What to do about my incessant longing for life like it was in college?
July 18, 2010 12:47 PM   Subscribe

What to do about my incessant longing for life like it was in college? Lengthy explanation inside.

To set the stage: I'm a 30-year-old happily married healthy man with a wonderful wife, a secure job, a great house, sound finances, travel experience, and a great circle of friends.

Life is good, is the point.

I graduated from a small liberal arts college eight years ago after a four-year stint that ended with a bachelor's degree. Life was good then too: Great professors, classes, dorm life, intramural sports, bar nights...this list could sprawl to 1,000 reasons.

I have spent the last eight years doing my best to hold on to the pure joy and happiness of those four years. Some examples: After graduating, I was very active in starting an alumni group in Washington, DC and have since joined the alumni board. My wife and I go to Homecoming every year. My circle of friends from those years is still very tight-knit (godparents for children, for example).

The rational part of my mind understands that dancing at the fraternity house until two in the morning is a memory. That walking down the hall and being randomly pulled into a guy's room to play video games is a memory. That staying up until 3am talking with a few close friends is a memory. Impromptu Dr. Mario tournaments, talking great books, feeling like you can take on the world...These are things that, by societal standards, I understand happen with much less frequency after college and will eventually stop altogether.

But I miss them. I always will.

As society demands, I continue to move on, with a steady job, bills, marriage, a house, eventually family, and whatever comes after that. I've done a good job with moving on, as life is indeed good. But it's not as good as it was, and as I get older (and as my friends do too), I have the sinking suspicion it never will be as good as those four years.

My question, after this explanation, is this: What have you done in your post-college life to move on from those days? Is there an effective way to put those days on the shelf of one's brain and only refer to them from time to time?
posted by st starseed to Society & Culture (33 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
OMG great question. My .02:

1. Aging sucks.

2. It is true, in a way, that nothing is as awesomely fun as college was. Admitting that breaks my brain, because I love Now, like, a lot. But reading your words reminds me: college WAS hella fun, no argument.

3. The only way you're going to counter the best-years-of-my-life trope is: you gotta figure out how awesome your life is NOW and celebrate it and be super into it and dig the hell out of it.

Also: maybe reproduce some of those fantasies - have a Dr. Mario tournament: it's probably no longer as screamingly awesome as you remember it.

4. There are aspects of being a grown-up that just plain suck. To counter the suckage, they gave us keys and money and the vote! ;-)
posted by goblinbox at 12:55 PM on July 18, 2010

Personally, going back to university as a mature student totally killed it for me. I physically can't do the 'up till two then in for lectures at nine' any more - I briefly tried to run with the eighteen year olds and gave up. Not only that, but when you listen to those people who are basically younger versions of yourself and your friends you end up realising the truth - you weren't intellectual, or changing the world, or awesome, you were just drunk and talking bollocks. And no-one else realised because they were completely wasted and only listening to themselves.

So basically a harsh re-assessment of reality, as opposed to nostalgia tinted glasses has made me re-appreciate my grown-up life now.
posted by Coobeastie at 12:58 PM on July 18, 2010 [37 favorites]

Going back to visit is a good reality check.

Also, you can create *some* of those things in your current life, via picking your neighborhood carefully, reassessing how much of the rat race you want to buy into, creating a meetup group for your interests, investing in friendships...
posted by zeek321 at 1:03 PM on July 18, 2010 [4 favorites]

The reasons why I miss college are maybe different than yours, but I'll share. I learned so many new ideas at that time, and I miss that very much. Reading classics like Godel, Escher, Bach and Socrates, learning symbolic logic, and so on. The moments when those lights go on in your head are priceless. But thanks to online courseware and just plain making yourself read difficult and interesting books, it can continue. So, I just continue to expand my mind by reading those sorts of things.

And hey, if video game tournaments are your thing, there are very active communities for them all over. Hell, a guy your age (Alex Valle) consistently wins national fighting game tournaments!
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 1:07 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

I am not at all joking when I say this: life will be like this again when you move into a retirement community, if you move to the right one.

Until then, not sure. I think about it to, and so does my husband. He's always lamenting that no one "stops by" our house to hang out.

This is not a good answer :(
posted by dpx.mfx at 1:09 PM on July 18, 2010 [13 favorites]

I think that you need to pin down the few specific concepts you miss - flexibility, sociality... And figure out how you can build them into your life now.

