I'm 29 and feel like I haven't bloomed yet

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 10, 2012 4:10 AM GMT
    I know you are not supposed to compare yourself to others, but I can't help but notice other gay guys my age who have all these great things going for them in their lives. Successful careers, long term relationships, great social lives, adventure, travel, awesome bodies.

    I have never been in a long term relationship (over 4 months). I grew up in a pretty violent household so ever since I moved out at 18 I had to resocialize myself into the world and feel like I had to start over at square one. I recently lost the job I had and had to move into my parents' house in a strange city where I don't know anybody and feel very isolated from everything. I currently work a part time job as a temp in a developer's office making 1/4 of what I was making before. I am riddled in debt. I can't seem to attract men into my life even though I am good looking. I just feel so stuck.

    I look forward to is going swimming, lifting weights, running, etc. but at the moment I am not involved in any competitive athletics, even though I would like to be, but I don't really have the money to be able to join any type of race right now and being the fall/ winter season there's not much that interests me. I am sitting here in my room on a Friday night with no prospects and nothing going on. I only have $1 in my bank account so I can't go out anyway. My parent's live in a suburban area with no life within walking distance. I moved away from the city and really haven't adjusted.

    It's hard!! I feel like my youth is being wasted right now and that there is something that is sucking the life and vitality out of me. It makes me angry. I don't know what to do.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Nov 10, 2012 6:12 AM GMT
    Wish I knew something to say that would really be of help. Sounds like you're in a very unsatisfactory situation. It is best to not compare yourself to others especially if you're going to come up on the short end of the stick. Or, if you are going to compare yourself, keep in mind there are plenty of people far worse off than you. Also keep in mind that the way people represent themselves to the world is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. What you don't see is what lies beneath the surface. Even guys who look like they've got it all 'together' often don't on other levels.

    I've won and lost a lot in my life and I don't regret much of it. I can tell you that what I concentrate on to make me happy are simple things that most people regard as silly, foolish or just plain unimportant. I love going for walks and looking at trees, houses, people, puppies, clouds. I really get into this. I'm amazed at how much beauty there is everywhere around me when I take the time to look.

    So, for me, its mostly about attitude. I can feel sorry for myself but if I let myself fall into that and stay there I get even more stuck. On the other hand, if I let myself enjoy even very simple things that don't cost much, I often end up smiling, even laughing. I feel my life moving forward from the inside out. I'm old and not very good looking but I just don't give a fuck about that any more. I mean, I'm working on doing what I can with what I've got but I know I'll never be young and 'hot' again, ever. But it would be a total mistake for me to focus my attention on the negatives in my life. I *have* to pay attention to the good stuff. It really is there.

    Hope that doesn't sound stupid or overly simplistic or optimistic. I'm not a Pollyanna type at all. Sometimes life just fucking sucks, no two ways about it. But that isn't all there is, either.
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    Nov 10, 2012 6:15 AM GMT
    Don't worry about it. I've never even been on a date because of a combination of my being in denial about my sexuality and mild social anxiety. I'm still at college at 26 because I'm fickle and switched majors and schools several times racking up debt in the process. Don't have a job and am still living at home. My Friday nights are usually as interesting as yours and also don't have money to piss away.

    I'm kind of in a funk myself too because I really haven't lived my life but I know that things will get better if you make them get better. I've come to the realization that the life will pass you by if you let it and you gotta grab it by the balls if you want something out of it. Oh dammit now I'm all upset too. Happy thoughts... Happy thoughts...
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    Nov 10, 2012 6:20 AM GMT
    How said to hear this from you your. From the other posts you made recently, I never would have guessed you were so down . I wish there were something I could write to make you feel better, but I am sure there really isn't. I remember you said you were going to move to Los Angeles . Do you have friends there you can crash with or rely upon until you find a job there? I remember when I first got out of graduate school, I moved to California with no job, and a small amount of money . The only debts I had were student loans, and I defaulted on them for a while . I knew 2 people out here and crashed with them for a couple weeks . I am sure it was easier for me then than it would be for you now, since there was no recession, and I was several years younger than you are now. If you are going to LA, I would encourage you to move heaven and earth to find a job there so you can get on your feet financially. I would not worry about debts for now. It sounds like there is an awful lot depressing you right now . Somewhere you said that your friends are not around right now anymore . Wherever they have gone, I would telephone them and try talking to them . You could really use the support of a friend . Keep up with your physical activities cover it should make you feel better, at least temporarily . Feel free to email me if you want.
  • araphael

