Over the last two days I've looked at two possible causes of my recent melancholy, namely lack of interaction, and work-related feelings of various types. Looking back on these last two posts, I think it is likely that both are involved in what is going on, but I'm not sure that even together the whole story is told. And there's got to be even more involved that I haven't managed to track down yet.
But all of these feelings aside, I know that I have a pretty good life. I do have friends, I have a loving wife, I have family (albeit far away) that isn't dysfunctional, a job that pays fairly well, minimal debt in the form of a mortgage, and what I would like to think is viable potential in myself. I don't live in a place plagued by gun violence or the overt presence of drugs, I have most of the comforts that any American wants, and I generally have the ability to do the things that I may desire to do. All in all, things are pretty good for me, so what gives?
Could it be merely my view of what is "enough" and "satisfying" has drifted and I'm no longer meeting those benchmarks?
To complement this thought, I made less money last year than I did in the previous due to changing jobs, but then that change wasn't supposed to be about the money anyway. I could file this thought as plausible, although when I look back at the last year I haven't really been impacted financially aside from my savings not growing quite as much, and I haven't had to change aspects of my lifestyle because of cost.
But perhaps this drift isn't in the monetary category. And this is where it gets dangerous (and it ties back to my first post on the topic). Could it be that my workplace friendships don't seem to be flourishing? I came from an office where I was well known and liked by almost everyone, as long as I wasn't telling them why they couldn't have or do something at the moment. I walk around my office and I know very few people, and largely feel uninvited to interact with many of them. In my more immediate team, I interact with a small group of individuals who are all nice, smart, and generally kind, but they are much closer knit to one another by virtue of many years together. So perhaps a large contributor to these feelings is specifically work friendships?
One of the other things that seems a common thread among most of the people that I know, but I lack is their own family (i.e. children). I know that children are a double-edged sword and I've watched so many first-time parents go through months of mixed bliss and anguish as they experienced the first bit of parenthood, loving the sweet times, and lamenting the lack of sleep and loss of control. Of course, not experiencing it myself, I can but make observations of what it looks like from the outside. I know that I grew up wanting kids--probably two--and I didn't really imagine life without them. Somewhere in my adulthood, I started to have mixed feelings on the topic, probably rooted in selfishness. I've wavered back and forth between wanting kids and having near apathy toward the potential. But this thing is something that almost everyone I interact with has to varying degrees.
This is getting more complex as I drill into my psyche, trying to uncover whatever it is that has me feeling so drained and disinterested. I'm not sure what's more scary: to consider the things that I've already brought to light, or to consider those things that remain as of yet undiscovered.