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Recapturing youth?

User Thread
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that CodeWarrior is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Recapturing youth?
I'm not in the habit of putting stuff of this sort up on forums but I'm exasperated enough to try more or less anything. I have something of an odd storey to tell and I suppose, like all storeys, it should begin at the beginning. I was born just under 24 years ago to parents who were and still are, for the most part, loving and nurturing. By all accounts I was some what precocious and so, with all this going for me, one might imagine smooth sailing ahead. Indeed this seemed to be the way of things until my 4th year and my entry in to school. Undeniably bright in my boredom I caused disruption on a massive scale. At one point I cajoled the entire class into chanting "its boring, its boring" in unison. I was argumentative and confrontational. I demanded to be taken seriously and given an education more suited to my talents. Needless to say I didn't stick around long. I was withdrawn from state education not to return until collage. Apart for one brief interlude in my very early teens where I attended a privet school, with even less success if that were possible, I remained out of schools. That's not to say my life was completely isolated.

Around the age of 13 I was a part of a Christian youth out reach program. Having been home schooled most of my life I was some what shy but those guys took me into there bosom so to speak. Yet I was never really one of the group. Never really in on the inside when it came to what was going on. My opinion was brushed aside and I was excluded from certain things. Especially important decisions. When people didn't get my ideas first time easily they wouldn't bother to find out what I was getting at. If there was a cosy chat I was rarely invited in. Yet I loved that lot. So when I heard it had basically been cancelled with out me even being properly notified and consulted I was very hurt. I didn't even get a chance to say good bye properly.

Shortly after this I stated going to a set of new church youth meetings at my new church. Once again I felt I had found something special. The youth group it's self appreciated me. My enthusiasm and head strong gusto was embraced though sometimes with slight reservation. Yet even here on some levels I always felt like an outsider. I know that people from the group would hang out during the week. Yet I was never asked to come. In fact on my 18th birthday I invited many of my friends from that group and from the one that broke up. Not one came.

Then the pastor of the church was pressured in to resigning by his leadership team and a coalition of other pastors. His children were the youth group leaders. They were deposed and shortly after left the church. This really began to kill of the dynamic of the group. Any way they got this notion of cell multiplication. Consequently our cell split. Almost every time it did the 2 friends I'd request to stay with were in another cell. Shortly after that my old friends stated leaving for university. Soon I was in a cell with no original members. at least none that had been close to me.

It soon became apparent that my head strong enthusiasm which had once been welcomed was now considered a problem. I wasn't terribly surprised when they asked me to leave. I was getting to old was their excuse.

Any way the 3rd group I was in was a small weakly youth group. Unlike the others it was purely a social group. I had many entertaining chats with various members. Even there though I always felt like the outsider. More like the entertaining curiosity than a friend. I never had any contact with any of them out of the group except once. And even then it was the group leader who invited me. That group was also shut down and I was deprived of that also.

I grew older. At 15 I started attending collage. This is in the English use of the word. That is collage is further education not university and rarely involves living away from home. Here I kept my nose to the grind stone. Never really even got to know any body. Now that I'm at university that's not much different. My university of choice was so close to my home it made good finical sense to live with my parents and thus avoid a student lone. Consequently I never stayed in halls or shared a flat. I attend a few clubs and societies but never really got chummy with any one there. There is about one person I might refer to as a friend, whom I speak to regularly, and we are not really that close.

You see I struggle terribly with student culture. It just doesn't suit me. I remember siting with my friends several years ago discussing god, science, the oddness of the universe in a laid back open way. I remember chatting about all sorts of stuff, peoples philosophies, their personal pet hates, some times their hang ups, telling jokes and sharing random ideas. The point is I didn't exchange pleasantries. This student culture seems unbearably shallow. Lacking in imagination and idealism. People talking about things almost as if it was just to hear their own voices rather than to actually communicate any thing much less to actually get to know people.

There is this small talk that I just don't do. I've never been able to do it. I struggle to pick out overlapping voices. I can't get the subtle non verbal signals that regulate who speaks and who listens. Bluntly I just don't feel I fit in with my age group and my social environment. I find my self. Thinking wistfully about those happier times in my youth. I find my self relating to younger people with more ease.

