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Old 10-16-07, 08:54 AM   #1
bpohl
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Quarter-life crisis

In the spirit of the guy who started a thread about being single, I thought I'd share my own experience that I'm going through right now. It sounds stupid to say, but I really think it's a quarter-life crisis.

I'm 28 years young. I'm employed as a city planner in Indy. I do well for myself, definitely not rich, but not struggling, either. I'm at this point after having lived from 1997 until 2000 following Phish around the country, living out of a van, and having the time of my life. I did a lot of drugs in that time, mainly the psychedellic stuff, but haven't touched anything like that in years.

After Phish tour, I decided I desperately wanted to settle down and live a normal life, so I did. I met a girl, moved from DC to Indianapolis, started college, and lived a completely normal life for the next six years. I ended up marrying that girl, but divorced within a year. That was about a two years ago.

Where I find myself now is wanting to return to my wild roots, but knowing I can't. I don't mean the partying and the drugs, I mean the freedom and the aloofness with which I used to approach life. I feel like my entire life is planned, and it's making me miserable. Spontaneity is a word I don't even understand anymore. I'm married to my job, and even though I usually have plenty of vacation time, I never get to use it. I've been working a professional job for three years now, so it's not the fact that I'm employed, it's something else.

I feel like I have all of these conflicting feelings. I crave emotional connections to women, but I get bored quickly, and I end up feeling like that connection is a complete burden. Maybe I just haven't found the right girl yet. All of my friends are getting married and having kids- I desperately want kids...desperately - and I'm going the opposite way.

Maybe I just need a change of scenery... a new place to live. I've never lived anywhere in my life as long as I've lived here in Indy. I have no family here, but I do have friends whom I love very much. The idea of leaving is very sexy, but I have a house that I have to keep and can't rent out for the next three years. I feel trapped, bogged down, and bummed out. This should be happening when I'm 45, not 28.

Can anyone identify with what I'm saying?
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Old 10-16-07, 08:59 AM   #2
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Man, I've got the A Live One "YEM" in my ears right now.

I saw them 32 times between the Great Went in 1997 until Coventry. Good for me, I had a steady job and a fun life in Chicago.

You're in Indy. Check out Chicago for a while. Tons to do and usually there are jobs to be found.

Life is as you make it. If you feel the need to move around and are not attached to one place by responsibility of family, then 28 is a great time to do just that. Only you can make it happen.

We all feel trapped at times. It's happened to me, even when I was unattached. That pull of responsibility is always there, but if you can detach yourself from the notion that you have to satisfy someone else's expectations, horizons open up.
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Old 10-16-07, 09:05 AM   #3
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Yeah, I'm stuck, though. This stupid first-time homebuyer's grant on the house. You can't sell or rent out the house in the first five years you own it. The only feasible option for leaving would be to just keep paying on the house and letting in sit empty, but there's no way that's financially possible for me. I would love to live in Chicago. I usually get up there every month or so (Thank the sweet, sweet baby Jesus for megabus!). I often go up there alone just for the fun of going and having a few beers in a different setting.

It sounds so trite, but I just feel like I need a fresh start somewhere.
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Old 10-16-07, 09:17 AM   #4
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Yeah, I'm stuck, though. This stupid first-time homebuyer's grant on the house. You can't sell or rent out the house in the first five years you own it. The only feasible option for leaving would be to just keep paying on the house and letting in sit empty, but there's no way that's financially possible for me. I would love to live in Chicago. I usually get up there every month or so (Thank the sweet, sweet baby Jesus for megabus!). I often go up there alone just for the fun of going and having a few beers in a different setting.

