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Old 11-25-2017, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
3,926 posts, read 2,335,427 times
Reputation: 2714

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Some of it was because of music, some of it was because the mountain landscape just makes me feel lonely. I visited my family with my wife and daughter this weekend. We're basically the only persons to live out of state. As I was driving back, I was very sad, reflexive. I'm 41 and while I hate living in Texas, a part of me was wondering why we are living so far away from our family. Yes, texas is hot and its people can be a bit much, but is that a reason to stay away from family.


At 41 (actually, maybe another number for yout), I realized our time here is limited. I'm not old, I could easily live 40 more years, but I realize my best years are likely behind me, and part of me is sad in that the members of our families don't see each other often, mainly holidays, and something is wrong here. Family is all you have in life.

I started thinking about all the people that wronged me and that I've wronged myself. In the blink of an eye, I went from dumb 20 year old kid, to 41 year old guy who's wondering wtf he's doing away from his parents and siblings.


Anyways, wife and daughter are asleep, and "grown men don't cry" came on and I just lost it. Life is short, am I doing the right thing?

Do certain songs, landscapes, alone times make you emotional?
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:05 PM
 
3,962 posts, read 5,247,246 times
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Yes, I certainly do get emotional. Songs are meant to elicit feelings, and many of them do it successfully, especially if you are already on the edge. They can make you really happy, too. And nature, especially large scale (mountains, oceans, long vistas) can bring feelings of awe and make us realize that we are not the center of life, but a small part of it, and we realize that we are just a flicker in time next to grandeur of what we are seeing.

Your decisions about being with family are really unique to you and your family. My husband and I spent most of our adult lives in CA, while our family was mostly in Texas (some in Wisconsin.) We all have to make our own decisions about what is important to us. We moved back to Texas for 5 years to be with family. But after a couple of them died and my husband died, I decided to move back to CA because my community in CA had really become my family. CA was my home, and Texas, although my sister and nephews were there, just was not comfortable to me. I am every day glad that I am back in CA. However, that was MY decision. Yours could be so different because everyone's situation, priorities, experiences are different.

I would take exception to the idea that at 41, most of your best years are behind you. Life is what you make it. If you are healthy enough, good quality of life is there for most of us, and you can have that many years into the future from where you are.

One other thing. For 2 years, it was necessary, because of educational opportunities, for my husband and I to live in different states. This was in the 70s, and we saw each other only twice a year, although we wrote and phoned once a week. (Long distance was really expensive then.) I remember very well the desolation I felt when he left after each one of those visits. Being separated from those we love is really hard, and can bring on feelings that life is very sad. I remember crying when songs came on that reminded my that my love was gone from me. But we made it though those times by getting life changing degrees, and we really enjoyed our calls and visits. So when we were able to be together again, we really appreciated each other.

We can always reassess what we are doing and make a course change. But regretting past decisions is not a very profitable activity. Accept the past and just move forward, and if you make a course change, make it with confidence and hope.
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
3,926 posts, read 2,335,427 times
Reputation: 2714
Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
Yes, I certainly do get emotional. Songs are meant to elicit feelings, and many of them do it successfully, especially if you are already on the edge. They can make you really happy, too. And nature, especially large scale (mountains, oceans, long vistas) can bring feelings of awe and make us realize that we are not the center of life, but a small part of it, and we realize that we are just a flicker in time next to grandeur of what we are seeing.

Your decisions about being with family are really unique to you and your family. My husband and I spent most of our adult lives in CA, while our family was mostly in Texas (some in Wisconsin.) We all have to make our own decisions about what is important to us. We moved back to Texas for 5 years to be with family. But after a couple of them died and my husband died, I decided to move back to CA because my community in CA had really become my family. CA was my home, and Texas, although my sister and nephews were there, just was not comfortable to me. I am every day glad that I am back in CA. However, that was MY decision. Yours could be so different because everyone's situation, priorities, experiences are different.

I would take exception to the idea that at 41, most of your best years are behind you. Life is what you make it. If you are healthy enough, good quality of life is there for most of us, and you can have that many years into the future from where you are.

