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    Hi Anita and Gary,

    I know it has been quite some time. Thank you again for your time and feedback o help me out. I have been having a variety of issues/worries that have been endlessly ruminating in my head recent weeks (perhaps a bit of a quarter-life crisis?). I have been reflecting a lot, and wanted someone to share and discuss these thoughts with. Would it be possible to start up a discussion again? Please let me know if you think it might be more appropriate to start a new topic.

    Peace and love,



    Hi Anita,

    Yes, you would be right in saying that belonging in those kinds of groups really would feel like a dream come true, and that I would like to make up for all the times of being outside. I understand that at this point it is fantasy. However, when you say it can’t be done, do you mean this can’t be done in the future, or that I am simply looking too much into the past? I agree that things are often not what they seem and that the grass isn’t really greener.

    I realize it is important to be “you.” But the thing is, the person I desire to be and the person I am are not exactly the same person. I desire to be extroverted and more outgoing. With the starting point being me, and not the fantasy of being inside, how would you suggest I proceed?

    Many thanks!


    Thanks for your quick response! You’re right, I do need to deal with the past before moving ahead. Apologies in advance for the long post:

    To say the least, I have had a pretty good life. I grew up in a stable household, we never had a ton of money, but we also never had to really worry about money or internal family conflict. My parents are both well-educated individuals that originally immigrated to the United States from India. Looking back over my life, my parents taught me a lot about the importance of academics…even in first grade I’d walk around saying I wanted to go to Harvard (side note: I did not go to Harvard). But it seems that somewhere over the years, I lost myself. I can’t quite say my parents taught me a lot about making new friends, having a social life and really just having fun. (Whenever we did talk about being social, it would only be after I, rather unwillingly, would tell them about issues I was having). Being so focused on academics ultimately led me to become rather introverted and reserved. I vaguely remember a few key incidents, maybe in elementary and middle school when I tried to be a little more outgoing, but ultimately led to some awkward situations. I was never really the strongest kid and was picked on a little bit in my younger days. Perhaps subconsciously, these factors led to me being so reserved, and to avoid any slightly embarrassing or awkward situations.

    I played a few sports and instruments here and there, but never got overly involved with anything. Not getting more involved with sports and the performing arts continues to be one of my biggest regrets. I was involved in clubs/organizations in both high school and college, but never really had much of an outlet socially or otherwise. Looking back over the years, I now believe that being so focused on academics took its toll. I’ve really only recently realized that “social health” really is so important and can have implications on other parts of your life. The lack of having much to do beyond academics ultimately caused me to become frustrated very quickly with my schoolwork. I did okay in college at the end of the day, but feel I could have done better if I had a social outlet. There were so many Friday and Saturday nights in college that I spent quietly, with either just a few roommates or on my own. I do have at least a few solid friends I made in college and great memories of going out with them, so that is something. I never really joined any of the more social-oriented clubs in college, another regret of mine. In large part I think this was because I was just so worried about what other people would think of me, and because I feared being judged or rejected. I’m not sure I would even have much to talk about. I also lived in a rather anti-social building my first two years of college, though this was not really a conscious choice.

    It is not uncommon for there to be large circles of family friends in the Indian community. The kids of the families in these circles are generally good friends with each other, grow up together, and continue to remain friends. I don’t quite think I had that growing up. There was also a large indian social club in my college, which going in I wanted to get really involved with for that reason, to have a significant Indian friend group. Something always stopped me from getting involved though, largely from a fear of putting myself out there. By the time I realized I was holding myself back from so much, maybe my sophomore year, I still didn’t go to any of their events thinking I had missed my chance.

    At the end of the day, I desire a large group of friends, Indian and otherwise. I want a group of guys to hangout with, drink a few beers, watch football and basketball, and really just be “one of the guys”. But…I really know nothing about sports. I want a group of guys and girls to hit the town with, grab some drinks, go out to dinner, etc. Side note, but I am really into wedding photography and enjoy looking at blog of various photographers in this industry. I often see large groups of friends at these weddings, presumably from college. Thoughts that often enter my head include “I don’t have such a friend group from college…am I ever gonna get invited to these types of weddings? Who will come to my wedding when I get married?” I think these thoughts largely stem from lacking a solid group of both childhood and college friends, again both Indian and otherwise.

    Gary, to answer your questions a bit more specifically:

    What do you feel has been missing from your friendships?: My roommates (3 other guys) from college were a great group with which I could hangout and just be goofy with. Most of my other friendships (people I met in class, extracurriculars, etc.) never really seemed to get past the surface. I’d like to have more people to hang out with. To be honest, I always felt a little different from other kids and never quite felt like “one of the guys”
    How would you like your new friendships to look – what would be the characteristics or attributes of the friendships? As I said earlier, in a perfect world, I want to be one of the guys. I want to have friends with which to discuss serious issues, but also relax with, be a little crazy with, go out to lunch/dinner on the weekends, bar-hopping, etc.
    How would you describe a friend? A friend is someone you can talk to about matters both serious and personal, someone you can rely on in a time of need. A friend is also someone you can just share a good laugh with and do fun things together.
    How can you be a good friend to someone? I believe I can be a good friend just by reciprocating the things above.
    What are your passions and interests to share with friends? I WANT to be into sports. As of right now though, I really do enjoy exploring new places, being outdoors, trying new restaurants.

    I apologize again for the long rant and the somewhat unorganized post. I just had a lot I needed to get off my chest. I know I am just a recent grad, and I still have many years ahead. But, I want to enjoy these next few years more than I did in the past. I really do look forward to closing this chapter, and opening a new, more satisfying why. As of right now, I just feel very unfulfilled.

    Thank you in advance!!! I truly appreciate it.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 10 months ago by John.
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