    Posts: 1148

    Nov 10, 2012 8:26 AM GMT
    I was a late, in the closet hetero, bloomer guy. Don't stress out dude. You are still young. You have plenty of time. Ignore the insanity of the gay world obsession with age. 29? Are you kidding me youngster? lol.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Nov 10, 2012 3:55 PM GMT
    i think you should make a giant list of all the things wrong with you/your life, tape it to the mirror, and just stare at it constantly to remind yourself that these things are constants and there's nothing to be done about them... you know, instead of kicking some ass and taking some names.
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    Nov 10, 2012 4:08 PM GMT
    The background story is fake, but I think the values really do speak for themselves: http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_bill_gates_speech.htm

    The world can be a rough place, so saddle up and use that pair of BALLS you got to move forward. It's never too late to turn things around and get back on your feet. If you have no money, improvise with what you DO have and use that to your advantage. On your down time, don't fritter it all away reading those dense 500 page books. Instead, start preparing yourself for what a future employer is going to want to see on your resume. Get creative and teach things to yourself since you have extra free time. When I first moved to NY, I had to stay at a friend's house while looking for jobs. When I finally got one (which wasn't glamorous), an apartment, etc., I would come home from work and start sending out resume's again, teach myself Wordpress, build a website, etc. to increase my chances of getting ahead.

    So work, work, work, and count your blessings! icon_wink.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Nov 10, 2012 4:19 PM GMT
    Comparing yourself to others can really be a "two edged sword". It can be helpful, but can also work to your detriment if you have perceptions that may or may not be true.

    You are different than anybody else. We all have our issues. I'd focus on your own progress, what can you do to build your future? What do you really want and how can you get there?

    You are nice looking, healthy and have your life in front of you. My suggestion is that you develop your own plan to make that life rewarding and successful on your terms. To hell with comparing yourself to other people. If it bothers you, take steps to improve your own life!

    icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 10, 2012 4:35 PM GMT
    A life reboot can happen at any age. I still feel that way at times and I'm a lot older than you. What I've learned from the guys who seem to have it all, is that they don't.

    This may be a low point in your life, but things will change for the better.
  • great_scott

    Posts: 519

    Nov 10, 2012 4:38 PM GMT
    The everyone-is-having-a-great-gay-life-except-me feeling. Been there many times, especially if I'm home alone on a Friday night. Things aren't always what they seem though. Let's gay translate. icon_biggrin.gif

    Long-term relationship (open and empty)
    Great social life (Grindr)
    Adventure (going BB w/the guy from Grindr)
    Travel (Grindr again)
    Awesome bodies (Steroids)

    When you break it down, you're not missing out on much.
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    Nov 10, 2012 4:41 PM GMT
    I know what I DON'T want:

    -I don't want to work in an office.
    -I don't want to live in Sacramento or Northern California.
    -I don't want to be in debt.

    I know what I DO want:

    -I want my own business, I want to be the boss of my life.
    -I want to travel all over the world.


    These are my primitive foundations. Starting from here, I know everything else will work out for me- money, romance, success. I got to do whatever it takes to get these out of the way ASAP!!
    I don't think it will be that hard- my temp job is up in January. By then I will have saved about $2,000 but that will need to be spent very wisely.
    I actually have an agreement signed with a large solar power company to make a commission off of sales to commercial real estate businesses, it's just that I have been putting it off. Now that things are getting seriously fucked up, I am really going back and reexamining doing that. It is possible I could make 6 figures in as little as 6 months which would solve most everything that is getting me down right now.

    This post isn't meant to be a whine, why me, pity party. To put it out here like this makes it REAL, and turns it into a tangible thing that can be manipulated. And also, being brave enough to admit that my life is fucked right now to anybody in the world that may come across it means that I don't submit to fears of judgment from others.
  • aznduderocks

    Posts: 67

    Nov 10, 2012 4:43 PM GMT
    great_scott saidThe everyone-is-having-a-great-gay-life-except-me feeling. Been there many times, especially if I'm home alone on a Friday night. Things aren't always what they seem though. Let's gay translate. icon_biggrin.gif

    Long-term relationship (open and empty)
    Great social life (Grindr)
    Adventure (going BB w/the guy from Grindr)
    Travel (Grindr again)
    Awesome bodies (Steroids)

    When you break it down, you're not missing out on much.