It sounds so trite, but I just feel like I need a fresh start somewhere.
Im sure theres some way to rent it out. You may have to call it something other than renting.
A good real estate lawyer can point you in the right direction.
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Old 10-16-07, 09:37 AM   #5
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I know how you feel. I went through the same thing, only I was 24. For me, I thought I needed to start over somewhere, so I moved half-way across the country. Almost exactly a year later, I moved back (a much happier person) to where I started. I found that what I needed was not a start-over somewhere new, but a year to reclaim myself from my friends, job, etc - all the things that wind up defining you when that shouldn't be the case.
For you, I would suggest not even thinking about where you are going until you are free from your house responsibilities to go where ever you want on any particular day. A real estate lawyer is a good idea - I bet you could find one who would at least give some general advice for free. That's the first step. Maybe just focusing on one thing at a time will ease your feelings of discontent somewhat.
Good luck!
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Old 10-16-07, 10:26 AM   #6
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Yeah, I'm a planner so I know plenty of real estate lawyers. They all owe me at least a little good advice.
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Old 10-16-07, 12:01 PM   #7
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I know how you feel. I went through the same thing, only I was 24. For me, I thought I needed to start over somewhere, so I moved half-way across the country. Almost exactly a year later, I moved back (a much happier person) to where I started. I found that what I needed was not a start-over somewhere new, but a year to reclaim myself from my friends, job, etc - all the things that wind up defining you when that shouldn't be the case.
For you, I would suggest not even thinking about where you are going until you are free from your house responsibilities to go where ever you want on any particular day. A real estate lawyer is a good idea - I bet you could find one who would at least give some general advice for free. That's the first step. Maybe just focusing on one thing at a time will ease your feelings of discontent somewhat.
Good luck!
So to what extent do you think the change of scenery was a factor in your coming back a better person? That's kind of how I feel. I think I just want to move to a city where I don't know anyone, by myself, and live there and just do it.
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Old 10-16-07, 12:08 PM   #8
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Yeah, I'm a planner so I know plenty of real estate lawyers. They all owe me at least a little good advice.
Say you were drunk when you signed the contract
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Old 10-16-07, 12:40 PM   #9
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If you really wanted to move couldn't you rent your house? I am sure you could rent it for a little more than your mortgage, which will give you some extra money in your pocket.

Then take extended vacation. Bike around the country or world for a year or two.
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Old 10-16-07, 12:46 PM   #10
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Well, I'm not SUPPOSED to rent out my house. If they'd actually find out is another story.
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Old 10-16-07, 12:56 PM   #11
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Some people can get away with goofing off or just going from place to place. One secret is to enjoy living instead of buying. Start thinking about what you really need and only have that. Big screen tvs, expensive bikes, latest gadgets are what enslaves you to a 9 to 5 job. NEVER buy on credit.

3 years isn't that long - but you sure want to be ready be free - use the time to save and invest so that you can take off for a bit. It will make the forced stay less painful.

Just my advice, stop focusing on what you can't do. There in lies madness. There is so much you CAN do within your current circumstance. Enjoy what you can do and stop wishing for what is outside your grasp.

It may also be that you are in the middle of growing up - it won't kill you, honest! Getting old will though.
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Old 10-16-07, 12:59 PM   #12
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Just my advice, stop focusing on what you can't do. There in lies madness. There is so much you CAN do within your current circumstance. Enjoy what you can do and stop wishing for what is outside your grasp.
That's probably some of the best advice I've gotten in quite some time.
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Old 10-16-07, 01:12 PM   #13
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Yep. Looks like you are looking for external sources for your happiness. You know, the grass is greener deal? Maybe you should learn to be happy where you are at, because you are always going to be somewhere.
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Old 10-16-07, 01:31 PM   #14
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[quote=bpohl;5463019]
I feel like I have all of these conflicting feelings. I crave emotional connections to women, but I get bored quickly, and I end up feeling like that connection is a complete burden. Maybe I just haven't found the right girl yet. All of my friends are getting married and having kids- I desperately want kids...desperately - and I'm going the opposite way.

