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quarter life crisis

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

I'll be 30 in a couple of years and it's kind of freaking me out.  I don't feel like I've achieved much in my life and I feel I need to be immensely successful to be truly happy.  I grew up in a low income household and relative to that, I've done well for myself.  Some statistics about me:

 

1.I live in San Francisco as an engineer and make roughly 100k(enough to live comfortably as a single person, but definitely not rich)

2.I'm single, rarely had a girlfriend(date girls more), never had a serious girlfriend.

3.My interests are sports, technology, and sociology.

 

I find that the older I get, the more negative I feel about others.  I find myself becoming less and less patient with other people - I don't know if I'm just becoming more of an asshole or if there are more and more stupid people or people with attitude problems. 

 

I also noticed that after college, it's almost impossible to make friends.  Even the friends I have from high school and college, I don't know if I can depend on them no matter what.  Ever seen that movie Good Will Hunting?  The guy had friends that would stand with him rain or shine.  I wonder if there are even people like that in real life.  I find most people don't have the balls and integrity to stand up for their friends or even themselves sometimes.

 

Growing up was tough.  I grew up in an abusive and poor household.  I didn't accomplish any of the things I wanted to.  It still haunts me to this day that I didn't make the all american team in high school.  And I'm still not really achieving much.  Most of my friends are more successful than me in their careers.  I think it was so hard growing up mainly because we lacked money.  So I feel like I have to make at least 200k a year by the time I'm 40 to not be depressed when I reach that age. 

 

When I talk to others about it noone can relate.  They tell me "you're a good looking guy, financially independent, have a great education.  Things are great!"  But I don't feel that way.  I feel awfully average and my point is that I cannot be average because I grew up with less than average.

 

I know it's weird posting this on a style board but I read enough posts to know there are a lot of successful people here so I'm interested in hearing what they have to say.

post #2 of 43
It hit me too. the quarter life crisis does exists. I do not feel I need to be married or have kids but it hits you when so many people have kids/married and you are solo.


I am 29 yrs old and I have it together in most eyes (career, friends, family, good looks, fun, outgoing) but I felt I was not achieving all I could. I have always had a cowboy complex/shoot from the hip which went away in my late twenties. I became timid with life, experienced less etc. part of it was the relationship I was in. well that ended and I force myself to be out of my comport zone more. I do so many things solo (go out, travel, clubs, different gyms etc) try new things

expand your mind with new interest, meet new friends who normally do not room in your type of group. I know you are a techie per say so get out of that circle.

I've gone out different type of girls who normally wouldn't interest me, Ive taken up bikram yoga (I come from the bodybuilding school of training so that was 180) are just 2 examples.

you need to get out there and live life. do the best you can, treat others well, be humble, be hungry and it will fall into place. the quarter life crisis does exist but do not rush achieve self actualization.

I did not proof read my post smile.gif so no grammar nazis
post #3 of 43
Have you looked into investing your money?
post #4 of 43
I think that people who set arbitrary goals they "need" to accomplish by a certain age to be happy are setting themselves up for unhappiness and making bad decisions. Making $X by Y age is not a formula for happiness. Worrying about how well you "should" be doing isn't a path to happiness. Evaluate what things actually make you happy, pursue those. If you don't know, spend some time on developing self knowledge. Examine your financial situation, determine if it's adequate for your needs. If it is, why worry about it so much? If you get off on career success, then it's a way of keeping score and that's different.

Get some therapy if you feel fucked up by your childhood. Letting it run your life isn't healthy.
post #5 of 43
I hate to be a downer but 29-30 is more like a one-third life crises.

But maybe this will help:


post #6 of 43
I hate to be a downer but 29/30 is more of a one-third life crisis.

But maybe this will help.


20120902.gif
post #7 of 43
Thread Starter 

That comic strip was both terrifying and funny.  It spoke some truths that I have felt before.

 

I think I know what I would need to feel happy, but I don't KNOW and it is VERY hard to achieve.  I know I want to have a family by the time I'm 35.  Luckily that is still a ways away.

 

Maybe I do need to get out my circle of techies more.  Maybe many of them are spineless and if I meet more people in other fields I can have those solid, salt of the earth friends.

 

Investing is something I want to learn more about.  I have around 10k sitting in a ROTH right now that I haven't even selected funds for yet, I'm probably going to invest them in some index fund until I learn more about the stock market.

 

Has anybody had an experience with a life coach?  Because my parents were never there for me I've never had much guidance in my life.  I often wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self exactly what to do in order to have a better experience.
 

post #8 of 43
Thinking money will make you happy is such a trap I can't explain it - read Status Anxiety or a similar book on happiness. Maybe examine your motivations for wanting some arbitrary figure. Why $200K? I'm guessing that'll put you comfortably near the top in earnings among your immediate peers? Congratulations, you'll still be lonely and depressed, just in a slightly larger apartment. There will always be someone richer than you, better looking than you, and happier than you. Comparing yourself to others is hell. Trying to attain happiness through anything outside yourself is hell. It's a catch-22: want a girlfriend? You won't get one if you treat her like she's your key to happiness. I dealt with this stuff over the past couple years.

