MID-LIFE CRISIS

There are two kinds of depression:

1. Internal depression. This is where you hate yourself. You don’t like what you see in the mirror. Your personality suffers because of negative self-talk, complaining, and whining. You are unable to relax and be alone with your mind for even a couple of minutes, constantly needing distractions such as alcohol and television. People are like this because of their parents.

2. External depression. You are happy with yourself (sometimes too happy) but you are stuck in an environment that brings you down. You have nothing to look forward to when you get up in the morning except another day of existence. You go to public places and sit there, reflecting, wondering aloud, “Is this it?” as people give you weird looks. You see things as they are and wonder why other people are so slow to pick up on the obvious meanings that lie beneath the surface.

I have the second type of depression. I’m grateful for life and I thank my parents for producing a man with alright looks and a sense of humor, but I go through the motions every day looking for meaning. DJ’ing. Martial Arts. Motorcycling. Amateur bartending. Being a local internet celebrity geek. Writing. Promoting. Sport dating. Cooking. Science nerding. All these things are fun and makes me a well-rounded person, but they’re just distractions. By now everyone should know that true happiness with life can only come from within, but what if you feel like you already are very close to inner happiness, where you have completely accepted who you are?

What is there left for you to accomplish other than living the “American dream” of making a lot of money, buying a McMansion, and accumulating material possessions? What a waste of human life to work in a single town for many years only to get something bigger and better because big business force-fed it to you through advertising. “Here’s your new $800,000 luxury mansion, where you get to know your neighbor really well since he’s only three feet away from you.”

Are you destined to die in the same country or town that your living in right now? Out of anywhere in the world, is this where you will be happiest? It’s like two people finding their “soul mate” in their high school… wow what are the odds that out of 6 billion people in this world your soul mate lives in the same boring town as you.

Maybe the answer for me is that I need to continue my personal journey in other countries. But if everyone in those other countries are trying to come here, what does that say about my proposed solution? One positive thing about going through a mid-life crisis at 26 is that you don’t have obligations which prevent you from making big changes. Imagine traveling down the wrong road for decades to realize you made a mistake and are too old to turn back.

47 thoughts on “MID-LIFE CRISIS

  1. Marc

    If nothing else, travelling the world will enhance your perspective.

    I need to return to the world outside of America, to reinforce my international appreciation.

  2. holiday

    Perhaps you should read the quarterlife crisis.

    Link

    It’s an interesting read, although it doesn’t offer any solution. It just points out everything wrong with your life and says it’s a part of growing up like adolescence.

  3. Aja

    Word. It’s horrible to sit idle and watch you rself blow stupid amounts of cash, thoughts, efforts, time, whatever on anything that does not complete you. I felt that way in New Orleans, so then I moved to New York, felt that way in New York so I moved here, feel like that now and considering taking a year off and traveling overseas. I have considered Califas, Canada and Austin, Texas. But I agree

    “One positive thing about going through a mid-life crisis at 26 is that you don?t have obligations which prevent you from making big changes. Imagine traveling down the wrong road for decades to realize you made a mistake and are too old to turn back”

    do it now. Fortunately for me, I have decided against a family right now, at 30 I have realized I have not lived enough to be locked into marriage and parenthood. There is still plenty to experience. By the way, I moved to New York at 25, which is about the right time you consider to make a move or be moved by societal pressures (especially in D.C., get a job,make mad money, buy a big ole townhouse, find a trophy partner, make tiny trophy babies, name them the same top ten baby names published every year, blah blah). Good Luck!!

  4. M

    A reason everyone from other countries comes here is because they’re force-fed the same nonsense that tricks people into thinking McMansions are the key.

  5. The Senator

    I’ve heard that generationally speaking, there is a 10 year experience gap. That is, what our parents experienced at age 18, we now experience at age 28.

    I think there is some truth to that.

    Be patient with yourself, brother…it will all work out. You are probably just getting to a point where you want more out of life and are doing some self-assessment.

    A healthy thing, to be sure.

    So, you should talk about how you are being healthy, not depressed… the questions you ask are quite common.

