T Nation

Jaded


#1

Could be a song title about something, but it isn't.

Seriously though, I feel incredibly jaded about everything. Career, life, relationships, etc. About the only thing I still get psyched up for is the gym (will be doing my first competition soon).

The funny thing is I never used to be so....apathetic. I suppose depression could characterize how I feel on some level, but there is a deeper "who gives a shit" feeling that I just cant shake.

For example, I want to move my career forward, I want more intellectual challenges, Id like a long term relationship, some inner peace, etc, but deep down there is this feeling, like it is a waste of time and it greys out the picture - smooth's the gradients if you will. I really don't like this feeling and I have been trying hard to fight it, but the times when I don't feel completely apathetic are transient and whatever I am doing isn't working.

I am 25 FWIW, and prior to the last year or so I was one hell of a fighter. Anything that got in my way I would get up and steam roll the issue and move forward. I was very focused and had a very clear picture of what I wanted in life and now it is getting murky and ambiguous. I feel tired of everything despite wanting to achieve. I don't feel like it is really me deep down, but I cant help but just want to move to Miami, become a bar tender, live a simple life, and never put effort into anything again haha.

Very strange, I have no idea what to do though.


#2

Not to be a dick, but you are 25 and you will not be the same person at 35.

Work on having more patience.

Good luck.


#3

Funny how that works. This is actually pretty common (to the point that I’d consider “normal”) among nearly everyone I’ve known in any sort of STEM field. Not so much with doctors, lawyers, accountants, but definitely with people who do problem solving for a living. (Not to say there isn’t problem solving, but it’s different.)

Probably the worst part of it is you rarely see it coming. Self-awareness needs a lot of work and time to develop. Give me something external and tell me to fix it, and I can figure it out, no matter how ridiculously difficult it might be. But have me look at myself and try to fix the way I “feel”… well, I was basically incompetent.

Getting some perspective almost always helps. One of the things I stumbled upon awhile ago:

You’re born. You die. And you, literally, can do whatever the hell you want in between those two.

Any complexity beyond that is self-imposed. You get to choose everything else you let into your life, and you get to choose what things get to affect you and what doesn’t.

And some of it is just perspective on how much of this really is self-imposed.

Something upsets you because it’s not how you think it should be? That’s on you. Nothing wrong with wanting to change and improve the world as you see fit, but be careful that you don’t let those thoughts come back and bite you. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the trap of feeling bad because real reality isn’t matching your imagined reality. Logically, it makes zero sense that you would feel bad about something that doesn’t even exist, but most people do it all the time.

If you could be doing exactly what you want, living the life you want right now, what would that be? So what’s keeping you from doing that? And why not? What thoughts and ideas have you adopted that are holding you back? Are those thoughts still adding value to your life, or are they holding you back elsewhere? Where did you get those ideas from anyway?

For example, some people complain about living in a crappy neighborhood, with this and that and all this other stuff they don’t like. And then someone suggests “if you hate it so much, why don’t you just leave?”. And they come up with excuses, all over the place. But when it gets down to it, they’ve stayed for various reasons, things like “this is my home”, and “I’m afraid of new things/I prefer familiarity”, and “all my friends are here/I don’t want to abandon my friends”. Once they boil it down to the core ideas, it’s much easier to understand the choices they are or aren’t making. There’s nothing implicitly right or wrong with any of that, but it’s usually beneficial and empowering when you own up to the ideas that led you to where you are. Things move from “I can’t leave”, to “this is where I choose to be right now, because such and such”. Or they decide to leave, whatever, but they’re no longer emotionally powerless.

(Apologies for the longwinded example)

You can go through various thought experiments like that and just work backward to better understand all these things that make you, you. And then, working forward with that information you learned about yourself, you can make changes that bring you closer to the person you want to be.

You live, you die. Everything else beyond that matters as much or as little as you choose for it to.


#4

[quote]Aero51 wrote:

The funny thing is I never used to be so…apathetic. I suppose depression could characterize how I feel on some level, but there is a deeper “who gives a shit” feeling that I just cant shake.[/quote]

Ya, that’s what mild depression is.

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Very strange, I have no idea what to do though. [/quote]

Move to Miami and become a bartender.

Duh.


#5

[quote]magick wrote:

[quote]Aero51 wrote:

The funny thing is I never used to be so…apathetic. I suppose depression could characterize how I feel on some level, but there is a deeper “who gives a shit” feeling that I just cant shake.[/quote]

Ya, that’s what mild depression is.
[/quote]

Yup. People often misunderstand depression; it’s a sneaky fucker.


