I discovered Reddit several years ago. I started out just looking at Gifs, and then those mostly turned into people posting about their cats. So, I looked around and there are definitely some other good subs there.
One I found that I followed for a while is r/askmenover30. There’s a plain “r/askmen” but most of the conversations there are about things that don’t even fly into my radar. I find the “over30” sub much more “my speed.”
But even that sub lately consists of many of the same types of post: “Anyone else here just generally dissatisfied with life?”
There are a LOT of these posts. So many that I barely even look at the sub anymore.
Casual observers would probably discount this as “mid-life crisis” posts, but the fact that they are so prevalent, and they generally all say the same things, is worth a minute.
Most of these posts include one or more of the following comments:
- On the surface, I should be happy.
- I have a good family, a decent job, and I’m in pretty good shape.
- I don’t LIKE my job much.
- My marriage is “meh”.
- I don’t have many friends, or really ever have meaningful conversations with other people (read: other guys)
- Is this all there is to life?
The sad thing is, I identify with nearly all of these. Life IS “meh”. I’ve given this no small amount of thought and I’ve come to the conclusion that yeah, that’s life. If you’re not happy, you can make the decision to change things, but know that it’s likely you’ll make someone very unhappy. Most transformational corrections don’t happen in a vacuum. Your big choices and changes WILL impact someone else and not always positively.
My wife once said to me, “You’re not stuck here you know.”
I don’t know if I was more hurt by that statement, or relieved. Like my own dad, I have a pretty deep sense of responsibility and nothing short of my wife stabbing me in my sleep (or having an affair) would cause me to just up and leave. Even knowing that she has no desire for intimacy anymore (her words) isn’t enough to make me leave (the “or worse” part, remember?). Which means that I’m here. For better or worse, I’m here.
The bigger implication is that “No, your life–my life–probably isn’t going to change considerably for, what I’d consider “the better” any time soon. Maybe never.”
I saw this article the other day, “How to Be Mediocre and Be Happy With Yourself ” and I was both relieved that it’s OK not to be glamorously successful, and saddened that I’ve come to this place in my life.
Don’t get me wrong; I never wanted the glamorous life. I turned down opportunities at my last job to be highly visible. I even have “Professional Guy Behind the Guy” on my LinkedIn profile. But the fact that I’ve personally accepted this fact, is depressing on its own.
But yeah, “mediocre” is an apt description. Middling. Average. Fine. All good descriptors of how I feel most of the time.
But you know, only 30 more years of it, or so.