll feel mature at 60. But I have several 60-year-old friends whose example suggests that this might perhaps not be the case :-)

What I'm trying to point out here is that in the kind of society that's affluent enough to afford you the opportunity of getting online and asking this question, "growing up" is entirely optional. It's certainly not something you must absolutely aspire to in order to have a full and satisfying life.

Be brave enough to follow your heart where it leads you, and you'll do just fine.
posted by flabdablet at 8:37 PM on April 24, 2010 [6 favorites]

How do you grow up at age 33? Know yourself. Metroid Baby's last paragraph illustrates this: she tried out an assumption about what she thought being grown up meant, realized it wasn't for her, and now knows one more thing about herself. I also like the idea of picking one thing that you want to change and start working on that.

Part of being an adult is taking responsibility for yourself. No one can tell you what to do; you have to make your own choices now. If you don't want to be married, you don't have to be. If you want to travel the world, you can. Although it's generally a good idea not to do things to put yourself into debt (gamble, buy a lot of stuff you can't afford) or go bankrupt. If you have debt, work towards paying it off.

We grow up having everyone tell us what to do: parents, teachers, adults, society. Then at some point, we're expected to make our own decisions (e.g. what career to have after finishing school) when throughout that entire time we haven't really been equipped to think and function for ourselves in the world. It's not easy, having to think for yourself and figure things out on your own. You will make mistakes, and people might judge you. Part of being an adult is owning up to your mistakes, learning from them, making a better decision the next time, and not letting what others think get to you.
posted by foxjacket at 8:43 PM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

At 33 you grow up the same way you do at 3, one day at a time.

When you know, really know, it doesn't have diddly to do with what others are doing, you will have taken a big step towards being a grown up.

You are a grown up when it is a lot more about what you give than what you get and, yeah, a lot of folks never get there, but think of all the real people, older people, you have ever admired, or even liked, and see if that isn't the one thing that set them apart.
posted by Some1 at 9:36 PM on April 24

Great stuff here, Some1, thanx for posting


How do I, at 33, grow up?

When you work it out, let me know. Near as I can tell, the story so far has just been one bloody accident after another; some lucky, some not.
posted by flabdablet at 10:37 PM on April 24

Yep -- this. I read your question with interest when it first went up, hoping to see what the rest of the kids here have to say about it all. I wanted to say something like flabdablet but it's something that I'm still somewhat embarrassed about, I don't have the jam to face myself on the page here.
posted by dancestoblue at 8:57 PM on April 24, 2010

Beware of The Script.

Act I
Scene 1 Early childhood. Spit up a lot, and later on run around in circles.
Scene 2 Late childhood. Get drunk, go to parties, play the field
Act II
Scene 1 Early twenties. Go nowhere job, friends, angst.
Scene 2 Late twenties. Start Career, Family.
Scene 1 Thirties and Forties. Trudge through career, raise kids.
Act IV
Scene 1 Fifties and Sixties. Retire, relax, get old.
Act V
Scene 1 Seventies and above. [elided because it's too depressing other than the grandkids]

This is the life script in most first world countries right now. It is how a "normal" life should go, and any deviation from it tends to make people feel a bit off.

You're off script right now and you need to make a choice: do you try to get back on script (get that Career and Family going) or do you just allow things to develop naturally and not worry about it too much?

It's not easy to be off script. There's a lot of comfort in the known, and there are plenty of people who live very happy lives sticking with the events as laid out.

I'm not sure I can tell you how to get back on script, which I think is the question you're really asking, but I am pretty sure that you should consider carefully whether that's what you really want to do.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:12 PM on April 24, 2010 [60 favorites]

Your first step is to take "getting married and having a family" off of the "grown up" list. These things do not make you grown up. Any idiot can do them. If these things do come along, then try not to fuck them up.

"Becoming grown up" is not an adequate goal for oneself.

Displaying compassion, being able to form stable relationships based on respect (of you and of the other person), becoming courageous enough to do what is right for yourself and others even when everyone around you will not--those are worthy goals. Developing enough wisdom to figure out how to exercise compassion, show respect and do the right things--that is a worthy goal.

The rest is all circumstantial. How will you live and feed yourself, what kind of life will you build and where, those things are questions only you can figure out. And if you can't figure it out by thinking, you'll have to use trial and error.

Sorry if that seems pat, and Maude knows these aren't goals I have reached. But pursuing them has led me to some scary and wonderful places, and when I have failed to pursue them is usually when I've ended up the most miserable. So take that for what it's worth.
posted by emjaybee at 9:51 PM on April 24, 2010 [9 favorites]

Oh, yeah. I agree with what everyone else is saying. "Growing up" doesn't mean becoming something you aren't. Fuck that!

If by "growing up" you mean buckling down and finally doing the things you've always wanted to do like get your career sorted out or find that special someone, that's great. Don't sacrifice who you are because of what society tells you you should be.

