Good evening, gentlemen. In a rare break from tradition, I am going to post something of a personal nature. Bear with me; I am not having a mental breakdown, nor am I coming out of the closet (sorry to disappoint you Amish). It seems to be more like a mild version of what most people call a mid-life crisis; a quarter life crisis, if you will. There’s nothing really wrong per se, I’m just having a general pervasive feeling that I’m not where I should be in life by now. Those of you who have been around a while may remember me dropping a massive amount of weight a few years ago. After years of suffering morbid obesity, I spent a year going from 330lb to 165lb. It’s probably the biggest change I’ve ever made in my life, and while many people would see it as a great success, I can’t help but feel as though I’ve merely fixed something that I broke. It feels as though I’ve simply gotten myself back to what passes from normal. My career feels similarly underwhelming. Having spent a decade working in IT (with a gap of a year while I got my weight under control), I’ve only just managed to move up from the first rung of the ladder. The fact that I work for a financial institution in London means that the salary is quite a bit above the national average, there are good perks including a training allowance, and there is at least some degree of opportunity for promotion. Despite this, I can’t help but thinking I should be doing better by now, though to be honest I can’t think of anything specifically I could be doing. As for my personal life, well, most people would say that it has the largest scope for improvement, but I actually place it below everything else. The only thing that gets to me about my current situation is that I still live with my parents, which isn’t uncomfortable, but it’s certainly embarrassing. It puts me off of pursuing any meaningful relationships with women, as I can’t bear the inevitable shame of having to confess that I’m still living at home. I don’t feel dependant on my parents, however, and it’s not as though they’re still doing my washing, cooking etc but still, I don’t feel as though I am my own man, as it were. The main problem, I guess, is that I still don’t feel like a “proper man” – I still feel like a teenager who’s trying to decide what to do with their life. I know that most of the members here are roughly my age, if not a little older, and I would like to see how you dealt with these sort of self-doubts. How do you reassure yourself that you’re not completely wasting your life? Is it all about personal relationships, being a family man etc. or is there more to being a man than even that? By the way, if you managed to get this far; thanks for reading this little essay.