Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

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Olaz
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Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by Olaz » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:50 pm

Some random thoughts: the standard railroad from Elementary, Middle School, High School, College, and Work seems to be a drag. No matter how I change my thinking or behaviors--although this decreases the relative level of "suck" significantly--the absolute level of "suck" is still high.

Is this what modern western life is at best: a sort-of OK ride to FI until 30, where the absolute level of "suck" can then be changed by you, because then you are sufficient of an owner in the economic system, rather than only a worker? 30 years of life on an almost compulsory track is a long time to finally gain the choice to create your own track, goodness.

Don't get me wrong, my specific train on this railroad seems to be on the fast track, but it is still a disillusioning rail to be a part of, especially now without a primary partner to share it with. It feels like I now only have a job in a city, rather than the interesting tool to get to the dream shared with someone I love.

----------------------------------

Thoughts? Am I simply going to have to drag it out on this railroad for an additional 3 years, or 7?

I suppose I've already put in 17 years (subtracting childhood), and life could be much, much worse. Hm.
Last edited by Olaz on Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BRUTE
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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Worry/Emptiness?

Post by BRUTE » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:13 pm

the real disappointment will be when Olaz finds out that his own track is just as boring a drag as the previous 30 years..

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Olaz
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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Worry/Emptiness?

Post by Olaz » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:21 pm

Yeah, but at least then it's *my* track. It's like cooking your own meals, more interesting just 'cause you made it :P

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by P_K » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:07 pm

To Brute's point, if one felt the first 30 years of one's life was a "drag," then it is probable the following 30 years will feel like a drag as well. To oppose Brute's point, this is more up to the individual than most realize. Try to slow down and realize this life - all its moments - are all you have. This will get easier as you age.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by Olaz » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:56 pm

I disagree with that idea P_K and brute. I think that irrelevent of the subjectivities of one's personality or life philosophy, under a western pre-FI context, the first 30 years might objectively offer sitting at a school desk, stressing over standardized testing, anxiety over getting into the "right college", completing all career assignments on time and well always, or other bullet points the average person would consider undesirable. If this section of life was a simulation called "School + Work: Earth, Part I", would a VR enthusiast want to play it?

Rather, what if that simulation objectively started to offer travel to 50 countries, the climbing of a really high mountain, finding love while sailing the seas, unravelling the mysteries of life by a fire and not worrying about deadlines, building a house with friends, and other activities generally considered desirable by the average person. We would call this one "Adventure + Life: Earth, Part II". Wouldn't a VR enthusiast be more likely to rate part II as more exciting and interesting than Part I? And thetefore want to play that one instead?

And if so, why do most of us choose to only play Part I?

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by wood » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:10 am

And if so, why do most of us choose to only play Part I?
Isn't that kinda obvious?

- It requires less skill/effort
- Fear of failure
- Status quo bias
- Short term pleasure prioritized over long term gain
- Do like others do
- Get acceptance from others

I've asked this type of question to a fair amount of people. Most people don't know what to do with their time. They put alot of things on auto-pilot. I think many lack curiosity and imagination. This makes sense because curiosity and imagination is something children have, but is in many ways punished for. Most people just want a simple life.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by vexed87 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:11 am

WRT to your VR analogy, I think people are not particularly keen to commit to the whole travel the world thing, you can do it essentially on a tiny budget if you really wanted to, but our culture tells another story, primarily if you get your head down you can be a millionaire/rock star/famous. Most people wouldn't be prepared to cope with the hardship that would come with travelling on a minuscule budget, to do it in typical developed world comfort would require resources far beyond the reach of most fresh graduates or kids. VR would take the commitment and the hardship out of it. In the VR world, sure they'll choose adventure over school, but in the real world the majority choose school and work in the hope that one day they might have the resources to pursue their dreams, this is the solution presented by the status quo.

Most people want a comfortable life, and the status quo offers it. No need to think, plan ahead or push boundaries hard to meet those typical goals, just bumble along and it'll all be all-right. Of course, if you are happy with the status quo, then there's no reason reason to waste energy thinking outside of that box. Thinking is hard. Going against the grain is harder. The reason everyone else is happy doing what they are doing is because their personality doesn't steer them to think outside that box for solutions. It just so happens that the people who traverse the world on a tiny budget, or stumble upon this forum were looking to their own solution to a problem that the status quo doesn't solve, primarily they do so because their personality opens their minds to beyond what the dominant culture offers them.