Good resources: Happiness (Daniel Nettle), Status Anxiety, Millionaire Next Door, How to Win Friends and Influence People, The Alchemist...Zen Habits.com, Theminimalists.com, etc.

I'm not suggesting minimalism will solve your problems, but it might get you off the treadmill for a minute and let you breathe. Sell all your shit, bank all your money, and find out what's really important in life. It's hard to figure out the deep questions you're trying to answer about yourself when you're surrounded by distractions like deciding which pair of expensive shoes to wear today or wondering if people don't like because you don't have the latest iPhone. You'll be dead someday, you won't look back and care one iota about that stuff. Can't say I know the circumstances, but take someone like Alexander McQueen...the pile of money in the corner and the girl (or guy) laying next to you don't fix the dialog playing in your head.

Sorry for sounding harsh, but the things you're looking for can't be bought with money. They come from, as another poster said, figuring out if your past hasn't yet been resolved and what hole in yourself you're trying to fill with material success. I'd suggest working on dropping your pretensions, expectations, and ego. Go volunteer with homeless people, read to kids, attend sociology lectures, join groups that play your sports, etc. Meet people with the idea "what amazing things can I learn from this person?" Doesn't matter if it's a homeless guy or the President, everyone has a story and people like you the most when you're truly interested in what they have to say.
Edited by longskate88 - 12/16/12 at 10:43pm
post #9 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by longskate88 View Post

Thinking money will make you happy is such a trap I can't explain it - read Status Anxiety or a similar book on happiness. Maybe examine your motivations for wanting some arbitrary figure. Why $200K? I'm guessing that'll put you comfortably near the top in earnings among your immediate peers? Congratulations, you'll still be lonely and depressed, just in a slightly larger apartment. There will always be someone richer than you, better looking than you, and happier than you. Comparing yourself to others is hell. Trying to attain happiness through anything outside yourself is hell. It's a catch-22: want a girlfriend? You won't get one if you treat her like she's your key to happiness. I dealt with this stuff over the past couple years.
Good resources: Happiness (Daniel Nettle), Status Anxiety, Millionaire Next Door, How to Win Friends and Influence People, The Alchemist...Zen Habits.com, Theminimalists.com, etc.
I'm not suggesting minimalism will solve your problems, but it might get you off the treadmill for a minute and let you breathe. Sell all your shit, bank all your money, and find out what's really important in life. It's hard to figure out the deep questions you're trying to answer about yourself when you're surrounded by distractions like deciding which pair of expensive shoes to wear today or wondering if people don't like because you don't have the latest iPhone. You'll be dead someday, you won't look back and care one iota about that stuff. Can't say I know the circumstances, but take someone like Alexander McQueen...the pile of money in the corner and the girl (or guy) laying next to you don't fix the dialog playing in your head.
Sorry for sounding harsh, but the things you're looking for can't be bought with money. They come from, as another poster said, figuring out if your past hasn't yet been resolved and what hole in yourself you're trying to fill with material success. I'd suggest working on dropping your pretensions, expectations, and ego. Go volunteer with homeless people, read to kids, attend sociology lectures, join groups that play your sports, etc. Meet people with the idea "what amazing things can I learn from this person?" Doesn't matter if it's a homeless guy or the President, everyone has a story and people like you the most when you're truly interested in what they have to say.

Thanks, there is some wisdown in what you say.  I said at least 200k because it is expensive living in the Bay Area, and I want to make sure my kids don't have to go any of the struggles I did growing up.  Money isn't everything, but it is a lot.  I found that there was a world of difference not only in what I can buy now versus in college, but the time and headache saved.  Money not only buys material possessions but time - things are more convenient with money. 

 

And it's sad but if I were broke no girl that meets my standard would go out with me.  And no, my standards are not ridiculously high and all guys have standards(physical, mental, emotional, etc.).  Unfortunately in our materialistic and sex-crazed society I'd say more than half the women today are whores.  I experienced this first hand in college.  I saw assholes that were dumber and less attractive than me get girls because his parents were well off and bought him an infiniti or bmw.  I read a study online that placed a group of women in front of men of different physical attractiveness and incomes.  Their initial ratings based on just looking at the men were as follows: man 1-10, man 2-5, man 3-2.  When told that man 1 was a clerk making 30k/yr, his rating dropped to a 2.  The middle guy was an IT professional making 130k, his rating increased to a 7.  The third man was a business owner and millionaire, his rating increased to a 9.  Now I don't know how the scientists conducting this experiment got their sample size, but I trust it was done in a proper manner, and the results were believable given how disgusting many women are these days.  I can go to a club and more often than not get the number of a girl I see.  But would she still give me her number if I didn't look the way I looked or dressed the way I dressed?

