So, after leaving a comment on a fellow blogger’s recent post about “finding yourself,” I felt like maybe I should vent. Here.

My comment:

I went through a lot of this “finding myself” crap in my 20s, including moving across the country (mostly, to escape a lot of thing) and living my life how I thought I should be living it… but in the eyes of others — writing about all my mistakes and turmoil via a decade-long blog that was most definitely written to sound like my life was awesome, regardless of all the buillshit.

I had my shit together for a little while, but here I am, at 36, having a breakdown on a daily basis trying to figure out how the hell did I get here? I feel like I have zero direction in life and so many things I still want to do — with too many rough patches (they feel extended now, for some reason) for one person. I feel more a “messy, terrified cog” at this point in my 30s, then I did in my 20s. Maybe because I felt like those things are supposed to happen in your 20s. (??)

By 36, I should have my life together, right? *sigh* I don’t know if that helps one bit, but I guess I find some solace to commiserate in numbers.

What do you do when passion wanes for one thing — something you used to love and feel changed by… changes? Leave it, and find something else? Rediscover (somehow) the passion?

Naturally, I am inclined to go about the discovery route, but what if I’m wrong? This is about relationships, but not romantic relationships… or maybe not really about relationships at all. Although I’m sure it could be. I don’t know why there is still a sense of “needing to belong” or a “sense of purpose” for women in their 30s, but… it’s there. Just being is no way to live, it seems — especially, when alone. I mean, do I really need a job or a degree to define me? It seems, yes, especially if you need funds to cultivate passions and friendships. And don’t want to get those looks from strangers when you tell them you only work part-time in a zoo. A stranger’s rejection hurts as much as romantic rejection. And then there is this “grass is always greener” façade — that you don’t know if this would happen here or there, or under different circumstances or places. Or, people. But it feels like it would be different because no one is showing you otherwise. My situation isn’t necessary about being overtly snubbed, but rather ignored.

I feel like an outsider.

So many damn feelings, and yet, so much life hanging in the balance. Or, is it “in the valance”? And yes, this is incredibly and intentionally vague because… well, life is complicated.

More reading:
Sense of Belonging Increases Meaningfulness of Life {from PsyBlog}

5 Reasons You’re Feeling More Emotional Lately – stress, natch. {via PsychCentral}

This article, about social rejection and the brain dealing with that kind of pain, might be of interest too. {also from PsyBlog}

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  • themoderngal

    I can somewhat relate. I spent my 20s running and hiding from tough situations, whether by moving, changing jobs or just ignoring dealing with tough situations. My life probably looked a lot more interesting on the outside, but it royally sucked in so many ways. Now I’ve slowed and settled down and started trying to deal with hard stuff head on, face first. And yet, it still royally sucks in so many ways, and I can’t help but wonder if I should just move, change jobs, etc. Both leaving and staying seemed to have failed me, so I have no idea what to do or what feelings to trust anymore. I don’t know what it means to be myself, much less where to find me. I agree that most people who project supreme confidence in themselves are probably hiding a whole lot of shit below the surface.

    • Mel

      YES! Exactly this!