Maybe I just need a change of scenery... a new place to live. I've never lived anywhere in my life as long as I've lived here in Indy. I have no family here, but I do have friends whom I love very much. The idea of leaving is very sexy, QUOTE]

getting bored quickly in relationships and having shallow attachments are indicators of attachment issues. . .which is also a good predictor of various DSM-IV TR cluster B personality disorders--ain't saying you got them as I'm not a shrink but I know a bit from taking classes on the law and mental health. . .or it could be that you are smart and have a hard time with people that aren't at your level--or both.

The whole impetus to move and be "free" is also about problems with attachment. . .have you ever talked to a shrink--just curious? Are you a charmer in the sense that you find it easy to charm the ladies? Be honest now, is you a hustla? This could be another good indicator. . .
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Old 10-16-07, 01:47 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=kaiju-velo;5465055]
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Originally Posted by bpohl View Post
I feel like I have all of these conflicting feelings. I crave emotional connections to women, but I get bored quickly, and I end up feeling like that connection is a complete burden. Maybe I just haven't found the right girl yet. All of my friends are getting married and having kids- I desperately want kids...desperately - and I'm going the opposite way.

Maybe I just need a change of scenery... a new place to live. I've never lived anywhere in my life as long as I've lived here in Indy. I have no family here, but I do have friends whom I love very much. The idea of leaving is very sexy, QUOTE]

getting bored quickly in relationships and having shallow attachments are indicators of attachment issues. . .which is also a good predictor of various DSM-IV TR cluster B personality disorders--ain't saying you got them as I'm not a shrink but I know a bit from taking classes on the law and mental health. . .or it could be that you are smart and have a hard time with people that aren't at your level--or both.

The whole impetus to move and be "free" is also about problems with attachment. . .have you ever talked to a shrink--just curious? Are you a charmer in the sense that you find it easy to charm the ladies? Be honest now, is you a hustla? This could be another good indicator. . .
Hmmm... I wouldn't categorically deny that I have attachment issues, but I've never considered that before. It doesn't seem like me, but maybe a shrink would surprise me. I think a lot of this has surfaced because of my failed marriage. I had no connection here besides my ex-wife, and I haven't liked it here from day one. Added to that fact, I also miss the freedom of my life before I came here. I feel like I'm just stuck here with no real purpose. I'd love to live somewhere of my own choosing and force myself to go out and meet people and make a living. I just think it would do a lot for me.

As far as the ladies, it's really only a certain type of woman that I charm. I've never really had a problem finding a great girl, but I've noticed that the types tend to fall head over heels for me, with me sitting there wishing I could be single again. Maybe that's just more because things get stale for me with a lot of girls. They just don't hold my interest for very long. However, the ones that have held my interest were also the ones who didn't fall head over heels for me right away. These girls have usually had a pretty adventurous spirit, too.
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Old 10-16-07, 01:55 PM   #16
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oops
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Old 10-16-07, 01:57 PM   #17
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[quote=bpohl;5465159]
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Hmmm... I wouldn't categorically deny that I have attachment issues, but I've never considered that before. It doesn't seem like me, but maybe a shrink would surprise me. I think a lot of this has surfaced because of my failed marriage. I had no connection here besides my ex-wife, and I haven't liked it here from day one. Added to that fact, I also miss the freedom of my life before I came here. I feel like I'm just stuck here with no real purpose. I'd love to live somewhere of my own choosing and force myself to go out and meet people and make a living. I just think it would do a lot for me.

As far as the ladies, it's really only a certain type of woman that I charm. I've never really had a problem finding a great girl, but I've noticed that the types tend to fall head over heels for me, with me sitting there wishing I could be single again. Maybe that's just more because things get stale for me with a lot of girls. They just don't hold my interest for very long. However, the ones that have held my interest were also the ones who didn't fall head over heels for me right away. These girls have usually had a pretty adventurous spirit, too.
lacking more facts I can't say. . .but I think the attachment angle is worth considering. It may be also
that you lack enough social connections and I'm way off base. It could also be a dynamic that is internal to you and not specific to the place you are in--if you find that people get stale for you as you say and you get bored easily these seem to be good indicators of attachment issues. Do you feel empty if you don't get sufficient admiration/positive feedback from your women or your life in general? Do you need excessive levels of attention? Don't take these personally if they are off base--I'm doing armchair shrinkology.

