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Old September 16 2010, 10:08 AM   #1
J. Allen
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I Feel Odd...

So I'm staying up, this morning, like every morning, waiting to wake up dad so he can get off to work on time, and I'm looking through some Facebook photos of friends from high school. I see all of the grown up faces, parents with children, these same parents I knew as fellow high school students. Then I think of how long it's been since I saw these people in person, and it has been 11 years. 11 years since my Senior year in high school.

That wasn't the odd part, I've ruminated on my high school years before, but it was the reaction I felt this time, and I have never felt it before. I felt this burning sensation in my eyes, almost as if I were about to cry, but without the accompanying sadness that goes along with it. If I were to describe the feeling, it would be emptiness, with a sense of foreboding, and a hot feeling, like a desert, behind that sense of emptiness. Does anyone follow at this point?

Anyway, and I glance down at the clock on my desktop, the Windows clock, and it says 4:53 AM, and then 9/16/2010 underneath. And I start staring at the 9/16/2010, then just the 2010 part of the date, and for some reason I just can't stop looking at the year 2010, and visually subtracting years from it and adding to them. I tilt my head sideways, like a dog would hearing a high whistle, and I just keep staring at the date, all the while this burning sensation of crying in my eyes, and this feeling of utter emptiness, and it's the strangest feeling I've ever had in my life. The most out of place thing on top of that? The sudden awareness of silence. Suddenly, there wasn't a noise to be heard anywhere in the house, and my whole body started feeling hot/heated, and that I was alone in the room and was totally aware of it. Focused on it.

I couldn't decide on whether I should just disregard it and go on doing what I was doing, or post about it here in the hopes of, well, something, I don't know what.
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Old September 16 2010, 10:19 AM   #2
RJDiogenes
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Re: I Feel Odd...

Sounds like you've got a Poem there.

Sometimes it really does hit me, the amount of time that has passed in my life. High School acquaintances? Most of them I haven't seen in about 26 years, since the first and only reunion I went to. A couple of months ago, I had to drop off my car at the shop and then walk to pick up a loaner, and I had to pass by my old High School. I passed a lot of kids on their way home and I kept expecting to see familiar faces-- it was very strange.

Every so often the knowledge of impermanence makes itself known, probably more often as you get older. I find the best cure for that is denial.
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Old September 16 2010, 10:56 AM   #3
J. Allen
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Re: I Feel Odd...

Maybe, but I don't know. I've never felt that feeling before. Nostalgia, sure. This? This was different. I can't quite explain it, although I love your "denial" suggestion.
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Old September 16 2010, 10:58 AM   #4
scotpens
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Re: I Feel Odd...

I've never been big on reminiscing or nostalgia. I tend to deal with where my life is now and try not to dwell on the past. And I don't go to reunions. I figure the teenage jerks I knew in high school are probably a bunch of middle-aged jerks now.

Well, maybe this video makes me just a bit nostalgic. Part of it (starting at 0:55) was shot at my high school, Birmingham High in Van Nuys, CA.

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Old September 16 2010, 11:28 AM   #5
iguana_tonante
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Re: I Feel Odd...

Sarek of Vulcan wrote: View Post
If I were to describe the feeling, it would be emptiness, with a sense of foreboding, and a hot feeling, like a desert, behind that sense of emptiness.
(...)
I just keep staring at the date, all the while this burning sensation of crying in my eyes, and this feeling of utter emptiness, and it's the strangest feeling I've ever had in my life.
(...)
my whole body started feeling hot/heated, and that I was alone in the room and was totally aware of it. Focused on it.
What you are feeling, J., is time.

For we all know it: time is the fire in which we burn.
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Old September 16 2010, 01:59 PM   #6
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Re: I Feel Odd...

Sounds like you're catching on to the fact that time is passing you by. That your friends have grown up and started their own families while, 11 years after High School, you're still living at home. And, that makes you 29? So throw in the fact that you're nearly 30.

I think it's a normal sensation for some one in your position. I would NOT ignore it.

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Old September 16 2010, 02:07 PM   #7
TheBrew
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Re: I Feel Odd...

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
Sarek of Vulcan wrote: View Post
If I were to describe the feeling, it would be emptiness, with a sense of foreboding, and a hot feeling, like a desert, behind that sense of emptiness.
(...)
I just keep staring at the date, all the while this burning sensation of crying in my eyes, and this feeling of utter emptiness, and it's the strangest feeling I've ever had in my life.
(...)
my whole body started feeling hot/heated, and that I was alone in the room and was totally aware of it. Focused on it.
What you are feeling, J., is time.

For we all know it: time is the fire in which we burn.
Well, I like to play with fire.