Being an active alum has nothing to do with this.

There are certainly things that are bette now - more money, adult relationships, fulfilling work... Make a list.
posted by k8t at 1:21 PM on July 18, 2010 [3 favorites]

Watching a room full of 50 year olds get their party groove on at the frat house on alumni weekend will show you how not to try and keep the college days foremost in your mind.

Seriously, I think the key is to keep doing new and better things. College was fun for the responsibility-free reasons you identified -- but as an "adult" you can do other, way more awesomer things. It's only the best time of your life if you don't do anything very cool afterward, you know?
posted by Forktine at 1:29 PM on July 18, 2010 [6 favorites]

Do you see that you made the choice to change? I'm 45, have a house, a business, a committed SO, contribute to the community, and still do those things (well, my things are different, but still...).

Example: I go to the zoo a few times a week (to power walk), and see all these people there with children. It seems as if they need those kids as an excuse to play at the zoo. Someone told them adults no longer do those things and they believed it.

"as society demands"? I would put the question to you, is it society, or is it you that demand that?

True, you might want to make a choice of balance as you get older. I see that as a positive, but not mandatory. That also is a choice you make.

The exact situation will not, can not, be the same, as people change and move on. But there is no reason that you need to be completely run by what you feel you 'should' be doing.

The rational part of your mind may just be lying to you. Yes, it might not be in a frat house, but why on god's good earth can you not dance with friends til 2 in the morning and play video games after that?

Why did you choose this is what I would be asking first.

Then invite all these people over, get some beer bongs, video games, crappy music and have a huge frat party and dance your ass off.
posted by Vaike at 1:39 PM on July 18, 2010

You need things in your life to look forward TO.

Don't be like me who went to my son's graduation and then went into a weeks-long funk lamenting the me that was young. Enjoy the stage of life you are in NOW. Perhaps you are considering parenthood, or new challenges in your career, etc. Perhaps you should widen your circle of friends. Perhaps-and this is a big one-you need to find something else larger than yourself to be a part of again, something that is NOT college.

(PS-if you are planning to have children, watching them go thru life stages is really pretty cool too. My son's graduation was a mindblowing time for our whole family, in a good way.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:39 PM on July 18, 2010 [3 favorites]

Find a good apartment building. I lived in one in Seattle (Lower Queen Anne) where all the doors opened on to a nice little courtyard with a picnic table and some chairs. The apartments were kind of small-ish but it didn't matter much. Most people pretty much just left their doors open when they were home and hung out in the yard as the common area. It was a great place to bring your dinner out, have a couple of beers and shoot the breeze with the neighbors. We were all in and out of each others' places, watching movies, having improptu let's-go-out-to-a-show nights, whatever. I met my wife there.

I think modern adult life isn't like the college days because we aren't as forced to interact with our neighbors all the time. Our houses are all designed these days to hang out inside or in the back yard. Privacy is nice, but can be isolating and boring. It's not as easy to hang out with someone on the spur of the moment if you have to make sure they're home, put on your shoes, get in your car, and GO to their house.

Drawback of close community: having to be considerate of everyone else and put up with everyone else with respect to noise, occasional grumpiness, etc.
posted by ctmf at 2:09 PM on July 18, 2010 [9 favorites]

I have spent the last eight years doing my best to hold on to the pure joy and happiness of those four years. Some examples: After graduating, I was very active in starting an alumni group in Washington, DC and have since joined the alumni board. My wife and I go to Homecoming every year. My circle of friends from those years is still very tight-knit (godparents for children, for example).

I think you're going about this the wrong way.

It looks like you're still trying to grasp after the college experience. Of course this isn't fulfilling, those years are gone. Every phase of life has certain perks, and not-so-good parts. Instead of trying to recreate another part of your life, learn to embrace the beauty of your current situation.

What's wonderful about your current experience, that was probably lacking in your college life? A partner who loves you. Your own house. Financial security. Being able to travel. Having friends you've known for so long they're like family. Knowing yourself. Competence.