    LOL I like this one. Speak it out loud, scott! icon_razz.gif
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    Nov 10, 2012 4:51 PM GMT
    great_scott saidThe everyone-is-having-a-great-gay-life-except-me feeling.

    Let's gay translate. icon_biggrin.gif

    Long-term relationship (open and empty)
    Great social life (Grindr)
    Adventure (going BB w/the guy from Grindr)
    Travel (Grindr again)
    Awesome bodies (Steroids)

    When you break it down, you're not missing out on much.
    A great post. You really have a knack for words.Www
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    Nov 10, 2012 4:59 PM GMT
    Keep your head up Timeshel. icon_biggrin.gif

    Remember that nothing great happens, unless you make it happen. Keep looking for a job so you can make more money. After that your money problems will definitely be lessened. Once you are happy with you financial relationship, go out and make friends. (Either RJ, other Gay sites, sports events, bars, whatever you're into try to find like-minded friends). After that enjoy love, try getting a boyfriend, and do everything you want.

    I know you can't do anything right now, but just do your best to get out of your current situation, and into a better one. Like is lived one step at a time, so start walking icon_biggrin.gif and Good Luck!
  • PaulyFL

    Posts: 28

    Nov 10, 2012 6:42 PM GMT
    Dude, I'm 48 and feel like I haven't bloomed yet!
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Nov 10, 2012 7:17 PM GMT
    A flower wilts shortly after it blooms, so just try to enjoy where you're at in life.icon_smile.gif
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    Nov 22, 2012 6:56 PM GMT
    When I was down professionally and financially a few years ago, the only thing that helped me keep going was having a plan. I took conscientious steps to block out any "noise" in my life that didn't relate to the steps in that plan.

    1. I went to my underpaying job each day, but tried my very best while I was there. It put me in the correct mindset of professionalism and readiness, knowing that such an attitude would put me in the right mental space when it was time to move on. ("Success is making your own luck".)

    2. Next, I listened constantly to podcasts of personal finance folks. Some I liked, some I didn't. But the constant, daily stream of calls from other people with financial misfortunes and mistakes, taught me plenty about personal finance. As money came in and I was on an upward trajectory again, I avoided a lot of stupid errors. Check out
    Dave Ramsey http://www.daveramsey.com/home/
    Clark Howard http://www.clarkhoward.com/
    Marketplace Money http://www.marketplace.org/shows/marketplace-money The host Tess Vigland is leaving, but the show is excellent.

    3. I maintained my fitness. It serves three purposes: It keeps you healthy and ensures (provided you have no injuries) that future medical bills will be lower; it occupies your time (important for you since you are in a city you don't like); and can keep you on a regiment so you don't just waste away the hours.

    4. Find some professional training. For me, it was going to grad school, but for you it might be anything at all that can add to your intellectual development so that your "readiness" is sharp. (Again, "Success is making your own luck")

    5. If you need extra cash to build up an emergency fund - get a part-time job.
    Take all that money that you earn and make sure it is earmarked towards whatever future goal you have. I used mine to finance grad school so that I didn't have any debt when I graduated. For you, it might be chipping away at those debts you already have.

    I'll bet that other RJ members could add to this list!

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    Nov 22, 2012 6:58 PM GMT
    This is way to hard to answer here, I wish I could take u out for a long dinner and help you out, I have helped many out of similar quandries
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    Nov 22, 2012 9:08 PM GMT
    Thanks guys, I think things are picking up slowly. I have been feeling a lot more optimistic about my situation lately. When you are thrown to the bottom of a cliff you can either splat or you can spring back higher than before. Happy Thanksgiving icon_wink.gif
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    Nov 22, 2012 9:26 PM GMT
    Wish u my bests. Never been there, but what has worked for is focus on something in particular, never stop thinking about it, and think positively, like YOU ARE GOING TO ACHIEVE IT no matter what, see yourself doing it... and eventually things will take their path.
    I wouldn't say it if it hadn't work for me... keep your hopes up
  • Havenjock80

    Posts: 428

    Nov 22, 2012 9:31 PM GMT
    Dont take things for granted! When you have breath in your lungs - you can create anything you want just out of your own imagination. Some don't have the freedom to do that! take it a day at a time... build happiness out of what you have and create a future towards what you want...
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    Nov 22, 2012 9:36 PM GMT
    There is no set order for people to go through life events. I know society expects everyone to be graduated from college at 22 and have begun their career at 24. I do not know this mold. I dropped out of College at 21 and did not step foot back into College till I was 30.

