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  1. If seeing the beauty is related to being curious about stuff around you, then I would agree that this is what keeps us young. Truly being amazed at the natural world around us fuels the minds of many old people who I would consider young at heart.
  2. I can feel this way too. I haven't held a steady job in a long time. I don't have kids to keep me busy. I don't even have a pet. I can spend my days just consuming media but it always feels at the end of the day, just as empty as it was at the start. But I keep pushing myself to fill my time with meaningful things because I know that repetition helps to form habits. OP maybe try something new that you've always wanted to do or learn about. Even if the start is slow, keep at it. It'll help to break the boredom.
  3. I grew up with a socially active mother, and a withdrawn father. I later learned that my mom does it because she's terrified of being lonely, and my dad has such poor self esteem that he avoids making conversation with others. Goes without saying, neither of these are healthy approaches. However, because they were my childhood influences, naturally I've taken on both these characteristics—feeling lonely when I'm alone, and being nervous around others. I hate it but I don't know how to be different—how to be socially healthy. I think this is part of the reason I have very few friends. OP I feel you and everything you said about worthiness and connectivity. We are social creatures so when we feel our web of connections is just a few, we think 'what is wrong with me?'. Sometimes I find if I do this I examine what others might be going through—I have a friend with two young children, so of course she will be busy and connected more with other parents; I have two close friends (a couple) who are going through the aftermath of losing a child; my sister (whom I consider a good friend) has never been one to initiate conversation so I can't count on her to check in with me; and my ex-partner, who checks in on me (and visa versa) but our relationship is complicated because we recently separated after 10 years, and he is working through his own stuff. I have tried various ways of expanding my social circle like joining things in my community, trying a new hobby, and signing up for adult learning courses on subjects I'm interested in. I find it's a hit and miss with finding friends here. Doesn't help that I'm shy and avoid breaking the ice. Sometimes I can make myself invisible just so I don't have to talk to anyone, and nobody has ever really forced me to break that behaviour. I've learned there's plenty of people out there who will take up the space if you're not using it. I've only recently, through therapy, learned that taking up space doesn't have to be a bad thing either, like some kind of arrogance. It can be used to ask questions, to express gratitude, or to speak out in support of others. Sadly, being recognized for these things bothers me. I feel inauthentic and I don't want to be seen (my dad's influence and what I'm working through in therapy). Therefore, perpetuating the state of being lonely, an endless cycle in my case. One thing that I have found has helped me not think about being alone, at least while I'm doing it, is cycling long distance. When I'm out I try to be as close to nature as possible, so I try to find trails that are near trees or the water. Being around nature is therapeutic for me and I find I don't think about being alone as much when I'm out there. Good luck on your journey OP.
  4. I'm turning 40 this year. Not been known to put emphasis on birthdays, however, this one seems like mid-life is going to literally set in once this date passes. The past 1.5 years have been especially depressing. 1) UNEMPLOYED [Work]: I left my job 2.5 years ago to look for more meaningful work, specifically in an industry/sector that I have no education or experience in, not even any known contacts. I was following a newly discovered passion, a response to my previous job in the opposite industry/sector that I grew to despise. To demonstrate to potential employers that I was serious, I took several online courses to obtain professional certifications in this desired field. I started two different projects related to this industry and grew their impact and had built a minor following/reputation for myself within the community. As of today, I've lost interest in the field. It's been 2.5 years applying for numerous jobs, in a whole range of fields (I've since given up on the ideal job) and I've not been able to produce one job offer. I've had trusted friends critique my resume, and I networked lots in 2018 and 2019 (and I'm not comfortable with small talk). Nobody has taken a chance on me. I feel quite unemployable every month that goes by without work. I feel like that's been a regular theme in my life. Steering myself down a path, totally misguided. Full of risk and uncertainty. Trying to avoid the status quo — which I had a taste of while working at a downtown financial firm for six years. After then I was at two start ups, both experienced financial failures and thus I was let go both times. 2) INCOMPLETE [Education]: I've attempted post-secondary three times! First two times, I was in my early 20s, I lost interest and I was suffering from depression and an eating disorder. Then eight years ago, I partially completed a bachelors degree. Left school because I was offered a job (one of the aforementioned start-ups). Lately I've been contemplating going back to complete. However, I don't trust myself anymore. What if I'm too depressed and squander the chance yet again. That would cost money I don't have (I'm broke — no assets or liquidity). I don't have dependents nor a partner anymore, so no one would be affected by my decision. Here's the clincher: the degree that I have credits for, I don't have the same interest in the field as I did many years ago. I kind of just want to complete the degree for personal accomplishment. Goodness knows I could use the win. My confidence is tattered like a ship's flag after enduring years at sea. 3) SINGLE [Relationship]: Two months ago, I broke off my 10-year relationship. I felt like over the past two years we both lost sight of our "couple" goals. Instead, we were independently making our own way through life. It didn't help that we are both jobless and pursing ideas (which stressed me out from a financial respect), and therefore both accumulating debt. Since the split I've been crashing at my sister's place on an inflatable mattress. Last night it busted, so I deflated it fully and cried myself to sleep on the carpeted floor. Felt terribly deflated just like the mattress. I truly love this man. He's a good person and has my heart. Yes, he has faults but who doesn't. We still maintain strong communication, remaining open and honest about how we feel. Including discussions about what wasn't working, and why it wouldn't be smart that without the personal development work we each need to do, to get back together any time soon. I want him to be happy, however he choses to pursue this. How could I possibly be a good partner to anyone when I can't even do this with myself. A huge reason I felt the need to end things was because of this. After years of struggling with set back after set back, I crumbled to bits. I didn't know myself anymore. I was in pain, numbing it with distractions (internet, movies, housework) and that in turn disintegrated what was left of our romantic relationship. 4) Goals, ambition: ... I wish I had these. I have values, but I feel underserved by them or maybe it's that I don't know what they're good for since I've been in and out of depression all my life. I have a history of mild to medium depressive symptoms, as diagnosed by the numerous practitioners I've seen over the years. I had a tough mother, overprotective, and controlling. She was unable to reason with her kids – her word was "law" in the house. I've been seeing a psychotherapist for the past month, working through childhood issues and how they've manifested in my adulthood. But man, I feel so miserable. I feel broken, lost, and lonely. I know this was a long post. I hope some of you will read it. I have been sinking for a very long time and I don't know how to pull myself up. Take good care of yourselves.
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