One other thing. For 2 years, it was necessary, because of educational opportunities, for my husband and I to live in different states. This was in the 70s, and we saw each other only twice a year, although we wrote and phoned once a week. (Long distance was really expensive then.) I remember very well the desolation I felt when he left after each one of those visits. Being separated from those we love is really hard, and can bring on feelings that life is very sad. I remember crying when songs came on that reminded my that my love was gone from me. But we made it though those times by getting life changing degrees, and we really enjoyed our calls and visits. So when we were able to be together again, we really appreciated each other.

We can always reassess what we are doing and make a course change. But regretting past decisions is not a very profitable activity. Accept the past and just move forward, and if you make a course change, make it with confidence and hope.
Thank you for sharing. Most of my fam live in the Texas coast, I grew up there, and pretty much hated it. But, I'm a full fledged adult now, and parents are getting older, part of me wants to be there or at least within driving distance.


I like Denver a lot, but I'm not sure why I'm here? Because I like the weather and scenery? Is that enough to overcome a lower cost of living in Texas, better food and to be around family?

My brother lives in Dallas and he and I used to be best friends, can't say that we are now, though I wish we would be, I think that makes me sad as well. But, that song "grown men don't cry" and "butterfly kisses," today, just hit close to home.


Thank you for sharing your story it was very inspirational.
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:14 AM
 
119 posts, read 56,201 times
Reputation: 392
Gaylord - First off, my best to you!

I think that most people end up living away from their birthplace because of educational opportunities and then employment. Is it possible for you to find employment, comparable to what you have, in your hometown? It might be worth a look to see what is out there.

Employment is what took me away from my home state several years ago. Unfortunately, my hometown does not offer good paying jobs unless you are a physician, lawyer, or in the upper tiers of banking. But, the commute home is reasonable for me - about 3 hours - and I elect to come home as much as possible on weekends. That might be another option for you - if you can't get back home, maybe you can get closer?

Yes, sad songs sometimes bring out tears for me as well. Sometimes, when I have to drive back to work, I feel overwhelmingly sad for the good friends I have to leave behind. Unlike you, family is virtually nonexistent and all but meaningless to me anymore; it is my friends who have been there - not family.

Good luck! You have many good years ahead!
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Old 11-26-2017, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
3,926 posts, read 2,335,427 times
Reputation: 2714
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoesJava View Post
Gaylord - First off, my best to you!

I think that most people end up living away from their birthplace because of educational opportunities and then employment. Is it possible for you to find employment, comparable to what you have, in your hometown? It might be worth a look to see what is out there.

Employment is what took me away from my home state several years ago. Unfortunately, my hometown does not offer good paying jobs unless you are a physician, lawyer, or in the upper tiers of banking. But, the commute home is reasonable for me - about 3 hours - and I elect to come home as much as possible on weekends. That might be another option for you - if you can't get back home, maybe you can get closer?

Yes, sad songs sometimes bring out tears for me as well. Sometimes, when I have to drive back to work, I feel overwhelmingly sad for the good friends I have to leave behind. Unlike you, family is virtually nonexistent and all but meaningless to me anymore; it is my friends who have been there - not family.

Good luck! You have many good years ahead!
Thank you! I feel great. Just miss my fam, internal struggle of living in a place you want to be or close to your parents/
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Old 11-26-2017, 11:21 AM
 
Location: on the wind
4,110 posts, read 1,535,580 times
Reputation: 14684
Sometimes the combination of a long distance drive and certain music is a recipe for sadness. You are physically quiet, the world is rushing by you but you are not part of it...you are not so focused on the action of controlling a car that your mind can't roam around on its own. Add emotional evocative music on top of the reason for making the trip (visiting family...and all the emotional parts of that) to this and you have the perfect storm for introspection or soul searching. There are pieces of music I simply can't listen to while driving because they trigger too much emotion. I tend to listen to classical music most often and there are some really beautiful pieces that are too overwhelming. I either end up parking for a while and letting the tears flow, getting out for a walk, or turning the music off to get my brain back on a more even setting. On the other hand there's nothing wrong with emotional release at all. Humans need to let it happen or burst.

