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Inspiring TIFU from Reddit

Supa

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I came along this TIFU (Today I f*cked up) post on Reddit and thought I'd share it on here.

Here's an excerpt:

"...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...."

r/tifu - TIFU my whole life. My regrets as a 46 year old, and advice to others at a crossroad
 

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ZF Lee

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Quite some awakening advice!

I somehow think that he could create the dystopian novel even at his age.
World building needs experiences of how a society should work differently from the real world. A younger writer may have problem understanding enough of his own life in dealing with the world at large, to be able to pull out some gems to add to the fictional world.

An older writer, meanwhile, could simulate real-life experiences or interactions, within the dystopian setting. I noticed that many of such novels to be written by 40 years and above writers. J.K Rowling and H.G Wells come to mind.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Ah yes, the consequences of being SCRIPTED and allowing culture to write the story of your life.

Throw in Slowlane BS and it's the perfect mix of mediocrity and regret.
 

Kaleb

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As someone who is just trying to finish school and make ends meet, this post is scary to me. I can easily see how this could happen to anyone. This is one person who shared. Imagine how many more people are in the exact same situation?
 

ZF Lee

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Ah yes, the consequences of being SCRIPTED and allowing culture to write the story of your life.

Throw in Slowlane BS and it's the perfect mix of mediocrity and regret.
One question pricks me mentally,
'Can he do something different even at his age? Is all hope really lost?'

Reminds me of a tale that happened recently in real life, just for comparison...

I opened my door in my university dorm to find the management team working to service our air conditioners.

I struck up a conversation with the guy leading the team.

His name was Mike, and he turned out to be a supervisor overseeing THREE university accomodation buildings. He talked to me a great deal about 'seeing everything', in regards to students' habits and room cleanliness (which will be another thread!).

Then it got even more interesting....

1. He expressed that he was a Buddhist, but he enjoyed reading about other religions.
2. He was an avid reader, even having books on biology. Talked a bit in detail on the perils of not opening your windows for ventilation, as some of the uni kids would shut themselves in!
3. He backpacked quite a lot, namely in China and Europe. He advised me to travel to Europe and examine and study how the shops and businesses do their marketing.

The guy was around 50-60 years old, and he had done many, many things that most people can only dream of doing, or lack the discipline to do so. And he only started out in life with a high school diploma. Now, he only worked in the accoms management team because he liked to do it, and the terms of the job were great.

I had never met such an eccentric elder in my life, so I could only sit down and listen.

This event really validated the fact, for me personally, that even at an advanced age, you can still muster the will to change yourself and top-up on new skills and experiences. Mike, the manager, was not an entrepreneur, but he did have a Fastlane mindset of developing his mindset and doing things more differently than the others.
 

404profound

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Fastlane or slowlane, I'll never comprehend why people latch their trust to other people through marriage. "Yep, I'll pay thousands to increase my emotional risk and decline the pursuit of social freedoms." I don't understand it, never will.
 

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'Can he do something different even at his age?
Absolutely. His has half his life left.

' Is all hope really lost?'
All hope is not lost. But it will be if he doesn't change what's in his head.
 

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jramos02

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Wow. That's a very powerful post. Thank you for sharing. So much pain. Really makes you want to make sure you don't end up like that..it is scary.
 

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Amazing post.

Need to start living more. Rolling more dice.

Fastlane or slowlane, I'll never comprehend why people latch their trust to other people through marriage. "Yep, I'll pay thousands to increase my emotional risk and decline the pursuit of social freedoms." I don't understand it, never will.
His mistake wasn't marriage. Marriage had little to nothing to do with his regret. His regret was losing focus of what mattered.
 

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What a sad story.

Reminds me a bit of this article: Gaining (and Maintaining) Wisdom From Life Experience | Mark's Daily Apple which is different (the guy in his mid 30s with a great life hears "this may be a cancer") but offers the same lesson (you only have one life to live and you better make the most out of it now). This part hits me hard:

As he put it, when you think you’re dying, the nonsense you’ve been perpetuating falls away to reveal the essentials. It just happens on its own, and you get a glimpse of what really living entails.