Of course staying up all night partying is great, but that's just one part of your life. I think you just need to accept that it's gone, like you need to accept a loved ones' death. If you don't embrace all the current great stuff you have going on, you might look back in 20 years and go "wow, I missed out on all of that because I was too busy trying to relive the past. God, what a shame."
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:16 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

I could of written this question. I have a pretty awesome life but I can't stop romanticizing my college days. The types of things you mentioned above are the same types of memories for me. Simply awesome times. I think they were so awesome because we were young, quite impressionable, idealistic, and in a bit of an ivory tower. It helped that I was surrounded by guys and hot girls all my age.

Imagine how much fun work would be if everyone in your office was your age, and shared similar socio-economic factors. Imagine how much fun your sub-division would be if the same applied to your neighbors. There is just something about the dynamic of college that made it completely awesome.

With that said, I think the answer is to hold onto those memories but create new ones. I think we have a tendency to underestimate how awesome the present is and overestimate how awesome the past was. Design an awesome life. Take trips. Find a sub-division with lots of people your age. Play Ultimate. Have a video game night. Make cheese whiz sandwiches after drinking way to many beers. Drink Mountain Dew for breakfast occasionally.
posted by jasondigitized at 2:24 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

As society demands, I continue to move on, with a steady job, bills, marriage, a house, eventually family, and whatever comes after that.

Fuck the demands of society. Who says you have to settle down, buy a house, etc? A close friend lives the back of his motorcycle shop in a creepy industrial part of town. The rest of the warehouses are filled with other bikers, mechanics, builders, etc. It's very much a community, with everyone valued for their particular contributions and skills. One guy had cat/emissions/smog questions so he walked over a few shops to the guy who does a lot of smog work. My friend was working on my bike when one of the neighbors called needing a pair of hands to help fix his door after someone tried to break in to the neighbor's shop. I got sent to help fix the door while my mechanic friend fixed my bike. We have grand plans of frying up doughnuts in the turkey fryer out in front of the shop and sharing them around the neighborhood.

Sounds like you're hungry for a community as much as anything. So go find one.
posted by mollymayhem at 2:36 PM on July 18, 2010 [12 favorites]

Not to be a downer, but at least you have those memories. That's pretty special. I don't regret many things, but I've never experienced anything like what you describe, and I regret that.
posted by Nothing at 2:55 PM on July 18, 2010 [6 favorites]

Why do you have to move on? Why can't you have what you had then? I recommend moving to Brooklyn, or some other city with a lot going on. Other people alluded to this above - I think one of the big problems is your living situation is probably really isolated. Even if you live in the same town with a lot of friends, you have to drive for a while to go see anyone.

I think you should live in a city where you can easily walk to go see a lot of your friend, plus walk to bars, the park to go play sports, etc.

Also, I think you should make some fun friends. Even if you are a responsible family dude, and at this point you are more comfortable with most of your friends being the same way, you can still have a bunch of other friends who spend all their free time riding motorcycles, getting wasted, playing video games, are always down for hanging out all hours of the day and night, etc. You can find dudes like that even into your 70s.
posted by Ashley801 at 3:03 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

You can never go back, and you should accept that and look for new and wonderful experiences going forward. This is probably not something new, but maybe something you didn't notice before - you were probably that guy at university that drove everyone crazy wanting to repeat experiences instead of doing new things, and rating everything in relation to the past, and going on and on about "the time Fred had that party with the jelly cubes..."

Life is about moving on - you change jobs, you change countries, you change partners (through death or divorce), you change areas, etc etc. You don't keep comparing everything to the past, that is very depressing.
posted by meepmeow at 3:08 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

I agree with Nothing, and I am also envious.

It sounds like what you miss is the camaraderie. I have the same feeling about my neighborhood and especially my parish. Things are very different now than they were when I knew everyone in the 'hood and we were bonded.

If you are going to have kids, be on the lookout for a family-friendly, established neighborhood, that is walkable and has a "downtown" or two (like the Hill in D.C.) or "village" (like Magnolia in Seattle). NOT an SUV-oriented development. You'll get involved with things, maybe church or temple, or scouts, or a lot of other things. Then you'll bond with others (parents and non-parents) who are at a similar stage of life, just the way you did in college. You and your friends-to-be and your families will repeat the cycle.
posted by jgirl at 3:27 PM on July 18, 2010

If it helps, the puppets of Avenue Q have expressed this feeling through song.
posted by doift at 3:54 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

There's a song about this in the musical Avenue Q- I Wish I Could Go Back to College (contains some foul language). You are not alone, OP.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:54 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Look forward to retirement - seems to be a similar experience for a lot of people if they have a good social circle.
posted by koahiatamadl at 3:56 PM on July 18, 2010

