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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

QOTD 11: How Far We've Come.


April 29th, 2008. I hate myself. I leave work early to buy Grand Theft Auto IV and hopefully escape the self loathing a series of probably bad choices brought on. My life feels like a mess, though it's probably less of one than I think it is. I'd be leaving for Chicago in two months, and I can't wait to leave my Podunk town in the dust.

September 16th, 2013. I'm back in my Podunk town and have never been more enlightened. I leave work early to buy Grand Theft Auto V and hopefully spend the next four days playing a game I've wanted for a very long time. My worries are many but manageable. My past choices are in the past. My past failures are back there too. I'm not defining myself by who I was, but rather what I could, and will, be in the future. 27 years old doesn't feel so old anymore. My head is on straight for what seems like the first time in my life. I'm Ricky Williams, I'm Eminem, I'm the guy who came back in a way he never thought he could. Life appears good.



The stuff in-between is a horrible mess and a story worthy of the great American novel. There are celebrities, sexy lawyers who look like AJ Lee and touched me all over, an epic friend-zoning that almost turned into a real romance thanks to a little Jim Beam and bad television, anger over a job I hated that cost me a very real romance, erectile dysfunction, European Football, Noah and The Whale, synthetic marijuana, chocolate mushrooms, despondence, disappointment, detachment, derailment, debt, diets, and finally the decision to figure out what the fuck was wrong with me and fix it.

Thinking back on just how insane my life was between the release of these two games, and how despite thousands of dollars of student loan debt, a writing degree, a TV producer credit, and meeting Aaron Sorkin, I'm essentially in the same place I was 4 years ago. Same bedroom, same bed, same house, same couch. Different attitude.

I think most people break their lives up in eras. I want to hear about yours. Some of you have changed your lives drastically and I'm in awe, I don't know anything about most of you, and you know plenty about me. Lets change that.

Who were you, and what were you doing on April 29th, 2008, and who are you, and what are you up-to now? What changes are you most proud of, what opinions have your changed and what torches have you ceased to carry? 


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Blog Otter Award: BeardMoney for referencing one of the cooler things about the Sopranos, namely that it became an instant period piece, and knew it. Watching that show now, not only does it comment on our times now, but also comments on the times then, as they were happening. That last episode too, man, seriously amazing stuff.

1. I can go back to more general and less probing questions for the record, I just figure with the wrestling and entertainment content on other features, using this post to explore more existential questions could be a good way to expand our minds in ways we're probably not used to doing on an internet forum about pro wrestling.

2. I mayyyyyyyyyy have a copy of GTA V to give away, but am not sure. If I do I'm going to run some sort of contest, so stay tuned.

3. In case you don't feel like oversharing like I have above, feel free to talk about what you think has MOST changed in our world between 2008 and 2013. For me I think it's been an increase in vitriol, and the unfortunate realization that the internet is for anyone who can read and write, and its nearly impossible to discern who is trolling, who is telling the truth, who believes what, and who just likes to stir shit up for fun. It's a shame.

4. I'd also like to point out that in my threadjack of the MNOM that I was defending the sexism in that game, not deriding it.

75 comments:

  1. In April 2008, I was in a relationship that I wasn't happy with but was too chicken to do something about. Still the same job but have had two promotions since. Had no real direction in life, drank and smoked too much. Now, I'm married to the right girl, and have some big life changes coming over the next year. I party less, and I miss that to a degree, but definitely moving on to a new era of life.

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  2. April 2008: After working in banking for three years and climbing steadily up the ladder, I found myself working for a boss who hated my guts and spent literally months conspiring to fire me. I could write a (very boring) book about it. In February 2008 I was fired, and by April I was waiting tables at an Applebee's for a fraction of what I'd made in banking. It was the beginning of a life low point that would last until 2011.


    September 2013: Graduated from college, after finally returning to finish. Honor's Society, dean's list every semester, finished summa cum laude. Getting ready to go for my master's next year. Marriage is back in good shape, I'm exercising again, just adopted a dog...life is damn good.