What's brilliant about ERE is that it teaches us that we already have the resources (skills, not money) we need to pursue our dreams, we just need to learn to grab them (develop them!). Obviously, if we want to live within our culture, we have to submit to it to a degree, that's society for you. I look back on my time in various institutions as doing my bit to be free. The more integrated we want to be with our culture, the more time we have to do.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:32 am

Olaz wrote:the first 30 years might objectively offer sitting at a school desk, stressing over standardized testing, anxiety over getting into the "right college"
There is no objective requirement that you have to feel stressed or feel anxiety. You just have to do the things.
Olaz wrote:Rather, what if that simulation objectively started to offer travel to 50 countries, the climbing of a really high mountain, finding love while sailing the seas, unravelling the mysteries of life by a fire and not worrying about deadlines, building a house with friends, and other activities generally considered desirable by the average person.
The things you listed are also examples of things that objectively suck. Travel to 50 countries? Everyone hates having to get up early to go to the airport, stand in line, and go through airport security only to be jetlagged for the entirety of their vacation while standing around on boring tours. Sailing the seas? Yeah if you want to get seasick and have water splashed on you all the time and be so far from civilization that if you die at sea there's nothing anyone can do. Climbing a really high mountain and building a house? You know how exhausting those things are and how lazy people are? Those are things that expose you to the elements and require you to exert yourself physically and also put yourself at risk of injury. There's a reason people outsource construction, it's because it's not fun for the majority of people.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by C40 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:26 am

This is all just a game. You basically have to play it. Part of winning this game is being able to make fun out of it. If you think of this phase of life only as a drag, and approach it only as something to endure until a next phase, well, then, you're losing the game. And you're also not preparing very well for success in the next phases of life.

Edit - And to add, one part of this game is also to be able to endure relationships ending and bounce back. I don't mean that you seem to be failing at this, just pointing out that maybe your recent relationship challenges or endings may be contributing to how you're feeling about how empty the School/Work phase of life is

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by mrcupcake » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:57 am

...the standard railroad from Elementary, Middle School, High School, College, and Work seems to be a drag.
This reminded me of Music and Life by Alan Watts. He uses music as a metaphor for life; the point is not to get to the final note but to enjoy the journey.

When I first saw the video, the carrot-on-a-stick progression through school, college, career really resonated with me. Each next step always felt like the essential upgrade, so I would live for that future state instead of cherishing the present (not always, but too often). When you get to a career point where ERE is the next upgrade, it is easy to see it as the "final boss" or end game that will open up a new paradise.

While ERE does open up brand new possibilities, it is still just a new verse of the same song. If I could do some college/career things over again, I would have enjoyed the music more and carrot-chased less.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by Olaz » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:31 pm

C40 wrote:This is all just a game. You basically have to play it. Part of winning this game is being able to make fun out of it. If you think of this phase of life only as a drag, and approach it only as something to endure until a next phase, well, then, you're losing the game. And you're also not preparing very well for success in the next phases of life.

Edit - And to add, one part of this game is also to be able to endure relationships ending and bounce back. I don't mean that you seem to be failing at this, just pointing out that maybe your recent relationship challenges or endings may be contributing to how you're feeling about how empty the School/Work phase of life is
Primary-form partner of one year and I split last week, so it's not very good, I can tell you that. Secondary-form partner is too busy studying for a chem midterm and close friends are usually busy too, so it's just me and homework I don't want to do most days.

I mean, I'm still doing all the "right" things, such as working out, eating healthfully, grooming, showing up to class (mostly), watching uplifting YouTube videos, saving, scheduling a counseling center appointment, etc., but I feel lonely/depressed, and AC is known for being a lonely and stressful college without heart ache (stats to back this up are prevalent). I suppose time is the healer and all that. I'm trying the No-Contact Rule, and I'll see if that helps in getting my body out of withdrawal from the PF relationship.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by Dragline » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:41 pm

Yes, it does. But your experience is not uncommon as college is kind of an artificially constructed world where you are with a certain group of people for a certain time. At the end of the time period, there can be dislocations as people prepare for their next stage in life, or fail to prepare as the case may be. Having people freak out or make sudden changes just before graduation is pretty common.

What its telling you is that its coming time to close this chapter of life and begin a new one. Many chapters end in bittersweet places.

BTW, you are nowhere close to your optimal stopping point for dating, career or anything else. Read this and take heart: https://medium.com/galleys/optimal-stop ... .tjmtvfc7x

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by James_0011 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:51 pm

I think more people would ere if they even knew it was an option. It was baffling to me when I discovered I didn't have to work my whole life, even though its really an obvious concept.

