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#1 RutgerHauer

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 02:10 PM

Hey you amazing people,

 

I am in a melancholic mood, I want to share something and hope you might be able to give some insight, share some of your own experiences about these things.

I wanted to open a discussion about these topics since I have been struggling with it a lot these past ten years.

 

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I grew up in a family of people who mostly worked to survive - doing simple jobs in factories, being builders, supermarket clerks, cleaners and all such regular jobs. In mijn early teens I noticed I was a bit smarter than most of my family, because of changes in my family - a step dad got into the picture. This new situation distantiated me more and more from my past and extended family, not at all by my own choice, there was some indoctrination going on. I had been pushed to chase after an intellectual career (preferably a doctor of some sorts) at that time in life by the pushy and abusive step dad when I was eleven or twelve years old because he saw my potential to become really anything. I had never before thought this to be a priority having only seen my family as 'laborers' - but I have never really had any ambitions to become anything specific anyway, I have never really developed a vision or ambition for life. Only thing I knew I loved to do was being creative and sports: drawing and basketball.

 

This push got me into the highest school levels from the age of twelve and I was pretty good. Without much effort I managed to get good grades and I was fairly interested in the natural and scientific classes like biology and physics.

From the age of thirteen I got relocated physically pretty far away from my family because the step dad situation had gotten out of hand. We (mother and brother) found a new home in another part of the country and we had to adapt to a new culture. I focussed on performing at school, pushed myself to continue on those highest levels for a few years, until I went back into exploring my creative side. I dabbled in drawing and photoshop, webdesign, photography and later on taught myself to produce music on my computer.. I have learnt quite a few skills this way, but it had also become an escape from responsibility and getting a grip on my new life. I had a small handful of friends at school that supported and motivated me to go this creative route and we could share some of those things.

We also shared drinking from the age of fifteen/sixteen and not much later smoking weed. This became something that went hand in hand with my creative escapades, and made me retreat into all that even more. Some friends I gradually lost and I lost my interest to get new ones. A few stuck around, even though they had soon continued their life without the escapades into drinking and smoking weed like I did. At seventeen/eighteen I didn't want to perform at school anymore and my grades dropped, I saw no reason to stay on the highest level and took a step back so I could finish this shit without any trouble and effort. I didn't want to go to university anyway, I got the idea I might want to do a creative studies like art or music.

 

My friends went to university, I was unsure what to do so I got into a cleaning job. Not very challenging but it was something to do and a way to pay for my weekend beer and weed. I never really kept any job very long and soon I found myself working as a garbage man, clerk in stores at train stations - and eventually applied to attend music production studies.

 

This music and arts thing even while choosing to study, had just become a bigger distraction and escape. I really wasn't interested in studying and only produced music in my own way and at my own time, I felt like I was beyond my classmates anyway and the classes were not challenging or interesting enough for what I wanted to do. At that time I began to realize I didn't want to make that into a career anyway and that made it all the more uncomfortable to yet again be in a place where I don't fit in - in between people who were motivated and were taking responsibility by making this into their career - and were socializing and making friends because of it.

 

Because I lived with a lot of disfunctional and creative roommates my drinking and smoking got out of hand really quick, also there was a death in the family that really messed me up. I got depressed by my situation and I didn't even feel like going to classes anymore, and preferred weed, bottles of wine and producing music in my room over paying bills and taking responsibility. Eventually I had to quit those studies and move back into my mom's house because of the debts I had created and had to go back to uninteresting jobs in warehouses, again cleaning jobs and more nonsense. It all felt useless, my habits didn't change and my debts got bigger anyway. And my old friends now lived far away and I did not know how to make new ones because I didn't run into people who interested me.

 

I continued this cycle for quite some years. Eventually moved back to the city my only few friends lived, tried getting back to that music study and dropped out again - twice -, got some aweful jobs and tried to get clean several times.