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  3. They did the same thing when Hogan was attacked by the masked man in 95. He made it back to the arena with an injured knee and still beat Flair.

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  4. Dude, not to get preachy and take this or leave it but if there is something you dont like about your life, find the inner strength to confront it and change it. This typically means stepping out of a comfort zone. The best life experiences are those that come outside our comfort zone. I wish you luck and hope things turn around.

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  5. April 29th, 2008

    I had been in Rochester NY for just over a year.

    It was the hardest year of my life... moving to a mid sized city where I knew one person... coming from a very rural area where I grew up, and my dad grew up, and his dad grew up.

    My shitty roomate just packed his stuff and left on April 1st while I was at work. I came home to an empty apartment, no note. I contacted no-one. I wanted to be alone.

    I had been working steady and impressing people but becoming impatient. I was named the top performer of the company in my first year... my raise was 50 cents an hour. I was not happy.

    I was not going out. I was working, coming home, making dinner, sleeping, and driving back home every three weeks for a semblance of belonging. I drove a lot. Just got in the Blazer and drove with no place to go, exploring the city. I remember breaking down and crying one night during a drive because of just how unhappy I was and that life was not working out for me. I was strongly considering going home for good, moving back in with dad.



    I had a "relationship" with a girl who was away at college, 4 years younger than me, and not nearly as into me as I was into her. But I needed something. Jess.


    One month later came the day that would change my life forever. Jess stood me up, so I called another girl and went to the bar with her to get annihilated. Leslie. I met another girl at the bar, Sarah... and asked Leslie to drive us back to my apartment. We spent the night together. We had nothing in common other than drinking. I found her very annoying... wasn't even really attracted to her. Magnificently large breasts.


    I met her friends. I tried to grin and bear it. I didn't like her friends, or her. I met her other group of friends, who quickly indoctrinated me into their group and ditched her.


    Through those friends, (all of which I still have today), I met my future wife at a St. Patrick's Day event in Syracuse. Sara.


    Sara is my everything... and I'd have none of it... if Jess, my only friend... didn't stand me up one night.

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  6. April 29th, 2008


    I had just moved in with family 2 months prior, due to financial trouble(s) and lack of employment. By this time, I had become employed again, but I didn't have the savings to move out just yet, so a lot of life was just chilling out in RuralArea.com with my younger cousin (and incidentally, one of my best friends) playing Rock Band and, of course, GTA4. Life was easy, but I knew I couldn't stay, so it had to get better. Turns out I didn't move out for almost 3 whole years due to continuous setbacks. Shame too, because there was a lot more of life to live during that time.

    These days, I'm way better off, since I have my own place again, with a roommate who actually pays the bills, and way more responsibility, but I'll gladly take it for the tacked on freedom. Definitely better off now than I was then.

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  7. I work at a west coast commodities brokerage and the only colleague I have that's in a similar position and around my age has a wife and two kids, owns a house, is on several boards and committees around the city, and he his wife host parties to raise money for big sur.
    I stayed out drinking till midnight on a Monday to kill time before the GTA 5 release, I'm a member of six weed dispensaries, I have a preferred shopper VIP card for a basketball sneaker boutique, I watch smackdown every Saturday morning with breakfast, spent $650 in a Tijuana strip club over labor day weekend, and I'm the #2 poster on a wrestling blog. I definitely often wonder what I'm doing with life, but then realize I don't really care. Theres lots of ways to live life, I can't see how spending time with a family would be the best way to use mine.

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  8. That gimmick has worked well for the cubs though.

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  9. Three words. Mail order bride!

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  10. I like the way you think. Im with you, ill do degenerate things and then come to the conclusion social norms are just laughable.

    I think there should be an age I start to care but dont see it on the horizon

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  11. Your_Favourite_LoserSeptember 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    too late


    mid/late 30's


    no energy


    meds/therapy dont work


    whatever, life for me is simply waiting to die

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  12. I used to think that way too. How old are you?

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  13. Well, to be fair, once you reach 30 your body just starts to slowly try and kill you anyway.

