Is there some alternative to life or death? I'm really tired about nothing having worked out the way it should in the last decades of my life and a reset looks like the only sensical option, unfortunately I don't believe in classical reincarnation. :/
what amrit9037 said. hang in there. also, sory. this is going to get long and rambling.
for one, there is some truly fucked up shit in the whole expectation game (things working out the way they should) and what we base expectations on, what forms our idea of normal expectations, and so on. so many stories we consume have something like just payoff in them, and i can’t believe this doesn’t leave any trace in ourselves and our thought patterns. yet, when you look at how people in really cool places ended up there, it’s usually nothing of the sort. it’s easy to come in afterwards, employ 20/20 hindsight, pick out two random spots in their story and shoehorn them into the classical ‘just payoff’ scheme, but that don’t make it so. usually, it’s a weird, unique chain of weird shit that happened to them, and now they ended up where we can see (and idolise) them.
but neither is that a matter of things working out the way they should vs not working out the way they should, nor is it a matter of objectively cool spots vs shit spots to be in. it’s easy to see someone working on his dream job and picture their situation as all round perfect, when there’s downsides to it that we don’t easily see. usually, these people see them, but don’t prioritise them as highly, because fuck making a ton of money, i’m working on this cool thing that means something to me. (or ‘yeah well this job nets me a whole lot of money but it’s so draining i have to have a good fucking solid shower cry after i get home.’ or any other combination of upsides and downsides.) most of the time, what makes a cool spot cool is putting high priority on the things that are working out well, and not thinking too highly of the things that aren’t. (and usually, your cool spot looks much cooler from the outside than it looks to you, when you take out the trash or something)
and then, there’s also nothing wrong, or defective, in being bummed out. we have this weird thing going on that you’re always supposed to be happy and energised and on the success train, and when you’re not, something’s wrong. this is not how it works. being sad is a perfectly normal thing. being unhappy is. and so is having the blues for a while. but do also consider that outside of the fantasy construct of how things are supposed to have worked out, i bet there’s stuff you’re happy about, or can be proud of. or things you are really interested in. don’t forget to see those as well. it’s way too easy to take everything positive for granted and let it be outweighed by all the stupid negative shit, especially when it’s something stupid that lends itself to being a yardstick to measure yourself by. (like ‘you ought to be at this place, doing this, this, and this by now, and you’re only here and doing barely that.’ that’s bullshit talk. there’s no yardstick that fits everyone. some people have an easier time doing well in how society currently works and some have a damn hard time. that’s not a yardstick of your failure, that’s a yardstick of how shitty society is.)
do care for yourself. do things you like, because it ain’t work when it’s fun. do things you like because you fucking deserve to. there will be shit happening, but there will also be cool things happening. accept them as such, and don’t try to rate yourself by some sort of life benchmark. life benchmarks are meaningless. life is not a GPU.
if it’s worth anything, here’s some of my story: i’m a super introvert. always have been, never had an easy time with people. i don’t read them well, and i read weird for them. friends have always been few. this became increasingly stressful throughout school, and when i finished school and had to go to civilian service to be around people in an office >8h/day, i finally broke down. stress-triggered autoimmune illness. lost 1kg/day(!) for ~two weeks. on meds for it ever since, and probably for the rest of my life. so here i am, dude over 30, living a mostly shut-in life at my family’s place, working at uni with a 25% job while studying for a second master’s degree, still practically making no money by workplace standards. a failure by a great many standards,
but fuck that. i’m studying interesting stuff. i work on geeky hobbies because i fucking feel like doing so, and don’t anyone dare fucking judge me for it. i take the time-outs i need to cope with people-induced low energy much more serious than i did during school, when i thought i would eventually ‘get it’ and be a ‘full person’. fuck getting it, and fuck pretend-full-personhood, i am me, and while i do have a hard time doing certain things, i won’t risk my health or happiness for adhering to some arbitrary line of what’s considered ‘normal’. some people have a hard time with maths, some with foreign languages. that’s all within expected parameters. so it’s fucking a-ok for me to have difficulties with things that come easier to others. it’s the same fucking thing. if society draws a line between them, or values the ability to toil 9–5 higher than my abilities, that’s society’s thing, not mine.
i think i read so much of old-me in the way you typed your post, and i wish i could write down for you how freeing a realisation it is that you don’t need to be judging yourself by so many things that make life needlessly miserable. how it literally changes everything, because it allows you to not be put down by not being who/what you aren’t, and start working on being ok with who you are. does it prevent shit from happening? hell, i wish. does it put shit in perspective? yeah, pretty much. it certainly took a lot of weight off my shoulders and gave me much more capacity for happiness. will i be a success in life, by common standards? probably not. i’ll probably be some nutty uncle who knows all kinds of esoteric weird shit, has a few cats around, drinks a lot of tea, talks about what games used to be like, is puttering around the workshop, building yet another bow to take to the archery range, and gets randomly excited about something absolutely obscure for two weeks of complete obsession. but they are all things i care for, and i can finally allow myself to be ok with that. it sounds so trivial, ‘be happy with yourself’, or ‘like yourself more’, but it’s not. it can mean a fundamental change of values and perspective, but it’s ultimately worth it.
even if you’re rock-bottom right now, do something good to yourself so that you’re rock-bottom minus that one good thing you just did for yourself. and then be mindful of having done something to improve your well-being that was not by some external yardstick, but by what’s a good thing for you.