 

In the past years I have been making some progress with my habits and debts. I am debt-free at the moment because someone has taken over my financial responsibilities these past years. I have had some long periods where I lived on welfare and without a job, trying to get sober and back to work. I have tried different things in warehouses and such nonsense because that is the only thing on my resume that allows me to get hired anywhere - but I always was miserable at those places because I have a high IQ and am not appreciated for the work I can do - and working my ass off killed me - and am generally out of place there bacause I lack connection with collegues, and mostly - I miss other things in life like close friends, family and perhaps a girlfriend. I cannot find those things at those places, at work. Eventually at those places I got so miserable that I always got back into drinking and smoking, and escaping into my music, which eventually cost me my jobs.

 

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Now I am back at the situation without a job. I left there, because I noticed it was going down hill again, before it would escalate - now again sober, without real friends and family nearby - but this time I at least have a place to my own to live in. This makes being and staying sober easier. Now I realize this isn't everything. I miss people around me, but I have no place to go to get to know someone. I have been thinking that it is important for me to get back to work simply because I need to do something, but looking for one makes me feel sad and depressed.

I have the idea my only options are to get back into simple jobs that require no training, give me no challenge, will kill me physically and give me no free time or money to show for it - and that thought alone makes me want to give up, get drinking, smoking and overeating again - that is the only way I would know how to deal with that situation.. But I don't want that.

 

 

I feel like I need to get onto a new path now, but I don't know where to go. Like I said I feel my passions, creating music and art, have always been a distraction so for that reason I don't want to get into that as a career (and I have put that aside for at least a year now) - also I have no network to get something like that off the ground at the moment. I am happy with the thought to keep these things around as a hobby for now.

 

What is one to do, one without ambition other than to have some nice people around and some free time on their hands to practice their passions? I feel like I should have gone to university because I could have easily study biology and end up at an interesting and scientific job, but that ship has sailed I am afraid.

 

The few things I can think of is to find a job that has something to do with growing mushrooms or maybe even get into something like a butcher job - I love meat and mushrooms. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of options for that where I am at right now, I have tried and there is no room anywhere to take on an apprentice.

 

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It is clear I am having trouble defining what purpose and meaning my job needs, and how much value I have to assign to my future job. I think it is important to be somewhere where there are some people I can live with comfortably, who are motivated and can teach me some interesting stuff, share some interests and all that noise - but again that might be an unrealistic and romantic idea.

 

The fact is that I am isolated, and need someway back into the social side of life - work could be a way, but I find it hard to imagine where and how.

 

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Have you found a place to work where you feel you are appreciated for your abilities and do you find value in your job when it comes to your collegues and the actual work? And if not, where do you find those things in life and what is the function of your job for you personally?


Edited by RutgerHauer, 10 January 2020 - 02:24 PM.


#2 joeya

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 03:11 PM

Sounds somewhat similar to my history, although a stint in the military after high school probably kept me from experiencing the worst of what you describe.

 

My last several jobs have been "beneath me" but rewarding for the fact that it kept me interacting with people. 

 

I now am self employed, taking contract work on projects which appeal to me, and backfilling my time with IT contracting a couple days a week. The IT satisfies my social needs, since it requires interacting with both end users and other IT professionals, and the other project work appeals to the more intellectual needs. 

 

It's all about finding the right balance!


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#3 RutgerHauer

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 03:33 PM

It good to hear that you have found your balance! I can imagine military service can help to give some lessons in structure, taking care of one self and coping with hardship, dealing with strangers and getting along with them.

 

I am thinking along the same lines as a job to keep in contact with the world and other people, and to eventually develop a side business of my own. I think it will be hard to get there for me, since the experiences haven't been very motivating and my social skills have stagnated somewhat since I have been so isolated.

 

I'm not a talkative guy and I find it hard to get included in groups, so I can't do the social at work thing in general. Most part because it is just too much work for me, it is very tiresome that whole social thing, another side is because my life and view on things aren't the average so there are a lot of things I simply cannot talk about with the average Joe or Jane.


Edited by RutgerHauer, 10 January 2020 - 03:36 PM.