There is a particular Mozart concerto that always gets me this way. One time a dear friend and I were taking a road trip to a dramatic park in OR. We were surrounded by gorgeous forests and mountains on the way to the park so we were already rather pensive. The radio station played this piece and in a few minutes I was sobbing so hard I had to pull over. My friend was surprised and a bit alarmed, but after I explained how much I loved this piece, how much I loved the place we were in, it all made sense.

I think its natural to do this sort of soul searching. Age may not have that much to do with it, but the circumstances at the time do. I have moved around the country a lot and hardly ever lived near family once leaving home for college. My career wasn't possible where most of my family lived, and I hated the climate that they preferred. Just an inconvenient fact and I accepted it. You end up constantly balancing personal satisfaction, personal sense of well being, living someplace that inspires you, and doing work that is meaningful to you against love for family or some strong urge to stay geographically loyal. I also think families understand this at a base level and don't "resent" you for it.

One thing I have discovered over a long career is that the perfect job never seems to be located in the perfect place for most people. Trying to get to this ideal spot in life is what keeps us motivated and moving instead of sitting totally content and sated. When we keep trying to settle the few remaining puzzle pieces of our lives into their places it keeps us active. Sometimes I envy people who don't try to have a meaningful profession that drives them. But on the other hand they may never have a strong sense of purpose or happiness when they find it either. We pay for our passions but we also earn them.

My Dad was a chemist who had a cheapo bumper sticker tacked over his desk. But there was a lot of truth in it:

"Old chemists never die....they just reach equilibrium"

If there is no shuffling of atoms, molecules, or even thought going on there is no real living.

Last edited by Parnassia; 11-26-2017 at 11:29 AM..
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Old 11-26-2017, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
6,719 posts, read 11,734,498 times
Reputation: 19354
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaylord_Focker View Post
Some of it was because of music, some of it was because the mountain landscape just makes me feel lonely. I visited my family with my wife and daughter this weekend. We're basically the only persons to live out of state. As I was driving back, I was very sad, reflexive. I'm 41 and while I hate living in Texas, a part of me was wondering why we are living so far away from our family. Yes, texas is hot and its people can be a bit much, but is that a reason to stay away from family.

At 41 (actually, maybe another number for yout), I realized our time here is limited. I'm not old, I could easily live 40 more years, but I realize my best years are likely behind me, and part of me is sad in that the members of our families don't see each other often, mainly holidays, and something is wrong here. Family is all you have in life.

I started thinking about all the people that wronged me and that I've wronged myself. In the blink of an eye, I went from dumb 20 year old kid, to 41 year old guy who's wondering wtf he's doing away from his parents and siblings.

Anyways, wife and daughter are asleep, and "grown men don't cry" came on and I just lost it. Life is short, am I doing the right thing?

Do certain songs, landscapes, alone times make you emotional?
OP, I totally understand your getting emotional, but I don't understand AT ALL your statement that "Family is all you have in life." In fact, I think if family IS all you have in life, that itself is really sad. (Seriously, just read posts on C-D to find out how many awful, dysfunctional families there are in the world. Whom you are related to is simply an accident of birth; there is no guarantee that you will love them or even LIKE them.)

Note, I write this as someone who loves most of her family members dearly (I am extremely close to some despite living 3,000 miles from them), but I love them because they are good, decent, hard working people -- not because they happen to be related to me. I also dearly love many people I've met along life's journey, some of whom I've been friends with for 30 or more years. It's hard to imagine my life without them.

Again, I am sorry that you are hurting, and I wish you peace and love, but you can find that even WITHOUT living near your relatives. (And of course grown men can cry! They get sad, too!)
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Old 11-26-2017, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,840 posts, read 51,286,023 times
Reputation: 27647
"Life is short, am I doing the right thing?

Do certain songs, landscapes, alone times make you emotional?"

If you don't ask the first question at least once a year, you are living the unexamined life.

On the second question, take a look at the forum you are in. Most of us have had "alone" time like you have yet to experience.