#6

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Could be a song title about something, but it isn’t.

Seriously though, I feel incredibly jaded about everything. Career, life, relationships, etc. About the only thing I still get psyched up for is the gym (will be doing my first competition soon).

The funny thing is I never used to be so…apathetic. I suppose depression could characterize how I feel on some level, but there is a deeper “who gives a shit” feeling that I just cant shake.

For example, I want to move my career forward, I want more intellectual challenges, Id like a long term relationship, some inner peace, etc, but deep down there is this feeling, like it is a waste of time and it greys out the picture - smooth’s the gradients if you will. I really don’t like this feeling and I have been trying hard to fight it, but the times when I don’t feel completely apathetic are transient and whatever I am doing isn’t working.

I am 25 FWIW, and prior to the last year or so I was one hell of a fighter. Anything that got in my way I would get up and steam roll the issue and move forward. I was very focused and had a very clear picture of what I wanted in life and now it is getting murky and ambiguous. I feel tired of everything despite wanting to achieve. I don’t feel like it is really me deep down, but I cant help but just want to move to Miami, become a bar tender, live a simple life, and never put effort into anything again haha.

Very strange, I have no idea what to do though. [/quote]

I don’t mean to come off as a dick, but you don’t even know what jaded is. There’s nothing you said that gives the impression of jaded. Tired maybe. Sick and tired even, but jaded, no. Hell, you sound downright perky.
Jaded comes from being kicked in the teeth, repeatedly, over and over and over by the people you care about and trust the most. Once you’ve had your head kicked in and you suffered at the hands of truly evil people then you’ll know jaded.
Hell, I am not even jaded, but I am damn close.


#7

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Could be a song title about something, but it isn’t.

[/quote]

And this was the first the thing that popped into my head when I saw the thread title. Maybe the lyrics will help, the song certainly should pick you up.


#8

[quote]pat wrote:

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Could be a song title about something, but it isn’t.

Seriously though, I feel incredibly jaded about everything. Career, life, relationships, etc. About the only thing I still get psyched up for is the gym (will be doing my first competition soon).

The funny thing is I never used to be so…apathetic. I suppose depression could characterize how I feel on some level, but there is a deeper “who gives a shit” feeling that I just cant shake.

For example, I want to move my career forward, I want more intellectual challenges, Id like a long term relationship, some inner peace, etc, but deep down there is this feeling, like it is a waste of time and it greys out the picture - smooth’s the gradients if you will. I really don’t like this feeling and I have been trying hard to fight it, but the times when I don’t feel completely apathetic are transient and whatever I am doing isn’t working.

I am 25 FWIW, and prior to the last year or so I was one hell of a fighter. Anything that got in my way I would get up and steam roll the issue and move forward. I was very focused and had a very clear picture of what I wanted in life and now it is getting murky and ambiguous. I feel tired of everything despite wanting to achieve. I don’t feel like it is really me deep down, but I cant help but just want to move to Miami, become a bar tender, live a simple life, and never put effort into anything again haha.

Very strange, I have no idea what to do though. [/quote]

I don’t mean to come off as a dick, but you don’t even know what jaded is. There’s nothing you said that gives the impression of jaded. Tired maybe. Sick and tired even, but jaded, no. Hell, you sound downright perky.
Jaded comes from being kicked in the teeth, repeatedly, over and over and over by the people you care about and trust the most. Once you’ve had your head kicked in and you suffered at the hands of truly evil people then you’ll know jaded.
Hell, I am not even jaded, but I am damn close.[/quote]

That post was ok… until the last bit of the last sentence that changed it all. You are a comic genius.


#9

[quote]Derek542 wrote:
Not to be a dick, but you are 25 and you will not be the same person at 35.

Work on having more patience.

Good luck. [/quote]

This is so true. I felt “jaded” at 25 as well. Married, first child on the way, working 60 hours a week at my first “big job”, no personal time. Everything was for wife and family. She left me for her ex boyfriend from college a couple years later and almost broke me mentally.

I’m 39 now and have been deployed twice, seen the world and have watched my daughter grow up on her way to becoming a beautiful strong young woman. Believe me when I say that life can turn around in an instant.

I’ve been up and down, had great romances, horrible heartaches, great jobs that I’ve been fired from (PTSD is a bitch) only to fall into another great job. I’ve lost military brothers after making it through a deployment only to come home and take their own lives.