Hugging your kids. Kissing your wife. A stroll after dinner to watch the sun dip below the horizon. A hawk soaring overhead. All things you’ve done and watched before, only now it’s different. Everything becomes imminent. Your concepts of the world and space-time condense. There’s less time now, but instead of getting frantic about it, you slow down and savor the moments. You’re present. Things that might have ruined your day or mood just roll off your back.
Going off on a tangent a bit, I never understand people who have clear, specific dreams but when asked if they're doing anything about them, they say "No, I can't afford it" or a similar excuse. Then they stay in a job that pays little and if you ask them a year, two, or three later about their dream, they'll respond with the same answer. No progress, no real means of accomplishing it. Do they really think that one day they'll magically start making enough money to finally afford to live their dream lifestyle?

The guy from the TIFU is similar in this aspect, but with his book. Did he expect to have more time once he got older or what? If writing his novel was really that important, he would have found time (even if just 20 minutes a day) to write it (even if you only write half a page a day, you can finish your novel in less than two years).
 

WJK

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After reading this thread, I heard the story of the 46-year-old guy differently from most of you who posted. It sounds like he's having a mid-life crisis. Men have those moments at around his age. He's wondering IF he made the right choices and evaulating why he gave up those young man's dreams.

My life hasn't gone the way I wanted nor planned when I was young. My middle-aged dreams and plans have also morphed beyond recognition. But, it has been a hell of ride. I have gone further and done more than I ever could have dreamed. Now my dreams and plans have become a mosaic of all those steps, hopes and dreams from years gone by. I sure this too will happen for 46-year-old and for each of you.
 
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Supa

Supa

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I somehow think that he could create the dystopian novel even at his age.
Yes, that was one of my first thoughts after reading it, too. Somewhere he wrote that he found the 70 pages. He could continue writing that novel. Hell, there are probably a lot of people interested in reading that book, alone from that post, if he'd happen to post an update about it in there.

Also, this excerpt from a post as response to his:

"...I'm who you thought you could be-- AND STILL CAN BE. I'm 46, and I'm a professional writer. Did all that volunteer work you talked about. (Prouder of that than the movies I've made. Teaching underprivelleged kids how to write at 826LA.org, and helping drug addicts like myself recover) Came to los angeles to pursue every dream. Some came true. Been here 20 years, been broke, had my heart broke, and back again for more. Wrote on TV shows like 'Sons Of Anarchy'. Made some movies. Wrote and starred in an indie film that's Hulu's most popular movie of all time. Telling you all this because ANYTHING is possible. ... So I say to you, Dickens knew what the F*ck he was writing about. Or perhaps you heard of Raymond Chandler, who published his FIRST BOOK at 46 years old... John. You ARE a writer. The post you left was F*cking poetry, brother. Share that gift with the world. PM me for my #, let's talk bro...."

As someone who is just trying to finish school and make ends meet, this post is scary to me. I can easily see how this could happen to anyone. This is one person who shared. Imagine how many more people are in the exact same situation?
That's what scares me the most about it, yes.

The what if?

What if you look back in 20 years and all you did was to try this or that. Thinking about writing a novel or planning to do something. And actually, all that while just living a job-bound life, being fully aware of what could've been possible, if you just would have done instead of only trying, thinking and planning.

'Can he do something different even at his age? Is all hope really lost?'
I don't see a reason why not, to be honest.
He's only 46. Doesn't has to worry too much about money. He should be able to free a good amount of his time. For his family. For his aspirations as a writer. For those things, he put after his scripted life.

Like this excerpt of another post to his:
"...You don't know how your book is going to end-- it seems that you have put it on hiatus at page 70; you are, and have been on the page 70 of your life. For all you know, the past 20 years of your life could have been 5 pages-- after all, literature is not one to fall victim to the marching uniform forward progression of time. You still have to finish writing the rest. For all you know, the next few years could be another 70 pages.

Hell, this post is already page 71."