From your description, what you are suffering from is nostalgia. Here is my prescription. Pay close attention to the closing paragraph.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/a...isease/278648/
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Old 11-26-2017, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
3,926 posts, read 2,335,427 times
Reputation: 2714
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonHB View Post
Sometimes the combination of a long distance drive and certain music is a recipe for sadness. You are physically quiet, the world is rushing by you but you are not part of it...you are not so focused on the action of controlling a car that your mind can't roam around on its own. Add emotional evocative music on top of the reason for making the trip (visiting family...and all the emotional parts of that) to this and you have the perfect storm for introspection or soul searching. There are pieces of music I simply can't listen to while driving because they trigger too much emotion. I tend to listen to classical music most often and there are some really beautiful pieces that are too overwhelming. I either end up parking for a while and letting the tears flow, getting out for a walk, or turning the music off to get my brain back on a more even setting. On the other hand there's nothing wrong with emotional release at all. Humans need to let it happen or burst.

There is a particular Mozart concerto that always gets me this way. One time a dear friend and I were taking a road trip to a dramatic park in OR. We were surrounded by gorgeous forests and mountains on the way to the park so we were already rather pensive. The radio station played this piece and in a few minutes I was sobbing so hard I had to pull over. My friend was surprised and a bit alarmed, but after I explained how much I loved this piece, how much I loved the place we were in, it all made sense.

I think its natural to do this sort of soul searching. Age may not have that much to do with it, but the circumstances at the time do. I have moved around the country a lot and hardly ever lived near family once leaving home for college. My career wasn't possible where most of my family lived, and I hated the climate that they preferred. Just an inconvenient fact and I accepted it. You end up constantly balancing personal satisfaction, personal sense of well being, living someplace that inspires you, and doing work that is meaningful to you against love for family or some strong urge to stay geographically loyal. I also think families understand this at a base level and don't "resent" you for it.

One thing I have discovered over a long career is that the perfect job never seems to be located in the perfect place for most people. Trying to get to this ideal spot in life is what keeps us motivated and moving instead of sitting totally content and sated. When we keep trying to settle the few remaining puzzle pieces of our lives into their places it keeps us active. Sometimes I envy people who don't try to have a meaningful profession that drives them. But on the other hand they may never have a strong sense of purpose or happiness when they find it either. We pay for our passions but we also earn them.

My Dad was a chemist who had a cheapo bumper sticker tacked over his desk. But there was a lot of truth in it:

"Old chemists never die....they just reach equilibrium"

If there is no shuffling of atoms, molecules, or even thought going on there is no real living.

Thank you. Yeah, my heart just doesn't feel Texas right now, and it's not necessarily a work thing. It's the landscape, the heat, the traffic. When I returned to Denver, it's like a different world, though it lacks some things that a Dallas or Houston has (lower COL, much better food). I hope it's not my pride that is keeping me from coming back. I just arrived to Denver so I will give it a few years to make it work, but so far, pretty good. I also have a feeling I will live in Seattle or Cali one day.
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Old 11-26-2017, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
3,926 posts, read 2,335,427 times
Reputation: 2714
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
OP, I totally understand your getting emotional, but I don't understand AT ALL your statement that "Family is all you have in life." In fact, I think if family IS all you have in life, that itself is really sad. (Seriously, just read posts on C-D to find out how many awful, dysfunctional families there are in the world. Whom you are related to is simply an accident of birth; there is no guarantee that you will love them or even LIKE them.)

Note, I write this as someone who loves most of her family members dearly (I am extremely close to some despite living 3,000 miles from them), but I love them because they are good, decent, hard working people -- not because they happen to be related to me. I also dearly love many people I've met along life's journey, some of whom I've been friends with for 30 or more years. It's hard to imagine my life without them.

Again, I am sorry that you are hurting, and I wish you peace and love, but you can find that even WITHOUT living near your relatives. (And of course grown men can cry! They get sad, too!)
I'm over it, just in that moment. I do have great friends as well, but family is something that you can't change, but yes friends are important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
"Life is short, am I doing the right thing?

Do certain songs, landscapes, alone times make you emotional?"

If you don't ask the first question at least once a year, you are living the unexamined life.

On the second question, take a look at the forum you are in. Most of us have had "alone" time like you have yet to experience.

From your description, what you are suffering from is nostalgia. Here is my prescription. Pay close attention to the closing paragraph.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/a...isease/278648/
Yep, nostalgia, or just yearning for something idyllic that may not be there anymore, mixed with a dose of guilt.
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