T Nation

A 46 Year Old Man's Life of Regret


#1

I just read this and is struck a chord with me.

http://www.reddit.com/r/tifu/comments/2livoo/tifu_my_whole_life_my_regrets_as_a_46_year_old/

TIFU. More like more whole life really.

Hi, I my name's John. I've been lurking for a while, but I've finally made an account to post this. I need to get my life off my chest. About me. I'm a 46 year old banker and I have been living my whole life the opposite of how I wanted. All my dreams, my passion, gone. In a steady 9-7 job. 6 days a week. For 26 years. I repeatedly chose the safe path for everything, which eventually changed who I was.

Today I found out my wife has been cheating on me for the last 10 years. My son feels nothing for me. I realised I missed my father's funeral FOR NOTHING. I didn't complete my novel, travelling the world, helping the homeless. All these things I thought I knew to be a certainty about myself when i was in my late teens and early twenties. If my younger self had met me today, I would have punched myself in the face. I'll get to how those dreams were crushed soon.

Let's start with a description of me when I was 20. It seemed only yesterday when I was sure I was going to change the world. People loved me, and I loved people. I was innovative, creative, spontaneous, risk-taking and great with people. I had two dreams. The first, was writing a utopic/dystopic book. The second, was travelling the world and helping the poor and homeless. I had been dating my wife for four years by then. Young love. She loved my spontaneity, my energy, my ability to make people laugh and feel loved. I knew my book was going to change the world. I would show the perspective of the 'bad' and the 'twisted', showing my viewers that everybody thinks differently, that people never think what the do is wrong. I was 70 pages through when i was 20. I am still 70 pages in, at 46. By 20, I had backpacking around New Zealand and the Phillipines. I planned to do all of Asia, then Europe, then America (I live in Australia by the way). To date, I have only been to New Zealand and the Phillipines.

Now, we get to where it all went wrong. My biggest regrets. I was 20. I was the only child. I needed to be stable. I needed to take that graduate job, which would dictate my whole life. To devote my entire life in a 9-7 job. What was I thinking? How could I live, when the job was my life? After coming home, I would eat dinner, prepare my work for the following day, and sleep at 10pm, to wake up at 6am the following day. God, I can't remember the last time I've made love to my wife.

Yesterday, my wife admitted to cheating on me for the last 10 years. 10 years. That seems like a long time, but i can't comprehend it. It doesn't even hurt. She says it's because I've changed. I'm not the person I was. What have I been doing in the last 10 years? Outside of work, I really can't say anything. Not being a proper husband. Not being ME. Who am I? What happened to me? I didn't even ask for a divorce, or yell at her, or cry. I felt NOTHING. Now I can feel a tear as I write this. But not because my wife has been cheating on me, but because I am now realising I have been dying inside. What happened to that fun-loving, risk-taking, energetic person that was me, hungering to change the world? I remember being asked on a date by the most popular girl in the school, but declining her for my now-wife. God, I was really popular with the girls in high school. In university/college too. But i stayed loyal. I didn't explore. I studied everyday.

Remember all that backpacking and book-writing I told you about? That was all in the first few years of college. I worked part-time and splurged all that I had earned. Now, I save every penny. I don't remember a time I spend anything on anything fun. On anything for myself. What do I even want now?

My father passed ten years ago. I remember getting calls from mom, telling me he was getting sicker and sicker. I was getting busier and busier, on the verge of a big promotion. I kept putting my visit off, hoping in my mind he would hold on. He died, and I got my promotion. I haven't seen him in 15 years. When he died, I told myself it didn't matter what I didn't see him. Being an atheist, I rationalized that being dead, it wouldn't matter anyway. WHAT WAS I THINKING? Rationalizing everything, making excuses to put things off. Excuses. Procrastination. It all leads to one thing, nothing. I rationalized that financial security was the most important thing. I now know, that it definitely is not. I regret doing nothing with my energy, when I had it. My passions. My youth. I regret letting my job take over my life. I regret being an awful husband, a money-making machine. I regret not finishing my novel, not travelling the world. Not being emotionally there for my son. Being a damn emotionless wallet.

