I'm currently 30.
I also have tried a crapload of things and think that I generally (due to circumstance, luck, but also ability) have gained at least some perspective on work, life and relationships.
A couple of months ago I was earning really good money. Now "I fucked up" and am earning significantly less.
A couple of years ago I had a crazy and fun social life. Now it's actually quite non-existent.
Also a couple of years ago I had a really crazy and fun personal life, in terms of romantic relationships. And that also has been quite non-existent for the last couple of years.
I'm also an extreme personality. That means I like going very hard at things and focus and disregard everything else.
But I'm also not a machine. Especially right now I feel that part very strongly.
I think balance and sanity are the two keywords here.
You can go all out hard into work...
...or you can go all out hard into social life.
...or you can go all out hard into relationships.
But 2 of 3 will suffer in this case.
Sometimes really badly.
You can 100% fuck up your life permanently in one or more of these areas and not being able to recover from it, if you're not careful.
I think I nearly have.
On the other hand, it might be a trade-off that you're willing to make for a certain period of time, to then go back to a more balanced and sane lifestyle.
I've also figured that balanced and sane means very different things to different people.
I have an old friend from my hometown that told me that she cannot imagine living in an apartment where she didn't choose the furniture for.
I also have an old friend that said he cannot imagine not going out on the weekend to get completely fucking hammered drunk with his buddies.
Another one doesn't need to work anymore so that all he does is having 3 dates with random girls, every single day, for several years now. And that's all he does.
Those are extremes.
I used to judge all of them. I probably still do.
But in the end those 3 people are doing just fine.
All have problems. All have aspirations. And all live the life they want to live.
The question then really becomes:
No matter what makes you happy (even if only in the moment), how can you have more of it, for a longer time?
Most importantly, though:
Where do you compromise, where do you not, and where does compromising or not, not really matter?
I think you have to try lots of shit to being able to answer this.
Also, this will change over the course of your life.
But when you have a broad understanding of how that life looks like, I've found that the following is incredibly helpful:
What is the Minimum Viable Lifestyle to have that life?
I've found that I can make mine work with a budget of around 1.000 € per Month.
(In reality probably half that would also work in a different country.)
That would be the Pareto "80-20" lifestyle where I do most of the things that I like every day, while having to compromise on many things that do not matter to me all that much.
That is really, really achievable.
I'm realising that if I would have 10x that money, my happiness wouldn't go up significantly as a consequence.
The point I'm trying to make is:
This is really, really achievable.
Knowing that I could have what I have right now, that affordably, gives me a lot of comfort.
From there, its pure upside! But also that upside isn't even that much of an upside, because everything is already really good.
In the past I've thought that money and accomplishments would get me to that Pareto "80-20" life.
It's not true.
I could have had it waaaaaay earlier!
I just didn't try enough things to figure out what I really valued and in consequence, latched onto things that I thought were valuable (money and accomplishments), because I couldn't have known better at the time.
In reality I could have had the life that I wanted, and have right now, probably already at age 18.
It's true though.
So this one is for you, dear reader:
What is that Minimum Viable Lifestyle for you?
What do you think is missing right now?
Are you actually not capable of having that in your life right now?
...or are you just telling yourself a story about how you cannot have that right now, that just isn't true?
And if you just don't know what you want... what's your best guess of something that you think you might want?
Here are mine, in this moment:
I cannot compromise on...:
1. Living in a small city.
2. Not living in the city centre of a big city.
3. Getting a regular job.
4. Living in my homecountry.
5. Living a healthy life.
I can compromise on...:
1. Not being able to eat out or having amazing food all the time.
2. Having to share a flat with a roommate.
3. Not having a lot of friends or a big social circle.
How does balanced and sane look to you?
Whats the Minimum Viable Lifestlye version of that?
Why not right now?