In some sense I almost feel that my youth was taken off me before I had the chance to live it. Partly by the circumstances I mentioned but also I have recently begun to suspect that I may have aspergers syndrome. A condition that tends to make social interaction extremely difficult.

In all of this I feel alienated by my environment. To the degree that thoughts recapturing something of the youth that slipped through my grasp have become familiar companions. Those few friends I trust enough to tell are of the view that I should just accept it. That there is nothing to be done. Yet I'm not at all sure that I can accept it.

Do people here believe its possible to some degree to recapture youth? I don't mean to have a mid life crisis and so on but to recapture the types of friendships and interactions that seem to exist almost exclusively among fairly young people? To engineer society and social situations to gain access to that metaphorical world of youth? In any event I'm really just looking for some fresh insight and perspective having turned this issue every which way in my mind till I'm sick of it.

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[  Edited by CodeWarrior at   ]
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that CodeWarrior is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
Although one difference between me and you is that I have experienced being "the popular one". I had certain abilities such as the ability to dance and was also attractive when I was younger so when I joined a dance group at the age of 14 I became quite popular within it, even though I was entirely rejected in my own high school.


I suppose there is a distinction between popular and admired. I've certainly been places were I've been admired. Well thought of, occasionally the person people would ask advise from but not the one they'd want to 'hang out' with.

quote:
A majority of the people that exist on this planet exist in a state of dual personality. They have their sub-conscious personality, and then they have their conscious personality. Typically (and erroneously), their conscious personality is quite different than their sub-conscious personality and this contradiction can be observed and "felt" through tiny personality traits.


I have noticed many people seem largely unaware of why they do certain things. Often they not only lack a coherent explanation for contradictions in the things they profess but lack any explanation at all. So yes I can see this false veneer how ever it got there.

quote:
YET, it is the conscious mind (over time) that develops the computing ability of the sub-conscious. Similar to habits such as playing basketball, one consciously tries to aim better and better using various techniques. After a prolonged period of time (and as any skilful sports person will admit) they no longer think about the shot but just shoot.


It might be worth noting that I am one of those people who find physical activities difficult to pick up on the basis of raw experience. It rather like learning to drive. To begin with you have all these variables to take care of. More acceleration to compensate for loss of kinetic energy up a hill. The right speed to maintain traction around a corner. All these variables need to be juggled to begin with. Understanding what your tying to make the machine do and how it responds. Afterward the mental juggling just happens but at the time you're fully conscious of what you're doing and why. Unfortunately this means things that most people pick up with out thinking I need to think about. This extends to small talk, group dynamics and non verbal communication. It seems to me that rather like a computer there is a communication protocol beyond actual words that every one except me is gain a degree of mastery in. Yet like your liver most people don't know it's there until it stops working. Yet I seem to have been born with out this particular 'liver' so I'm thinking of using my strengths, in my ability to analyse and assimilate information. I've identified about 20 books in my universities library devoted to these subtleties of such things. Unfortunately I've not yet had sufficient space with all my course work to really dig into them. I'm looking to do that over the summer holidays. I'm thinking along the lines that, rather like a computer protocol, if you understand it well enough you can hack it and achieve unlikely results. The ability to access social spheres normally not accessible. To assume roles in social situations not normally available. Even to reset the entire tone of a social situation. Yet what good is any amount of 'hacking' skill with out system worth breaking into and a way to connect to it.

quote:
Yet, on occasion you may discuss some topic that relates to the individual where their conscious personality is in line with their sub-conscious. On these rare occasions the person will almost suddenly have immense depth and even passion in their speech. They will be able to think in a non-linear way and begin to grasp ideas quickly and efficiently. However, these instances are usually short lived and temporary as it is a small crevice of unison in a grand chasm of miss-aligned thought patterns.


An imaginative and original thought. Compassion, faith, depth of soul that surprises me and really makes me think, makes me hope even. Honestly I don't think I've seen more than glimmers of that since my youth ether. Some people seem to lose the ability to think out of the box as they age. Many becoming more callous too. Seems like dreaming idealism goes out of fashion after a certain age.

quote:
This metaphor relates to relationships too. If two individuals meet, their gears attempt to merge together as they think and discuss together. If one person has shallow gears and the other has shallow and deep gears working in tune, the conversation will always be unstatisfying for the person who is in tune for their sub-conscious is not learning or evolving in any way.


