posted on Jul, 23 2016 @ 11:52 PM
I have been struggling with some form of the 'empty nest' syndrome since my daughter's high school graduation. The entire group of young adults
that have hung out with our family for the last decade are all dispersing into their colleges, jobs and military service and I am already missing
helping them all grow and get through their challenges as it has been a big part of what I have enjoyed the last few years.
I have really enjoyed working with the teens the last few years and so many of them will be life long friends, but the daily day to day of having a
house full of young people hanging out at my home is over for the most part. However, there is more to it since I am only 50 years old and basically
retired. I worked the first 15 years of my adult life in corporate America for a bank and then was fortunate enough to begin a career in real estate
and development. The last few years I have been dedicated to coaching, mentoring and helping the young people surrounding my daughter.
I am at a point where I need to reinvent myself because doing nothing is not fulfilling. I generally consider myself to be a introverted
inconsiderate jerk, but over the last few months of grad parties and going away parties I have found that I actually did have a big impact on many
lives and despite my best efforts to the contrary I was valued by many people. I mean I WAS being selfish because I derived enjoyment helping the
kids with their problems because I have had the time and resources that a lot of their parents didn't have. I never actually thought that anything
especially good would come of it because I was always doing it for my own selfish enjoyment of helping them not because I was a nice person.
Anyway, I know this is not really jelling like I would like, but at a going away party for one of the girls that has been such a big part of my life
the last few years (she is going into the Air Force) I kept getting hugs from parents, young adults and all kinds of grateful people. Selfishly, I
will really miss being important to people and not having anymore more opportunities for helping these people out (except infrequently).
I am actually really confused about what to do with myself. I have considered fostering or adopting (again because I selfishly enjoy having people
that need me), going back to school for a variety of things (law degree, education, etc) that would let me work with people that I can either help
with legal problems or teach so I can get back into a position where I can work with young people again.
I just don't know WHAT to do. I have time and money, but no direction. I never really have known what it is I want to be or do. I did the first 15
years in banking and finance to make money to live not because I enjoyed it and then I used real estate to become financially comfortable and I
actually did enjoy it until my business partner decided to take a lucrative sales opportunity a couple of years ago.
Damn, I am just confused, reading books on anything from finding life's purpose to depression to self help to science to just random things trying to
find SOMETHING I am passionate about. I am just kind of floating with nothing in particular I have to do and no one that needs me (my wife and I are
doing great, but she doesn't NEED me she tolerates me for some reason). It's just weird right now.
I also am still thinking about my mother dying at what I consider a young age (73). I don't know if that has something to do with how I am feeling.
We hadn't been super close since I was a teen because of some cheating she did on my dad, but I still find myself thinking about her dying of cancer
after being a health nut her entire life and thinking well, how many more years do I have and is there any point to going back to school or doing
anything if she only made it to 73 and she took way better care of herself that I do myself.
So, yeah, I am a hot mess tonight. Rudderless and adrift in the ocean with no particular place to go.
I apologize if this OP has made you want 5 minutes of your life back, but thanks for reading.
I am just feeling really weirded out tonight.