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#4 Oneyedraven

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 06:04 PM


RH interesting... in my head I had imagined you as a psychologist or therapist based on your posts. My life has had a few more downs than ups and I’ve had to reinvent myself a few times over. For me what finally worked was to set a general goal. (I.e. I want to work outside, I want to help the environment, want to help people etc.) then evaluate all possible job opportunities using this criteria. May not get where you want to go right away but having a frame or (mission statement if you will) to evaluate against offers a way to filter down to its essence. Water seeks its own level, you just have to get the water in the right stream.

Just from your posts as I noted at the start I think you covey a therapist mindset, and may have something to offer to help lost souls . it’s my understanding
A few countries are looking psychedelics less harshly and as modalities for mental healing. Canada, Holland and Portugal come to mind. I think Portugal & Holland have a few legit “centers”. Doing ayahuasca and
Psilocybin retreats.

One lesson the mushrooms have taught me is to change my focus. Zooming out to see the bigger picture.

Meat and mushrooms and music are in your close up view but when you zoom out what else is in that greater picture?
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#5 flashingrooster

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 07:33 PM

There is no shame in hard work


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#6 Alder Logs

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 09:10 PM

If one can free oneself of being something, anything, letting the universe give your assignments as it were, anything is possible.  Can you take a step into the unknown without fear, or even with it?   I have been very lucky it seems, even without great attainments in social or professional realms, I have known much satisfaction and found some fulfillment in many endeavors.  Money was never important, and that's good, because I wasn't very good at getting it.  It seems, though I have been broke or close to it many times, the universe has always seemed to provide for the life. 

 

Losing my story of self seemed to have capped it all off with a peace with everything.   I can still tell the stories, but know I am not those stories. 


Edited by Alder Logs, 10 January 2020 - 09:12 PM.

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#7 RutgerHauer

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 03:02 AM

Thanks guys. Like I said it was a certain mood I was in yesterday, it helped to get this out there and your comments give me some ideas.

 

@Oneeyedraven: Funny you imagined me that way, I understand it well. I have had personal experience with psychology and therapy and understand very well the human condition so to speak, and where a lot of people, including myself, can go wrong. I have never thought hard about the possibility to do something with that - it is one of those things I don't associate myself with - but I can imagine that would be a realistic option. I could do a training to help out addicted people in therapy - but I had always put that aside because I don't view addiction like many people in the therapy world do. That doesn't mean I couldn't do it, and maybe my experiences and insights have something new to add to that world.

The psychedelic retreats are another thing that I have maybe thought about briefly, but I have the same excuse for that because of my different view apposed to the 'new-agey' type people that involve themselves in that. I think I just have trouble imagining myself in such context since my mind is a fairly rational one - but maybe again this is something I have to offer to this world.

 

All in all you have got me thinking about this, which is good, I thank you for that. I think you were able to point out something I have been ignoring for a long time: that I want to help people.

 

 

@Flashingrooster: You are correct, but I have experienced I need a part of it to be a challenge of some sort, with maybe some social side to it - so far I haven't been able to find that in 'hard work'. Just a simple job without those sides might work if you have those things covered in your personal life, but like I said - I haven't got that figured out just yet since my personal and social life has broken down to practically non-existent.

 

@Alderlogs: I understand your view. I can say pretty honestly that I agree to wanting to follow opportunities that come onto my path, but seeing my isolation - and I have 'waited' a long time already - nothing comes on my path as an assignment from the universe because I haven't been open to it. Now because my life has broken down - even though I am open to proceed in a different direction - nobody or nothing offers me opportunities or inspiration for jobs or getting to know people who might do that. It is up to myself to take that step - the universe will not do that for me. I now live in a city where nobody knows me and I know nobody, there won't be anything coming to me te help me out in that regard, it has been that way for a long time - I have always felt like the end of the line when it comes to social networks, with only some output to a limited number of people and practically no input or involvement - that is a depressing thought but it is practically what my situation has been for a while now. In the end it is about people I think, who can offer things like job opportunities. I cannot wait for that anymore, it won't happen.