I have 9 tattoos and plan on getting more. Some times I eat ice cream for breakfast/lunch/dinner. I love amusement parks, playing tag, playing silly board games, chasing down the ice cream truck, and other fun things you are supposed to out grow. I'll never grow up if it means giving up my inner child. That's bull!
posted by Lizsterr at 10:03 PM on April 24, 2010 [9 favorites]

Seconding and thirding Tell Me No Lies and Lizsterr...

but as I don't have any life experience to back that up, other than a vague but growing feeling that they (we) are right and people who are "adult" are living a trite movie script that is on the last reel and going to have no clue what to do when the white light is all that is left of their so called "real" life... figure it out man. Life is a blank page, embrace that.
posted by DetonatedManiac at 10:15 PM on April 24, 2010

It sounds to me that the 'growing up' you're looking for is about not being controlled by fear, and having the confidence / discipline to reach for what you want even when it's difficult (career) or doesn't match the "script".

A lot of people are pointing out that you don't need a career and family to be a 'grown up', and that's certainly true. But there's responsibility: making your own choices, having the discipline to follow through with them, and having the courage to admit when something needs to change.
posted by Lady Li at 12:03 AM on April 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Do you WANT to get married, have children, and have a go-somewhere career? While they're all nice things and fine goals for some people, not wanting any or all of that doesn't make you less of an adult, as others have pointed out.

If you're looking to make some changes in your life, you need to do some good hard thinking about what you want your life to look like, and then you can start taking steps on that path.

Sorry about your breakup -- it can be rough. Take time to focus on yourself for now, but don't spend it beating yourself up because your lifestyle didn't match your ex's at that time.
posted by asciident at 2:09 AM on April 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

This thread would not be complete without xkcd on growing up.
posted by flabdablet at 4:03 AM on April 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

I read a quote from an elderly priest some years ago, who was asked what he had learned about human nature from 40 years of listening to confessions. He said, "First, the world is full of unhappy people. And second, there are no grown-ups."

One of the oddest things, to me, about being "grown-up" is that I still feel mostly the same inside as I did when I was 16. Of course that's not entirely true -- I've experienced and learned a lot more in the 16 years since then, and I must be more mature because I can laugh off things that at 16 would have turned me into a sobbing heap o' shame spiral -- but it FEELS true. I thought one day I'd feel like a grown-up and know what to do, and that just never happened. You just make choices and do stuff, even though it is patently ridiculous that some nurse thinks you ought to be taking that BABY home with you when you had to fill out more paperwork to get a cat from the SPCA, because it's not like you're some kind of responsible adult who knows anything about babies and ... craaaaaaaaap she really does think you have to take the baby home!

Other posters are right; you don't have to "grow up." But since you're asking about getting your shit together and acquiring the trappings of an adult life, the way to get your shit together is to decide you're going to do so, and to realize that nobody ever has ALL their shit together so that the shit-gathering doesn't have to be perfect. I think relationships are a little different (for starters, you're dealing with two people instead of one, and secondly, hearts are complicated), but in terms of a jobs and responsibilities, you either figure out where you want to go and start going there, or you figure out what next step you want to take (that's more my mode; I never have five year plans) and you take it.

Find a few responsibilities: Get a plant. (Or a fish. Or a cat.) Take on some volunteer responsibilities helping the less fortunate. Become an officer in a jogging club or a bird-watching club or a gardening club. Responsibilities start with little things that you're committed to because you care about them. Spouses, children, even taking your car for an oil change -- it all works the same, something you take on responsibility for because you care about it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:06 AM on April 25, 2010 [5 favorites]

You know, I have struggled with this same problem. I'm not 33, but I am 28, and I have felt immature and behind my entire life--always socially a stage behind my peers. At 16, when everyone was drinking and having sex, I hid in my room and worried. Now all those people who were drinking and having sex are married with kids, and I am still a stage behind. I would be lying if I said I did not still hide in my room and worry sometimes. But! Here is something an older (older as in, 60) and wiser friend said to me once: Some people are born grown-ups. Some people are never grown-ups. Insofar as grown-up equals a certain aura of maturity and permanence. There are kids you can identify in second grade who are already grown-ups. They keep their desks really neat and aren't terribly mischievous. They do everything at the "right" time socially and live perfectly happy, normal lives. Then there are the people who will never be grown-ups. And this doesn't mean they aren't successful or happy. They are usually just a bit more whimsical and silly and view the world with a certain wonderment. Some of them are very successful. I think of my best friend as one of these people--she is by all accounts very successful in her career and she has her own apartment and pays her bills and is very responsible and all that, but she is never not going to be excited by a cute toy, and she is never going to be whisked off to the suburbs to a mcmansion by a guy who seems like he wants a tie and a card joking about taking out the garbage and mowing the lawn on Father's Day. She is not ever going to be a "grown-up" in this way. Me either. And that's okay.

