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  #1  
Old 19th February 2021, 18:39
Orwell20 Orwell20 is offline
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Default Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

I mean when you were a child/teen. Did you ever have any dreams or hopes or ambitions? Did you ever picture what life would be like when you were 25 or 30 or 40? Has life lived up to what you hoped?
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  #2  
Old 19th February 2021, 21:04
Moksha Moksha is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

By 10ish I knew something was wrong. I knew I had serious problems - that I was crippled with fear, couldn’t cope with socialising, etc. So I kind of knew I was in for a hellish time. Because of that I never had any of those conversations people have with their friends - sitting around smoking and talking about their dreams of backpacking around the USA, or living in Italy, or joining the Royal Navy, or whatever. I even remember looking at another kid in the street, when I was still very young, and thinking “it’s alright for you, you’re normal, you’ll be able to live a normal life.”

My teens were awful, and so were my 20s, though I guess they could have been worse. As I said, I never had any real hopes, certainly not from 11 or 12. I just hoped to survive. The only ambition I ever had was to be creative, and create beautiful art of some kind, in which I have failed. Life has turned out pretty horrible, and will probably get worse before the end, but I wouldn’t say it surprises or disappoints me. It’s about what I expected.
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  #3  
Old 19th February 2021, 22:36
firemonkey firemonkey is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

Certainly better than was expected in the early autumn of 1982 when the best expected for me was a group home, and the worst a long stay psych ward.
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  #4  
Old 20th February 2021, 06:15
Marco Marco is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

I can't really complain about how my life has turned out, but if the question was have I turned out better or worse than I expected, then I have to say that I am a huge disappointment to myself.
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  #5  
Old 20th February 2021, 09:00
girlinterrupted girlinterrupted is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

Way worse. Of course, it's bound to pick up exponentially and only be dreamy from this point on, right?
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  #6  
Old 20th February 2021, 09:08
Toxic Toxic is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

I didn't think I'd spend my 30's with health issues/anxiety choosing to try and live in pain rather than sort the problems out but I'm on my 2nd lengthy stint at the age of 34

I don't think I ever thought too far ahead - I never wanted kids but I liked the idea of having a partner - ideally finding myself a girl who liked video games as much as me (alas they get snapped up quickly) - but I think going to an all boys school (for no real reason apart from it being the nearest one in my catchment area) which also seemed to resemble Alcatraz on a good day (these "nightmare schools" they put on TV seriously aint in the same league as my school - theres a reason it was bottom of the charts/demolished) - not only made me spend my teens awkward around the opposite sex but also gave me various types of anxiety which didn't bode well for college/uni.

I kinda feel like I'm trying to catch up - I'm doing things normal folk do, I leant to drive..got a job, some savings, unfortunately at 34 I'm probably about where a 19-20 year old is ..but the social side of my life is a complete write off.

I suppose the answer is "worse" but ..it could have been worse!
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  #7  
Old 20th February 2021, 09:23
Sunrise Sunrise is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

I think it's actually turned out better, but mainly because I had very low expectations. As a young adult I thought I'd never be able to do any sort of work but I've been employed on and off for nearly a decade now. I never thought I'd be able to live on my own or drive a car, but I can do both those now. At one point I never thought I would be able to live anything resembling a normal life, but now I do in a basic way. The average person probably wouldn't be impressed with my "achievements", but I've done a lot more than I thought I ever would.

I never really had realistic ambitions. As a kid I wanted to grow up to be a cowboy, an astronaut and a unicorn. When I grew older my ambition became mostly about surviving each day. Having a career or going travelling was never something I ever thought about. I never thought I'd achieve mediocre things never mind great ones, so in a way I've actually exceeded my expectations by quite a distance.
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  #8  
Old 20th February 2021, 10:35
snoo snoo is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

I'm the other way around I think.

At a younger age, I thought mental health stuff and anxiety were things that happened to other people, no way could it happen to me.