J., it might be a feeling of regret or envy. You are thinking of everyone who has moved on. I've not had that strange feeling of sadness without the sadness, but I have been in a similar situation as you. How goes your classwork? I think you mentioned you started taking classes at a JC a while back.
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Old September 16 2010, 02:11 PM   #8
Jenee
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Re: I Feel Odd...

I was about that age when I had a similar experience. I was working in fast food and teasing my manager about his age, when he countered "Don't laugh, you're on the downside to 30."

I started to say something clever, but before I could get it out, I realized he was right. I was 26 years old and working in fast food. My entire life was ... a game. I had done nothing.

I suddenly felt - really felt that expression "life is passing me by". And it was, everyone else was getting on the train of life, getting jobs, getting married, having kids. And here I was just standing there on the side of the tracks.

I know you don't feel like you can leave, J. But, I really think a change of scenery will do you good.
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Old September 16 2010, 02:17 PM   #9
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Re: I Feel Odd...

Sarek of Vulcan wrote: View Post
Maybe, but I don't know. I've never felt that feeling before. Nostalgia, sure. This? This was different. I can't quite explain it, although I love your "denial" suggestion.
I'm not sure if I really understand what you were feeling as you said yourself it was hard to describe, but I do know that our minds can start to act strange if you stay up really late, and it's not from being tired. You just start getting a weird meditative state that may be conducive to strange indescribable feelings.
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Old September 16 2010, 02:35 PM   #10
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Re: I Feel Odd...

Ever since I hit 30 (just over a year ago), I've been feeling like time is catching up with me. Most of the people I went to school with have families of their own, while I'm not even seeing anyone at the moment. A lot of them have careers, while I'm still looking for something that engages me enough to stick with for more than 6 months.

It seems I'm paying the price for refusing to grow up. I still wake up sometimes and can't believe I'm 31. It feels like yesterday that I was celebrating my 21st, and feeling like I had all the time in the world.

It certainly makes the lyrics to Pink Floyd's Time more and more poignant...

And then the one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun...
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Old September 16 2010, 03:08 PM   #11
AMQ
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Re: I Feel Odd...

It's passage of time.
Sometimes I look at my younger sisters and I can't recogize them. We have big age gaps betweet us so I always think of them as children. Just yesterday I met my sister and even though I live with her seeing her in front of her/my former high school with her friends I almost didn't recognize her... It hit me that the child I use to babysit is a young woman.
It was one of the moments that you mention when my whole body started feeling hot/heated, and that I was alone in the room and was totally aware of it. Just like that - almost panick attack.

I also get overwhelmed just seeing the number 2010, it seems to me that I should've been a different person based on how much time has passed.

Some of my friends also have kids and weddings and engagements and all those serious adult stuff and it's not that I haven't moved in any direction since high school but still that just makes me think - where did the time go?
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Old September 16 2010, 03:39 PM   #12
kes7
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Re: I Feel Odd...

If it makes you feel better, those of us who have careers and families and houses and stuff aren't immune to this feeling you describe. I'm 29 with a husband, two kids, and a career, and Facebook gives me that feeling quite a bit. Something about seeing everyone's life story condensed into that format makes it really hit home how quickly time is passing, and it makes me feel nervous and unsettled inside.
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Old September 16 2010, 03:45 PM   #13
Finn
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Re: I Feel Odd...

Well. For me, it has been 12 years since I left my alma mater, which I attended for 12 years ago. It has been between 8 and 12 years since I've seen most of my old schoolmates. On my last count, there are five old schoolmates who I knew still around here. Two of them have met my fiancee briefly

While many of them have gotten married and started families of their own, I most certain don't envy them or feel inadequate at all. I'm in a glorious chapter of my life, working toward a second degree and working on my own desk in my office at the Biology Department as an engaged man. My old schoolmates would be pleased to hear about how I am these days.

But there are times when I miss the old days when I still lived in the Springfield/Hartford area.
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Old September 16 2010, 03:49 PM   #14
Mr Awe
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Re: I Feel Odd...

^^ I think marriage/family life isn't for everyone. However, everyone wants a purpose, a direction in their life. A sense of accomplishment. The specifics vary greatly between people but I don't think anyone wants no purpose or no accomplishments. You are happy with where you're going, that's great!

The OP isn't and will hopefully make adjustments. The longer you wait the harder it gets.

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Old September 16 2010, 03:56 PM   #15
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Re: I Feel Odd...

25 years since my high school graduation and cliched as it sounds I've found I'm most satisfied when I'm trying to make the world a better place for other people. I have a family to care for but when I had more time found a lot of satisfaction volunteering at church and college. Someone else always has it worse than you and you'll never lack for something useful to do if you think about how you can really make a positive difference for someone else.

If you can find something that is related to one your own passions it's double karma. Our local elem schools have a "Girls-On-the-Run" program that gets elem girls on the road running. It's perfect. I get to exercise and meet some really great kids I'm not even related to - they get to exercise - we all win.
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