If you're reading this, and you have a whole life ahead of you, please. Don't procrastinate. Don't leave your dreams for later. Relish in your energy, your passions. Don't stay on the internet with all your spare time (unless your passion needs it). Please, do something with your life while your young. DO NOT settle down at 20. DO NOT forget your friends, your family. Yourself. Do NOT waste your life. Your ambitions. Like I did mine. Do not be like me.

Sorry for the long post, just had to get it out there.

TL:DR I realised I let procrastination and money stop me from pursuing my passions when I was younger, and now I am dead inside, old and tired.

Edit: I am quite overwhelmed at the response, thank you for your time. I had posted on a whim, and did not expect the reception.

In regards to my post, I must admit I was quite emotional at the time. As I read what I had written earlier, I can't stop myself from noticing an abundance of spelling and grammatical mistakes, phrases that I would not usually say. I don't think I have used Capital Locks so much in my life. However I will not edit them. That would not do it justice.

I have read many of the replies and will try my best to answer the reoccurring questions. I will add that the replies have given me a new perspective of life, Reddit and humanity in general. The amount of encouragement and humour persists to amaze me. Despite my situation, I even found myself laughing at a few of the comments.

What my plans are. I am planning to cut down my hours substantially. I will take a new job if I have to, as I am relatively well-off. I am going to talk to my wife. Divorce is currently not what I have in mind and I hope that our communication and relationship will improve. If it doesn't, then so be it. We will both move on. I see there are quite a number of negative comments about her, however I am going to have to say in her defence, she really is a lovely person. She is smart, empathetic and has a great sense of humour. I'm not saying it was okay for her to do what she did, but she's not an evil person. I know that. We were both in the fault. We let communication dwindle, and with it, our relationship. There is so much more to being a head of house than just being able to bring in the money. A steady balance of emotional connection, love and finance is what I will strive to give.

My son. I don't any anything about him. I really don't. I have unknowingly distanced myself from him; I only see him around dinner time. I do not recall having a proper conversation with him, it's quite preposterous now that I think about it. I'm not exactly sure how I'll start bonding with him, I have become quite a boring person. However, I plan to change that. I refuse to be a poor role model. I will ensure that he does not make the same mistake I did with my family. I have decided I am going to start watching his basketball games and rugby games on Saturdays. I never have, due to work, but I will ensure that I do. Perhaps I will even play video games with him. There was a time I had a collection of SNES games, and I wasn't half bad either. Who knows, I might really connect with my son, and it seems to be something he enjoys.

In regards to the novel and travelling, I admit, I am a different person from my youth. I no longer have the creativity and desire to complete the novel. When I found the long-forgotten 70 pages, the writing was no longer mine. I have changed substantially in 26 years. I am sorry to disappoint as so many of you seemed incredibly keen to read it. However, I am just as excited to read the stories of all of you aspiring writers that have expressed their passion! The travelling, I might still do. Family trips probably, in the school holidays. Maybe with my wife every now and then, if she'd have me.

I can't turn back time and see my father for a final time, though my mother is still alive. She lives in London, so visits are quite difficult. However, I will make an effort to see her. I do love my parents. I only wish I had not prioritised them as I did.

In regards to the advice I have given. I stand by what I said. Live your life. Do not procrastinate and let lethargy stop you. However, I might add, avoid living in poverty. I have had the good fortune to have had never experienced hunger or homelessness. I would imagine chasing your ambitions and being happy would be considerable more difficult without proper nutrition and living standards! I believe someone mentioned their dream was financial stability. I say, that is just as valiant as any dream to have. We are all different and are missing different things in our lives, be honest with yourself and you'll know what you really want. I believe there were arguments upon my language and university/college or what not. I will clarify that, although Australians generally call tertiary education 'university' here, I have made small efforts to pertain to Americans, as they are the main users, at least I assume. And yes, university/college was free when I attended. I believe Australians now are able to attend them relatively free (upfront) and can pay their fees after they graduate.