At school I was also among the brighter kids without trying too hard, so I also presumed that life would be like this as well. As a result I had very high expectations for myself.

Over the years there were some harsh lessons, in that outside of this bubble there were people that were smarter and also willing to work harder; also that quite a lot in life is not entirely merit-based.... you don't have to look very far to see that this is the case.

So I suppose on one hand there is disappointment, but also a realisation that this disappointment is a function of comparing myself to others, or others expectations of me.

So maybe the question can be rephrased, has it turned out better or worse given what you have had to deal with? On that count I'm probably a bit behind, but not too much. There is always room for improvement.
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  #9  
Old 20th February 2021, 16:19
Tom1985 Tom1985 is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

As a teen I never really thought that far ahead. The main issue for me was never knowing what I wanted to do for a living. I'm quite envious of those who knew even at secondary school, that they were naturally interested in cars or health and beauty or electronics etc. They then finished school and could fall directly into jobs that matched their interests.

To have a bedrock of a job that pays well and gives a sense of fulfillment is a good place to be in to then be able to seek out a partner, have some stability and start your own family. Regardless of the issues I have with being an introvert, finding socialising hard and draining at times, if I had been one of those that found their feet in work early on I do believe my life would be very different.

As a result of scatter-gunning around throughout my twenties and early thirties doing various crap jobs and starting and dropping out of courses, I'm not surprised the way my life is at this point, aged 35.

I think in my teens I just expected things would fall into place and I'd do the "normal"thing and get married and have children but it's that thing of whether you actually want something or just think it's what you want because that's how you see the world operating. I heard an interesting theory about being middle aged and having no children. In evolutionary terms you are "supposed" to procreate and have children. So when you reach a certain age, your duties are to care for another human being- that is the focal point of your existence. Your energy and thoughts will all be directed towards that duty. As a consequence you won't spend time introspecting, naval-gazing and having potentially dark and depressive thoughts about your own life and your purpose. Your purpose is ensuring the safety and wellbeing of somebody else.
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  #10  
Old 20th February 2021, 21:14
DiamonD DiamonD is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

Definitely worse than i would have hoped it would be. When you are young and naive you think "When i grow up things are going to be so great". I hoped i would have had a good job, a few friends maybe that i would hang out with and also a nice boyfriend. Unfortunately none of that happened.

Since i turned 40 life really has become a very dark and depressing place. I lost all hope for any kind of true happiness a few years ago. Don't get me wrong i'm not constantly down and depressed and crying because i'm not. But i have found the whole journey of "Life" just a complete waste of time really.

So for many years now i choose to get lost in my own world of my shows and movies. The characters have become my friends and i can meet up with them any time that i choose. And the storylines become my life and my experiences.
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  #11  
Old 21st February 2021, 11:58
gregarious_introvert gregarious_introvert is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

It's hard to say whether things have turned out better or worse than expected, I think it depends on at which point of my childhood or teens I had those expectations; certainly, as a young child with parents who encouraged me to follow my dreams, I had high expectations but by my teens, all I wanted was not to be physically assaulted on a daily basis. It was during the isolation of my university years that I realised life would be more of a struggle than anticipated and by the time I had had a few jobs, it became apparent that I was never going to be able to build a career.

Other areas of my life have gone better than expected; in my teens, I thought that nobody would ever find me attractive, but that hasn't been the case and I'm now in a relationship better than any of which I could have dreamed. The road to where I am now has been bumpy, to say the least, but I'm now enjoying the best time of my life, perhaps because experiences earlier in life have lowered expectation, but all I do know is that I appreciate everything I have, probably more than those who had fewer difficulties in life.
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  #12  
Old 22nd February 2021, 18:11
Moksha Moksha is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamonD
Since i turned 40 life really has become a very dark and depressing place. I lost all hope for any kind of true happiness a few years ago. Don't get me wrong i'm not constantly down and depressed and crying because i'm not. But i have found the whole journey of "Life" just a complete waste of time really.

