What am I doing with my life?
I wasn't quite sure where to post this, but it seems to fit best here.
I am a 44 year old male and I am trying to work out what I am doing with my life and where I am going.
This post may sound like I am unhappy or depressed, but I am not (I don't think!), just unfulfilled and it is probably fuelled by the time of year. I am not really sure what I am seeking from responses, but hopefully some advice or something kick me into action.
Basically, as I say, I am 44, single and never married and have no kids, I am in a job and career that is 'ok' (I don't hate it, I don't love it) and living in the house I was born in all those years ago. Probably the last point is the most unusual, so I'll start with that first.
Living in my childhood home
Let me go into my background a bit as I am sure this affected how my life has turned out.
I am an only child and when I was born in 1979 my mum was 36 and my dad was 38, which, back then, was unusually old to have your first (and only) child. But this was because before I was born my mum had a number of miscarriages and a stillborn baby and had a very new operation that allowed me to be born. I know that just a year or two previously she had been told she would never have children, but my mum and dad sought a second opinion. I was very much a last throw of the dice in that respect.
At 11 I passed my 11 plus and went to an all-boys grammar school. That, combined with having no brothers or sisters meant I had very little interaction with females until I was 18 and went to Uni.
I had three fantastic years at Uni in Sheffield and then lived and worked up there for a year. However my year working there wasn't the same as being at Uni and gradually people drifted off home so at the start of September 2001 I moved back home myself. Unfortunately within two and half months of moving home my mum died of cancer.
In normal circumstances I think I would have moved home, and immediately started to look for my own place/a place with a friend, because after four years of living independently I don't think I could gone back to living with my mum and dad (even though I got on with both of them really well).
However with my mum dying I didn't want to leave my dad at home by himself as he was understandably devastated. So I lived at home, got a job and tried my best to get through the next couple of years and cope without being with my mum.
About three years later, just as I felt my dad was getting back onto his feet and I felt like maybe I could move out, he met someone else (20 years on they are still together). She lives literally just around the corner and he began spending more and more time there, so I had pretty much had my own place and I thought I could save the money I would be paying on rent to get a deposit for my own place so I continued living at my childhood home.
In 2009, I decided rather than use the money to put a deposit on my own place I would travel around the world. I spent two years travelling and lived and worked in Australia and New Zealand, and it was the best thing I ever did.
I moved back home in 2011, and somehow I am still here.
I could move out, but I couldn't afford to buy a place by myself, so I could rent, but I literally have my own place to myself here. I pay my dad rent, but much less than I would do on the open market, and he pops back a couple of times a week. It also means someone is looking after the house of course.
But if I moved out or moved in with other people I feel it might do me good, as I live by myself. But then I am 44 - I don't even know if people still do that at my age!
I have worked in Marketing for 20 plus years. It is ok, but nothing more. I don't find it fulfilling. I started a new job last June, which is fairly isolating, and I have little contact with other people, which I know isn't good for me, so I have decided that when I have been in the job for a year I will start looking around again. Which leaves me with two options:
Continue in Marketing, but working for an organisation or in an industry I am passionate about.
Change career completely, which I have thought about before, but it would mean retraining and taking a salary cut which I can afford to do. I am leaning more towards this and am looking at degree apprenticeships and considering something in health or fitness, nutrition, generally helping people. So I have a few months to work this out.
I like to think I am a good person, but I have been single for large portions of my adult life. I find it easy to make friends, but I find it really difficult to make that real 'connection' with someone, which I feel like I did last year (but for various reasons nothing could happen).
I know being in a relationship doesn't necessarily make you happy, but I would like to find someone to share my life with. I am also aware that I am an only child and while my dad is in very good health, he is 82 and I don't want to be completely on my own in 10 years time or so...
I have done online dating and been on a few dates, but whether I am being too picky or not it has never gone any further and I think I would rather meet someone by finding my tribe of people as cheesy as that sounds.
This is where I made big progress in 2023. I do CrossFit twice a week and run four or five times a week. At the end of 2022 I joined a local running club. It wasn't a proper Athletics club, but it is run by a proper running coach and we do proper training sessions once a week.
Finding that club has been the best thing I have ever done, and I have never felt more part of something than I do this group. It is a wonderful bunch of people, and I have made 4 or 5 really close friends, who I think the world of, from it. When I talked previously about finding my people, this is what I meant, we are all on a similar wavelength and we all get on really well.
I've also got fitter and faster and joined a proper Athletics club one other day a week and have a number of half marathons, road races, a marathon and cross country in the schedule.
Additionally I joined a CrossFit gym about ten months ago and again I have met some good people through that.
And that is it really, like I say I am not sure what I hoping to get from this post, maybe some encouragement, maybe some advice, or maybe just someone telling me a I need to sort my life out!
Maybe it is an early mid-life crisis, but I feel I should have achieved more when I see most of my friends married, with their families and houses and I can't quite work out where I went wrong, as, like I said, I like to think I am good person, kind and generous and I have kept myself in good shape.
Also I know being in a relationship/having a good career/owning your house etc, doesn't make you happy. So I am not quite sure what I am searching for!
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