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  14. 29 myself, and maybe it's being in a relationship, but that's when it changed me. We've been together for over four years, not married, but I just bought a house... and it changes your thinking.

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  15. April 2008: Second attempt at college. My second semester, another round of straight As, and my most recent attempt at a relationship (FAIL, and it's about 1/3 each of funny/scary/sad)


    Fast forward through four more very successful semesters (never below a B, and WAY more As than Bs overall, but no more 4.0s), a tragically failed semester of student teaching, a year doing nothing, and now approaching 21 months here...


    September 2013: Working in a two-person start-up hardware store*, averaging 100 hours every two weeks, and just enjoying life in general.


    No relationship at present, but so be it. If the right woman comes around, then great. If not, I think I'll still live happily, or at least content. I'm not a high school kid chasing cheap sex anymore... although come to think of it I never was. ;)






    *(I'd worked in hardware, in a bigger (not big box though) store on and off from 2002 to the end of 2009... full-time from Jan 02 - Aug 05, then left for a while... part-time with full-time summers from Mar 07 - Dec 09.)

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  16. The problem with sex is, you think you want it real bad when you're not getting it that often... then you get some and you just want it even more. I can't wait until my libido drops off in a couple years... and neither can my girlfriend.

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  17. I hear ya, got a house and gf of 1 year, and while that has settled me down a little, I still find myself doing things people in their 30s shouldnt be doing. not that I care but its just interesting to me

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  18. I'm not into gaming all that much (I only play Madden on PS2)... but to hear people older than me waiting for games at midnight and then maybe taking a day off to get some good time in just befuddles me.


    Most of my friends in Rochester are engineers so I can kind of understand.


    I don't do too many things anymore that I wouldn't think I'd be doing at near 30. Although last year I did get extremely drunk at a wedding I was in and caused a scene... after doing it just a month before at a friend's party... and I think that was my wakeup call that I just can't be that guy anymore.


    I still drink a lot of beer.

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  19. Stranger in the AlpsSeptember 17, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    April 29th, 2008. Working as a municipal employee, and excelling. The ceiling is very low, because management in municipal government never changes. I'm dealing with step-kids that are going through life changes, and it is horrendous and messy. I'm also dealing with a recently diagnosed bipolar spouse. The stress of being underpaid, undervalued and overworked might be causing a chink in my own mental armor. However, I find solace in the little things...TV, music, baseball. I am able to manage my stress from burning my candle at both ends, because SOMEONE has to do it.
    5 years later, I have changed jobs (from municipal to state), better pay, better advancement opportunities as the turnover rate is high. Still dealing with the same stresses at home. I have learned to cultivate my mutant power of absorbing stress internally and releasing it via humorous outbursts on Facebook, and constructing a streaming radio website. Which is not ready for the public just yet (future plug, maybe?).

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  20. I actually started to value friends more than family... because think about it... you get to actually choose your friends. You're stuck with your family good or bad.


    But seriously, you should consider buying a house.

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  21. April 29, 2008 - I was just months away from the worst period of time in my life. While I had a pretty good job, was in a good relationship and had good friends, I was on the road to completely fucking everything up. That summer, I started to seemingly do everything I could to ruin that good relationship (why she's stayed with me over the years is anyone's guess) and piss away whatever friendships I had.


    Just over a year later, I spent 2 weeks in a hospital after spending almost two years not taking care of my medical conditions, I was unemployed and living in a new city where I knew almost no one (except for the girlfriend who, as I said, decided not to dump my ass as she probably should have).


    Things are better now. Good job, great apartment, fantastic relationship. I take care of myself and I'm looking forward to whatever the future brings.

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  22. Then why don't you just smash a couple hookers before you die. Maybe once the mystery is gone you'll be more confident or something. What to do you have to lose.

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  23. The security guard in our building got one of those. Stunning 6ft tall Russian blonde. He looks like Shrek.

