My name is Alex and I found out about what you do a couple of weeks ago and I think it's amazing. I've been reading lots of letters and even learned things about myself reading them.
So here it goes. I don't know what I want anymore. I keep telling myself that if I get out of Brazil all my problems are going to go away and I know that's not truth.
Its truth, Brazil sucks, I don't like it here and I'll get out of here eventually. But when I leave, I'll be out of goals, nothing to look forward to and nothing to live for.
I think that maybe if I get out of here I'll be able to have more friends than I have here and even a girlfriend. Which might not be truth, maybe I don't get any friends and maybe I don't even get a girlfriend because I actually don't know my sexuality. I think its because I've been addicted to porn for too long (I realized I was addicted to porn because of another letter on the site) . I kissed some girls and really hated it, I found it really gross touching tongues and I kinda dated a furry boy on the Internet once because he gave me attention and it made me feel special and loved, but I ended it on the premises that I was not gay.
I feel sad, I feel lonely, I feel like its going to be like this forever and everyone asks me if I'm okay, I always smile and say that everything is fine. I say that I'm fine to my parents and to my friends but I'm confused and I don't know what I should do to make this better.
I can't bring myself to tell anyone about it because in the last years I really grew financially and since then I been buying lots of stuff, I got my own place, I got into the best college in the country. So to everyone else it seen that I have a perfect life, and I know that my situation is really really good for someone of my age but no matter how much money I spent, how good do I look, I still feel hollow.
Sometimes I feel like I want to have a family and get married, but then I remember my own family and I remember that I don't believe in marriage or families. But I'm human too right? Humans need people in their lives don't they?
I've been feeling this way for a long time and I keep telling myself that I got nothing to complain about and that I have to man up and just get rich, but lately I been doubting the power of money to make my problems go away.
Would you have any advice for me, Papabear?
Alex (age 21)
P.S. Sorry if my English is too confusing and thank you for taking some time to read my letter.
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Your letter is correct in many aspects, so I can already tell you are a pretty bright person. You know that money and things can’t buy you happiness (you say you are doubtful, but you really do know that it can’t). You know that, although you don’t like Brazil much, just leaving the country won’t guarantee you new friends and someone to love.
But in other areas you are confused and sometimes incorrect. For instance, you want a family but you think because your own family has problems (I’m guessing that is what turns you off marriage) that you can’t have a successful marriage of your own. You’re also questioning your sexuality, and you are really pressuring yourself to find someone to love under the assumption that you can’t be happy by yourself.
In other words, you are looking for happiness everywhere except where you should be looking for it: from within. Money and possessions won’t make you happy, moving to another country won’t make you happy, having a successful career won’t make you happy (that is, if it is a career designed purely to make money or to have power over others), and even finding somone in your life does not necessarily make you happy. (Many marriages have made people profoundly unhappy).
When we raise children, we worry about their education, whether they are materially provided for, whether they will find success in life, whether they will find a spouse and have children. What we should do when we raise children, however, is help them find out who they are while also teaching them about the world. It is only when you understand who you really are as a person and what you feel your individual purpose is in life that you will find your true happiness.
I understand that you are lonely and want someone in your life to share with, but that’s going to be very difficult to do if you don’t understand what you want, and you don’t. You don’t really know if you want a marriage and you don’t even know what gender you prefer for a mate. Therefore, even if you found someone you like, chances are it will be a very troubled partnership.
I would like you to ask yourself the following questions to help you discover who you are:
When you think about the above, do not think in terms of jobs or money or status. Think about all areas, including family, friends, love, art, charity, causes, religion/spirituality, your participation in humanity and the global experience. Think about moments in your life that may have really opened your eyes about something or profoundly touched your heart and soul.
Remember, happiness is not an end goal, it is a journey. Do not forget to value the “small” things in life: the touch of a friend’s hand, the beauty of the ocean, the songs of birds. Life is very short. Live in the moment; if you always look to the horizon you will miss what is right there at your feet. Every moment is valuable and not to be taken for granted.
What does this have to do with solving your problem of loneliness? Believe it or not, when you have figured out who you are and achieve the contentment, happiness, and self-confidence that comes with it, love will find you. There is nothing more attractive to another person that finding a man or woman who is honest, kind, and at peace. There are few things more off-putting than a person who is needy, lacks confidence, and is desperately seeking someone else to validate their own existence.
Find out who you are and the rest will fall into place, and that “hollow” sensation inside you will be filled.
Wishing You Happiness,
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