Edited by RutgerHauer, 11 January 2020 - 04:42 AM.


#8 ElPirana

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 11:09 AM

The dissatisfaction you feel is an opportunity for you to really figure out who you are. I’ve never been fully satisfied or completely fulfilled in any job, hobby or relationship. Take career for example, I’ve worked many jobs that were pretty mindless and other jobs that were very thought provoking. I was occasionally satisfied at all of them, but no matter what type of job I always got to a point where I was bored and dissatisfied. Hobbies were similar, even those that I pursued for years would ultimately not satisfy me. I’ve also felt drawn in the past to have social connections, but like you I have also been fairly quiet when around other people and often felt & thought different than others, and it does make it difficult to connect.

The satisfaction and contentment that you keep looking for can never be found outside yourself. You can feel good for a while, but those feelings are fleeting. We sort of fool ourselves into thinking that satisfaction is found outside ourselves based on our experiences of when we have those moments of feeling good.

Now this is where the opportunity arises, your dissatisfaction can be the motivation to look inward, to question everything you believe, to find out what it is that remains behind everything you think you are. When you uncover who/what you are, the problems will resolve themselves and fall away of their own accord. What remains is content and at peace, no matter the situation you find yourself in in this life. You are already complete.
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#9 flashingrooster

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 11:10 AM

I say that because I get the feeling you were embarrassed or think that it is meaningless to work medial jobs. Nobody should have to feel that way

 

 I totally understand what you mean about a challenge as I am the same way. When I got my current job it was a big positive change in my life. I get the feeling you would benefit from self employment as you seem to want to do things your own way

 

I have been in a situation one time in my life where I was in school for two months in another city. Living alone and with nobody but my school mates to socialize with. It was a very depressing situation and you can only fill that social hole with people. All other distractions do not make up for it as you have probably come to realize. So what's the more important thing, where you live or who you live it with. I moved back to my home town and have never been happier. A real rich man's wealth come in personal relationships. 


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#10 RutgerHauer

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 12:36 PM

I am not ashamed by doing medial jobs, it just isn't fulfilling. I am out of place, cannot connect with any other people without lowering myself. This is why I drank and smoked weed, that way I fit in. That's the circumstance I was in.

 

I do not have a hometown. Like I said, moved away from the village I grew up in when I was twelve, almost thirteen. I am now thirty. The new village I moved to I stayed until I was nineteen but never adjusted. Since then I have lived in four different cities, none of them felt like home and going back to any of those places would be worse than staying where I am at now or moving to another place - I have moved thirteen times throughout my life.. I think I will move to where the opportunities are and make that my hometown. I won't find any answers by going back, I have left those places too long ago to find meaning in that. If I were to go back to the first two villages I lived I would be considered a foreigner since they speak with heavy accents/dialect and I have unlearned my accent. My family hasn't really spoken to me in at least fifteen years. Imagine that - Going back to my "hometown" would be a miserable situation.


Edited by RutgerHauer, 11 January 2020 - 12:56 PM.


#11 Guy1298

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 01:07 PM

Could be good to find small communities to get involved with. There are a lot of intelligent, isolated individuals in the world. 


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#12 RutgerHauer

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 01:28 PM

I like what you are saying Guy1298 but I have no idea what you are referring to. Small communities? I would have no idea where to look. My country is small, people are widespread. Not much community in our culture, except for churches - they still have that.

 

It's funny that the direct translation of community in my language is almost solely used for church affiliated things. In non-religious context people use the English word, because that has less religious connotations for us. I feel like community is a really American thing we Europeans don't really get. It might be left over from religious stuff, which is in the US much more relevant still.


Edited by RutgerHauer, 11 January 2020 - 01:53 PM.


#13 Guy1298

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 01:56 PM

Gotcha. I attended a few meetups and things awhile back. Mostly, I was thinking things like that. 

