Thursday, April 17, 2014

Going Nowhere in Life: Revisited

My Going Nowhere in Life post from yesterday caused a bit of a reaction in people who read it (yes multiple people read, oddly enough).  So I want to clarify a few things people seemed to take issue with.

Note: if you don't want to read the main section, skip to the bottom to what's written in bold.

1. Marriage:

I only mentioned getting married in passing, as an example of an adult type of thing that is fairly normal for people my age to have done.  When I was younger (say 14-15) I did think that I'd be married by now, and when I was older (say around 20) I would have thought that I'd be in a relationship that was moving in that direction by the age of 26.  I'm not particularly broken up about not being married.  I'm frustrated at the fact that at an age when some people are married I haven't even managed to date consistently or even kiss a girl.
2. The purpose of this blog:

This blog exists for a few reasons.  The most obvious being that I am romantically (and to a lesser degree of importance, sexually) inexperienced.  It doesn't exist because I'm single; lots of people are single.  It doesn't exist because I didn't have a date last night; lots of people didn't have a date last night.  What makes me unique is that I'm an older inexperienced man.  So I write about what my life is like given that reality and I write on other topics from that perspective.

This is also a place where I can dump a lot of negative thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement from people who know me in real life (though some of you do know my real identity).  Most of the stuff about how I feel are things I'd never in a million years tell my friends or family.  Partially out of fear of judgement, but also because I doubt they'd understand where I'm coming from.  If you've been going on dates for most of your adult life, you can't really understand the point of view of someone who's late to the party.

If you don't want the negativity, you can skip those posts.  You can also send me an email, or get at me on twitter or write a comment on here and you can add me (the real me) on facebook and follow some of the cooler stuff I do in my life.  I have a pretty healthy variety of interests and things I like to do and learn about.  So I'm not entirely irredeemable.

3. Depression/Suicidal thoughts:

I said this in the original post, but I'll say it again here: I am not suicidal.  For many reasons.  I do understand the value of life and how many people have to deal with obstacles in life far more trying than being perpetually single.  Some of you have lost loved ones to car accidents, cancer or violent crime.  Some of you are dealing with loved ones who have substance abuse problems.  I get it.  My lament is that despite having this thing of value called life I have seemingly managed to waste it.  I can't seem to figure out how to use the talent I'm alleged to have, nor how to use the resources I have at my disposal being a middle class person in a pretty decent place to live with a family that generally supports me.  I'm always told how smart I am why am I having this much trouble?  If I'm such a nice guy who could get a girlfriend, why have I not?  This is what gnaws at me.  Knowing I need to fix something, but not knowing exactly what.

4. Women/Dating/Relationships:

This sort of goes back to point 2, but it's a little different so it gets its own section here.  I clearly have a lack of confidence in this area of life.  It isn't something that I made up in my head, it's the product of my own personal experience in this arena.  Every time I'm interested in a girl, as soon as she figures it out, or as soon as I tell her/ask her out/etc., she begins to avoid me like the plague.  I've had women do this to me in high school, I had women do this to me in college, I've had women do this to me after college, on dating sites, etc. It's like my interest is this creepy thing that nobody wants to have happen to them.

And it's not even isolated to romantic interactions either.  I've tried to cultivate female friendships with absolutely no ulterior motives whatsoever.  And I always, always, always get rebuffed.  I honestly don't understand what I'm doing that could be interpreted as threatening to people.  Males never have any problems with me like that.  I don't send women penis pics, I don't talk about sex, I don't do anything awkward or off the wall.  When I do manage to get a date I get unceremoniously dropped before anything can develop (we're only talking about two women here so don't get ahead of yourselves).  What gives?

So if you wonder why I've come to expect failure from my interactions with women, that's why.  Because I've never had a situation where a woman has reacted to my interest with anything other than what I'd consider to be the nuclear option: excommunication.

I understand that having a girlfriend is not the end all be all of life.  But it's weird when something considered so commonplace and "normal" is so hard for me to figure out.  You start to wonder what's wrong with you.  I don't think I look like Quasimodo.  I brush my teeth, I wear clean clothes, I shower daily (sometimes twice daily), I exercise, I have hobbies and interests.  Yet the simple process of successful dating eludes me.  As much as it shouldn't, it depresses me.  For once in my life I'd like to have someone I like say "hey I like you too".

5. Career, Etc.

This is a complicated one.

I have a BA degree in a social science/humanities type of field from a fairly good state school.  When I was actually in college I had a plan that I thought was a pretty decent one.  Looking back on it, from a purely logistical standpoint, it was.  The problem is that I developed a moral opposition to it, and I could never go into that field without thinking I was a monster for doing so.

I've long been told I'm a smart guy, and I have "so much talent".  The problem is I have a terrible time finding any openings that I'm even remotely qualified for.  On the odd occasion that I do find something I could do, I apply only to never hear back.

I have a job now.  I make a little bit more than minimum wage (though not much more) and I work fairly decent hours, and I know the job and the company like the back of my hand.  It's not a terrible job like cleaning toilets and sweeping floors, but I often find myself bored and daydreaming.  The process of going back there day after day just leaves me on the verge of having a mental breakdown.  I don't want to advance any further with this company, so promotions and further advancement are off the table.  I'm mostly doing this because it's easy and I need money.

I suppose going back to school is an option, but I want to make sure that if I do it I won't be just racking up student loan debt with no hope of having any kind of decent career on the back side of it.  No one wants to be that guy with a Masters or Ph.D. in History working part time as a sales clerk.  Plus I don't want to be spending another 2-4 years postponing my career start.

6. Inexperience:

I want to be honest: I have a bit of a complex about my inexperience.  I feel like most women would judge me negatively if they ever found out and would immediately write me off as a dating/romantic prospect.  But more importantly I feel out of step with my peers.  We're supposed to be the most open generation when it comes to sex and our romantic lives and here I am late to this party.

So there you are: my clarifications on my last post.

I want to thank each and every one of you who gave me your thoughts.  You don't understand how appreciative I am that you took the time out of your day to read my blog and took your time to think of something to say and then shared those thoughts with me.  All of you are wonderful people.  

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