  6. Dating Hell Diarist

    Hi DCB! I have a helpful suggestion. You should become, like, the next Mother Teresa or something. Go and try to end world hunger or some other kind of do-gooder thing. I bet that wouldn’t be boring! (I would be doing that myself, except I’m too busy going on stupid dates that never work out.) Hey, you could join the Peace Corps! That would totally spice up your blog, too.

  7. Liz

    Mid-life crisis? Please. Unless you plan on dying at 52, that doesn’t seem mid-life to me. Sounds like you’re just in a funk.

  8. inSOMnia

    Drink the sorrows away. Actually travel to a shitty chaotic country like Iran and then when you come back everything will seem so much better here. Those orphans running around selling sticks of gum trying to get by in the cold and extreme heat. People whispering about how they hate the government but are afraid of being shot etc etc. You will want to kiss the ground when you get back. I almost did.

  9. dclegal

    DCB – I think you hit that “external depression” thing on the head. I feel like I’m happy with who I am, but after being out of college for two years now I’m really depressed by my distaste for my job, my vapid friends, and the totally materialistic society.
    Once upon a time, graduating from college was a big deal, but now it seems like everyone’s been to college and it’s no longer this great thing that propels you into adulthood. We’re still sitting around in High School hating work the way we hated science class.

  10. natty_g

    Interesting post. I’ve felt the same way at times. One thought to ponder: While everyone (obviously) wants to be happy, who says that happiness is attainable? I mean, for thousands of years people lived miserable lives, working simply to stay alive. There wasn’t any real inherent, true happiness available; merely subsistence.

    So now society has progressed to the point where most don’t have to struggle day-to-day simply to survive, and we start looking for a deeper meaning or satisfaction. Hopefully one exists, but it’s possible that it doesn’t. Maybe life is just the mundane day-to-day existence that currently depresses you…

  11. WoW

    I think that raveling might be good, gain some perspective! To think that you are fed up and bored with everything is terrible. I think you just need to go out and experience more and find something that makes you happy, when you are driven by something you love you will barely be able to go to sleep and dream of waking up the next day!

  12. J.P.

    I’ve had the same thoughts my friend. Part of me says though- the things you are filling your life with are fairly shallow. Travel to another city if you like, but that will not “fill” your life any more than the things filling it now.

    Som probably has the best answer of all. Move if you like- it will probably be fun, but you’ll have the same feeling at some point after you settle it. What will be fulfilling for you I am not sure- maybe finding love or settling down, who knows.

  13. network newz

    Try watching 5 hours of Sen Armed Services hearings just to have your boss call you and tell you to book a scientologist instead of the senator that you had because they want to do a story on how tom cruise is making psychiatry look bad.

  14. Jessica

    Most of the time when I read what you have to say, I think, “Jesus, this guy is a major jackass.” But today, I felt the honesty in your entry was brave and cool. You should read about Saturn’s Return. Sure, a lot of astrology is just some crystal-rubbing bullshit, but this is an interesting concept. It happens roughly from ages 28-31, but hey, maybe you are entering yours now. It sure sounds like it. Good work with the asking hard questions, and all- that is a really good sign.

  15. Doug

    Buy a catamaran and sail around the world. Make money by sailing up to some beach and asking people if they want a sunset cruise. Then you get to see new places, meet new people, and get drunk. Plus you could meet some pirates, that’s always fun.

  16. Muffin

    What? Saturn’s Return?

    Umm, yeah – that’s helpful. Sign up for some Scientology shit while you’re at it.

    DCB – most of my friends have been through what you’re talking about. You obviously need a change and a goal or two. Pick something you want to do with yourself, or even only kind-of want to do with yourself, and start doing it. I’ve found that the best thing to get some kind of direction in your life is to just start moving toward some kind of goal. You’ll at the very least find out more about what you want, which is visible progress. It sounds like a lack of satisfying progress is what’s really bothering you.

  17. fanman

    Whats with this whiny, negative bs lately? Not to say its bad to search for the meaning of life but between this and your post about goals being pointless I’m wondering if you really have a handle on whats bothering you. Your letting your enviornment dictate your mental state and “bring you down.” Does that sound valid to you?

