Lost motivation in life

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    <p class=”p1″>I’m really struggling to find motivation in life. I’m currently sad because I recently(ish) broke up with someone who turned out not to be who I thought he was, and ended up rejecting me both personally and professionally. However, whilst I’m extremely sad about that, I also realised I’ve never really been happy. Throughout school and university I always felt boring and shy and like I faded into the background. I never had much interest from men, and very few people really wanted to be friends with me.</p>
    <p class=”p1″>Despite this, I really try to be a good person and friend, and am also very passionate and have always strongly pursued my interests (mostly making music and climate change issues, but also politics, art etc). I love science and was working towards becoming a climate scientist- near the end of finishing my PhD I was offered my dream science job abroad, but then began having health problems and had to give it up. Luckily I still managed to finish my PhD and overcame (for now) my health problems.</p>
    <p class=”p1″>Having not had much luck with science, I then joined a band and met a group of really fun and creative people who shared my musical interests. I finally felt like I had met my “tribe”, and had a group of people I clicked with and could hang out with. I ramped up my creative musical activities because I was inspired by them, and felt like I just became a better, more interesting person around them. Unfortunately I also fell in love with one of them, and after a year we finally got together but it didn’t work out, so I had to leave the band.</p>
    <p class=”p1″>I now feel completely adrift- I can’t be a scientist (I’ve been outside of science for too long) and feel like I can’t do music either because there’s no point since I’m no longer trying to “make it” (I’m too old!) and because none of my other friends share my musical interests so what’s the point making music, or doing anything really, if no one will be around to listen or appreciate it? Most of my other friends are moving on with their own lives and getting married etc., so I have no one to go to weird gigs or do things I enjoy with.</p>
    <p class=”p1″>I have also almost never had any romantic success, just a history of failed short relationships and unrequited love on my part. Whilst I believe almost everyone is interesting and good in their own way, I so rarely meet people I truly click with, or who share my interests. I feel like all it would take to make me happy in life is a chance at real love with someone and a group of friends to hang out with who share at least some of my interests. Somewhere decent to live (I had to move home whilst finishing my PhD and am sadly still there) and a job I don’t hate would be nice too (my current job is very boring), but less essential. But I just feel like I’m doomed to feel forever lonely and misunderstood. As such, I feel like there is no point to life as I don’t see things improving. In the past I’ve tried taking evening courses and groups, online dating, making loads of effort with people, but just never really got anywhere. I should also mention I’ve been having therapy for the past year but it hasn’t really helped. I just don’t see the point any more and don’t know what to do :(</p>


    Dear Sarah:

    If you are like a whole lot of people, you are currently re-living the same old- same old childhood experience, especially since you are now living with one or both of your parents:

    “I’ve never really been happy”- you were an unhappy child.

    “I always felt boring and shy and like I faded into the background.. adrift.. no one really around to listen or appreciate (you).. I have no  one… lonely and misunderstood…no point to life as I dont see things improving… “- that was your childhood experience- in the background, no to listen to you, or to appreciate you, or to love you back; lonely and misunderstood.

    Sometimes, as a child, you were filled with that youthful passion for life, and that passion was still there as you got involved with political movements and with that band, but now, that youthful passion is gone, for now.

    When our childhood experience was quite miserable, we keep re-living it. To stop re-living  that childhood experience we need to … I’ll stop my train of thought here (not knowing what I was about to type next), so to ask you: is what I wrote so far making sense to you, is it feeling true to you?



    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by anita.

    Anita my friend, I call you friend because – well, because you’re here!  I’m an introvert who loves being an introvert, and a fan of simplifying everything.  More peace, less stress is my mantra for 2020 and beyond.

    Now about your inner struggle.  I’m expressing this reply from a been-there-experienced-that perspective and hope it clicks with you on some level.  First, just a thought (perhaps this is a quote somewhere, but I just put the words in my own head so here goes):  Too much focus on arriving on time at the right destination will prevent you from appreciating the wonders along the route of your journey.

    You live at home with parents.  So what?  Use this time to gather your strength, build a bit of financial cushion, and generally “patch your boat” before you set sail again.  As for your trouble connecting with the right people, the ones you deem interesting:  is it perhaps that you are trying to hard to BE interesting to them?  For some of us, there is so much passion within about Science, Art, Music, the Environment, and whatever label you give to things-that-truly-matter-to-you, that it comes across as odd when we try to be more like the social-norm we see in others.   It won’t ring true, and others who ARE “socially successful” will cringe at the thought of befriending someone who does not enhance their image.  I stopped trying to fit-into that mold years ago, and simply embraced the fact that I am an outlier on the social bell curve.  I have very few friends, and my relationships aren’t the endorphin-producing thrill rides that I imagine others to have.  That’s fine with me.  Instead, I have become satisfied the quiet and comfortable friendship of self-exploration, learning new things, and observing the wonders of life on this planet.  Yes, I have a job (a boring job) that is nothing like the arts-sciences path I had imagined for myself when I was young, and to add another layer of discomfort, I have to listen to co-workers drivel on about, well, things-that-don’t-matter-to-me.  Every now and then I try to add a couple of comments to the mix, just to stay loosely connected, but then I go back inside my head (or headphones) where I can listen to nature sounds, great music, or podcasts about things that DO really matter to me.  Anyway, this approach, for me, allows me to observe so much that socially-busy people miss.  Their loss.

    Back to you though.  You’ve done a lot of interesting things!  Look back at your post and pick out all the experiences you listed.  Your journey isn’t over.  Just keep going.  You may not be at the destination you had originally in mind, but continue your journey with a new mindset of just enjoying the sights that interest you along the way.  As you do so, you’ll probably find a select few others enjoying those same sights.  Reach out to the ones that seem more like the outliers on the social bell curve.  You’ll find them more eager to connect on that deeper level, about things-that-matter-most.

    And your break-up that made you sad?  Well, it sure sounds like the person who turned out to be less than genuine, is someone you really don’t want in your life anyway.  Be grateful that the universe didn’t stick you with someone who would’ve eventually made you miserable.  I traveled that path for WAY too long in the past, and learned the hard way that staying with someone just to try and hang on the initial thrill is a big mistake.  Instead of looking at it like you were rejected, or the relationship failed, instead think of it as you being saved from what surely would have become a miserable match.

    I’ve gone on too long.  Be Good to Yourself!  You deserve it.  Don’t count on others to be good to you, when you can be your own best care-giver.  Keep reminding yourself of that.  And always, always keep your passions alive, even if it’s just learning new ways to embrace them.

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