 

When I get married I want to have a lot of kids.  The desire for money is more about providing them with extracurricular activities, tutoring, christmas gifts, birthday parties, dance formals, all the stuff I didn't have growing up.  I like nice things and would be lying if I said I didn't fantasize about M6s and patek phillipe watches.  But I don't need any of that and don't even know if I'd be able to spend all of that living alone.  I have to make sure I provide my kids with love and the accoutrements they'll need and desire to grow up happy.

post #10 of 43
OP you sound depressed. I recommend seeing a therapist before you try to work on anything else. A healthy person isn't mad about highschool at age 30
post #11 of 43
Struggling is part of growing up, make your kids struggle to get something.
post #12 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba View Post

Struggling is part of growing up, make your kids struggle to get something.

 



What would you know about struggle Patrick, your father practically owns the company, you can do whatever you like :)

post #13 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by texas_jack View Post

OP you sound depressed. I recommend seeing a therapist before you try to work on anything else. A healthy person isn't mad about highschool at age 30

 

Every night before I go to bed I touch my high school yearbook photo and whisper "I'm sorry.  I wish I didn't fail you."

 

 

 

lol just kidding, but yeah, I feel a sinking feeling in my heart whenever I think about my failed athletic pursuits and what could have been....

post #14 of 43
OP: I understand where you're coming from. My family had it rough for years. I used to be jealous of others shopping at JC Penney. I'm a couple of years younger than you, and single as well. Upon finishing undergrad, my close friends and myself set our goal of making $100k by the time we turn 30. A lot of people echo the same thought like some of the posters have stated that money can't buy everything. But being poor, I want to be able to do everything I can to be as far from that point as possible. It's sort of like a kid who has starved will do anything to make sure he has food and never experienced that again.

I just finished my second master's program, and I'm allowing my brain to go into coma mode for a while. I did two master's programs back to back, while working full time which means my social life was non-existing. Socializing again is easier than you think....for example, you're on SF, and there are a bunch of folks around the Bay area. You can always link up with them and talk about what you have in common, ie clothes and go from there. I don't keep touch with friends from high school anymore because we parted ways. A lot had kids prematurely, and things of that nature.

Also like you, I want to be able to provide for my children. I want to be able to send them to the best schools and make them become more learned and cultural aware than I was. I can understand you on the dating part. When you become a successful individual, you seek the same...which filters out a lot of other good looking females.

The bright side? You're 30, making a nice income...smile, man! Yes i know the cost of living in the Bay is high, that's why the minimum wage is higher than other parts of CA, but still, try to approach life with an optimistic mindset. This is what I've done due to some inspiring books and professors and I do not regret it one bit.
post #15 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wj4 View Post

OP: I understand where you're coming from. My family had it rough for years. I used to be jealous of others shopping at JC Penney. I'm a couple of years younger than you, and single as well. Upon finishing undergrad, my close friends and myself set our goal of making $100k by the time we turn 30. A lot of people echo the same thought like some of the posters have stated that money can't buy everything. But being poor, I want to be able to do everything I can to be as far from that point as possible. It's sort of like a kid who has starved will do anything to make sure he has food and never experienced that again.
I just finished my second master's program, and I'm allowing my brain to go into coma mode for a while. I did two master's programs back to back, while working full time which means my social life was non-existing. Socializing again is easier than you think....for example, you're on SF, and there are a bunch of folks around the Bay area. You can always link up with them and talk about what you have in common, ie clothes and go from there. I don't keep touch with friends from high school anymore because we parted ways. A lot had kids prematurely, and things of that nature.
Also like you, I want to be able to provide for my children. I want to be able to send them to the best schools and make them become more learned and cultural aware than I was. I can understand you on the dating part. When you become a successful individual, you seek the same...which filters out a lot of other good looking females.
The bright side? You're 30, making a nice income...smile, man! Yes i know the cost of living in the Bay is high, that's why the minimum wage is higher than other parts of CA, but still, try to approach life with an optimistic mindset. This is what I've done due to some inspiring books and professors and I do not regret it one bit.

Your post pretty much hit the nail on the head(except for me being 30, I'm in my late 20s).  If you count people that I talk to about common stuff, I have plenty of those.  But people who would have my back in a brawl?  I don't think I have any of those.  There probably is something wrong with me socially, but I'm not sure what.  I wish I could just talk to the future version of me or have some kind of mentor.  I've had to make all the decisions in my life on my own and not all of them were good.

 

For women I'm kind of in a catch 22: I want them to like me for me but I'm too ashamed to meet them in tshirt and sweats and reveal my flaws.

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