  18. DCB Post author

    “Try watching 5 hours of Sen Armed Services hearings just to have your boss call you and tell you to book a scientologist instead of the senator that you had because they want to do a story on how tom cruise is making psychiatry look bad.”

    :laugh:

    “Your letting your enviornment dictate your mental state and ?bring you down.? Does that sound valid to you?”

    So if you were in prison in solitary confinement, you’d be peachy? You are a product of your environment, whether you like it or not, though mental strength does go a long way. Your point is not valid.

  19. CrazyGirl

    I think a quarter life crisis is a very real thing. You piss away your early 20s partying it up and living life for the moment. You get to the mid 20s and suddenly expected to be on this guided path of what society says is the norm way to go. Screw that. I am 29, not ready to have kids, and really have no idea what the meaning of my life is.

    I’ve lived on 3 different continents, and in 5 different countries. It’s definitely contributed to the experiences I’ve had that make me who I am now. I say if you have any kind of opportunity to fulfill these desires of traveling, then do it. I can’t necessarily say you’ll come back to the US knowing what your “path” is, but it will add to your experience chapters. Even if it’s a 2 week hiatus in EU.

  20. Elvis

    Yo. Alright. I like this. Man laying down the hammer. Like I posted on V’s site, I’m just gonna let’r rip here:

    I have those moments. “Is this it?” Then it passes. “Damn right this is it.” I can’t explain it, but the voids of teenage summer saturdays, when you knew nothing was going on, wasn’t nobody home, I always knew that’d be the way it’ll always be. Nobody had to be nowhere, sell nothin, buy nothin, wear nothin, be nothin… talk to nobody.

    After a while, I figured, “is this it?” is not the question I should be asking.

    “What are you doing at this moment?” is more important. As in, at this moment, are you having the greatest time ever, or are you totally into it, or are you relaxed and not hassled? So now, even at work, I answer, “yah, I’m totally into this.” That, my friend, is all there is.

  21. The Party Girl

    DCB – I too have been suffering from a mid-mid life crisis as of late. Perhaps it’s a city wide epidemic…

    Anyways, as a result I’ve been having a particularly difficult time sleeping. If this is happening to you, might I suggest mixing sleeping pills and booze. I hear that’s “unsafe” to do, but it worked wonders for me.

  22. jd

    I went through the same thing at 26 and am now going through it again at 30. And what I learned is, that at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is falling in love and having fun. I know that sounds like hippie talk, but it’s the truth. Money, and cars, and McMansions and being a corporate worker bee are all bullshit.

  23. CatCiao

    My 20’s were great and yours should be too. At your age I loaded up my jeep and moved to L.A. with my Chow and Golden Retriever- you will find a much more lively and robust party scene and outdoor lifestyle – Socal was and still is one big throbbing hormone. I suggest giving Santa Monica or Venice a spin, do the Three’s Company lifestyle for 2 years or so…then move to S.F. or Marin County, find fulfillment sitting in a hot tub amongst the redwoods drinking fine wine and self-medicating with recreational herbs. Go West young man…

  24. CatCiao

    PS: Take your blog on the road, be USA Bachelor and chronicle your travels on the ro-ad – the new Kerouac for your generation…

  25. Marc

    DCB as a pimp, yes.

    Kerouac?

    That’s a bold statement!

    Not that I don’t have faith in you DCB 😉

  26. Boob

    A Zen master would tell you your problem is your dualistic view that divides the internal, from the external, and that inner peace will arrive if you realize they are one in the same.

    Since you ride, throw all these self help books in the garbage and read “zen and the art of motorcycle maintenence”. Then pack a back pack and spend 10 or so days riding around the country, and eating breakfast in tiny diners in tiny towns. I do it every year. In fact….I leave this Sunday at 4am.

  27. Tara

    For a lot of people, having kids (along with living in the McMansion with the trophy spouse, I suppose) IS what makes life meaningful. Fulfillment comes from being selfless. And what’s more selfless than giving up your swinging single life to be a really good parent?

    But don’t go knocking up any ladies just yet. I’m merely speculating. I just think there’s merit in volunteering some part of yourself to a good cause. Clearly, you’ve got something good to give, or else people wouldn’t flock to your site, waiting eagerly to see what you’ll say next.

