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Earlier this month, 46-year-old John Jerryson posted on the Reddit forum Today I F*cked Up a story recounting how he wasted his life by pursing his comfort over his passions when he was in his 20s. The man’s story is a great reminder of how what society sees as the best options in life are typically the most self-destructive.

Editors note: Post is unedited to preserve authenticity. 

TIFU. More like more whole life really.

Hi, I my name’s John. I’ve been lurking for a while, but I’ve finally made an account to post this. I need to get my life off my chest. About me. I’m a 46 year old banker and I have been living my whole life the opposite of how I wanted. All my dreams, my passion, gone. In a steady 9-7 job. 6 days a week. For 26 years. I repeatedly chose the safe path for everything, which eventually changed who I was.

Today I found out my wife has been cheating on me for the last 10 years. My son feels nothing for me. I realised I missed my father’s funeral FOR NOTHING. I didn’t complete my novel, travelling the world, helping the homeless. All these things I thought I knew to be a certainty about myself when i was in my late teens and early twenties. If my younger self had met me today, I would have punched myself in the face. I’ll get to how those dreams were crushed soon.

Let’s start with a description of me when I was 20. It seemed only yesterday when I was sure I was going to change the world. People loved me, and I loved people. I was innovative, creative, spontaneous, risk-taking and great with people. I had two dreams. The first, was writing a utopic/dystopic book. The second, was travelling the world and helping the poor and homeless. I had been dating my wife for four years by then. Young love. She loved my spontaneity, my energy, my ability to make people laugh and feel loved. I knew my book was going to change the world. I would show the perspective of the ‘bad’ and the ‘twisted’, showing my viewers that everybody thinks differently, that people never think what the do is wrong. I was 70 pages through when i was 20. I am still 70 pages in, at 46. By 20, I had backpacking around New Zealand and the Phillipines. I planned to do all of Asia, then Europe, then America (I live in Australia by the way). To date, I have only been to New Zealand and the Phillipines.

Now, we get to where it all went wrong. My biggest regrets. I was 20. I was the only child. I needed to be stable. I needed to take that graduate job, which would dictate my whole life. To devote my entire life in a 9-7 job. What was I thinking? How could I live, when the job was my life? After coming home, I would eat dinner, prepare my work for the following day, and sleep at 10pm, to wake up at 6am the following day. God, I can’t remember the last time I’ve made love to my wife.

Yesterday, my wife admitted to cheating on me for the last 10 years. 10 years. That seems like a long time, but i can’t comprehend it. It doesn’t even hurt. She says it’s because I’ve changed. I’m not the person I was. What have I been doing in the last 10 years? Outside of work, I really can’t say anything. Not being a proper husband. Not being ME. Who am I? What happened to me? I didn’t even ask for a divorce, or yell at her, or cry. I felt NOTHING. Now I can feel a tear as I write this. But not because my wife has been cheating on me, but because I am now realising I have been dying inside. What happened to that fun-loving, risk-taking, energetic person that was me, hungering to change the world? I remember being asked on a date by the most popular girl in the school, but declining her for my now-wife. God, I was really popular with the girls in high school. In university/college too. But i stayed loyal. I didn’t explore. I studied everyday.

Remember all that backpacking and book-writing I told you about? That was all in the first few years of college. I worked part-time and splurged all that I had earned. Now, I save every penny. I don’t remember a time I spend anything on anything fun. On anything for myself. What do I even want now?

My father passed ten years ago. I remember getting calls from mom, telling me he was getting sicker and sicker. I was getting busier and busier, on the verge of a big promotion. I kept putting my visit off, hoping in my mind he would hold on. He died, and I got my promotion. I haven’t seen him in 15 years. When he died, I told myself it didn’t matter what I didn’t see him. Being an atheist, I rationalized that being dead, it wouldn’t matter anyway. WHAT WAS I THINKING? Rationalizing everything, making excuses to put things off. Excuses. Procrastination. It all leads to one thing, nothing. I rationalized that financial security was the most important thing. I now know, that it definitely is not. I regret doing nothing with my energy, when I had it. My passions. My youth. I regret letting my job take over my life. I regret being an awful husband, a money-making machine. I regret not finishing my novel, not travelling the world. Not being emotionally there for my son. Being a damn emotionless wallet.

