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The wrong life

Chloe

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Have you ever felt as though you were living the wrong life?

I have a good life by most measures. I have made significant progress toward professional and personal goals, have everything I need and much of what I want, and have few regrets. For years now, however, there has been this undercurrent of feeling that I am living the wrong life, almost like those sci/fi stories in which someone lands in a parallel universe where their life turned out quite differently. I look back and wonder, at what point did I make the "wrong" turn away from that parallel existence? Which is the life I was "meant" to lead? My real life is the better life, so why do I feel so strongly called by the alternative, as if I am missing something more important than all I actually have? Has anyone else experienced something like this?

for starts, you should get more literal about wrong turns in your life, not so broad. because this way, keeping it abstract, you wont make real life changes if you dont define problem more precisely.
what you described almost sounds like my daily horoscope :D, no offense..... just pointing out that sometimes answers are right in front of our nose while we keep digging in theories :)
 

Coriolis

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I kept things general, especially in the OP, because I was less interested in trying to get someone to help me solve my problems than in seeing how commonplace this perspective is, and how others might have experienced it. Yes, I hope this sort of input does help me, but I am curious about it as a more general phenomenon as well. Highlander speculated that it might be type-related, which hadn't occurred to me but is an interesting premise. I had assumed that every type would be subject to this in their own way.
 

KilgoreTrout

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I often feel as though I was born in the wrong generation. I would have killed the 50's, 60's and early 70's.

In all seriousness I often struggle with how modern society is set-up, how successes are measured, and how it differs from what I would find ideal. I think by and large, living life has been thrown to the wayside (especially in America) and it is hard to jump off of the hamster wheel. I try to make sure I am doing all I can to live up to my own ideals.
 

Coriolis

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What would you find "ideal"? What attracts you about those other decades? How do you come to terms with being in the generation you are in?
 

JivinJeffJones

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I've felt that way since I was about 12. I guess I figured that's life for the vast majority, and that people just try not to think about it.

Actually I still figure that.
 

Morpeko

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I would say that objectively, my life is decent. I have a solid educational background and job (nothing notably special, but pretty good for a first full-time position), material possessions, and supportive family, and I can partake activities that I personally find to be very fulfilling. However, my answer would be different from the OP's because I have not made significant progress toward my personal goals, although I would say that the main reason why is because a lot of them are not achievable. I always feel as though I was born in the wrong body, and that plagues my mind basically every day. I also do think a lot about how I've probably consistently made the "wrong" decisions in life, and how that's put me in a place that I shouldn't be. Maybe it's better, maybe it's worse, but it seems wrong to me.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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I feel like a stranger in my life. I'm another soul out of place. Absolutely
 

тень

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I feel that I am living the wrong life more often than I am living the right life. Ive personally done the best ive can, in all my situations, but I can't help but feel despite that. I have fallen short of my potential.
 

Hermit of the Forest

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I often feel like my life is hopelessly mixed and messed up. Most people I’ve observed seem to as well.
 

Stigmata

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I often feel like my life is hopelessly mixed and messed up. Most people I’ve observed seem to as well.

This is true. While some people make project the illusion of heing more direction and/or being more composed, we're all mostly collectively winging this thing we call existence. I, too, feel perpetually out of place in this world, with exterior influences causing the feeling to have varying levels of pervasiveness within my concious thoughts.
 

Galena

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Capitalism, longstanding patterns of fear influencing life choices, or combinations of the two I believe would cover the vast majority of cases of this.
 

chubber

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I think they call it a narcissistic injury. You want to control something out of your control. The only thing you can control is yourself. It takes lots of practice for mindfulness or meditation. Its hard.
 

Alice Unchained

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Talking too much to people brings up such thought :) But when you think about it, all talented people were obsessed my their vision/passion to an extend that they could not make "wrong" turns. They literally couldn't focus on anything else regardless of their challenges. So I don't believe it is a matter of bargain.

What do you think you could have done differently in your life? To what end?
 

Siúil a Rúin

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I do feel this way a lot. Sometimes i feel like i keep shifting though different universes. I joke about it. I often feel completely lost and alone. I'll ask myself, "how did I end up here alone, eating a funnel cake, at the Albuquerque Folk Festival?". Sometimes when eating Thanksgiving dinner with in-laws I'd think "Who are these people, and how did I end up here?" I feel like a stranger in my life all the time.
 

Coriolis

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Thank you to everyone who has responded to this thread in recent weeks. I was surprised to see it resurrected, but it is coming at an opportune time for me to provide an update as the OP. That original feeling of living the wrong life has never left me, but the notion of what "the right life" might be was always shadowy and indistinct, at once more comfortable and more desolate than the real life I have lived in my adulthood. I suppose in a way I should be happy and even grateful that circumstances opened the path my life has actually taken, and I am not complaining on that count.

More recently, though, I have come to see a third path, one I could not have imagined earlier as it required self-knowledge that I had not yet unlocked, or perhaps just not understood well enough to accept and embrace. This is the path most congruent with who I really am inside as a person, and that offers me the widest range of expressing and living that out. Unfortunately the likelihood that I will be able to follow it is very small. I can always hope, but even if it never comes to pass, the understanding itself brings its own satisfaction. Ignorance is never bliss.
 

Infinite Metamorphosis

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Have you ever felt as though you were living the wrong life?
I considered offering some opposite experiences, but I'm not entirely certain it'd be beneficial or useful. Plus, it may come off in some way I don't intend for it to since it's coming from the opposite side of things. I'm not entirely sure whether your blog was implying this is no longer the way you feel, but I'll ask for clarification about it so that I can better understand anyway: This post comes off as though it's expressing a lack of fulfillment, mainly. As though something is/was missing from your life. Is that accurate?

EDIT: Oops, just saw the post above this one. I guess that answers whether you still feel that way.
 
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Coriolis

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I considered offering some opposite experiences, but I'm not entirely certain it'd be beneficial or useful. Plus, it may come off in some way I don't intend for it to since it's coming from the opposite side of things. I'm not entirely sure whether your blog was implying this is no longer the way you feel, but I'll ask for clarification about it so that I can better understand anyway: This post comes off as though it's expressing a lack of fulfillment, mainly. As though something is/was missing from your life. Is that accurate?

EDIT: Oops, just saw the post above this one. I guess that answers whether you still feel that way.
Feel free to offer opposite experiences, especially here in this thread. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I made the thread more to find out whether others had similar experiences, not to solicit advice for myself. I suppose you could characterize what I described as a lack of fulfillment. Especially with the benefit of what I have learned since writing the OP, I definitely see what is missing from my life. Now I know, though that knowledge alone is woefully insufficient in helping me obtain it.
 

Infinite Metamorphosis

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Feel free to offer opposite experiences, especially here in this thread. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I made the thread more to find out whether others had similar experiences, not to solicit advice for myself. I suppose you could characterize what I described as a lack of fulfillment. Especially with the benefit of what I have learned since writing the OP, I definitely see what is missing from my life. Now I know, though that knowledge alone is woefully insufficient in helping me obtain it.
Makes sense.

Don't want to assume, but I have a vague sense that you rarely seek advice because you're generally self-sufficient in dealing with things on your own. Accurate?

I originally intended to write more, but the TLDR version is that having a life filled with excess rather than being unfulfilled gave me a sense of having so much that my life is not my own to live; rather than living the wrong life, I do not have a life of my own. This can be interpreted in 2 different ways, and both apply. There are pros and cons to this.
 
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