Yes there is something of that in it but it also seems to me to be a matter of gears between people not meshing at all. Certainly some people seem to talk sometimes as if to avoid thinking yet if you get them at the right time and situation you can usually get some depth. I'm fortunate enough to have wide interests so I can usually connect with something. Yet some social frame works don't bread depth. The chatty bar just doesn't seem to be the right breading ground for deep interaction. Indeed since the only real depth I can remember that was both personal as well as intellectual was in my youth perhaps I tend to stylise what I want as a 'young' thing. Indeed I can't really remember having people in my life I'd really have liked to be close to since then.

quote:
I would say that these explanations adequately explain your alienation from your environment and provide you a new way of observing those you interact with to not only avoid judging those that cannot think as deeply as you, but also to find those that do. Your problem is not re-capturing youth but an unfulfilled timeline of life behind you. And the solution, I suppose, would be to fulfill yourself as much in the present and future.


That's the problem as you your self observe most peoples 'shalowing' seems to kick in at an early age. It's all very well saying one needs to find the young at heart but that's easier said than done. I'm not talking about recapturing a person I used to be because I still am the same person. What I'm talking about is finding the same sort of people I knew before and the same sorts of social atmospheres and this time making sure the gears do mesh, building the relationships I wish I'd had the skills to build then.

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 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that CodeWarrior is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I don't think it's a matter of having trained my mind not to. I think it just never got it to begin with. Just like autistic people are sometimes said to lack the instinct for language I think I may lack the instinct for non verbal combination and picking up on aspects of group dynamics. Things like body language, tones of voice etc. I'm not overly keen on small talk my self but I'm really referring to my ineptitude at interacting in group dissection that tend to be some what inane and composed of staggered speech with people talking over each other.

That aside I want to know what it is that makes the friendship people form in their youths more special than others. I want to know how I can get that my self in this stage of life. What it is in environment, social interaction and mindset that causes people to form strong bonds of comradeship they treasure for the rest of their lives. I want to know how I can achieve those kinds of interactions and environments for my self in this stage of life.

You see I'm just not satisfied with making do with what I have at the moment. I'm looking for ways to improve my social skills and then manufacture social opportunities beyond those offered by my every day experience to apply those social skills to.

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 32yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Attolia is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
That aside I want to know what it is that makes the friendship people form in their youths more special than others.

Shared experiences where both people felt the same way is important.

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"How can we be just in a world without mercy and merciful in a world without justice?"
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that CodeWarrior is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
If thats true, that the things that really helped form childhood friendships was shared experiences. Experiences of life, of school. A shared feeling of common situation. That is just being in some environments can be thought of as experiences in them selves. But here's the thing. Not every body experiences things in the same way. Suppose in such environment, school say, people gravitate to those who experience the environment through a similar mode of perception to them selves. That poses a major problem for me as I'm fairly sure my mode of perception is pretty unique. Couple that with the fact that most of the environments were not, I think, for most people places of deep experience even though to me they were for me and its not difficult to see why I didn't seem to make any deep life long friends.

Perhaps what is needed is an environment so extreme and exotic that it more or less demands people experience it through a mode of perception similar to my own. Perhaps the reason people don't tend to form such friendships in adult life is adult life doesn't tend to bombard us with as much stuff and when it does that bombardment tends to be directed at individuals not whole sections of people. Perhaps it is the drama and issues that many adults belittle that make the bonds of friendship between teens so strong. In which case that's another problem because my issues have always been different as has my ways of dealing with them.

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 31yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that gari is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I got some of my best times while smoking weed/pot, you should try it.

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 32yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Attolia is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Shared experiences does require similar perceptions. Finding a common ground with people you feel like you can't connect to is tough. I had a friend during high school who I couldn't get along with due to our different perceptions of life. I saw some of her actions are pointless whereas she saw them as essential to her life. Over the years, I worked on creating a ground where we could relate. I did make some sacrifices though. I talked about things she cared about, like clothes ans music, in situations that she felt comfortable but I did not, but I made sure to bring it back to my way of seeing things and tried to explain my opinions in a way she could understand.