All the cliche sayings you hear hold some truth and sometimes depression needs to be chemically masked (by a certified doctor) or treated but I think that you’ll make it through because the gym and the iron are the only thing that have helped me keep my sanity when it seemed my entire life was crumbling around me.

Henry Rollins (cliche inspirational quote, google The Iron by Rollins for the whole thing, highly suggested)

“The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.”


#10

[quote]SIM37 wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:
Not to be a dick, but you are 25 and you will not be the same person at 35.

Work on having more patience.

Good luck. [/quote]

This is so true. I felt “jaded” at 25 as well. Married, first child on the way, working 60 hours a week at my first “big job”, no personal time. Everything was for wife and family. She left me for her ex boyfriend from college a couple years later and almost broke me mentally.

I’m 39 now and have been deployed twice, seen the world and have watched my daughter grow up on her way to becoming a beautiful strong young woman. Believe me when I say that life can turn around in an instant.

I’ve been up and down, had great romances, horrible heartaches, great jobs that I’ve been fired from (PTSD is a bitch) only to fall into another great job. I’ve lost military brothers after making it through a deployment only to come home and take their own lives.

All the cliche sayings you hear hold some truth and sometimes depression needs to be chemically masked (by a certified doctor) or treated but I think that you’ll make it through because the gym and the iron are the only thing that have helped me keep my sanity when it seemed my entire life was crumbling around me.

Henry Rollins (cliche inspirational quote, google The Iron by Rollins for the whole thing, highly suggested)

“The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.”[/quote]

Good post. And thanks for your service, SIM.


#11

Thanks.

I think the source of these feelings is has partially to do with working on things that have no meaning to me. That might sound silly, as there are plenty of people who see work as just means to an income, but to me it is more personal. Basically, I derive a lot of my self worth from the work I do. I need to be doing something meaningful, to myself and people as a whole, otherwise I get this sensation that my work is “a waste of time”.

Maybe Ive been thinking more about this because my mom is getting worse with her MS (she is bed ridden with dementia), and my dad’s memory is starting to go too. I guess it feels stupid and meaningless to be stuck inside doing BS work, when there are real and much more serious problems that need solving. I have a hard time taking it seriously.

I think maybe this is also bringing me to the realization that I hate the field that I studied and the realization that if I continue my career in this direction I’ll never feel fulfilled. It is odd because I really enjoyed what I was studying in undergrad (aerospace engineering), but I also remember wanting to switch majors (to dual major in psychology and mathematics). My Dad thought I should have been an FBI agent and I considered that too. Why I chose engineering, I don’t know, but it felt right at the time.


#12

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Thanks.

I think the source of these feelings is has partially to do with working on things that have no meaning to me. That might sound silly, as there are plenty of people who see work as just means to an income, but to me it is more personal. Basically, I derive a lot of my self worth from the work I do. I need to be doing something meaningful, to myself and people as a whole, otherwise I get this sensation that my work is “a waste of time”. Maybe Ive been thinking more about this because my mom is getting worse with her MS (she is bed ridden with dementia), and my dad’s memory is starting to go too. I guess it feels stupid and meaningless to be stuck inside doing BS work, when there are real and much more serious problems that need solving. I have a hard time taking it seriously.

I think maybe this is also bringing me to the realization that I hate the field that I studied and the realization that if I continue my career in this direction I’ll never feel fulfilled. It is odd because I really enjoyed what I was studying in undergrad (aerospace engineering), but I also remember wanting to switch majors (to dual major in psychology and mathematics). My Dad thought I should have been an FBI agent and I considered that too. Why I chose engineering, I don’t know, but it felt right at the time. [/quote]

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I majored in Information Systems and was psyched about it. After graduation I was still psyched and loved working with computers and networks. After a few years though it became “a grind”. Something I do because the money is decent. Such is life for a majority of people. I am not belittling your need to be fulfilled but I think a lot of people go through life working a job they aren’t really interested in to earn money and find their fulfillment through other activities (golf, watching sports, playing instruments, etc.).

I’m not trying to be an advice columnist here, just lending a supportive listening ear. Sometimes getting it out and bouncing it off someone helps.


#13

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Thanks.

I think the source of these feelings is has partially to do with working on things that have no meaning to me. That might sound silly, as there are plenty of people who see work as just means to an income, but to me it is more personal. Basically, I derive a lot of my self worth from the work I do. I need to be doing something meaningful, to myself and people as a whole, otherwise I get this sensation that my work is “a waste of time”.