    My household involved my step father always trying to butch me up, never let me play with my sister, even forbade me from playing female video game characters! I think he knew I was gay even at that age.

    I think you are just in a slump, try to make some new friends and I think you will be able to leave this hole you are in.
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    Nov 22, 2012 9:37 PM GMT
    If it ever seems like you're going backwards, just think of it as preparing for a bigger run up

    Best of luck mate, you'll do grad
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    Nov 22, 2012 9:50 PM GMT
    My comments in GREEN.

    WARNING: For some of you this may be TL;DR.

    timshel saidI know you are not supposed to compare yourself to others, but I can't help but notice other gay guys my age who have all these great things going for them in their lives. Successful careers, long term relationships, great social lives, adventure, travel, awesome bodies.


    Long ago, I somebody told me, "Comparison with others is the root of unhappiness". As I pondered this man's words, I realized that he was right. From that lesson shared, and as hard as it is not to do this, I learned how to "change the channel" when my mind tunes into this negative vibe. You can do it too. It takes practice.

    I've also learned to take it one step further. I now can feel joy for friends and family who are "living the life".

    Also, remember that "success" is relative and is specific to the individual, the individual's situation, and the individual's opportunities and challenges. There are choices and tradeoffs for everything related to "success". Keep in mind that some who may seem outwardly "successful", my inwardly be in agony or may be dealing with consequences which comes with their "success" which in analysis...you may not want.


    timshel said
    I have never been in a long term relationship (over 4 months). I grew up in a pretty violent household so ever since I moved out at 18 I had to resocialize myself into the world and feel like I had to start over at square one. I recently lost the job I had and had to move into my parents' house in a strange city where I don't know anybody and feel very isolated from everything. I currently work a part time job as a temp in a developer's office making 1/4 of what I was making before. I am riddled in debt. I can't seem to attract men into my life even though I am good looking. I just feel so stuck.


    I feel your pain. Although I did not grow up in a violent household, I too can relate to having had my lifestyle change from well up into a "6-figure" income (with nearly $40k quarterly income tax payments) to times when I have had 6-figure credit card debt and not enough income to buy a cup of coffee. Remember, "all things come to pass, not to stay". Keep doing the right things. Keep moving forward. Be creative in crafting your own opportunities to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Don't be afraid to ask others for help. The answer is by default "No", unless you ask.

    Also, I've found that while I'm working through more basic "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs" issues, men are the least of my problems and might actually bring more stress and headache to your situation. I keep it all in perspective. I consider myself rather "good looking" (for age 47) and have more aspects to who I am that make me quite "a catch". However, because of the turbulence which my life is still going through in regards to my more basic needs, I'm more than happy to be single. I don't need somebody else's drama in my life right now. And, bf's are drama. Even when they're good bf's.


    timshel said
    I look forward to is going swimming, lifting weights, running, etc. but at the moment I am not involved in any competitive athletics, even though I would like to be, but I don't really have the money to be able to join any type of race right now and being the fall/ winter season there's not much that interests me.


    Staying physically and mentally fit is critical to survival. And, survival is fundamentally what I focus upon. As long as I keep waking up alive, that means that somehow I "played the hand" that we dealt to me the day before, that I'm still in the game. Anxiety, anger, and other negative emotions will eat you alive if you let them. Cardio seems to help me transform anxiety into positive, forward motivated energy. Weight training seems to help transform anger, frustration, and other strong negative emotions into physical strength and, well, a hotter body. It's always a good time to go to the gym. It's especially a good time to go when you do not want to go, or are depressed.

    timshel said
    I am sitting here in my room on a Friday night with no prospects and nothing going on. I only have $1 in my bank account so I can't go out anyway. My parent's live in a suburban area with no life within walking distance. I moved away from the city and really haven't adjusted.