If you’re reading this, and you have a whole life ahead of you, please. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t leave your dreams for later. Relish in your energy, your passions. Don’t stay on the internet with all your spare time (unless your passion needs it). Please, do something with your life while your young. DO NOT settle down at 20. DO NOT forget your friends, your family. Yourself. Do NOT waste your life. Your ambitions. Like I did mine. Do not be like me.

Sorry for the long post, just had to get it out there.

TL:DR I realised I let procrastination and money stop me from pursuing my passions when I was younger, and now I am dead inside, old and tired.

  • Kat

    I like this vulnerability, thank you for sharing. I needed this 🙂

  • Moshood

    It’s not to late to chase those dreams… It’s never too late

  • Kerry Kershaw

    It’s never too late. Ever.

    • Ragnar Dragonfyre

      What if you’re in your 40s and lamenting about missing your chance to be in professional sports?

      Some dreams do indeed have an expiry date.

      • mrto12

        @ragnardragonfyre:disqus, just study a sport, become a coach or / and establish a new club… You can always do something! 😉

  • I did the same, slightly different but similar outcomes. Here’s the thing. You can use that, learn and find a life that truly amazes you, more than you can possibly imagine, you can STILL lead a dream life, or you can waste some more of your time. You still have a great path to take as a human, the one you know you should have been on. Take it now my friend.

  • Liza

    You should read a book, called “Wild at heart” from John Eldredge. It tells you what/who can change your life..

  • I think it is incredible that the guy, John ,realized he didn’t live his dream life.In my opinion the hardest step is already behind him. Well done! You might not hear that ,but John, I hope you will forgive yourself and now you will pursue your all dreams and live a happy&satisfying life. Waiting for your novel!

  • Pingback: 46 year-old man reveals the regrets that have led to a life of emptiness and pain. Don’t let this be you. | Inspiration & Motivation()

  • Mary Kate

    Those of us in the know always come to a point where “security” means nothing and LIVING means everything. I hit that point about three months ago, gave up my 9 to 5 cube-job, and began anew as a freelancer and blogger. I haven’t made a dime yet! LOL! But it feels great to just be out of the system. I do what I want when I want. I’m not under anyone’s thumb. It isn’t all roses but it’s far better than the alternative of being plugged into the Matrix for the rest of my life. And the others who commented here are all correct, it’s never too late. Great article. Thanks for sharing, Sam!

  • Daniella MMorison

    It sounds strange to me that i am living happy after all i have been through in life with 4 different false spell caster who ripped me off my hard earned money. Linda left me for a far more younger man and since then my world has been falling apart. I have been through the hands of 4 false spell casters but they all lied to me until i had a chat with Brian that introduced me to TEMPLEOFEMAHAMA@GMAIL.COM I never wanted to contact this man because i thought that he is like the others who will do the same thing and drive me insane. I gave him a trail after believing in Brian’s words that he will tender his resignation if this one fails, to my greatest surprise, he did the spell for me and Linda came knocking on my door four days after i contacted Prophet of Goddess. I will forever be grateful to his good works because he restored my lost happiness and i am happy today because of his good work. Contact him in any problem on his email address TEMPLEOFEMAHAMA@GMAIL.COM ,he is always there to asisit you, If you need his contact this is the number +2348071906431….

  • Daniella MMorison

    It sounds strange to me that i am living happy after all i have been through in life with 4 different false spell caster who ripped me off my hard earned money. Linda left me for a far more younger man and since then my world has been falling apart. I have been through the hands of 4 false spell casters but they all lied to me until i had a chat with Brian that introduced me to TEMPLEOFEMAHAMA@GMAIL.COM I never wanted to contact this man because i thought that he is like the others who will do the same thing and drive me insane. I gave him a trail after believing in Brian’s words that he will tender his resignation if this one fails, to my greatest surprise, he did the spell for me and Linda came knocking on my door four days after i contacted Prophet of Goddess. I will forever be grateful to his good works because he restored my lost happiness and i am happy today because of his good work. Contact him in any problem on his email address TEMPLEOFEMAHAMA@GMAIL.COM ,he is always there to asisit you, If you need his contact this is the number +2348071906431.

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