  28. network newz

    I have to agree, dcb, though i don’t like to think that I’m a product of the net newz environment…free mcdonald’s helps.

  29. James

    But is the quarter-life crisis really a legit thing, or like the McMansions and the 2.4 kids and 1.2 dogs, just another societal pressure?

    I’ve noticed so many younger people (hahahah once you turn 26, everyone’s a younger person…crap) looking for the “meaning of life” or trying to find “meaning in their job.” And I think about what my parents went through, and they found happiness in the simplest of ways.

    Finding something that fulfils through a job seems like another societal pressure, the new yuppy thing. Before it was keep up with the Jones, buy a new car. Now it’s find a job that makes you feel like you matter. Are they really any different?

  30. Anonymous

    YO…that is true…and funny…about the souldmate..in the same boring town as yours…hahaha

    …..Fabio

  31. Suki's Master

    DCB,
    I’ve been in your shoes and it is a difficult thing to deal with. The roughest part was when I was laid off. I hadn’t been without a job since I was 15 and at the age of 28, I couldn’t get a job bagging groceries.

    Month after month I lost my self-worth and desire to go on. “What is this for? I’m busting my hump sending out 50+ resumes a day, for what? A cube with flourescent lighting? What am I supposed to be gaining from this experience?” Things were so depressing that I had to find something to hold onto. Some true simple joy. And I found it driving my car. As fast as possible.

    So I’m employed again, and I’m still surrounded by those pursuing the McDream. But I resist the temptation of that path. And in my line of work it is increasingly difficult. For instance, all of my friends are married. ALL. Except for one who got divorced 2 years ago. The McDream is not for everyone. Just like owning your own corporation isn’t for everyone(Dubbya).

    Boob, I think, has found a piece of joy that makes dealing with the “soma” addicts bearable. My desire is to be a race car driver. I may end up being some scrub on SCCA club circuit, but it makes me happy.

    It’s not curing cancer, but it motivates me and makes coming to work that much easier.

  32. Anonymous

    Well Done, I like your observation about what happens once you get a little clarity the world becomes a bit more lonely. Travel man, Travel now while you still got time man, Here’s the thing, Your probably never going to figure all this crap out , but you run out of time an options as you go. I traveled to SAfrica and Mozambique and it was one of the most free times In my life not to mention the Swedes I traveled with 🙂 Its easy to listen to everyone and a society that will make you feel giulty for something which in other parts of the world is expected of you so do it and maybe you will
    add a little more meaning to the rut you left when you get back

  33. Clutch

    I am 27 and in a funky place in my quest for fulfillment. I went the other way, the wife the kids the dogs and the suburban house. I have a good paying job and generally things are going well. I live in So. California and it is a happening place if you want stuff to do to keep you occupied. The biggest issue here is the cost of living, and the fact that life is at a much faster pace (unless you are stuck in traffic, the 10 sucks ass). I have what a lot of people would say is “all” or everything they would need to be happy……and yet something is missing. I got into a lot of trouble when I was younger I have lived twice as hard as most people I have met and have a wealth of life experiences so lack of “living” isn’t the issue here. I lack adventure, danger and freedom. You see I am now owned by my shit, the wife the kids the dogs, blah, blah, blah. You will at some point look back and wish for these “good ol’ days” of when you were free, but the truth is there are no “good ol’days” there are just days, sometimes ya win and some times you come up wanting. Truth is real, happiness is just a compilation of great moments. I would like to say I have it figured out but really I get by like everybody else. I wait for the riot, I want peace and destruction in the same breath. Excitment, the thrill of adrenaline, and inner peace. That’s the problem we want it all, have no motivation to start it and loath it when some one else does. Our generation has nothing to get behind because everything is corrupt, and we are lazy.

  34. Nabusman

    I have lived in three countries, been educated in all of them, know their languages and cultures, and have traveled extensively. Ya, its great and all, but you will not find the “meaning” of life in travelling. This idea seems to be fueled by the same people selling the McDream concept. You will, though, forget about searching for the answer as you are now, languishing in a repetitive life. I don’t think anybody has the answer…just distractions to forget there is a question.

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