I believe I have covered the general scope of questions.

P.S. Thank you for the gold, I do appreciate it, but they aren't of real value to me. Perhaps if Reddit ever includes a re-gifting gold feature, I will gift them to some of the commenters. And yes, please stop sending me gold! I also believe someone tried to even donate to me? I assure you, money is not what I read. Please save it for yourself!

I don't think I'll come back to Reddit, unless i hear about a way to re-gift gold. I thank you all for your sympathy, your time, and I wish all the best for those in difficult situations. I have faith in your capacity and ability to change, to become happy, to help yourselves. Because after all, you're the person in the best position to. And no, I am not considering religion, I just do not have the correct mindset. I am logical to the point that I cannot, however that is not to say religion isn't bad, it gives people the hope and sense after death which I really do envy.

Sincerest of Regards,

John.


#2

The writing is very banal and lacking of specifics. If John is a real person, I hope he finds meaning in his lifetime.


#3

I liked it. Nice to hear of someone “waking up” finally. A lot better for it to happen at 46 than 76 and on your deathbed.


#4

That sub-section is Reddit’s depressing version of Dear Penthouse.


#5

Do we really care about people in Australia?


#6

[quote]Derek542 wrote:
Do we really care about people in Australia? [/quote]

nope

noguns = nofuns


#7

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:
Do we really care about people in Australia? [/quote]

nope

noguns = nofuns

[/quote]
Does anyone care about a 46 year old loser Eunuch?


#8

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:
Do we really care about people in Australia? [/quote]

nope

noguns = nofuns

[/quote]
Does anyone care about a 46 year old loser Eunuch? [/quote]

I’m going to be honest and some people here will take exception but: no.

At 18 I would have laughed at this due, 23 I would have laughed and then thrown up the insane amount of booze I just drank, at 27 I would have from a tropical beach, at 30 I would have laughed at him while practicing to make some babies with my wife, and at about to be 35 I laugh at him as I enjoy my career, love hanging out with my kids and have hobbies, interests and community involvement that fulfills me.

I don’t even feel bad for him… Maybe a touch of pity, but not really.

Enjoying life really isn’t all that hard (assuming your chemical makeup is in order), and this dude really shouldn’t be an inspiration.


#9

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:
Do we really care about people in Australia? [/quote]

nope

noguns = nofuns

[/quote]
Does anyone care about a 46 year old loser Eunuch? [/quote]

I’m going to be honest and some people here will take exception but: no.

At 18 I would have laughed at this due, 23 I would have laughed and then thrown up the insane amount of booze I just drank, at 27 I would have from a tropical beach, at 30 I would have laughed at him while practicing to make some babies with my wife, and at about to be 35 I laugh at him as I enjoy my career, love hanging out with my kids and have hobbies, interests and community involvement that fulfills me.

I don’t even feel bad for him… Maybe a touch of pity, but not really.

Enjoying life really isn’t all that hard (assuming your chemical makeup is in order), and this dude really shouldn’t be an inspiration. [/quote]
That sir is why you and I get along.

Could not agree more.


#10

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

Enjoying life really isn’t all that hard (assuming your chemical makeup is in order), and this dude really shouldn’t be an inspiration. [/quote]

Inspiration wasn’t what I was going for, more of a warning sign. Most people procrastinate their life away, never get half the shit they wanted to experience in life because ‘shit happened’

They work some boring office job their whole life.

They go straight from mother to wife

They don’t do anything interesting at all.


#11

I don’t know if this is even real.

It just reads far too much like the stereotype to me.


#12

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

Enjoying life really isn’t all that hard (assuming your chemical makeup is in order), and this dude really shouldn’t be an inspiration. [/quote]

Inspiration wasn’t what I was going for, more of a warning sign. Most people procrastinate their life away, never get half the shit they wanted to experience in life because ‘shit happened’

They work some boring office job their whole life.

They go straight from mother to wife

They don’t do anything interesting at all.