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  24. April, 2008: Being exceedingly lazy at a really easy job. Basically got paid to put up with crap from an incompetent boss. Since I could watch TV at work all day, my nights consisted of various pub trivias (or guitar hero) during the week, and football on the weekends. Had a terribly boring gf but her parents had a lake house so it was worth it. Finishing up my MA degree. Have a $100 mountain bike and commute 4 miles round trip to work a couple times a week on it.

    April, 2013: In a Ph.D. program doing reasonably well. The lazy bad habits from my previous job are holding me back a bit, but that's nobody's fault but my own. Living with different (and better) gf in a different city. Still enjoy spending virtually all my extra money on fun times with friends in the wilderness (e.g. camping, hiking) and/or boozing with friends. Despite being in my late-20s "settling down like a mature adult" holds no appeal at all.

    Biggest lifestyle change is that the 4 mile commute on the bike has turned into something of an obsession. I cycle 200+ miles a week and have put in over 10,000 miles since 2008. I'm planning to start doing races in the Spring.

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  25. I hope you told Jess thank you!

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  26. Your_Favourite_LoserSeptember 17, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    its not even that. i just dont have much. yes i have some things and theyre important things and i'm sure i'd get the 'some dont even have that you ungrateful brat!', but somethings missing and i dont know what it is and i doubt i'll ever find it so life is just this struggle to get through the day

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  27. April 29, 2008 - I had just quit my job as an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea. I was working for a shady private school that forced me to go to the labour board to call them on their illegal work practices (that's a story for another day) and was living with my best friend in Seoul for a couple of weeks until my flight home in May. I was having fun just relaxing with my buddy for a couple of weeks without the stress of the job weighing me down.


    September 17, 2013 - working as a psychiatric nurse in my hometown, St. John's, Newfoundland. Enjoying the job very much, and me and my girlfriend, who's amazing, are heading to Toronto a week from today for a little rest and relaxation.


    So two very different scenarios on those two dates, haha.

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  28. Jess and I would go on an off depending if I was seeing someone else or not.


    If I was seeing someone else, Jess would always come over. If I wasn't, I wouldn't hear from her. Once I figured that part out, I was much better off.


    I haven't ever told her the complete story, but I plan to someday.

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  29. Honestly, I have absolutley no interest in transitioning. I go out drinking whenever I want, hang out with my friends whenever I want, and am still working on a degree. I could be making more money, or working harder, but I'm having a damn good time right now so...fuck it. I figure I'll settle down eventually b/c the gf will demand it, but she's a few years younger than me so there's time.

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  30. Your_Favourite_LoserSeptember 17, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    i have 2 cats


    yeah, wee, cat guy


    fml

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  31. Hey so who got gta5? I was fucking marking out just looking at the map that came with it. I'm declaring this the greatest game ever...you can steal a fucking blimp???? So awesome. I can't wait to get the fuck out of here and go play more. I only got like 45 minutes in last night.

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  32. Most of my big life changes were already accomplished before that date but..
    April 29th 2008 was a reasonably exciting period for me. I was either counting down the last few days before a trip to Germany and France, my first overseas trip, or else I was a couple of days into it. I can't remember the exact dates.
    I had proposed to my girlfriend right around that time as well.
    I'm still working for the same company, but I've been promoted twice.
    In the time since then, I've travelled a little more, married that girl who I proposed to, and had a son with her*. We've also bought a house after renting for several years.
    *He's super cool. We hang out.

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  33. So what's the problem then, why are you such a loser? Not "beacuse I am", but honestly - what traits of yours make you a loser in your eyes? Ugly? Fat? Shitty job?
    Figure it out, and then figure out how to overcome.

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  34. On April 29th 2008 I was annoyed that HHH and Orton were feuding over the WWE title. Man how times have changed!

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  35. Not necessarily overcome... but just be less of that thing.

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  36. TRUE!
    Although to be fair, I spent my teens and twenties trying to kill it, so you know.. Tit for tat.

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  37. Bring it back to wrestling!
    Good job dude.

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  38. Amsterdam_Adam_CurrySeptember 17, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    I spent pretty much all of 2006-2010 in an alcoholic haze, so I have no idea what I was doing that day. And I don't mean like today, where I drink more than I probably should but can still function just fine, I'm talking being shitfaced 24/7 for like 5 years straight. My life is in a much better place these days.

