Feeling a bit lost

Initially I wasn’t really sure whether to write a post like this or not. But then I guess I like to be honest and transparent in my blog so might as well.

In general, I’m a very happy and upbeat person. I’m a glass half-full kind of girl. And a lot of times this can get me into trouble because I won’t have back-up plans or contingencies because I assume everything will be fine. I don’t like to dwell on sad things or not see things in a positive light – I’m very much an optimist. I’ll bat of things with positivity and jokes. Happiness is my default, and I know I’m lucky in that respect.

But lately I’ve been a bit down. I don’t really like to mention these sorts of things on my blog as my blog is, in general, a happy space where I waffle on about running and random fluffy stuff. But sometimes it’s good to be honest and to show that whatever you might see on the outside, it’s not necessarily true of reality.

I feel like I’m lost. I don’t know what I’m doing any more (did I ever? Does anyone ever?). I’ve just turned 29 and I don’t know where my life is going. I thought I had it all figured out. When I was growing up I studied hard, always with the goal of university and a career I loved. That sort of turned out as it should but other things happened and the years flew by and now I’m not so certain of anything anymore.

Yes it’s partly that horrible comparison trap again. Seeing what others are doing around me. My friends, family and people on social media all seeming to have such control and direction in their life. While I feel like I’m a ship in the middle of the ocean and I don’t know which direction to sail. I’m floating aimlessly. I’m not sinking but I’m not going anywhere either.

I’m happy in general, don’t get me wrong. Life is very good. I have a good job, I earn good money, I own my own flat, I have wonderful and supportive friends and family, I can go on nice holidays and buy nice things…I really have nothing to complain about. But I have no purpose and a bit of an emptiness inside. Oh I know, this is such a “first world problem” and one of those horribly cliched ideals of modern life. I am well aware of how blessed and lucky I am. But I still can’t help but feel down.

I think my issue is my current lifestyle. I live in a lovely suburban area full of lovely friendly people… but people who have their 2.4 children, their family homes and they’re all settled down. I however am not in that world. I don’t have kids, I don’t have a “family”. But nor am I living the lifestyle of a young (yes? I’m still young right?) single woman. It’s a full on 20 minute drive to get into town and the nearest shop to me is the huge Next Home shop and PC World.

I should be in the thick of it, amongst other young, carefree people who aren’t planning their baby showers or what they’ll do in the school holidays. But I’m not. I’m going to work and coming home, going to work and coming home. I can’t go out with my work colleagues because it’s an hour away from where I live (by car) and I have Alfie at home waiting for me. I can’t, on a whim, ring up a nearby friend and just head out for the evening because they either live too far away or have family-orientated plans. I’ve got all these barriers stopping me from living a proper single life. The only way to date is online dating and so far this has not gone particularly well. I feel like I’m watching life pass me by.

I’m happy and comfortable…But I’m worried that I’ll tick along like this on autopilot and one day wake up and I’m still single, still floating aimlessly and years have flown by. Something has to change I guess. It’s just being brave enough to make that change.

Have you ever felt like this?

What advice would you give?

19 Replies to “Feeling a bit lost”

  1. thank you for the honest post – you may enjoy reading Liz Goodchild’s blog http://www.lizgoodchild.co.uk/, she is a coach who used to be an ultrarunner and writes in a very compassionate way about people’s search for meaning. And no, it’s not a first world problem, it’s very much a human thing.

  2. Brave post, well done on making it.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever felt like you describe exactly – everyone is different ofc – but I have had a tendency to drift along at a couple of points in life.

    Firstly, it’s tremendously positive you seem to recognise you’re in a rut and that courage is needed to make a change.

    Secondly, what, in my experience, I found harder was deciding exactly what should be changed and why. Until you solve that puzzle – and on this you, like everyone else, is on their own – I’d caution against making drastic decisions with long-term consequences.

    On the other hand, you only live once and there’s often only one way to find out…:-)

  3. I’m a couple of years younger and feel similar. I’m a bit of a loner and like my own time, space but lately I have felt the ticking of being alone more. I think it’s the fact that so many around me are settled (married, or long term relationships compared to even 2 years ago) that I feel I’m becoming more of an oddity being single, and it gets harder to make yourself *not* single the longer you are.

