A quote from an anonymous friend:
I feel sad because I sometimes think about the past, and I have no confidence that the future will be better than before.
Well, that's rather gloomy, isn't it? At least I thought so, so I tried to cheer up my friend a bit. Then I realized I couldn't find any counter-argument, because I agreed completely with the statement.
I think my memory is not like most other people's. I remember weird stuff but I forget the useful things. I use Google a lot during my work, even for things that I'm supposed to have known for a long time already. In particular, the last two years of my life are very blurry in my mind, and I think it's because I have not enjoyed my life enough recently.
Think of it this way: when you stare into a bright light and then look somewhere else, your vision is full of black spots and it's difficult to see. I had an unusual amount of 'life' during my first two years of Japan, and perhaps it was so much that everything after that literally pales in comparison. Perhaps I'm actually trying to forget stuff simply because it's not as good/fun/enjoyable as what I was used to. Still recovering from the bright light of two years ago.
I've had some disappointments recently related to friends. I seem to always be getting in situations where I expect too much of them and they can only let me down. Anyway, going into this more deeply would be too revealing and not very nice, but suffice to say that I've lost confidence in the concept of close friendship in general. It seems that as I get older, the only measurement of friendship that remains is duration, not closeness. This makes me a sad panda.
Still, like that same anonymous friend said to me: "But anyway, we have to go on , right?". The truth bluntly stated. I'm coping with a new feeling: that where the best experiences of my life lie behind me, and I'm not likely to experience another such high in the near future (at least not if I hadn't quit my job). This never used to be a problem for me back in Holland, cause my life wasn't very exciting. It's easy to look forward to something if you don't have a lot to look backward to.
The contents of my life may have changed, but my fundamental attitude is the same. I am in control of my life. I choose my life. If you don't like your life, then change it. You always have a choice. Other people's feelings being the sole exception, there is nothing about your life that you cannot change. I've never been so dissatisfied with my life that I had to bring this concept into practice, until now, this point where I actively choose a course of action that will change my life forever.
What's important is self-reflection and a good sense of humor. If you have this, you can turn a depression into a big cynical joke and move on. If you don't, or if you take yourself too seriously, you'll probably end up doing something very stupid. Like quitting a perfectly good job and going on a cycling trip instead. But only an idiot would do that.
Look for something more. Something better. Sometimes you'll think that you found it, but it ends up blowing up in your face. Sometimes you realize that what you found is actually not what you were looking for. But like they say: it's not the destination that matters, it's the journey. Just keep on searching.