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  39. That's basically what meant.
    Change what you can, and learn to live with what you can't.

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  40. Amsterdam_Adam_CurrySeptember 17, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    It isn't working too well for the Bills, however...

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  41. I'm about the same age and see that change coming b/c of the girlfriend...eventually. But not for a few more years. I also don't want to be the "creepy old guy at the bar who doesn't realize that he's 5 years old to still be hanging out there". So there's that.

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  42. Amsterdam_Adam_CurrySeptember 17, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Fuck that, cats are great. At the very least, I've never had a neighbor's cat bite me or wake me up at 6AM barking at nothing whatsoever.

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  43. Dude ej Manuel might be good

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  44. I was up until 5 am playing it.

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  45. I don't think there is a transition as much as you kind of fall out of it. I kind of cut out all the drinking after I realized hangovers sucked, headaches sucked, booze was expensive, and I had to move back to a town where public transportation wasn't available 24/7 with DUIs being so damn crippling, I just couldn't have it.

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  46. Amsterdam_Adam_CurrySeptember 17, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    So far he has been. Of course, if they start playing well that means they're dropping the gimmick. That being said, 9-7 is the best they can hope for this year, which is pretty respectable for a team with a rookie QB and head coach. Bad news: they have no shot at a division title until the Patriots fall apart. Good news: that will likely happen within the next 2 years.


    BTW, it's 2 days later and I'm still fucking INFURIATED about that 49ers game. FUCK!

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  47. lol I have in passing thought about that but I don't think I could do it, and I can't really get people who do, I guess. I don't judge but it just seems so....empty?

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  48. Amsterdam_Adam_CurrySeptember 17, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    From what I've read the blimp is for Rockstar Social Club members only. I have no idea what, if anything, it costs to sign up for the social club.

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  49. Your_Favourite_LoserSeptember 17, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    i know they are


    but overall, i'm just not happy, and i dont know why not

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  50. Amsterdam_Adam_CurrySeptember 17, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Not knowing you personally I can't really offer any advice. This is where I'd normally tell someone to just get high or something (the Amsterdam in my name ain't 'cause I'm Dutch), but while weed is great for anxiety and shit it's not too great for depression, if anything it may make it worse.


    Ever think about just moving somewhere else and just trying to make a fresh start of things?

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  51. Amsterdam_Adam_CurrySeptember 17, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    I have NO desire to have kids, and I doubt I'll ever get married. I was actually engaged once (it just didn't work out, no one thing in particular, sometimes a relationship runs it's course and it's time to move on, though we still hook up and bang here and there), and I wonder what the hell I was thinking. Oh yeah, as I said above, I was constantly hammered. I can't even imagine living with a chick, I need to be able to go home when I sick of hanging out with someone, or they get sick and tired of me.

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  52. Yeah, the public transportation thing is a huge difference. I recently moved to a rural area and it has cut my drinking down big time.

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  53. Last week, I picked up the HD remaster of Kingdom Hearts, which I'm using my video game time to play as I wait for the HD remaster of Final Fantasy X / X-2 to come out. Apparently, the only games that appeal to me now are things that were released 10-plus years ago.

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  54. In 2008, I believe I got engaged to my now wife (glad she doesn't read this blog). We had been dating for a few years and I finally decided she was the one. Since then we got married the next year, bought a home and had a baby girl in 2011. These are pretty big changes but there is more. This past year I started seeing a psychologist because things in our marriage weren't going so well. I seemed to take the blame for every issue and would constantly apologize to my wife for everything. My wife is my best friend and quite frankly my only real friend. She is someone that I don't want to lose. She also wants to have another child but this is something that I am not sure that I can handle right now.

    I have been working the same job for around 12 years and at this time it really doesn't pay enough to allow our family to live the way we want to. I had always just kind of been comfortable in this job but because I knew I needed to get something better I applied for another job in the same company. I didn't get the job even though I thought I was qualified for it. So I decided to try a new career path, I signed up for some online courses in hopes of getting into a different field. I'm taking these courses while still working the same job and trying to help raise a 2 year old who is becoming more challenging. She is definitely starting to think for herself and doesn't like to listen.

