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Having fun vs self-betterment

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I'm 27 and I have this galling thought that I've wasted most of my life.

Throughout my school days I just played video games and didn't socialize much. I went to college and got an MA in the field that has very little practical application - it was a cakewalk, and most of the time I played vidya and partied with people from my dorm. After graduation I found a dead-end office job that pays little more than the minimum wage where I live, and I just stayed in the loop: sleep -> work -> video games -> repeat. I have no experience, no practical skills, and my degree is useless, so finding a better job is essentially impossible. About two months ago I decided this can't go on. I gave up on video games, and instead picked up guitar, hit the gym (lost 8 kgs / 17 lbs), and started learning Japanese. My condition is better, I feel more healthy, guitar is fun to play, and a new language can increase one's value in the job market... but I think I've lost something important.

Emptiness is all I feel now. There's this strange void in me that remains unsated no matter what I do. There's much more going on in my life now, but every single day I feel unhappy and detached. I crave to return to my old self, which I feel to be the proper "me", rather than a rendition of my attempts at bettering myself which I've become. Giving up on guitar, Japanese and all that healthy lifestyle I've enforced upon myself is what I want, but what I know to be a bad choice.

I can't decide if I should keep working on making myself a better and more valuable person despite it wearing me down, or return to an unambitious me that's got no future ahead of him but is happy with himself and content with life.

I know I have to make this decision for myself, but any input would be much welcome. Happiness or self-betterment?
>>
Balance, nigger.
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>>17385056
Don't force yourself to keep up hobbies you don't want to do for the sake of improvement. Instead, do hobbies you like and you'll improve automatically.
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>>17385056
You may be dealing with a sense of existential dread. That void you describe is incredibly common and why people turn to things like religion.

I would say that it might be a passing feeling and you will feel better about it soon, but has it been going on for a while?
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>>17385094
Ever since I change my lifestyle from being a gamer to a "self-betterment mode". Being an agnostic, I don't think it's related to religion: it's more of a void that's left in place of casting away the only thing I've ever truly enjoyed in life.
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I know that feel all too well.

The thing is, if i play vidya and sleep all day eventually depression, self hate, anxiety, etc... kick back in at full power and i just end up suffering.

If i force myself to go see people, i still feel like i'm not part of the group, like all i want is go back to my room and play vidya. Empty, indifferent.
Ultimately though, with everyone laughing happily around me, i feel like a bit of that emptiness kind of flows in me as well. And it's good. Better than getting depressed.

So i guess you just peacefully accept the emptiness and apathy, and do whatever may bring even the smallest improvement to your life.
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It should be both, man.
On a long enough timeline, you'll see that happiness comes in short bursts- contentment lasts, and is a noble goal to push after. Happiness is and should be a byproduct of, among other things, self-improvement.
Many people are unhappy at the job they go to, day after day, because it enables them to do the things that actually do make them happy. Other people go to a job that they like, and pursue their desires after hours. Who is happier? You can't really answer that, but you CAN answer who is more likely content.
If you're not haaaaaappy, that's your burden and your problem to fix, no one else's. How you go about finding more happiness is up to you, but self-improvement will never make you less content than you are currently, when you look at things from a long-term perspective.
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>>17385150
>>17385134
Thanks, guys. Your replies helped me out. I'll brace myself and stick with what I've been doing for now, if only to avoid the regret that I gave up that might come later on.
Best of luck to you.
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>>17385056

Damn, you're nearly me. Also 27, gave up vidya two months ago...

And honestly, I'm bored. Or rather I should say I feel without strength.

I refuse to go back to my old life. It wasn't wasted, I had lots of fun, but I think that it is time to move on.

But I am unable to start something new. I have plans, goals, but I find myself browsing aimlessly on the web.

You said it yourself, it's wrong to go back to what you did before. But it will take some time with your new hobbies: vidya is a instant gratification hobby, so other hobbies seem dull in the beginning.

Also perhaps you did not choose the right hobbies.

You should be happy doing new things, it doesn't mean you should become a self-betterment cliche 24/7.
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>>17385102
You didn't have to give up games altogether though. Especially not if They are something you've always been into.
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>>17385056
>didn't socialize much
I think the magic ingredient you're missing is other people.
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>>17385386
Agreed with this. But if you really don't feel like you want to go back to vidya, maybe you could look for something new that gives you a similar feeling but is less of a time sink.

What were the things that you liked most about video games? If you post them, maybe we can help you figure out other things that might have some of those same things. Maybe other types of games or puzzles. It would not have the same kind of dopamine kick as vidya but it would be a place to start.

I play vidya still, but personally I always felt like puzzles or puzzle games were a good compromise between entertainment and self-improvement, since they always seem to sharpen my mind more than shooting shit or gold grinding.

And I also know what you mean about feeling empty, as well as being able to relate to >>17385134
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>>17385056
> I crave to return to my old self, which I feel to be the proper "me"
Probably because you was too used to the destructive escapism lifestyle. A part of the void is also because you're not just shutting down your thoughts with dumb shit like vidya but actually live.

You'll probably need more time with your new lifestyle, 2 months is a ridiculously short time.
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