Women come and go, its no big deal really. No contact is a great practice imo, so is hooking up with someone else.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by BRUTE » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:20 pm

C40 wrote:This is all just a game. You basically have to play it.
citation needed

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by BRUTE » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:24 pm

Olaz wrote:Rather, what if that simulation objectively started to offer travel to 50 countries, the climbing of a really high mountain, finding love while sailing the seas, unravelling the mysteries of life by a fire and not worrying about deadlines, building a house with friends, and other activities generally considered desirable by the average person. We would call this one "Adventure + Life: Earth, Part II". Wouldn't a VR enthusiast be more likely to rate part II as more exciting and interesting than Part I? And thetefore want to play that one instead?
well, what can brute say - he went back from Part 2 to Part 1 because adventure and travel get as boring as school or work do.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by Olaz » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:27 pm

Curious, from what adventure/travel to what work did brute go to? I do agree that adventure and travel need to be tied with a mission of some sort to be meaningful long-term.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by Ego » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:13 am

Through whatever combination of smarts and determination and social engineering and the hundred other characteristics you employed in the effort, you managed to get through one of the best and most expensive schools in the world AND saved nearly $50K while doing it.... at a time when virtually ever other student is graduating with double that in debt.

You are starting your career with a good chunk of FU money. You'll probably never need to use it because you are who you are, but the psychological benefit of knowing it is entirely your decision to be exactly where you, that you are not trapped by debt or bills or mouths to feed, makes it so much easier to deal with the day-to-day stress of a real job.

This IS the adventure.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by Olaz » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:24 am

Thank you Ego, that means a lot : )

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by Sclass » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:51 am

Yeah, thanks Ego. I feel like stealing that for myself at the moment.

olaz, sounds like a good time to me. I'm just lying here thinking of how cool it would be to go back thirty years somehow and relive my own suck...knowing what I know now.

Sounds like you're living dude.

Investment isn't always fun in the moment. I ate a lot of sh.t to get the tiny piece of the world I own. I'd sit down at the pile in a blink if you'd give me another crack at it.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by BRUTE » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:54 pm

Olaz wrote:Curious, from what adventure/travel to what work did brute go to? I do agree that adventure and travel need to be tied with a mission of some sort to be meaningful long-term.
travel on most continents over several years. both more quick/touristy and slow-travel or whatever the hip kids call it now, i.e. living in one place for months at a time. doing whatever brute wanted. making friends, learning languages (or bits of them), reading, writing, riding motorcycles, doing boat tours, getting shown around a Favela by a local, watching soccer matches between random clubs brute had never heard of, learning to cook local foods, train in local sports..

all these were just fleeting distractions. with work, brute feels like he has a somewhat more permanent distraction, at least for now. plus, he wasn't FI, only FU. work involves typing on computers all day long.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by thrifty++ » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:10 pm

@OP - its really not that bad. Living in the western world you have loads of options and choices. You dont have to chose that pathway if you dont want to. But that pathway is really not to bad anyway. If you mix some adventure in especially not so much.

Sounds like you need to mix in a hit of adventure and fun at this point of time.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by distracted_at_work » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:35 am

@OP. I feel as if I could have written your post back when I graduated. I remember going from 24/7 grind of university to sitting in my parents basement with no job and thinking what-the-fuck just happened. Like it was all some sort of dream. I've been on the railroad since birth and now what? There was a void in my brain/soul.

In my honest opinion, you WILL feel depressed and empty and scared and I think that's a healthy reaction. Your life as you knew it has ended and you get to figure out a new one. I don't think that feeling will last too long for you though; graduating with $50K in the bank is an amazing feat. As Ego stated, you'll have options with what to do. That is a liberating feeling. I'm two years out and only now discovering those options.

To give you a specific example, when I finished school I had $4K left and went and blew it all in one summer of indulgence. I drank/tripped my way through SE Asia and came back to have some wild experiences at a (surprisingly expensive) hippy music festival called Shambahala. Unfortunately, this meant I took the first job on offer when I got back.

You have a job locked down, no? Maybe you could do with some time to blow off some steam? It seems like you are used to having partners around as well, perhaps try having an adventure by yourself? Your potential is limitless.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by Jean » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:58 am

We are all in the same boat here I see.
Were are those alien invaders?

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by stand@desk » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:06 am

We are lucky to have these worries. Most people in the world have more day-to-day survival worries/pressures/politics to endure. So we are the lucky ones.

Also, wherever you are FI or not, there will be just other sets of challenges, worries etc. (FI worries have to deal with what to do with your assets, how to protect them, what to do with yourself, why aren't you doing more, how can you improve your relationships, isolation etc) There will always be something.

As for the sailing the seas, travelling etc. You don't need FI money to do that (although it helps) you need charisma, confidence and faith in yourself. That is how a lot of people do it. And basic street sense.

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Re: Near-Grad Sadness/Fear/Emptiness?

Post by James_0011 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:40 pm

Man, most people in the world have no chance of being FI by age thirty. You're in a super enviable position.

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