Some of the reddit posts about the book are great!

Book titled "Page 70"
Every page is page 70 in the book until he reaches 46, then it goes page 71, 72,...
I loved those posts!

Especially the one about the book being titled "Page 70" and all the suggestions for it.

Fastlane or slowlane, I'll never comprehend why people latch their trust to other people through marriage.
His marriage had nothing to do with everything else in his post, besides, that it's one of the things he regrets most to have been neglecting.
Not saying that what the wife did is acceptable. Cheating and lying on your partner for a decade never is.

Going off on a tangent a bit, I never understand people who have clear, specific dreams but when asked if they're doing anything about them, they say "No, I can't afford it" or a similar excuse.
Thanks for sharing!
The excerpt you posted, listing the things one so often experiences but usually not values too much, is something probably everyone can, to some extent, resonate to.

Just two days ago, on Sunday, a friend, my fiancée and me went for a walk. After a while we sat down at a bench and talked a bit, while behind us, the sun went down.
When we got up after a few minutes we turned around and decided to take some photos with the sunset in the background.

Just thinking about that moment makes me smile.

It's those little things, that we so often just take for granted, don't really look at, while we sit with our backs to it and talk about daily worries or how tired we are from working a job we don't like, the whole week.

But then you turn around and look at it. Take in the fresh evening breeze of a lovely early summer day and enjoy the moment. Lay an arm around your wife or laugh about a funny photo you took. Compliment her on a great photo you took of her.

You may be stressed out for the last few days. May it be financial worries. Too much hours working for a job you don't like. Health issues. Or anything else.

After that walk you come home, sit down at your desk, and continue writing. Or working on whatever project you are working on. Because those moments in front of the sunset are the ones that matter most. And it's your job to make more time for those things that really matter.

The guy from the TIFU is similar in this aspect, but with his book. Did he expect to have more time once he got older or what? If writing his novel was really that important, he would have found time (even if just 20 minutes a day) to write it (even if you only write half a page a day, you can finish your novel in less than two years).
Maybe I'm not the best to add to this, since I also sometimes struggle with meeting my daily word count - with some days it hovering at 0 -, but yeah, you are absolutely right.

Only 500 words a day, 2 or 3 pages, would mean a novel of 80000 words could be done within less than 6 months.

500 words can be written in half an hour. 15 to 20 minutes if you're fast.

If it's really that important. Half an hour a day should be possible to invest into it, I think.
 
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ZF Lee

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... So I say to you, Dickens knew what the f*ck he was writing about. Or perhaps you heard of Raymond Chandler, who published his FIRST BOOK at 46 years old... John. You ARE a writer. The post you left was f*cking poetry, brother. Share that gift with the world. PM me for my #, let's talk bro...."
Speaking of Charles Dickens....EVERY AUTHOR WANNABEE should like grab his books and read them. He's another Fastlane story.
I have Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and many classics of his. I read his works whenever I want to describe storylines that are poverty-orientated.

They are mostly in old English, but Dickens really knows how to dive deep into the Victorian-English culture, as well as the 'dark side' of poverty and crime.

Each of his characters are very well-built, with Dickens exploring their personalities and decisions in great detail.

Dickens is another author who went through hell in his younger years. Came from a family that went into bad debt, and he had to work many sad jobs until his family eventually picked up. One of his jobs included pasting lids onto blacking pots in a warehouse...and warehouses didn't exactly have great safety standards in those days, with rats running around, and all.
 

jramos02

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Reminds me a bit of this article: Gaining (and Maintaining) Wisdom From Life Experience | Mark's Daily Apple which is different (the guy in his mid 30s with a great life hears "this may be a cancer") but offers the same lesson (you only have one life to live and you better make the most out of it now). This part hits me hard:
This what MJ often talks about. The cancer situation (forget the actual word) where when a person has cancer, nothing else will matter. All bullshit is highlighted and the person only focuses on what they care about.

The other side of that too is that if you find someone that has the cure to cancer, you don't care AT ALL what their backgrounds are. They have what you need and that's all that matters.
 

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