    So I currently have a wife who wants another baby, a "terrible" 2 year old, a crummy paying job that I don't really like and I am taking courses for a future job that I hope like hell will be better than this. I seem to have anger problems and am a bit depressed and a bit of a perfectionist and I am scared my wife will leave me for something as simple as dropping food on the floor (she won't but that's how I feel). We are having some financial problems. We both lived with our parents for most of our lives and never really had to budget money before. Some days I have fun with my daughter, other days I kind of wish I could be alone.

    So there have been lots of ups and downs in the last 5 years and I hope that things will soon be on an upswing again soon.

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  55. How the fuck do yall remember what happened on a specific day 5 years ago?


    4/29/08, I was 27 years old for 18 days.

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  56. I'm in the same boat... very little modern stuff interests me.

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  57. Dude. Honestly, the best thing you can do is focus on the good stuff you've got going on (or even the "not bad" stuff you've got) and accentuate it to make it a larger part of your life. Getting caught up in "what could have been" is a fucking killer, and it messed me up for a while.


    I don't know where you're located, but I would find a meetup group or something that's focused on stuff you enjoy doing and be more social with other peeps who share your interests.


    The puppy thing sounds good, too. Maybe a beagle.

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  58. 650 american dollars must equal like 68K in Tijuana currency. I hope your penis went into at least 13 different holes.

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  59. Most of us don't... but we can remember the basics of our lives then.

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  60. I just can't seem to get myself invested in a new storyline for a video game lately. The last few years, my gaming has been limited to MLB The Show, random fighting games and the rare WWE game every few years. Stuff I can pick up and put down fairly quickly.

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  61. I remember it deadly specifically. My ex girlfriend and her boyfriend came over, who was also my 'best' friend at the time, he offered me opium, I attempted to talk to them about the game, but really they just wanted to drink Stienerbach beer and play for-fun poker. It was gross I hated it.

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  62. Mine just happened to be at a very specific turning point in my life. If you asked me what I was doing April 28, 2010... I'd have no idea.

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  63. You should also give American Splendor a watch.

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  64. Stranger in the AlpsSeptember 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    I don't play GTA....I live it. Pimps up, hoes down!

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  65. For those that doubt this claim: HHH had just won his 12th world title a few days before.

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  66. Marriage and kids bring out both the absolute best and absolute worst in people.

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  67. I recently replayed Mega Man 2 and 3, good shit. I love my old school gaming.

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  68. While unpacking my new apartment, I found my original Game Boy with about a dozen games. I flipped the switch and discovered it still worked. Time for some Tetris!

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  69. Is it when you see that you are not the #1 poster that you wonder what you are doing with your life?

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  70. April 2008: I'm about to start my fifth job since graduating with my BBA in accounting. Been laid off twice and had to quit another job due to it being so extremely fucking miserable. On the SIXTH DAY of this new job, we find out our biggest regional client is dumping us for a competitor, and as a result, our office will be closed and everyone laid off. Oh, and before my job there officially ended, I stumbled upon some evidence that my wife was contemplating cheating on me with an old boyfriend. Good times.

    Current day: Wife and I have never been happier after some couples therapy and REAL communication. Since July 2009, I've worked as a dealer (and more recently as a supervisor, AKA Pit Boss) at a local casino. Greatest job EVER. Most nights, I have so much fun at work, it feels like I'm stealing my paycheck. Money isn't quite as good as my accounting days, but I'm INFINITELY happier, and have a passion for my work, which I never did before.

    This question was easy for me: 2008 was the worst year of my life. My NFL team even went fucking WINLESS. God used the SLEDGEHAMMER OF PLOT on me back then. At least I listened.

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  71. As long as he can speak for the trees his career will still prolong......unfortunately.

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  72. According to him Stephanie was one of the few that went to bat for him; it's her father that's not very high on him.

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