    This is going to sound slightly out there but maybe you should consider moving totally. Look at jobs in London or a city nearer you but actually in a bigger city, where there are lots of singletons, lots of opportunity to meet people, and just more variety of everything. I know that would be a huge change, moving job and city but maybe it’s something BIG that you need to get going again. If that makes sense? I suppose it would depend on how much in your life you feel you need to change? How up for starting-over you are? Sometimes the thought of leaving Oxford scares me but increasingly the thought of staying, scares me more…

  4. Anna I feel exactly the same! I sometimes find it really hard to imagine my life over the next few years as I’m stuck in that gap between being young and out all the time and being settled with a partner… I wonder if I’ll wake up at 31, 32 etc and nothing will have changed which won’t be the worst thing in the world as, like you have said, I have a nice enough life but…ugh, it’s hard sometimes still not to focus on what’s “missing”.
    I think even thinking of making changes is a good first step – I will never regret that I packed up and moved to Dubai (not suggesting you do that!) even if at the moment I’m not having the easiest time here (maybe that’s a post for my blog for another day but I’m pretty much going to work and coming home with some Netflix thrown in which is maybe not quite what I wanted out of life over here!) x

  5. I think it’s perfectly normal to feel this way. And although you may feel like you are getting older, you are really so young still. One of my friends has been dating for a while and has just started getting serious with a guy, and she is 35- you can’t rush these things.
    It does sound like a house move would be a good idea though, either closer to work or to friends so you could take more advantage of things that crop up. I like that saying “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”- so your idea of changing something is a good one, you just need to decide what!
    I haven’t felt exactly like that, but I do sometimes feel like the odd one out with my friends (as I am not married, and don’t have or want kids- pretty much all of my friends now are married with children).
    Maria @ Maria runs recently posted…Music concerts in the summer time and a trip to a lavender farmMy Profile

  6. I identify with this post a lot!! I think it’s common to feel this way, like other people might have it better or that your missing out on life somehow. I’m lrealising more and more though that it’s okay to be content with the simple pleasures of life, it’s okay to go for a run, train at the gym, enjoy your family, good food, friends and the simple pleasures of life. Why does everything have to be more complicated? Of course it’s good to push yourself out of your comfort zone and do something different and new, but you don’t have to do/live in a way that anyone else does – you can do what makes you happy – it’s totally okay! I don’t like going out drinking and partying the night away and as a young person (27) that can feel “wrong” sometimes but it’s not necessary for a happy life. I think in order to feel content it’s important to have friends who you connect with and can have conversations with about these kinds of things and who understand you/can relate.
    I’m a silent reader of this blog but I really identify with so many of your posts and feel like we are similar in lots of ways, hopefully that doesn’t sound creepy, :p haha! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  7. Hi Anna
    Great blog post. There are two things that struck me when I read this post:

    1. Always remember: “happiness is wanting what you have, not having what you want”: cheesy but very true and helps to remind us to be grateful for what we have, rather than compare ourselves to others and what they have (or seem to have).

    2. Maybe consider a detox or break from social media? I have read so many articles saying that the more people use social media, the more unhappy they are. Constantly posting pictures and statuses to twitter/facebook/instagram to keep up with other social media types must be exhausting. I often think that if people are genuinely having such a good time on holiday/at a restaurant/at a race/at an event etc then why the need to take photos of everything and post online to get approval/likes from strangers on the internet. How about just enjoy the moment for what it is! I’m sure a lot of the people who post their “happy pictures” are actually not that happy or secure in reality, its all very superficial and just leads to the comparison trap.

  8. Hi Anna – I’m the chap who introduced himself to you at Park Run a few weeks ago. I felt rather directionless around age 30 too. After a lot of studying and short-term jobs, I finally retrained for a career that helped me to feel I was moving forwards and helping other people too. I’m still looking for a long term relationship but I’m having to be patient.
    I love reading your posts because your enthusiasm for life, and running in particular, really shine through. I’m sure that if you keep hold of that passion then the right paths will open up for you. Your other friends have written some great advice and I hope you are soon able to see more clearly all the amazing things you have going for you.