Being attracted to people who aren't immediately attracted to you may (not is but may) be an indicator that you find people who are genuinely attracted to you unnattractive--which is consistent with attachment issues--you unconsciously feel like you aren't likeable but you consciously are confident and secure--so you mistrust people who are easily attracted to you. . .
and chase people who have attachment problems--leading to failed relationships and confirmation of your belief that you aren't likeable--repeat cycle
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Old 10-16-07, 02:05 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=kaiju-velo;5465241]
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lacking more facts I can't say. . .but I think the attachment angle is worth considering. It may be also
that you lack enough social connections and I'm way off base. It could also be a dynamic that is internal to you and not specific to the place you are in--if you find that people get stale for you as you say and you get bored easily these seem to be good indicators of attachment issues. Do you feel empty if you don't get sufficient admiration/positive feedback from your women or your life in general? Do you need excessive levels of attention? Don't take these personally if they are off base--I'm doing armchair shrinkology.
No, I appreciate what you're saying. Not taking this personally at all. I guess I would say I'm the exact opposite. I don't want lots of attention. The last girl I dated (the one that's with me in the pics in the "hot guy" thread) worshipped the ground I walked on and would never leave me alone. I think maybe I attract girls with attachment issues. They never have their own hobbies. They just get wrapped up in me and don't take any of their own hobbies, and get upset when I just want to do my own thing. I mean, hell, riding my bike ruined the marriage I was in. She would literally cry when I left. Ugh! The last relationship wasn't that extreme, but was pretty close. I'd say if anything I'm a loner, but we all see ourselves differently than other see us.
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Old 10-16-07, 02:17 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=bpohl;5465313]
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No, I appreciate what you're saying. Not taking this personally at all. I guess I would say I'm the exact opposite. I don't want lots of attention. The last girl I dated (the one that's with me in the pics in the "hot guy" thread) worshipped the ground I walked on and would never leave me alone. I think maybe I attract girls with attachment issues. They never have their own hobbies. They just get wrapped up in me and don't take any of their own hobbies, and get upset when I just want to do my own thing. I mean, hell, riding my bike ruined the marriage I was in. She would literally cry when I left. Ugh! The last relationship wasn't that extreme, but was pretty close. I'd say if anything I'm a loner, but we all see ourselves differently than other see us.
Sounds like you are the guy who has a hard time forming attachments but you aren't a garden
variety narcissist or sociopath (these are more common than you think)--and you attract
women who have been wounded in the past by lack of affection or attachment (most likely from dad)--
so they secretly are attracted to what is familiar and they repeat their own cycle.

The crying when you ride your bike is crazy--leave that biddy in the rear view. As for you maybe you are
happily a loner but you have exceeded your own level of comfort in isolation.
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Old 10-16-07, 03:33 PM   #20
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So to what extent do you think the change of scenery was a factor in your coming back a better person? That's kind of how I feel. I think I just want to move to a city where I don't know anyone, by myself, and live there and just do it.

So it wasn't the change of scenery in itself that helped me. It was the being alone. I was forced to be completely independent - entertain myself when I had no friends to call, find a new favorite bar/coffee shop, cool neighborhoods, etc. You know? Find that I could actually be happy anywhere as long as I know how to go about it. Right now, I hate my job, but it isn't having such a negative effect on the rest of my life as it would have a couple years ago.
What everyone is saying makes a lot of sense. Instead of going to a therapist, I forced myself to fix what was wrong by leaving all of my dependencies behind. If you are left with only yourself, you have no choice but to make it tolerable.
And everyone's experiences are different, but for me, moving worked. And I moved because I could move and not because I couldn't stay.
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