Best answer: I'm with Vaike - incorporate things you loved about college to your life now, at least as best you can. I had a very similar college experience, and there are a few things that have helped me rekindle the feelings of college, but in ways that are a bit more appropriate to adult life. Some suggestions/anecdotes:

- If you and your wife have a group of friends that you both get along with, take a vacation with them. Rent a house so it's like a dorm atmosphere. Spend until 2am drinking beers in a hot tub and talking about the things you used to talk about in college (dumb stuff, smart stuff, whatever). Bring video games or party games. My husband and I just did this, and after realizing how awesome it was we want to make it an annual event. I also realized that as magical as the time and place were at college, what we really love about it is the time we spent with who are interesting and fun.

- Indulge in the activities you loved in college, and invite your current friends. You might be surprised how much they're missing the college lifestyle as much as you are. My friends from work are of varying ages (spanning about two decades and I'm the youngest one), but after I opened up to joining their social activities, I learned that we all love any excuse to drink and hang out (fundraiser, dinner party, etc.). Sometimes a "cooking club" turns into dancing at someone's house at 4am, sometimes a wine tasting turns into a debate about the merits of Lincoln's presidency. You might have to start an evening with an offer of dinner and wine, but if you break out the video games, I'm sure you'll have a few takers and the rest will be happy to watch and chat - just like it was in college.

- Be spontaneous. We were at a wedding about an hour south of Oklahoma. The wedding was a small affair and over early. What the heck... let's go to Oklahoma, just to have crossed the state line! Most cities/regions have a list of tourist activities, and the locals often avoid those places unless they have family visiting - to heck with that! Go see those places and take pictures. Also, Groupon offers can be a good impetus to do new things.

Because my husband and I went to the same school and both had a college experience similar to yours, it's tough for us to only refer to those memories "from time to time." Those were extremely formative experiences. But as we create similar memories with people in our lives now, I enjoy the present in a way that makes me happy for current experiences as well as past memories.
posted by Terriniski at 3:58 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Not to make light (well, a little), but I think a viewing of ST. ELMO'S FIRE will straighten you up right quick.
posted by kidelo at 4:03 PM on July 18, 2010

What have you done in your post-college life to move on from those days? Is there an effective way to put those days on the shelf of one's brain and only refer to them from time to time?

Look at your next paycheque and smile at the amount. Think how much you would have salivated over that amount of money at school.

Not to make too much of a joke, but getting really tired of being really poor was a big reason I decided to get out of academia. I've found that having a padded bank account helps me get over any nostalga of 3 am drinking sessions.
posted by generichuman at 5:19 PM on July 18, 2010 [3 favorites]

You'll grow out of it. I'm not being a smart ass. At age 30 I felt the same way. Now at a couple of years past 40 I look back fondly on my college days, but I really have no desire relieve them. I'm over it. My frat is having a big reunion this fall. 10 years ago there is no way I would have missed it. Now? Meh. I'm not planning on attending. Now I look at some of my old college buddies that have not moved on emotionally from those days and I don't feel envious. I feel sorry for them.
posted by COD at 5:36 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

I felt that way from graduation until I bought a modem.

(in 1990. 1200 Baud). I bought the modem because I read about a "community" called ECHO (East Coast Hang Out). So I joined and life became more like dorm life than I ever imagined it could. I sociaized online for several years non-stop. If I couldn't sleep in the middle of the night, there was always somebody "on."

This was from 1990 to about, hm, a few years ago. Then something happened. People on ECHO got fed up with in-fighting and other stuff that happens when you're in a tight community. And there was this thing called the World Wide Web that attracted people, goddammit. (what was wrong with them?)

Eventually our text-based telnetted world faded away pretty much. I'm still on ECHO
(echonyc.com is the portal but you have to use ssh or putty to get on) but the halls are pretty empty. Like college in the summer.

So here I am, but it's not the same. Sob.

But seriously THIS online thing is the closest I've come to that "open 24 hours" feeling of dorm life, the crazy conversations about anything, the "popping in" on each other when we want a chat.

I don't take the "maturity morality" position of some others here (meaning that you should "get over it," "grow up," realize you "made a choice" (really? there's a choice NOT to leave college? ha)).