[/quote]
I call bullshit. Most people fucking lie.

Most people act like fucking victims so they get attention.

More often than not people who are boring are boring cause they are fucking stupid bottom end of the bell curve.

Most people over evaluate their worth and then when they fall short of being the CEO of Microsoft want to call bullshit like this.


#13

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

Enjoying life really isn’t all that hard (assuming your chemical makeup is in order), and this dude really shouldn’t be an inspiration. [/quote]

Inspiration wasn’t what I was going for, more of a warning sign. Most people procrastinate their life away, never get half the shit they wanted to experience in life because ‘shit happened’

They work some boring office job their whole life.

They go straight from mother to wife

They don’t do anything interesting at all.

[/quote]

Yeah man, I didn’t intent for my post to be a commentary on you at all, and I hear where you are coming from.

Just the dude that actually lived it… ugh… F him.


#14

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:
Do we really care about people in Australia? [/quote]

nope

noguns = nofuns

[/quote]
Does anyone care about a 46 year old loser Eunuch? [/quote]

I’m going to be honest and some people here will take exception but: no.

At 18 I would have laughed at this due, 23 I would have laughed and then thrown up the insane amount of booze I just drank, at 27 I would have from a tropical beach, at 30 I would have laughed at him while practicing to make some babies with my wife, and at about to be 35 I laugh at him as I enjoy my career, love hanging out with my kids and have hobbies, interests and community involvement that fulfills me.

I don’t even feel bad for him… Maybe a touch of pity, but not really.

Enjoying life really isn’t all that hard (assuming your chemical makeup is in order), and this dude really shouldn’t be an inspiration. [/quote]

I also agree. You have to work at the life he describes; the grim shuffling to work, grim shuffling home, joyless and sexless in-betweens. And given his tone of self-pity and victimization (though granted he blames himself) I suspect life will continue to present a struggle.

Assuuming any of it is true, which I don’t. It’s off.


#15

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:
Do we really care about people in Australia? [/quote]

nope

noguns = nofuns

[/quote]
Does anyone care about a 46 year old loser Eunuch? [/quote]

I’m going to be honest and some people here will take exception but: no.

At 18 I would have laughed at this due, 23 I would have laughed and then thrown up the insane amount of booze I just drank, at 27 I would have from a tropical beach, at 30 I would have laughed at him while practicing to make some babies with my wife, and at about to be 35 I laugh at him as I enjoy my career, love hanging out with my kids and have hobbies, interests and community involvement that fulfills me.

I don’t even feel bad for him… Maybe a touch of pity, but not really.

Enjoying life really isn’t all that hard (assuming your chemical makeup is in order), and this dude really shouldn’t be an inspiration. [/quote]

I also agree. You have to work at the life he describes; the grim shuffling to work, grim shuffling home, joyless and sexless in-betweens. And given his tone of self-pity and victimization (though granted he blames himself) I suspect life will continue to present a struggle.

Assuuming any of it is true, which I don’t. It’s off. [/quote]

Good point… I don’t see how you just “exist” for a decade or more sexless, joyless, and ignoring your kid without some sort of actual disorder/depression.

If it turns out homeboy was depressed, I’ll take back all the negative shit I said. That’s a whole different ball game.


#16

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

Enjoying life really isn’t all that hard (assuming your chemical makeup is in order), and this dude really shouldn’t be an inspiration. [/quote]

Inspiration wasn’t what I was going for, more of a warning sign. Most people procrastinate their life away, never get half the shit they wanted to experience in life because ‘shit happened’

They work some boring office job their whole life.

They go straight from mother to wife

They don’t do anything interesting at all.

[/quote]
I call bullshit. Most people fucking lie.

Most people act like fucking victims so they get attention.

More often than not people who are boring are boring cause they are fucking stupid bottom end of the bell curve.

Most people over evaluate their worth and then when they fall short of being the CEO of Microsoft want to call bullshit like this.

[/quote]

You’re probably right. Some people sound generic and stereotypical because they are generic and stereotypical. He might be real, I could care less either way.


