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Dear VK - Issue No. 6

Slim pickings for this week's "Dear VK." Remember, folks: if you don't send in your questions, I can't meddle in your affairs!

These Are The Best Years Of My Life?

Dear VK,

I recently got promoted at my job which required me to move away from my home town. I left my friends and family and never see them anymore. To make things worse, I travel all the time! I'm usually gone three out of four weeks a month.

Whereas I love my job, what I do, and the people I work with, I am very depressed. The short amount of time that I am home, I sit in front of the TV watching The Sopranos, or something else, and not being active at all. I hardly ever get a chance to go to my hometown, and my family and friends are too busy to come see me when I am in my adopted hometown.

I am missing out on all the thrills of life. I am still a young guy (23) and have a lot of "living" to do. I am proud of what I have achieved, but I think I'm far too young to be depressed. Also, because I am always on the road, I haven't made any friends in my newly adopted hometown.

What do I do?

Home Alone

Dear Home Alone,

Congratulations on the promotion! Right about now, it probably feels like a mixed blessing. As hard as it is, however, keep in mind that you're in the "due-paying" years -- and it sounds like you're paying them in spades. The up-side is that you're making money and getting to travel far more than your peers, and the diligence you put forth today will pay off down the road. The downside? Well, you're living it: travel makes for isolation, unless you're the kind of guy who relishes hotel bars, drunk females and one-night stands.

Having lived a couple of years in almost total social isolation myself, you've got my complete sympathy. We all need to feel socially relevant in other peoples' lives, and nothing fills this need more than recurring contact with family and friends. So, as hard as it is to find the enthusiasm, you need to use those rare days when you're not on the road to reach out beyond your sofa. Head down to a nearby watering hole on Sopranos night and watch the show there where you'll be surrounded by others who share your appreciation for Big Tony. (Hey, at your age you could consider watching it at a nearby college's student lounge and might even wind up meeting someone you'd like to see again.)

It wouldn't hurt to visit your old hometown on one of your rare weeks off, either. You know your family would love to see you, and there's nothing that comforts a weary soul like home cooking and doting relatives. I'm sure it's a hassle getting there, but it sounds like just what you need.

Most of all, keep two things in mind. First: fun doesn't come looking for people. You have to get out and find it yourself, so use those rare moments of down-time to binge on live (not internet-related) human contact. The more often you do so, the more you'll find yourself "belonging" wherever you go.

Second -- and I mean this in the nicest way -- please remember that there's no right age for depression. If increased visits home and regular social interaction doesn't bring you more happiness, see your physician. Again, I speak from experience when I say that clinical depression can make even the best days feel like a drag.

Keep in touch,

Boy Toy Checks Back In

Dear VK, I read your response [Dear VK No. 5] and discussed the issue with Boy Toy's playmate this past weekend. First a little update..... We have continued to date since I sent in my letter to you about a month ago. We definitely are having the time of our lives. She divorced in January of last year and I did so in the summer of last year. Anyhow, we now fit in a free Friday night dinner into our busy schedule in addition to Wednesday/Sat./Sun. , so we are spending more time together and not all of it expounding upon the Wizbang theory.

Well, I discussed the Match.com, dating website issue with her last night and we resolved it very quickly. I debated myself for quite awhile about how to approach this issue since I do have some trust issues based upon my past marriage (I caught my wife cheating on me 3 times with different men over a number of years, to long of deployments, we stayed together for the kids until the last incident) and Playmate recognized that immediately. She said it was no problem, she would remove her profile and that it had expired over a month ago. She had no intentions of renewing. Anyhow, all I can say is that the celebration after this discussion cut into out Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy viewing...hmmmm we missed the shows.

Thanks for the advice and her answer/response was better than I could have anticipated. You are welcome to post this response.


Boy Toy No More

Dear Former Boy Toy,

The hardest thing in any relationship is opening a mouth to speak of true needs and wants... it's also the first step toward finding the right relationship for us. Congratulations on coming up for air long enough to do just that. Many happy wishes to you and the Playmate.


Want to see this column continue? Send in your questions!

Comments (1)

[email protected] Home Alone<... (Below threshold)


@ Home Alone

I worked as a contract programmer for about 10 years and had a blast doing it. I spent so much time away from home that I finally just packed everything up, stuck it in storage and changed my address to a friend's house so my mail would actually get picked up for a change.

The issue isn't always that you're spending a lot of time away from home. The issue is that you've centered the problem around your home rather than the opportunities that are possibly available to you. Unless you're travelling to some ass end of nowhere in Arkansas there is always something interesting to do or see.

Hit websites, discussion groups and find out if there are great restaurants, casinos, shows, shops, places to go and see. A lot of places have little hidden treasures that can really add a lot to enjoying your travel. And sometimes you can make deals with your company to get either discounts or get plane tickets using their discount plans.

I was doing a contract in around Chicago for several months and I had a blast. I travelled around with a guidebook, some info from locals and a map. I got lost a lot, but I also got a chance to sample a lot of different foods, drank a lot of beer and met a lot of people.

Usually when I get sat at a table I'd ask some likely person sitting nearby what I should order and if there was anything really special. In large part that would break the ice and I'd always end up having a good time.

So the problem isn't that you're travelling. The problem is that you're looking at the travelling as a problem. However twenty years from now, when you're stuck at home without any chance of travelling, you'll look back at this time with a lot of regrets that you didn't take the opportunities that came by.

Stick out your hands and grab a handful of life.

And if she slaps you, remember to write down the phone number of a good lawyer!







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