Alternately! I also believe that in a certain way, some people take longer to cook. They are more complicated dishes with more ingredients, and they have to bake longer. It is quick to take a straight and narrow path, and if you have the personality that allows such a thing, more power to you. I have found that the most interesting people I know meandered and floundered for a long time, though, and did not fully become what they are until quite late, if ever.

Growth is the interesting part. Once you're "grown-up," then what? Stasis? Not to be spewing cliches, but enjoy the journey, because that is all there is.
posted by millipede at 8:40 AM on April 25, 2010 [8 favorites]

(Also, you asked: "Does anyone have experience of that moment where things changed and they got their shit together?" I sort of do, even though I am still not a grown-up: I decided what I wanted to do careerwise and then I decided to go to grad school for it. I had a career before, but I had sort of fallen into it, and it didn't feel real or adult because I didn't choose it purposefully and I didn't really like it that much. Now I am a grad student and even though I spend most of my time hanging out with 23-year-olds, the act of PICKING something made me feel less floundering somehow. But I'm still not a grown-up. I eat raisins for dinner and send gay porn cards to people from themselves if they offend me.)
posted by millipede at 8:44 AM on April 25, 2010

I hate to answer with a quotation, but I think this by Thoreau nicely catches my opinion of the wisdom of "growing up" when you only get one life, and never remember having one before:

Age is no better, hardly so well, qualified for an instructor as youth, for it has not profited so much as it has lost. One may almost doubt if the wisest man has learned anything of absolute value by living. Practically, the old have no very important advice to give the young, their own experience has been so partial, and their lives have been such miserable failures, for private reasons, as they must believe; and it may be that they have some faith left which belies that experience, and they are only less young than they were. I have lived some thirty years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors. They have told me nothing, and probably cannot tell me anything to the purpose. (Walden, Ch 1)

Decide what you want to be--or what you need to be, which is probably better. Then get to being. An attitude of playfulness is philosophically useful. But do well by others, and do well by yourself. Growing up (in the script sense) is easy. Finding out what /you/ need to do and be to satisfy your conscience and circumstances is harder.
posted by LucretiusJones at 9:11 AM on April 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've been through this very recently, I'm 34, and my last relationship was just about as long. My career is fine but I've never been super career-driven. I'm mostly cool with it.

I don't think there is a moment when things come together and all of a sudden you have your shit together. Honestly, I don't think that's how things work. Growth is slow and a lot of the time, opaque. I think that you tend to realize things after you've already spent a bunch of time slogging through the day-to-day, and maybe then you have an "a-ha" moment that things aren't quite so bad as they used to be and you may just have learned something.

Perhaps I'm like you (it's not entirely clear from your question). I don't know if I want to get married and I don't know if I want kids but one thing I do know is that I'm utterly perplexed by the intense drive it seems so many around me have to get a partner and a house and kids and settle down somewhere for a good long time. I can see some of the appeal of it, but I feel like I'm on the outside looking in. It doesn't feel like me. And that's enough to know that it would be a very bad idea for me to do that. Maybe I'll "grow up" and get into that some day, but it would be far less grown-up of me had I decided to just throw in the towel with my last partner and go there. I would have grown to hate my life and everything in it: fuck. that. I still have love in me towards the world now and I want to keep it that way.

I also think that the times when I'm beating myself up for not being a "grown-up" and not wanting all that stuff like everyone else are the times that, ironically, I've been the least grown-up. I've had to come to my own definition of what grown-up means to me for now, and this is where I'm at:

-I try to treat myself and others with as much compassion and thoughtfulness as I can muster at any moment.
-I try to be honest to myself and others, and observe more than react.
-I try to not be a burden on the world, and give something back when and how I can.

These are awful highfalutin principles, I know, but the fact is that when I keep these in my mind and try to practice them I feel better. I don't have a master plan, I don't have very long-term goals, but I think that if I can keep these ideas in my head and practice them and get better, at the very least things will not get worse for me.

Good luck, I know this is tough.
posted by dubitable at 9:32 AM on April 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

I suggest a near death experience (or several if you're slow like me).
posted by Joe Chip at 2:41 PM on April 25, 2010

My "grown up" moment came when I quit drinking, moved to New York City, and started my PhD. Until then my life was total chaos, and I was always forgetting to pay bills, missing social engagements, forgetting birthdays, showing up to work late, squandering money, you name it. When I stopped spending most of my free time "partying" and had a very clear, definite goal that I was passionate about, everything else gradually fell into place.

If you want to settle down, I recommend doing so much traveling and moving around for a few years that you get totally sick of it and just want to stay in one place.

