I've discovered the furries half a year ago and am still discovering the fandom little by little, so I guess you can't really consider me as a full member yet since I don't even have a fursona but after reading some of the letters, I thought you wouldn't mind.
I apologize in advance for my writing since English isn't my native language.
The problem I'm currently experiencing isn't nearly as important as some I've read, but I guess we luckily don't all have suicidal friends or horrible parents, eh?
I'm 18 (considered as adult where I live) and am going to the equivalent of US's college. I am currently on summer vacation and just like during all of the recent years’ summers I am... well, bored. It isn't an issue during the rest of the year since I'm glad to simply get home and relax after school but on summer vacation I have enough time to get bored and the problem is that I just can't find a hobby.
I don't really have any friends since I'm not really friendly... and don't speak much... okay, okay, because I'm just completely asocial to be honest, so I have to have fun by other means, like video games and Internet and... that's it. Staring at a screen has been fun for the last seven or eight years but at this point even that begins to bore me.
Of course Internet gave me some ideas of hobbies, like drawing or writing or programming and I tried each of these but apparently just didn't... had the will (a.k.a. balls) to hold on to them (to the hobbies, I mean). Now, I know the 10,000 hours rule and that I need to dedicate myself to these hobbies in order to begin to be good and enjoy it but I apparently simply don't have the motivation to keep it up and continue even if my current results are horrible (gawd that drawing... even thinking about it hurts my self-esteem, haha...).
I think I'm most interested in drawing. I don't really know why, maybe it's the social aspect or maybe it's that you work around a single "idea" as opposed to writing where you need a lot of imagination to write a whole story.
On the other hand (or let's furrify this expression a little: "On the other paw"), programming might be a good choice too since I'm already familiar with computers (unlike pencils...) and am not too bad at math which is the main source of entertainment at school, right after doodling.
As regards the writing, like I said it does require a lot of imagination which I'm lacking... when I need it. I did tried to write a story once... and ended up staring at the screen with a notepad on it for something about half an hour.
Some days ago I wrote a couple of lines of... poetry/philosophy/whatever-that-is but I still feel better about drawing than writing.
So I guess my question is: what should I do to gain the motivation I need to start a hobby?
Thank you in advance for your advice,
* * *
Thanks for your letter. You can help me out a little by giving me a bit more information. At school, do you have a favorite class or classes? When you watch TV or look on the Internet, what things in particular interest you or at least catch your eye? Are there some things on the news that interest you more than others?
This will help. Thanks.
* * *
After reading your e-mail requesting more information about my interests, I tried to do a list of them and my thoughts trailed off the subject and I ended up doing a lot of thinking... I know it is confusing but I guess my real problem is...worse?...than just a difficulty to find a hobby, which is the consequence of the real problem.
So, it's difficult to explain...
As I mentioned it in my previous letter, I have no friends and my relationship with my family is pretty horrible, all of this being the result of my efforts to keep everyone away from me. I've always been shy and didn't walk up to people first and had only a few friends in my life before we split apart or before I broke off all contact with them.
I think the moment when I switched from shy to asocial was four years ago when I was dumped by my "closest" friends, who were just some school mates when I think about it, for... basically being an annoying asshole. They were right to do this, now when I think about it because during that year I had my teen crisis and was acting really, really like a dumbass.
But the point is that I didn't feel it that way the following year and I guess this is the reason why I began not to dare to talk to others and drive away anyone who tried to get close to me. And from this point the fear of interacting with others slowly grew up to the point when I simply broke all contact with all of my friends and repelled my family to the point when I'm more a dweller in the family's house than an actual member of the family.
It isn't like they don't care about me, it's just that I'm so good at isolating myself that it's rare when we have a conversation longer than a "Hi!" in the kitchen. As regards the school, I usually just ignore anyone who tries to speak with me which gave me the reputation of the-guy-you-don't-speak-with, which is comfortable. This whole situation makes me feel horrible whenever I interact with other people which leads to me isolating myself even more.
At this point you're probably wondering what does all this have with the hobby problem... Well, I'm slowly realizing that I really don't enjoy being alone and that this loneliness makes me depressed. And this depression keeps me from doing anything, drawing, writing, programming or enjoying video-games. Of course, I don't always feel like hanging myself, these moment being actually really rare, but when I try to do something and see it isn't as good as I expected it to be, this depression keeps me from improving myself. I also noticed that these four years of not speaking to anyone left me with a real difficulty to express myself orally and making sentences but I guess this problem will disappear by itself if I begin to actually speak with people.
So, all I need to do to break this depressing monotony is simply begin to talk to people, starting with my family but... I just can't. It's easier for me to write for an hour a feeling filled letter to someone I don't even know (no offense) than to just go downstairs and speak with the people who are supposed to be my family. And this is the problem. I want to get out of this nasty situation but am too... scared?... of... nothing! I don't know how to do this, how to force myself to speak to others and I need your advice if you have one.
I'm sorry for these confusing letters and also for my writing which is probably even worse than it was in the first letter since I'm not in the best of my form right now... you know, snot and tears all over the keyboard'n'stuff...
So, thank you for your patience and sorry for racking your brain with my problems.
P.S.: On the bright side I now know what animal my fursona would be... a clam. It's gonna be fun fursuiting that.
* * *
To paraphrase Shrek, your letter is like an onion, having several layers. First you start of with this problem that you can’t find a hobby to enjoy, then, digging deeper, we learn you have problems interacting with peers and family, and digging still deeper, self-esteem issues.
Your letter indicates self-esteem issues, which, for instance, make you self-critical of any efforts you make to draw or write or do something creative. Poor self-esteem often stems from how one is raised. You say you, apparently, have family that is caring, and yet you cannot talk to them.
Whatever happened four years ago that drove the rest of your so-so friends away might have just been the straw breaking the camel’s back, a back already heavily weighed down by other psychological burdens that have caused you to withdraw into yourself.
The good news is that you recognize the loneliness you have created for yourself is not a pleasant shell to hide in. (That you want to be a “clam” is quite telling). But your approach of forcing yourself to talk to people and be more extroverted won’t work because you are treating the symptom and not the cause.
For you to get out of your shell, you are going to need to find the central cause of what lead you down this path in the first place. I hope I don’t sound like a broken record when I suggest that a bit of counseling could help you to find what deep down inside of you is really bothering you. You need to approach your problem from the inside out, not outside in.
Feel free to write again, Lolity, and let me know your further thoughts.
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