You're talking about community. And it's very very hard to have that sense of community once you're out of college in the US. I believe that in some other countries there is that sense of community (maybe in some small towns in the US?)

the suggestion to keep into a good apartment house seems to be a good one, but I bet you won't do that, because most of us want that "private house" feeling. It comes with being a Grown-Up (sadly).

The retirement community idea is a great one, but by then (and I'm getting close, so I know) your joints hurt and you're not that interested in staying up until 2AM (gross generalization alert).

It's too bad more people don't feel the way you do. I was just feeling all depressed myself tonight and telling my husband (thank god I have one of those) that the city I live in feels all empty and my (not all that many) friends are on vacation and my son's away at camp and Where Is Everyone?

Well I'm glad you're all here. It's a good thing to want more of a sense of community and I hope you find what you're looking for.
posted by DMelanogaster at 6:53 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

Great question, one that I think about a lot. For me it's not just college but a few other periods during my life where everything was just right (or at least, just right as I remember it.)

Ups and downs come and go, and while there's nothing wrong with relishing all of those great memories, it's important to recognize the new ups when they come around. They won't be just like college, but if you watch for them you'll enjoy that same "You know what? Life is pretty damn sweet right now" vibe.

But re: the things that made college specifically fun/special, I think all of the comments about "Community" are spot on. In college you're automatically made part of a community (the college itself) and you're thrown in with a bunch of people from all different places and backgrounds. Your horizons are expanded, and you hopefully make some fast friends with people you would never have met if not for the structured environment in which you were introduced.

Our generations (Gen-X, Gen-Y) are prone to feeling adrift in the "real world" - once you leave college, that's it as far as community goes; if you're an extrovert and land in a nice neighborhood with other extroverts, then you might recapture some of that sense of camaraderie and enjoy the random pop-in or front porch conversation... but for the most part (gross generalization ahead), people leave college and get jobs where they spend 8+ hours at work, 2+ hours commuting, get home and watch TV for 2+ hours, and go to bed.

So what happened to our civic sense of community? Here's the thing: you know all those community organizations our grandparents belonged to, like the American Legion/VFW/Lions/Elks/Odd Fellows/Grange/Masons/Eagles/Moose etc? They serve exactly that purpose. The problem is that most of the baby boomer generation rejected all those groups wholesale, which is why we grew up assuming that they're all clubs for old people. The younger folks who joined in their 30's are now the old folks who got left holding the bag when none of their kids joined.

Younger people are joining all of these groups in increasing numbers, though, precisely because so many of us have that feeling that something is missing. I joined the Masons a few years ago when I began working from home, because I knew that I was going to go out of my mind without some kind of social outlet... and as foreign as the idea of joining a group for the express purpose of social interaction was to me at the time, now it seems like the most natural and sensible thing in the world.

What you get is that structured sense of community (both in terms of your town, and the organization you've joined) and a place where you get to meet all kinds of people from all walks of life who you might never have met otherwise. Just like college you'll hit it off with some people right away, and meet others who instantly rub you the wrong way. If you join a healthy group, you'll probably find that they usually have their building open at least one night a week for members to go hang out. There are occasional generation gap issues as you might expect, but for the most part the older generation is just thrilled to see new people joining and getting involved after having to run things themselves through so many lean years. I wish it had occurred to me to join such a group years ago, but it wasn't until I learned that a 25 year-old coworker at my last job was in the Elks that it occurred to me that anyone under 70 might belong.
posted by usonian at 6:23 AM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]

We used to host a weekly dinner party. It wasn't a formal dinner party, but just a weekly time when any of our friends could drop by and enjoy dinner and the same kind of relaxed hanging out of our college days. Sometimes random hijinx ensued. Sometime just just sat around the grill BSing. It was something we all enjoyed and looked forward to. It made our place have that same lively community feel as the college days.
posted by advicepig at 7:12 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

I didn't have such a great college experience. I'm not sure why in life it seems that as we get older we get more distant in our relationships, but it does seem to generally happen. However, it also seems to me that as we get older we get more comfortable with ourselves, better able to understand our interests, and more capable of enjoying ourselves on our terms.
posted by xammerboy at 10:05 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

I agree with everyone who says that what you really miss is a sense of community, and that you can create community in your life now. But you probably still need to work on accepting that community is not going to happen spontaneously at this stage of life. Sometimes I long for that spontaneity too -- sort of. In reality, though, the random 2am friend drop-in is much less appealing than it used to be.