Basically, I did so much crazy stuff in my 20s that my 30s have been very sedate, but I don't feel like I missed out on anything and have no regrets.
posted by alicetiara at 2:54 PM on April 25, 2010

Comedian Richard Herring mulled over something similar in The Guardian yesterday, in an extract from his book How Not to Grow Up. On turning 40, he writes about how he is not nearly as grown up as his dad was at the same age. I don't think he reaches any great conclusions, but he also observes...

I love my grandma. She is the most amazing woman I have ever met. Pertinently, on her 85th birthday she turned to me and lamented, "I can't believe I'm 85. It doesn't make any sense. Inside I still feel like I'm 25."
posted by penguin pie at 3:38 PM on April 25, 2010 [4 favorites]

i was in a hurry to grow up. then, a couple years ago, my dad told me he didn't feel like a "grown-up" until my grandpa died sometime when i was in middle school, because now he had no one to go to for real counsel. he was "on his own" in a way.

he said it so sadly that ever since then i never really wanted to ever become a "grown up" :(

i think all there is, is living, and we all do it in our own way and on our own time.
posted by raw sugar at 11:09 PM on April 25, 2010

In some ways, I'm becoming less grown-up as I get older.

I'm 28 now. When I was 10 I did my chores, I saved my pennies, knew about as much about the family finances as my parents, had a firm idea of where I was going to be when I was 30, and I was, as my mother described me, basically an old maid. The only non-grown-up thing about me was my age.

Now? I'm changing careers (or trying to, anyway), letting my hair down on weekends, don't know what the next decade holds (and am pretty much at peace with that) and am quite happily starting a new hobby on average about once a month (currently, gardening). Two things make me a grown-up: my age and my upcoming wedding anniversary (9 years this year! wooo!). In other respects, well ... maybe not so much.

Being 'grown-up' is a state of mind. My dad isn't; my grandfather never wasn't. I am when I have to be.
posted by ysabet at 11:13 PM on April 25, 2010

I equate being 'grown-up' with taking an active leadership role in your life. Leaders are decisive, accountable, disciplined, courageous, etc. I feel most grown-up when I am exuding these qualities. I can exude these qualities regardless if I am a general in the army, a father of 3, or a college freshman with a trust fund. Being grown-up has nothing to do with the roles you play in your life. Being grown-up has everything with how you live your life. Let's say you want to be a rock-star. Awesome! Be a grown-up and commit to it. Be responsible for your own success. Decide you will create an album in 1 year. Announce it to your friends and don't let them down. Write and play music everyday. Continue to do so when people knock you down.

It's kind of like that line from 'Hustle and Flow': "There are two types of people: those that talk the talk and those that walk the walk. People who walk the walk sometimes talk the talk but most times they dont talk at all, cause they walkin. Now, people who talk the talk, when it comes time for them to walk the walk, you know what they do? They talk people like me into walkin for them."

Choose your path and start walking.
posted by jasondigitized at 7:00 AM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

I've been reading Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement (on a recommendation from this thread).

While I'd say it tends to lay on a little too heavy about "The Script", it does a fairly good job when it's not trying to guess what you want out of life. It basically tells you to follow your dreams. It tells you up front that you're going to fail and that it is ok. You just need to get back up and keep trying to get what you want out of life because it doesn't make sense to do otherwise.

The thing I found most useful was the list of "master skills" which I think serves as a good gauge of how grown up you are: the skill of order/organization, the skill of patience, the skill of being able to direct your attention and not be bored, the skill of persistence, the skill of consistency, the skill of thoroughness, the skill of being able to finish what you start, and the skill of repetition/practice-makes-perfect.
posted by symbollocks at 8:40 AM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

Therapy, having someone to listen, help you sort through what's holding you back, and see deeper problems and patterns that you're not aware of can help.

I have found that the most important part about being an adult is having a purpose, something you want that you can build your life around. There are so many practical considerations in our way that we have to deal with, everything is confusing when we have to make our own decisions, and I think the only way to deal is to know what you want, at all times, and in your life in general.
posted by scazza at 8:51 AM on April 26, 2010

I tell my kids, and especially my eldest, that as a kid you focus on learning how to be independent, learn rules skills and tools, and generally get your act together.

Once you can live entirely on your own, be responsible for yourself, and not require anyone to take care of you, you start to become an adult.

But until you embrace the idea that your life is about taking care of and loving others, do you finally become a certified adult. (But we're from the Christian worldview, so YMMV.)

A good friend and mentor of mine has an excellent definition of Love -- "Love means being bothered for the sake of another."

So look around and you'll see someone in your life to be bothered for the sake of. Not for your fulfillment or good feeling, but for their sake alone.

Accept where you are and feel free to start small. Volunteer (but don't tell anybody). Love someone in your life selflessly, tho they annoy you. Ultimately, quit worrying about your own happiness. And there somehow you will likely find Joy.

Yeah. Go figure. But it works for me.
posted by cross_impact at 8:52 AM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

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