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"How can we be just in a world without mercy and merciful in a world without justice?"
 31yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that awakendwraith is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I must be honest, I havn't read the thread.

But I guess I did a little, "Recapturing" of my youth a few days ago.

See, I was walking around downtown and me and my freinds were going to cross a highway. I didnt look either way and I just started walking. The cars kept coming, but I didnt realy care. They were zooming past me and junk, but I felt completely safe. Kinda like when you were a kid and you werent really aware of the conseqeunces.
And I read in one of Decius' posts about something that has to do with training your mind. Perhaps I good way to get your youth back is to just beleive like a child, or adolecent, or whatever, and trully think that way. Kinda just like, training myself that the cars couldnt hurt me.

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"Why cry for those that often cry? Instead, help them smile, and smile for those that smile."
 31yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Disenchanted is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
That probably wasn't such a good place to recapture your youth, awakened! One of those "look ma, no hands!" dealies.

Interesting thread though, I can relate to a lot of the issues in here. Genuine friendships are hard to come by at any age. You're still young, so maybe try becoming a regular at a coffee shop near a University or something? You might even have some luck finding like-minded people in your area *gasp* online? At least there you can list your interests up front and try to weed out some of the brickheads and people looking for a bit of "how'syourfather."

I don't think you need to recapture anything; you just haven't met the right kind of person for you yet. Get yourself out there and meet as many people as possible. You're bound to run into someone like-minded who will gladly pursue a friendship with you.

I'm no social expert by any means, but as to your percieved ineptitude at social exchange, try not to focus so much on having the proper reaction to what a person is saying, what everyone else in the circle is doing, or having the right tone of voice so as to sound genuine etc. Just try to stay in the moment, and go at your own pace.

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 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that CodeWarrior is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Of course being a university student you might imagine that it would be easy to meet other university students. Unfortunately our university just doesn't have that chatty cafe / coffee type meting point. When its busy people may be forced to share tables in the food court and when I do this I always seem to be joining tables with groups busy chatting with each other and not keen to include me. The only real social place seems to be the pub and bars at I'm really not good at this style of socialisation. I'm a bit to intellectual for pub chatter, perhaps too much for my own good people might say. Plus I just don't drink.

I tried my space and live journal and so on but I really haven't made any friends that way. Certainly on myspace I've really only been bombarded by spam. Sometimes spam dressed up as genuine interest but still spam. The only contact I maid that way removed me from her friends list with out explanation. I've been introduced to a few people via msn but that's a whole other, unnecessarily angsty, story.

As much as I don't recommend recklessness perhaps awakendwraith has a point. Perhaps its unrealistic to expect to recapture your youth socially when you are immersed in the adult world. Perhaps I need to be more childish, to not let the pressures of university life engulf me and make me feel too for want of a better word grown up.

Bluntly I actually don't have that many forums and ways to meat people. University societies and clubs don't really seem to have the social aspect to them and our department is very disconnected. Lectures are just that. Lecture sessions not social events. If there are study groups they're not organised by the department or advertised. There are no group classes and so forth so learning is really not a social thing. I don't live on campus or in a student flat so I really do go most days with out any sort of substantial conversation with any one I study with.

When I was 15 or so I'd sit down and really talk to people as people. I'd talk to people who weren't even my friends and connect in a very open way. I'd talk to people to find they had high ideals, imagination, curiosity. How many adults do you know who look things up out of pure curiosity or who come up with novel ideas on a regular basis? There sense of fun seems to be centred around booze, girls, football, etc. I just don't relate.

Honestly I just wish I able to make that leap back then from conversation that had substance to friendships of substance. Right now I don't seem to be able to make substantial connections for what ever reason. There are basically so many options I feel I never had or never exercised from my youth that I'm not ready to let go of.

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 39yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Harper Lee is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
It was really nice to read your thread....so honest and meaningful.