#17

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

Enjoying life really isn’t all that hard (assuming your chemical makeup is in order), and this dude really shouldn’t be an inspiration. [/quote]

Inspiration wasn’t what I was going for, more of a warning sign. Most people procrastinate their life away, never get half the shit they wanted to experience in life because ‘shit happened’

They work some boring office job their whole life.

They go straight from mother to wife

They don’t do anything interesting at all.
[/quote]

You know, regardless of how I or others read it there is certainly nothing wrong with viewing it as a cautionary tale OR as an inspiration. Whatever makes you live your life well. I agree that many people autopilot through without considering what they’re doing and whether it has value to them. They have my pity. But not my respect.

Life should be lived with purpose and enthusiasm. The same qualities you bring to any pursuit at which you want to excel.


#18

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]EmilyQ wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:
Do we really care about people in Australia? [/quote]

nope

noguns = nofuns

[/quote]
Does anyone care about a 46 year old loser Eunuch? [/quote]

I’m going to be honest and some people here will take exception but: no.

At 18 I would have laughed at this due, 23 I would have laughed and then thrown up the insane amount of booze I just drank, at 27 I would have from a tropical beach, at 30 I would have laughed at him while practicing to make some babies with my wife, and at about to be 35 I laugh at him as I enjoy my career, love hanging out with my kids and have hobbies, interests and community involvement that fulfills me.

I don’t even feel bad for him… Maybe a touch of pity, but not really.

Enjoying life really isn’t all that hard (assuming your chemical makeup is in order), and this dude really shouldn’t be an inspiration. [/quote]

I also agree. You have to work at the life he describes; the grim shuffling to work, grim shuffling home, joyless and sexless in-betweens. And given his tone of self-pity and victimization (though granted he blames himself) I suspect life will continue to present a struggle.

Assuuming any of it is true, which I don’t. It’s off. [/quote]

Good point… I don’t see how you just “exist” for a decade or more sexless, joyless, and ignoring your kid without some sort of actual disorder/depression.

If it turns out homeboy was depressed, I’ll take back all the negative shit I said. That’s a whole different ball game. [/quote]

I mean I see his point in some regards. Sometimes I get the feeling that I pissed away promise by coasting through school and taking the path of least resistance. I hopped on the first job that came along with a pretty low ceiling (public accounting), so the job aspect of it I guess I understand. However letting that spill over into all areas of your life is more on you than anyone else. Hell the main reason I keep the job I have fallen into is because it provides a lot of off time and being given those opportunities to spend with my family are worth me having to trudge through the daily grind.

I originally wanted to be a pediatric oncologist and work at st. Jude, then switched to wanting to go to law school so I went to get an accounting degree. Then I met a girl and just wanted to get a job and start my life so I figured, hey accounting is pretty solid work. Ended up staying with the school district I was working part time for in school and hear I am. A school business manager in training. Not that anyone cares about my life story and not really sure what the point of that was.


#19

life is pretty horrible here on the interwebz -

methinks I should shuffle on out of this precious thread, and head to the gym so’s I can get even more sexy.

(like that is even possible!)


#20

[quote]jbpick86 wrote:

I mean I see his point in some regards. Sometimes I get the feeling that I pissed away promise by coasting through school and taking the path of least resistance. I hopped on the first job that came along with a pretty low ceiling (public accounting), so the job aspect of it I guess I understand. However letting that spill over into all areas of your life is more on you than anyone else. Hell the main reason I keep the job I have fallen into is because it provides a lot of off time and being given those opportunities to spend with my family are worth me having to trudge through the daily grind.

I originally wanted to be a pediatric oncologist and work at st. Jude, then switched to wanting to go to law school so I went to get an accounting degree. Then I met a girl and just wanted to get a job and start my life so I figured, hey accounting is pretty solid work. Ended up staying with the school district I was working part time for in school and hear I am. A school business manager in training. Not that anyone cares about my life story and not really sure what the point of that was.
[/quote]