So for many years now i choose to get lost in my own world of my shows and movies. The characters have become my friends and i can meet up with them any time that i choose. And the storylines become my life and my experiences.
I can so relate to that DD. Since I turned 40, I've kind of given up on life. Though, like you, I wouldn't say I'm depressed. In fact, on the whole I'm happier now than I was in my teens, 20s and 30s. But it does feel hopeless (I'm sure someone will trot out the old "it's never too late" cliche). I have also retreated into fantasy. I still 'live' in the real world, but even when I'm with people I feel like I'm just going through the motions.
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  #13  
Old 22nd February 2021, 18:57
DiamonD DiamonD is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moksha
I can so relate to that DD. I have also retreated into fantasy. I still 'live' in the real world, but even when I'm with people I feel like I'm just going through the motions.
Living in your own Fantasy world is the best way to be if you ask me. You don't get let down by the skid marks of society that way
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  #14  
Old 24th February 2021, 18:21
choirgirl choirgirl is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

^^^You make a good point about expectations. Mine were too high in my teenage years. I turned out to have an array of innate traits/problems that turned out to be hard to deal with. Add Fortune's wheel turning against you on top of that, eh, it's not good. I think some are quite depressed in their teenage years, not just because of horrible things happening to them or teenage angst but because they don't see how things can get better, so many of them are probably pleasantly surprised 20 years later.
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  #15  
Old 24th February 2021, 21:22
limey123 limey123 is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

I never really had too many expectations for my life (others did, though!!). I'm in my 40s and some parts of my life are still up in the air. I don't have most of the trappings that traditionally represent "success" and probably never will. I just want to get through life intact, hopefully help and love others along the way, and ideally leave a good memory of me to others. If I can make a difference in the world, that would be awesome, but I wouldn't consider it failure as such if I didn't. I suppose if you make a difference in any others' lives then you are making a difference of sorts by default. Of course, you hope it's a difference for the better!!

I once saw these as good questions to ask yourself on your deathbed (but ideally you should consider them LONG before then, as its otherwise waaaaay too late!):

- Did I live?
- Did I love?
- Did I matter?
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  #16  
Old 25th February 2021, 11:06
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

If you'd have asked me up to about 16 or 17 (around when I left school) what I thought about how my life has turned out, I'd probably be a bit disappointed. Not in every aspect but in some.

But if you asked me after that point, I think I'd say it has turned out much better than I expected.

Looking back, I really struggled in my late teens and some parts of my 20s.
Back then, I didn't think it would last forever, but it easily could've done.

I was anxious, lacked confidence, had no direction, no prospects etc.

Sometimes it only takes one event to set things off on the right path to turn things around for the better.

Luckily that happened and I'm much better off than where I could've been.

If I can ride my life out as it is now, without any major incidents, for the next 10+ years I'll be very pleased.

If I had to choose whether to keep things as they are or take a gamble on things getting better (or worse), I'd stick every time.

I'm very grateful for what I have and the only real bad thing about my life now is that I worry too much about it going wrong.

Of course, there's lots that could be better, but I'd gladly stick with that I have rather than try and make it better, just in case that makes it worse some how.

Although change is inevitable and not being able to handle change can cause problems in itself, so who knows how the rest of my life will go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Candleholder
In my teens and early adulthood I had a social life, and I think I just assumed that this would carry on forever. But all I remember of those times was a feeling of constant stress and anxiety, where every day was a series of minor failures and humiliations,
^ I can relate to this. When I had a social life, although I was glad to have it, I did find it stressful and unrewarding for many reasons.
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  #17  
Old 26th February 2021, 21:09
LittleMissMouse LittleMissMouse is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

A bit of a mix, some things have gone better than I ever could have hoped for, which was mostly due to just being in the right place at the right time.