    You're a Millenial. Your world growing up was that your generation was poised to change and rescue the world from the excesses of previous generations. Your's was the first generation of the new Millenium. Millenials were taught and told that they could do anything and that opportunity would be yours for the choosing. Upward mobility to the top would be natural for such a talented and gifted generation. Reward for changing and rescuing the world would be plentiful and well earned.

    Then the Global Financial Crisis hit and has been a slowly unfolding catastrophe (as opposed to a sudden catastrophe like an earthquake). The world has been working through this "slowmotion disaster" for the past 4 years, and has changed what was a very hopeful place of unbounded opportunity, into the economic and social miasma that we all are experiencing today.

    It's a changed landscape. Almost post-apocalyptic. Adaptation to change is now your best friend to both survive so that you might eventually thrive.

    You may have hard choices ahead of you. You may have to get way out of your comfort zone. You may have to not only embrace "change", but also become "change". At 29, you're still young enough to handle them with courage, stamina, and verve. Have you ever "Started from Zero"? You know. Just left everything behind except what will fit in a backpack and just pick up and move to somewhere new where opportunity may await? Have you considered the Peace Corps? Have you considered going overseas to someplace like India and living in a village making your living teaching English to children? Have you ever considered volunteering your time probono in a strategic role for a nonprofit organization to get experience which you would never get in the for-profit world during these times when only low-value, low-paying jobs exist?

    "Yeah, that's easy for you to say."
    Yes, it is easy for me to say because I have made hard choices, abandoned my comfort zone and have become "change" incarnate.


    (Part II of my response in the next post)



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    Nov 22, 2012 9:52 PM GMT
    (Part II from previous TL;DR post)

    timshel said

    It's hard!! I feel like my youth is being wasted right now and that there is something that is sucking the life and vitality out of me. It makes me angry. I don't know what to do.


    Oh boy, Tim. I know exactly how you must be feeling. When I first faced my similar situation AT AGE 44, I was having some of the same thoughts and feelings. I also did not know what to do. So, I sat and thought about it.

    I immediately took suicide off the table because that's a permanent solution to what I knew was just a temporary problem (and I didn't know that "temporary" could mean 3+ years). Besides, killing myself would "take me out of the game" and I knew in hindsight from wanting to commit suicide at age 15 that if I had offed myself at 15 I would have missed a whole lot of great living experiences (both joyful and painful).

    I realized that if I sat and did nothing, I would die. And, I would probably die alone, cold, hungry, miserable, and if I was lucky in a card board box for some privacy. So, doing nothing was a less preferred option. That meant crawling into bed and pulling the sheets over my head was not "the next right thing to do".

    I got rid of just about everything I had so that I could "travel light". "Less is more" when you have to be agile and flexible.

    I then took the highest paying jobs I could, even if it was only for a few hours a week. This left me lots of time to devote to doing "high-value" probono work for nonprofits where I was learning, growing, AND getting valuable "resume currency". Soon, what I was doing for free, I was getting paid $150/hour or more doing. This is where I am now on "the curve".

    I'm now at a point where I've got the creds, network, and know-how to start-up a nonprofit...one which is creating jobs for Veterans. In the process of helping others to get what they want, I will get what I need in the form of a job which I have created myself and in collaboration with others who are in the same boat as me. Together, we are helping each other as a community.

    I'm still having my financial challenges. I'm slowly working myself out of debt. I'm slowly getting back on top of the curve. I still walk by restaurants and look in the window at the smiling happy people eating and drinking...while I chow on hard boiled eggs, trail mix, and bananas. I still walk through The City seeing people going to movies, shows, sporting events, and other things that take money to do...while I sit in a "free place" with my laptop computer, my own coffee from home (cheaper to make than to buy at Sbux or Peets) working on something, studying something, adding more "resume currency" to toolbox.

    And, I am grateful that on Thanksgiving that even though I'm not going over to anybody's house for a "feast", that I'm still alive, still moving forward, and still creating my own future while also creating hopeful futures for others.


    Tim, you're not alone. Millions of people around the world are going through what we are going through. It just means that we have to change, we have to reprioritize (sometimes hourly), and most of all develop "personal resilience".

    Hang in there. Please feel free to PM me if you need someone with whom to "bounce ideas". I'm also here to listen to a little crying and whining, but be prepared for me to kick you in the ass, tell you to "suck it up" and move forward.

    That's what friends are for. :-)


    Aloha and Be Well!
    Alan