I 'am only responding to the last part you said about mixing with people only interested in booze, women etc. I will not attempt to say I have similar social hurdles as you Codewarrior..but like most of us..I'am a bit on the outside (so they say..as the things I take seriously others think are funny or joke about them..so then I get on my soapbox etc etc)..anyway this may or may not help you with making deeper relationships but it does help you to experience others lives through their eyes.
This is what I did:..I do a lot of vounteer work....and it has taught me a lot about people, their attitudes..etc...I haven't made great friends doing this type of work (although I 'am heavily relied on)..but it has helped me enormously to relate better to friends (even shallow ones) and family..it has changed my point of view on life, people..and my place within the world. The emphasis is off me and this has helped me turn back toward others (they have bigger problems than I have ever experienced)..the people I help don't have energy/time or sometimes mental capicity etc to ponder about the state of world peace or if religion is fact or fiction etc.. they just need to feed their family or learn to reshape their lives after stroke, brain injury etc.....
Volunteer took me be back to basics..a simplicity of understanding, our perceptions don't have to be the same when someone needs help to get up out of a chair..or needs me to give them bread to feed their children..it brought be closer to people through action rather then words. It has elated and fed my soul..which was really the place I hurt most as I was so misunderstood.
It is just an idea.....it worked for me...you sound like a lovely, deep, communicative person....I think you have so much to give.

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 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that CodeWarrior is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I'm sorry if me resurrecting this thing to long after it dropped down bugs people. Quite frankly I'm having a really hard time of things at the moment. You see weather I had aspergers of not I've decided not to seek diagnosis. It's become clear that my present social skills, if a bit rough and ready, are not so bad that they should be a serious impediment to me making friends. I have until recently lacked good opportunities and even now they are still not plentiful.

No the think that I feel I lack right now is the experience of growing up together with friends. As you read in earlier posts many of the friends on the peripheries of my childhood were people I always dreamed I would one day click with. That we would become very close and experience life together. Grow up together and go on to do great things. I think there is something special about friends who you grow up with and experience growing up with. A lot of my growing up is left undone. That is if you define growing up as going through an exploratory phase and having new experiences.

I find my self deeply regretting my sheltered upbringing and not having grasped the opportunities those years presented due to the apprehension my sheltered upbringing produced. I yearn for the opportunity to find people I can relate to, as I once believed I could to my friends of yester year, who I can share the experience of 'growing up' with. Sadly this precludes most of the people I'm studying with at uni.

Bluntly I don't know what to do. This is becoming a problem. I'm finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. I too frequently feel in the grip of total lethargy. I'm finding my self looking in to the faces of 1st years with envy for the ability some of them have to pass as young teens. I find my self looking in my own mirror picking out every little sign of age.

I know this is not really the function of this board but can any one suggest anything? It seems to me that the only people who really fit the bill are young people but in our society, for what ever reason, I've never really understood it, it's considered odd for a 24 year old to hang out with teenagers and even when they do it's not as equals sharing experiences. Never the less the chances of me finding others like my self seems incredibly slim. Can any one think of a way I might find teenagers who wouldn't be put off by my age or people who might be in a similar situation to my self?

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 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that CodeWarrior is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Hum. I'm not terribly fit although I have tried to take up fencing and thus joined our unis club. However British universities don't operate in quite the same way as American ones. I couldn't name the members of our major sporting teems and I don't think most students here could. I don't believe universities give scholarships for sports here like many U.S universities. Also fencing at least doesn't have that much of a social side.

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 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that CodeWarrior is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
lol then definitely not sports because I'm very competitive even at things I'm bad at. I do engage in various activities and I have made efforts to get more involved since my 1st post but it always seems to leave me feeling a little cold. Yes I enjoy the interaction but it's shallow and I know it will never really be what I want. I'm looking for that special bond you get growing up around others and sharing that exprence with them.

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[  Edited by CodeWarrior at   ]
 31yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I think I see the problem... you are looking for a particular relationship, a specific bond, but I don't believe you will ever find what you are looking for. Maybe instead of trying to make this dream a reality, you should just take whatever relationships you have for what they are. Dissatisfaction will only occur through comparison. So I say, don't compare what you have to anything, then it will all be a gift. Perhaps your expectation of a deep relationship is what is turning other people off to you. It is amazing how our inner thoughts change the subtleties of our outer appearance. Stop over thinking things, be who you are and take what you get. I know it sounds corny but those that don't like who you are shouldn't matter in your life.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
Recapturing youth?
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