Maybe Ive been thinking more about this because my mom is getting worse with her MS (she is bed ridden with dementia), and my dad’s memory is starting to go too. I guess it feels stupid and meaningless to be stuck inside doing BS work, when there are real and much more serious problems that need solving. I have a hard time taking it seriously.

I think maybe this is also bringing me to the realization that I hate the field that I studied and the realization that if I continue my career in this direction I’ll never feel fulfilled. It is odd because I really enjoyed what I was studying in undergrad (aerospace engineering), but I also remember wanting to switch majors (to dual major in psychology and mathematics). My Dad thought I should have been an FBI agent and I considered that too. Why I chose engineering, I don’t know, but it felt right at the time. [/quote]

Don’t know if this is feasible for you, but go back to school or study what you want and start DOING it. If it’s not feasible (I’m going to bet it IS feasible given previous conversations and allusion made by you) then seek out fulfilling activities outside of your normal routine - you’ll be surprised by what you find once you get involved in whatever organization with whom you choose to align.

I’m involved in two worthy (to me) community organizations of some high profile and have managed to work my way onto the executive committee of one and am working on accomplishing meaningful things with the other. In one org. we introduce the sport of rowing and all its potential networks to kids who otherwise would/could not have access to the sport due to socio-economic conditions within our area. It’s produced fruitful avenues and opportunities for a lot of these kids and a few have gone on to get 4 yr scholarships for rowing through us.

Point is, DOING is the key, sitting and wallowing in self pity won’t do any good (not implying that is what you’re doing, but the evidence I have is suggestive).


#14

Perspective can be a very healthy thing.

Look at the events just 100 years ago in Europe. Would you want to trade places with one of those guys in a front line trench?

Jump ahead a few years and put yourself in Europe or the South Pacific. Again, no picnic.

How about growing up today and living in Sub Sahara Africa?

Quick Question: Can you have happiness without gratitude ??

Again, perspective is a healthy thing.

mf


#15

[quote]MudFlap wrote:
Perspective can be a very healthy thing.

Look at the events just 100 years ago in Europe. Would you want to trade places with one of those guys in a front line trench?

Jump ahead a few years and put yourself in Europe or the South Pacific. Again, no picnic.

How about growing up today and living in Sub Sahara Africa?

Quick Question: Can you have happiness without gratitude ??

Again, perspective is a healthy thing.

mf

[/quote]

This.

When I was a couple of years older than you, I was pissed that my raise wasn’t commiserate with my effort. Then I went to visit a friend of mine, 22 who was dying of testicular cancer. Young kid, good guy, had a toddler, and was dying, quickly.

I went home, kissed my wife, my son and went to work the next day feeling pretty damn solid about my situation.

Anytime I start feeling sorry about myself or my life I like to look at the picture attached or watch a good war movie/documentary. (Vietnam in HD on Netflix is great.)


#16

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
I think maybe this is also bringing me to the realization that I hate the field that I studied and the realization that if I continue my career in this direction I’ll never feel fulfilled. It is odd because I really enjoyed what I was studying in undergrad (aerospace engineering)[/quote]

Something about aerospace engineering appealed to you, or you wouldn’t have done it.

I’d suggest figuring out what that was and pursuing it.

Early in your career generally sucks, because you’ll never be doing the stuff you really want to be doing. It takes time to build a reputation, as well as understand the politics (a necessary thing to learn, and isn’t so evil once you learn it), in order to position yourself to do the things you want. Sometimes that means going over a few people’s heads, sometimes it means befriending the people who are working on projects more like what you want to be doing, sometimes it means finding another job.

Based on some of the comments you’ve made elsewhere, I think you know that already though. You just need to start doing some work toward that.

But in the meanwhile, there’s a ton of hobbyist stuff out there related to both the aeronautical and space side of things. If that’s the kind of stuff you wanted to work on, you can go play and experiment with things as a hobby (but apply some of the actual professional knowledge you have), and use that. You’ve got some amount of entertainment there, a learning tool, and if you use it right, something you can use to further advance your career.

I know a number of people who did cool stuff on the side, and eventually turned that into their real job. Usually something kind of related to their real job, but sometimes not.

Just use where you are right now as a stepping stone to get to where you want to be.

Minor edit, since I reread your last post.

If you want your work to be meaningful, find something where you can contribute meaningful work toward. Before all this multi-core processor and cloud computing stuff became mainstream, I did a lot of work with a grid-computing project team on the side. It was an offshoot of someone’s university research project that developed into its own thing with a handful of passionate developers and users around the world. This stuff was being used for weather prediction, marine wildlife simulations, gene sequencing, and a number of other large scale things out there.