A lot of things sort of turned out worse though, well not worse, but I'm just not where the average 40 year old should be or where I thought I would be at 40. I still pretty much identify as a fresh of out university wet behind the ears 20-something year old. I haven't hit any of the benchmarks most people my age have, still renting, terminally single, no children, haven't even ever owned a car, never had to wear smart clothes to work (which I think has always seemed the epitome of being a proper grown up to me). But then I sometimes think, not having hit the benchmarks doesn't necessarily mean I've failed in life, it's just not the path I'd anticipated, I have managed to fill the time with stuff, just not stuff like getting married and having kids and having a mortgage.
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  #18  
Old 2nd March 2021, 18:46
Orwell20 Orwell20 is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleMissMouse

A lot of things sort of turned out worse though, well not worse, but I'm just not where the average 40 year old should be or where I thought I would be at 40. I still pretty much identify as a fresh of out university wet behind the ears 20-something year old. I haven't hit any of the benchmarks most people my age have, still renting, terminally single, no children, haven't even ever owned a car, never had to wear smart clothes to work (which I think has always seemed the epitome of being a proper grown up to me).
I used to think like that LMM. But I’m well over it now. Plenty of people hit those targets and yet remain pathetic, childish twats. The people I admire and seek to imitate are the ones who genuinely don’t care what others think of them. They just do their own thing and laugh at people who spend their life keeping up with the Joneses (I don’t mean you are like that btw). In my experience, such people are much happier. I know someone who stacks shelves in Tesco for a living, even though he has two MAs and dropped out of a PhD. He just doesn’t give a ****. He never married or had kids and spends his time birdwatching, fishing, writing poetry, etc. He’ll take a deckchair on a summer day, set it up next to a river, then spend the afternoon watching the world go by. He doesn’t want any hassle or stress, and just does whatever makes him happy.
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  #19  
Old 3rd March 2021, 09:58
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

^ finding what you enjoy in life and doing it without any care of what others might think is the key to happiness I think, though if you lack confidence it can be hard to live that way.
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  #20  
Old 3rd March 2021, 17:47
limey123 limey123 is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orwell20
They just do their own thing and laugh at people who spend their life keeping up with the Joneses

"How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks"

Marcus Aurelius
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  #21  
Old 4th March 2021, 18:27
Sisyphus Sisyphus is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

I never knew what I wanted or had any hopes for the future. I was infantilized by my parents, more specifically my mother, and I simply waited, assuming that some day I would grow up and know what the hell I was meant to do in this world.

Just before my mother died she was still treating me as if I was five years old.

I did the things I was meant to do, job, house, car, relationships. None of them made me happy. Only now, after a great deal of work and a lot of heartache, am I starting to see where it all went wrong and how to finally make it go right. I just need to find the courage to do it.
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  #22  
Old 3rd April 2021, 19:01
sparky10 sparky10 is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

It has to worse than expected, especially the last five years which I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest nightmares.
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  #23  
Old 4th April 2021, 18:17
limey123 limey123 is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sisyphus
Only now, after a great deal of work and a lot of heartache, am I starting to see where it all went wrong and how to finally make it go right.
Really hope things get better for you. Could you share any "aha" moments you've had?
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  #24  
Old 4th April 2021, 20:04
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky10
It has to worse than expected, especially the last five years which I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest nightmares.
It sounds like you've had a really tough time
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  #25  
Old 4th April 2021, 23:55
T T is offline
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Default Re: Has your life turned out better or worse than you expected?

I think it's been a balance of better and worst for me, the best is SA doesn't hold me back in doing things I love like my hobbies or going to festivals/gigs it's hard to explain why SA doesn't stop me from doing it part of me thinks I'm boasting that I can do this but it's not and trust me it's damn hard how far I come to conquer things like that, the worst is my communication with people I struggle if I don't know the person or if something broke in the house and had to phone someone to come fix it, I guess I'm not good with dramatic change very well, i hate using the phone i have certain senarios when using the phone and takes me a few attempts to use it also on the relationship side is non existent that has played on my mind whilst I watched my close friends get married and have kids also when I was growing up I struggled with how I looked that messed up my head abit but I've learnt to love my looks now so it's a mixed bag I guess
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