|Dec16-10, 11:52 PM||#1|
regretting wasting time
wtf is wrong with me? background- I'm getting my masters in math from a top 25 school, but i'm 26. I spent the previous years of my life doing busy work and playing video games/watching anime.
Now, for around half an hour per day, i would write on pieces of paper a fictionalized account of my age from 11-25 (i chose 11 because that's when i decided to say '**** school' and get addicted to video games, then drugs at 13, even though i really wanted to do amc despite average skill in math). I would have 'stories', in journal format, like 'today i finished algebra 2 and am learning geometry', sketching out time lines of my goals and what i accomplished. Most of the time i would start calculus in 8th grade. Sometimes, in addition to math, I would master a language, instrument, or sport. I would calculate the hours and see how much time i could use to learn new skills.
this is usually late at night. when i go to sleep, my mind would be full of imagined scenarios with me discovering books and reading them, etc. I never feel sad, since i know i am VERY fortunate to at least get into grad school, or even study in the first world, but i feel HAPPY when i do these things. That's the part that scares me. I'm smiling when I imagine feeling in awe of math and reconstructing theorems of my own and just having more knowledge about math than i do now (at 26, which would be the age people get phds and make their top contributions). and i love this imagined world much more than my current one. hell, i HATE my current life, and i only enjoy working on my degree, reading papers, etc. (though i occasionally go on forums once or twice a week, but only between breaks at night). I have friends, but no gf, but i have dated in recent months, but my entire life is focused on 'catching up', and because i have to work a part time job i'm even MORE paranoid about falling behind. i feel like i'll never get a job in math and will end up somewhere else.
i don't want to be the greatest in math, but i want to have the SKILL to do it. It's so damn competitive.... and this is the age i'm supposed to be settling down.
so far i'm doing good. but compared do others, i don't think i'm doing good ENOUGH to survive. there's some ego thing going on; mainly, it's that i have no skills in life and this is the only thing i've built up since i was 22. it's just that my TIME feels fading- i'm obsessed with it.
I horribly regret my previous years, and I feel old and disgusted about all the fun math things i missed when i was younger. I also feel that my knowledge is **** compared to others and I'll never accomplish anything.
i feel like i'm reconstructing my own memories.
so, uh, anyone else do this?
|Dec17-10, 02:37 AM||#2|
Welcome to PF, Nantucket.
It appears to me that if you get over some capitalization and punctuation issues, you have the makings of a very good writer. Maybe that's your calling?
|Dec17-10, 09:20 AM||#3|
I'm not qualified to comment on the academic/practical side of your post, but here are some thoughts for what they are worth (hope they are not too far off beam).
First a question. Are you writing for half an hour a day now? Your statement is in the past tense.
I don't understand why your life is focussed on catching up. You seem to have "life staging posts", "at 26 I should have a PhD", "this is the age I am supposed to be settling down" (can you do both at the same time?). If you are setting yourself goals, at the end of the day you have to be realistic about them being attainable. I say this because of the "imagined" element in your post.
It's unfortunate you felt the need to make that choice at eleven. You seem to know it was a mistake, but it's done, the only thing to do now is learn from it and move on. Letting that choice colour your present will not help. Neither will regret or "feeling old and disgusted..." (I'm thinking more along the lines of you're 26 and you made a past mistake).
As for never accomplishing anything, you already have accomplished things and shouldn't write yourself off so easily.
You have the knowledge you have, others don't come into it.
From what I see you have got it in you to get a Math job if you really want it, though I am probably the least qualified person on this forum to say that.
You are 26, you're time certainly isn't fading.
I suspect you realise that what you are doing is unproductive as you are stating very clearly and honestly the imagined side and how much you like it, and the reality of your life, which you don't seem to like, but the reality sounds pretty good to me (I may misunderstand you, I'm no high flyer). Having an imaginary world as a replacement for a real one never works. Been there, done that. You realise that you enjoy working on your degree, but this alone won't bring you the happiness you seek. Something more is needed? If the writing and the imagined world only make you happy (you state you love it), I would suggest this is wrong if it is at the expense of the other aspects of your life.
Quote: "so, uh, anyone else do this?" - yes, though perhaps they don't let it control their lives as much.
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