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To be feeling incredibly inadequate?

(34 Posts)
Teaandcakeat8 Sat 20-Aug-16 18:04:53

AIBU to have reached the age of 26 and feel totally depressed and inadequate?

This year has been full of big changes for me; finishing a dull relationship and then meeting someone else and it not working out; buying my first house; getting a new job in the city I want to live in and now I am in the process of letting my house and moving there.


- I'm single and everyone around me seems to be settling down and having babies; I am now contemplating moving to a new city where I know two or three people
- My job is reasonably well paid and is a really good opportunity for me to learn/develop and grow, but I am by no means a millionaire
- I was very shy in my late teens and feel like I missed out on cementing friendships at that stage of my life. I have good friends now but not a solid ‘group’ like lots of girls have.

I keep looking back on my past, wishing I’d done things differently and comparing myself to other people my age.

The guy that I just broke up with had a ridiculously busy social life, a very well paid job and was very well travelled and I feel like this has opened my eyes to a whole different world that I’m not a part of.

This weekend most of my friends are busy and I am spending most of it alone and I feel like a total failure; everyone else lives seem exciting and fun whereas tomorrow I am probably going to go running in the morning then do work for the rest of the day!

Is this a normal feeling for the mid-twenties or something that I potentially need to seek help for?

StealthPolarBear Sat 20-Aug-16 18:06:45

At the age of 26 and with no ties the world is your oyster it really is. Do something brave, travel, meet people. Don't wish your life away now or you'll be looking back in ten years and regretting it

60sname Sat 20-Aug-16 18:07:48

Google quarter life crisis - apparently it's a thing. But to answer your question, I think you'll find it's a common feeling. I think avoiding comparing yourself unfavourably with others is key

Dozer Sat 20-Aug-16 18:09:25

Your expectations seem really high.

You have a good job with prospects and are a home owner! And doing big new things like moving cities.

You have also moved on from relationships that wouldn't've been good long term, which is good.

26 is really young! Plenty of time for a family later on.

user1471481928 Sat 20-Aug-16 18:15:01

I feel like I could have written this post myself. I'm also 26, and hit the point of being so frustrated with myself I found myself a job in the south west, up and went on my own, and joined a meetup group to make friends (worked well...!) also by not knowing anyone in the city, I was able to change my personality to how I wanted to be, not how I had been stuck for years (shy, quiet, not very outgoing etc.) maybe the move to a new city is what you need?

Saladfox Sat 20-Aug-16 18:16:07

Why aren't you patting yourself on the back for finishing a poor relationship, finding a job you like in a city you have always wanted to live in, buying a house? And honestly, if all your friends are 'settling down', I would go out and find a new set. My only close friend who had her first child at 26 now says 'What was I THINKING?' You haven't missed out on any 'cementing' friendship situation, so stop tormenting yourself with imaginary things you think you've missed out on.

Think carefully about what it was you find eye-opening and attractive in the life of the guy you just broke up with, which sounds as though it awoke you to things you might like to try, and go and do those things.

It sounds to me as though you (a) don't give yourself enough credit for your genuine achievements already and (b) are doing far too much nervously looking around at other people to check what you are supposed to be doing, rather than embracing your freedom and your obvious (and very admirable) capacity to change things about your life and to get things done, and going out and making the life you like.

WoburnSands Sat 20-Aug-16 18:16:24

On the face of it you seem really successful - OK - you feel a couple of areas need improvement - but then don't we all feel like that?

You certainly don't 'need help' with anything! From what you've said I think your life will fall into place in time.

DoitotmeSheldon Sat 20-Aug-16 18:17:02

What you're feeling if completely normal. You're at a stage of life where you are assessing your achivements and comparing them to others.

This weekend most of my friends are busy and I am spending most of it alone and I feel like a total failure; everyone else lives seem exciting and fun whereas tomorrow I am probably going to go running in the morning then do work for the rest of the day!
Don'r feel like a faliure because you're having a quiet weekend, just take the time to recharge your batteries.

FWIW I think you've accomplished an awful lot at a very young age. Financial independance, a new career and a home of your own are not to be sniffed at.

Don't ever compare yourself to others, you don't have to be a social butterfly to have a happy life.

Thefitfatty Sat 20-Aug-16 18:22:22

I could have written this at 26. Thank fuck I never settled!
26 may seem old or what have you now, but God dammit you're at the cusp. Go fuck, flirt, travel, job hop, study, experience. The rest will come along pretty quick and you want to say you have no regrets.
I met and married at 29 and kids at 31/32. My 20's were the worst/best learning years of my life. Enjoy

davos Sat 20-Aug-16 18:26:58

When I hit 25 I got really down and comparing myself.

In my case I got married and had a child young. My career wasn't it's best because I chose not to progress to be at home more.

I was comparing myself to everyone else and their lives seemed more exciting. At some point I realised it was a case of 'the grass is greener'. I decided what I wanted and pursued it.