In my mind, this whole “harnessing unused computational resources” thing was a big deal. It wasn’t anything related to my actual job back then, but gave me some meaning, since I was doing something I believed was important.


#17

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
I think maybe this is also bringing me to the realization that I hate the field that I studied and the realization that if I continue my career in this direction I’ll never feel fulfilled. It is odd because I really enjoyed what I was studying in undergrad (aerospace engineering)[/quote]

Something about aerospace engineering appealed to you, or you wouldn’t have done it.

I’d suggest figuring out what that was and pursuing it.

Early in your career generally sucks, because you’ll never be doing the stuff you really want to be doing. It takes time to build a reputation, as well as understand the politics (a necessary thing to learn, and isn’t so evil once you learn it), in order to position yourself to do the things you want. Sometimes that means going over a few people’s heads, sometimes it means befriending the people who are working on projects more like what you want to be doing, sometimes it means finding another job.

Based on some of the comments you’ve made elsewhere, I think you know that already though. You just need to start doing some work toward that.

But in the meanwhile, there’s a ton of hobbyist stuff out there related to both the aeronautical and space side of things. If that’s the kind of stuff you wanted to work on, you can go play and experiment with things as a hobby (but apply some of the actual professional knowledge you have), and use that. You’ve got some amount of entertainment there, a learning tool, and if you use it right, something you can use to further advance your career.

I know a number of people who did cool stuff on the side, and eventually turned that into their real job. Usually something kind of related to their real job, but sometimes not.

Just use where you are right now as a stepping stone to get to where you want to be.[/quote]


#18

[quote]polo77j wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
I think maybe this is also bringing me to the realization that I hate the field that I studied and the realization that if I continue my career in this direction I’ll never feel fulfilled. It is odd because I really enjoyed what I was studying in undergrad (aerospace engineering)[/quote]

Something about aerospace engineering appealed to you, or you wouldn’t have done it.

I’d suggest figuring out what that was and pursuing it.

Early in your career generally sucks, because you’ll never be doing the stuff you really want to be doing. It takes time to build a reputation, as well as understand the politics (a necessary thing to learn, and isn’t so evil once you learn it), in order to position yourself to do the things you want. Sometimes that means going over a few people’s heads, sometimes it means befriending the people who are working on projects more like what you want to be doing, sometimes it means finding another job.

Based on some of the comments you’ve made elsewhere, I think you know that already though. You just need to start doing some work toward that.

But in the meanwhile, there’s a ton of hobbyist stuff out there related to both the aeronautical and space side of things. If that’s the kind of stuff you wanted to work on, you can go play and experiment with things as a hobby (but apply some of the actual professional knowledge you have), and use that. You’ve got some amount of entertainment there, a learning tool, and if you use it right, something you can use to further advance your career.

I know a number of people who did cool stuff on the side, and eventually turned that into their real job. Usually something kind of related to their real job, but sometimes not.

Just use where you are right now as a stepping stone to get to where you want to be.[/quote]


[/quote]

Funk thread? Funk thread


#19

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]polo77j wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
I think maybe this is also bringing me to the realization that I hate the field that I studied and the realization that if I continue my career in this direction I’ll never feel fulfilled. It is odd because I really enjoyed what I was studying in undergrad (aerospace engineering)[/quote]

Something about aerospace engineering appealed to you, or you wouldn’t have done it.

I’d suggest figuring out what that was and pursuing it.

Early in your career generally sucks, because you’ll never be doing the stuff you really want to be doing. It takes time to build a reputation, as well as understand the politics (a necessary thing to learn, and isn’t so evil once you learn it), in order to position yourself to do the things you want. Sometimes that means going over a few people’s heads, sometimes it means befriending the people who are working on projects more like what you want to be doing, sometimes it means finding another job.

Based on some of the comments you’ve made elsewhere, I think you know that already though. You just need to start doing some work toward that.

But in the meanwhile, there’s a ton of hobbyist stuff out there related to both the aeronautical and space side of things. If that’s the kind of stuff you wanted to work on, you can go play and experiment with things as a hobby (but apply some of the actual professional knowledge you have), and use that. You’ve got some amount of entertainment there, a learning tool, and if you use it right, something you can use to further advance your career.

I know a number of people who did cool stuff on the side, and eventually turned that into their real job. Usually something kind of related to their real job, but sometimes not.

Just use where you are right now as a stepping stone to get to where you want to be.[/quote]


[/quote]

Funk thread? Funk thread[/quote]


#20