  9. I can relate to this too, and have enjoyed reading the other comments to see that there’s a lot of us in the same boat! I guess you could describe it as feeling a bit guilty about wanting change because our lives are good at the moment and so much better than what a lot of other people have got, but at the same time it doesn’t make us completely happy! And don’t even get me started on the dating front! The dating scene, even online, has changed massively and I just do not like the way it’s gone! Can’t someone just spot me in a cafe one day and ask for my number?!

    Anyway, I’m not sure what additional advice to give other than what the previous commenters have said. I agree that you should take the plunge and change something! And definitely stop comparing yourself to other people, especially those on social media! xx

  10. I felt EXACTLY like this when I was 29. I was single, living alone in a condo that I owned, and I had a good career. I was also an avid runner. But I felt disconnected. Maybe a bit isolated? I had a good community of online friends but not many friends who I would see on a daily basis. It was basically just my co-workers. I knew I wanted to get married, but it’s not easy to just go out and find a suitable lifetime mate. So, I totally relate to this. I don’t have any advice other than that things can change pretty quickly. It’s good you are thankful for everything you do have, but yeah, that lost feeling is kinda uncomfortable.
    Elizabeth C. recently posted…Lawyers Revenge!My Profile

  11. Me too Anna 🙂 and it looks like a fair few people are saying me too in the comments! I’m 30, single, I like where I live, I love my job, my friends, my dog, my hobbies, I have a bit of money… But there’s something missing, and I’m down too. I feel like I’m frantically online dating to try and fill the gap! As if I need a person to do those little, gap-filly things with. I get what you mean by go to work… Come home, and repeat. And i have to make an effort to fill my weekend up, and do stuff in the evening, or I just end up feeling lost and anxious. Feels like everyone else has someone, and I’m just doing things on my own. It does suck and is really disconcerting. I like what I read above about happiness being about loving what we have… I am so fortunate and need to remember that! You have had a big life change, and it’s the things that we can’t control that do seem to define us and become goals, like children and relationships… I’m just hoping the universe will deliver! Xxx

  12. I think you should go for post parkrun cake with Tim. ☺️

    I’m also another one for changing location of home, work, or both. Running can be done anywhere: running clubs are all full of lovely people. But it sounds like you may be living in the wrong area, and your commute takes a lot of time!

    Courage. It is OK to be unhappy even when surroundings are good. It happens. And online dating is grim (the two successful couples I know of met on Guardian soulmates, and the nicest chap I met was on that too).

  13. I have to be honest, I feel a bit like this too. Work, eat, sleep and repeat. I work long hours so have very little time and I worry I’ll hit retirement before I know it and not actually have done anything with my life.
    Rebecca recently posted…Gosport Golden Mile 2017My Profile

  14. Girl, we ALL feel this way from time to time. Shoot – Ive been married for 8 years and I still feel that way because we haven’t had kids yet! My life seems so repetitive sometimes – work, eat, sleep and thats it. But I have to remember that life is a journey and I can’t get wrapped up into the future. Just focus on the moment – and make memories while I can!
    kat recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #137My Profile

  15. Oh Anna, it’s such a shame that someone as effervescent as yourself has been feeling down, but as you’ve seen from the comments, it’s more normal than a Social Media timeline would have you believe.

    Please don’t compare yourself against what others put on their Social Media pages; it’s a bit like watching highlights of a sporting event where the boring and unglamorous stuff we all know exists doesn’t make it to the surface, let alone sit above water questioning which direction to sail. Very few people have the honesty to talk about their feelings in the way you’ve done here and that’s such an enviable quality to possess.

    I’m too shy to reveal who I am (unless #revealyourtwittercrush ever trends) so can possibly relate to how you feel about dating, but you’re articulate, beautiful and I’m sure you have many other qualities that shine through in person that would mean so many guys would consider themselves very lucky to be with you. One day you’ll meet someone when you’re least expecting it and everything will click. I know it’s hard to take comfort from that, but it will happen; how can it not with your smile?

    x

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