 

The best small community I found for me was a young adult (18-30) meditation & discussion group back when I lived in Montana. It was at a Buddhist center, but the group was composed of a vast assortment of people that came and went. I think there are more communities than you think, no matter where you are. Seeing only churches might make it feel more easily reject-able.

 

It depends on what you're looking for. Meetup has groups centered around professional pursuits. 

 

I will say that none of it removed my tendency for isolation. For me, believing that I was or am intelligent is a starting point to not seeing or listening to other people. It created a narrative that I was better or different. I valued myself so much. And I let almost every friendship wither! 


Edited by Guy1298, 11 January 2020 - 01:56 PM.

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#14 RutgerHauer

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 02:45 PM

A meditation group might be a good idea in general, I know of a website that sets those up, might look into that soon. Have been wanting to practice meditation but like many other people I find it hard to get started on that and keep going regularly. A group meetup might be something to help that - and may be a way to get to know some people as well. Cheers.



#15 flashingrooster

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 03:59 PM

I see what you mean in regards to co workers. When I was working on a pipeline crew you meet a lot of guy's who barely passed high school.



#16 Alder Logs

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 04:52 PM

Luckily, I didn't pass high school, so I guess I missed the cut.


Edited by Alder Logs, 11 January 2020 - 04:52 PM.

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#17 newmoon

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 05:29 PM

I don't think education level or profession tell you very much about how intelligent or interesting someone is, and I think it's a mistake to assume that people doing manual labor don't have worthwhile things going in in their heads. There are both thoughtful and unreflective people in all walks of life...

 

30 isn't too late to pursue a degree or certification if you're interested in a topic (whether therapy, biology, or something else), and in Europe it won't be nearly as financially debilitating to do so as here in the USA. I don't know that it's good to expect personal fulfillment from a job; the goal of capitalism is to extract maximum labor from workers for minimum pay, not to deliver rewarding careers (see: Marxist alienation).

 

It's not easy to make the effort to socialize, go back to school, find a new job, or whatever, but the struggle is better than the feeling of being stuck in an unhappy place in life. I don't know what healthcare is like in your country, but perhaps therapy would be helpful in working through that feeling of stasis and in prioritizing changes to make?


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#18 Juthro

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 05:45 PM

Luckily, I didn't pass high school, so I guess I missed the cut.

Not only did I not pass, they got a restraining order against me..... :)   


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#19 RutgerHauer

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 03:49 AM

@Newmoon: I completely agree with you. There are interesting and uninteresting people alike in every walk of life. What I have noticed is that when working in a capitalist environment people are hardly motivated, that's one of the issues I come across. It is not very motivating to work there yourself, like you must already know.

 

The fact that I am intelligent but that isn't represented on my resume is also the reason I cannot get out of those environments very easily since I won't be hired for anything more challenging. Most jobs are temp jobs and companies hardly hire people directly anymore, that is a situation that keeps wages as low as possible and employees replaceable and less involved. There won't be any real motivation on that part either going the usual route.

 

I am now in the situation I can get into a discussion with the people/authorities who provide me with income to talk possibilities to get into a new kind of job that might be more helpful in these ways - healthier work environment and a little more challenge. Maybe a change is all I need.

There are options to follow an education or training as well, there are subsidies available for that here - in that regard I am lucky to live in a country where these things are possible. I would be an idiot not to make use of that now I feel that need to make a change. And I will.

 

Your point on therapy is noted. I have had some experience with it but seeing my history the focus has mainly been on "addiction issues" and that wasn't always very helpful - and they would also like to make me think I need to focus on my past, another thing that will be counterproductive at the moment. I do know myself what I need to be doing in my personal life to make progress, and have thought recently therapy to be unhelpful in that endeavour, at least now. There won't be an easy fix, there are many small steps and fewer big steps to take in the right direction, I think I am doing that already. One at a time.


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#20 stmhunter

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 05:48 AM

i started installing floors when i was 14 became a self employed flooring contractor at 19. i have also worked in the oilfield. plus i can weld, paint cars and am a good mechanic and have done home remodeling.






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