NotYoda Sat 20-Aug-16 18:36:34

I had a terrible time in my twenties.

I compared myself to others, the career I'd chosen was the wrong one and made me very unhappy. I did have a lovely DP (now DH) but I was very unhappy and lost. A University reunion at the time was just terrible. Everyone else seemed to have it together and I did not. I seemed to be failing to meet my potential

I suspect that if social media were around then I might have felt worse.

This is really a time to find out all about yourself. To not do things because you feel you should, To not carry on a path because you started it and it's what you "should" be doing.

And yes, you've done really really well - you don't know what comes next. But none of us do. 20 years on we don''t really know.
Your contemporaries are actually unusually young these days to be having children - don't panic about that

NotYoda Sat 20-Aug-16 18:40:54

one thing:

You mention running, so you obviously like exercise. One small you you could do is maybe to look at doing exercise that is sociable, or at least alongside other people:

climbing (lots of fit men), dancing, netball, rugby, cycling. Maybe join a club that means you have something regular to do.

Exercise really helped me when I was in a funk - in my case aerobics

Hope34 Sat 20-Aug-16 18:42:06


You are sorted!

What you are feeling is normal...i could have written it....your twenties are the worst years!

You are on the property ladder, you have a great job and friends....

I went back to Uni at 31, to change career, met husband at 33(thanks to internet dating), and babies at 38 and 40......

I feel I have done well and have a great life (despite having the entire family in a one bedroom flat in London due to my career....just for 16 months grin

Don't settle
Take a short sabbatical and travel for 1-2 months
Internet date
Pat yourself on the back
And march to the beat of your own drum!

Hope34 Sat 20-Aug-16 18:43:45

I am not on FB...thank goodness...very good to avoid for your mental healthgrin

gonetoseeamanaboutadog Sat 20-Aug-16 18:46:28

I have two brothers like this.

To be fair, OP, 99% of the population would feel they'd failed in comparison to some people. We can't all be that 1%.

mrsfuzzy Sat 20-Aug-16 18:46:30

you are your own boss and now is your time to enjoy life without the ties of dc, you have some good friends so that's positive and you are working living where you want to be. all sounds good. there are people wishing they were in your shoes, but please be your own person, doesn't matter what others are doing be happy for you and be kind to yourself, don't compere.

FloweryTwat Sat 20-Aug-16 18:48:03

You are doing so well - job you want, ditched a relationship you didn't, secure financially...

The world is your oyster! I loved OLD when I was your age (38 now) and there is so much now around fitness stuff to get involved in with young healthy toned men.

Weekends can be so dull when you feel everyone else has this packed social life, but you can go out and find your social life!

NotYoda Sat 20-Aug-16 18:48:49

I am also going to tell you my favourite quote:

"Don't compare your insides to other people's outsides"

MatildaTheCat Sat 20-Aug-16 18:50:55

Blimey, your achievements so far are awesome. I have sons in the exact same age group as you so know exactly how hard you must have worked to be in your position.

This sounds like a great time to broaden your horizons and move to a new city, travel, expand your career and meet new people. Don't ever try to change who you are, just build on your strengths and meet as many people as possible to maximise your chances of making new friends or partners.

It's so true that your twenties are a time of feeling somewhat inadequate. Try to enjoy your time alone, some time in the future you will yearn for the luxury of a day to yourself.

blue2014 Sat 20-Aug-16 18:52:20

You are doing much better than I was at 26 and I've always considered myself quite a high achiever!

Dozer Sat 20-Aug-16 18:53:12

"Comparison is the thief of joy"

spankhurst Sat 20-Aug-16 18:53:25

You're very young, have a career which gives you the chance to relocate, and you're a homeowner. Blimey! Apart from the young bit, I had none of that at 26. You sound like a roaring success to me. Don't worry about being single, the fact that you ended an unsatisfactory relationship is an excellent sign.

NotYoda Sat 20-Aug-16 18:56:01

some people of my generation married the unsatisfactory person just because they'd been with them a long time and something needed to happen. My theory is the thing that needed to happen, in hindsight, is they should have split up.

ukgift2016 Sat 20-Aug-16 19:00:54

Really? I am about to turn 27, a single mother to a 4 year old. Rent a small two bedroom house...wish I was in your shoes!

You surely realize your doing well for your age apart from the fact you currently haven't met the one...

jimbob1 Sat 20-Aug-16 19:06:01

I think this is a "the grass is always greener problem".
I am 26 and am married with (almost) 2 children, have a house and a good career.
I am so boring! I go out every 4-6 weeks with friends and speak with them every week or so. Rarely see family as we are busy and I have to plan my life around keeping my children happy.
I LOVE my life 99% of the time but I have moments when I wish I could spend my cash on clothes for myself and get my hair cut when it was needed rather than waiting a month longer so I don't feel guilty for spending on someone other than my family. I never had much of a singles life and I wish I had. Enjoy it before you settle down.

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