For me, a happy medium is to sort of simulate that spontaneity. The sense of college-era camaraderie sometimes comes back to me when I'm just hanging out with friends at home. Socializing tends to be more structured once you leave school, so try removing that structure when you can. Plan a gathering where there's no specific purpose except to hang out and enjoy each other's company, preferably at someone's home.

And it's easy to get caught up in romanticizing the past, so try to think of all the things about your life that are better now, like the ability to travel, or having a home of your own (because again, as fun as it was to live on top of a hundred other people in a college dorm, would you really want that now?).
posted by spinto at 10:21 AM on July 19, 2010

I was going to suggest you listen/watch AvenueQ, but doift beat me to it. I'll always miss college, but there's really only about 4 years of your life where that sort of thing even works.
posted by medea42 at 10:22 AM on July 19, 2010

It sounds like what you have are three (incredibly common) different problems.

1. Nostalgia. This is natural and human but don't let it rule you. Thus, your involvement in the alumni club is great but don't imagine that it will in any way substitute for the energy you felt with those people in college.

2. Lack of community. Just because you are grown up, doesn't mean you can't have it, as others have suggested. It's harder now because people have more demands on their time and tend not to live so close together. So make time and maybe find a way to be close to your friends or make friends who are geographically nearby.

3. Lack of spontaneity. This is totally fixable. The hardest part is finding other grown-ups who are game for doing something fun at the spur of the moment. But find a few if you can or just go it alone. Do something you want to do in the moment just because you want to. Bonus if it's novel or wild in some way.

I am being it bit non-specific in my answers because the specifics of your life, friends, interests, etc., are going to dictate how you go about fulfilling these needs. But just being aware helps. I will add two very concrete things you can do:

a) Presence. In college everyone is very present for each other much of the time. Sure there is homework to do but if your friends were anything like mine, I could always find someone to just talk to, someone who wasn't busy working or texting. Be that person now. Put down the phone and the laptop, make everyone a snack and just be in the moment sometimes.

b) Say yes more. Someone invites you to something, you don't want to go because you are tired or you need to do chores - just go anyway. Be irresponsible sometimes. It is liberating.
posted by mai at 12:15 PM on July 19, 2010

In my late 20s I had an existential crisis. I felt like death. Every day was a disease. Rising from bed was agonizing. I looked back onto the previous 10 years frequently, looking for answers, looking for causes of the anxiety and disorder. I too had what you have now: a traditional lifestyle. I had passed the rite of passage into adulthood, finished college, got a career, a spouse, even had a child. I had friends and neighbors. I had responsibility. But, at the core I felt very suicidal at my lack of attachment to this position in the world. I felt like a zombie. I found myself consistently wondering what it would be like to cut the wheel down the interstate, falling over the cliff. Even with the facade that I lived, the mask of pleasantness, things were falling apart. So, I spent a good year or two reflecting on what mattered to me. I tried to reduce my life to a set of principles that I believed in, a reductive set of maybe 10 things that I could tie everything that I do back to. It took many months, and even after I discovered those principles I rejected them. It took more months to accept them. But, I kept coming back to them. No matter how much time went on, those were the guiding roots of my life. If I scanned my life the whole way back to adolescence and earlier, they were there. I decided to make major changes to my life. Some of those changes hurt others, but in the end I decided that my life was worth more. I would be better to those people in my life sane and happy, supportive, and responsible. My other life wasn't sustainable, and I knew crash was certain. That was 5 years ago, or so. My life is wonderful now, but far from perfect. I'm living a life that I want, and all of the people in my life benefit from me being me, from maintaining integrity and a place where I can be good. I am sure that people want me to live the life that I had lived for that decade, and I don't blame them. It's a selfless act to put a mask on in order to fit into the social order, to maintain the equilibrium. But, believe me, it's unsustainable. Sometimes the best thing for everyone is to change in radical ways. You need to find the principles of your life and let everything flow from those.
posted by TheOtherSide at 3:21 PM on July 19, 2010

Life seems like it was better in the past because you were dumber then, too; you were easier to please.
posted by rhizome at 6:28 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

« Older Life is but a dream...   |   Bauhaus Bibliotheek? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.