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  1. Greetings. I'm here because I've got a problem and only just realized how serious it is. I realized I'm in the grip of eternal student syndrome, and that it's just a symptom of a bigger problem. Specifically, I've never initiated a project of my own accord and seen it through to the end. A summary of my current status: 31 year old white male. Studied potentially useful university degree (chemistry and Japanese studies) Never made meaningful use of first degree. Got dead-end clerical job. Still in dead-end clerical job after seven years Decided 'enough was enough' and decided to... get a second degree. Currently studying potentially very useful second degree (robotic engineering) Plagued with doubt about my 'interest' in robotics (If I loved and enjoyed this stuff so much, why wasn't I teaching myself for years before?) Extremely isolated; often not leaving the house except for work or study. No close friends. Strained relationship with family (All on the left. High school best friend is a government employee. Formerly close sister a radical feminist. Some strain inevitable after listening to FDR for years) Never had a romantic relationship. Never had sex. As you can see, things are pretty grim. I recognize how all the above are either unacceptable or at least symptoms of an unacceptable situation. It's all the more galling because I have been listening to FDR for years. I have heard countless examples of good and responsible, brave and honorable ways to live life, yet I never enacted any of them in my life. All the time and energy that could've built a great life, has been devoted to the creation of self-justifying excuses, and, to paraphrase this, refusing to grow up, cocooning myself in a shell of post-industrial creature comforts, never evolving, never building or achieving, and self-medicating my inner needs with my choice of instant gratification du jour. This all became crystal clear to me last night when I went to a fundraising concert organized by a former friend of mine. The concert was a huge success, and the painful part for me was realizing, in the clipped greetings and farewells and the silence in between, that we were no longer friends. She had successfully completed a massive project, and now moved in a world full of colleagues, supporters, friends and admirers, in which I had no part. In which I was dead weight, or even a detriment. And I had no one but myself to blame. I know I can get no absolution for this; philosophy is not a confessional. But I am here for anything you want to give me that can stop me from staying up late watching my cartoons, fooling myself into surprise every time, fooling myself that this is a life. So please, give me advice, encouragement, sympathy, criticism, a kick in the ass, a high-res photo of my horrible future shoved into my face as you scream "LOOK! LOOK!". Any and all of healthy social praise and scorn that I have so carefully avoided for years. I'll contact Mike about getting a call-in as well. If anyone lives in Oz, around the Sydney area, and wants to deliver this in person, PM me; I would dearly love to meet some fellow FDR listeners after all this time, even if it is only to get a taste of bitter medicine. Now I just have to force myself to click 'post' instead of 'cancel'.

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