Ask me anything
Well, first off, snatching a pussy off a child is probably going to end poorly no matter how you go about it. It goes without saying that through your canvassing you need to figure out who the responsible adult involved is and approach them.
Does your cat have tags? Is it chipped? Arm yourself with photos and as much proof as ownership as you can before knocking on your neighbor's door. I'd guess that it was an honest mistake and they'll be more than willing to return your pet. I've run into situations many times with overly friendly neighborhood cats without tags that ingratiate themselves, only to find out they're journeyman cats from three doors down.
Be polite, but firm. Make sure you are able to somehow back up your claim. And, also very important, make it clear how grateful you are for your neighbors caring for your cat all this time. Again, it's likely they thought they were doing a good thing and your wayward cat could have ended up in a much worse situation than with too many people loving and caring for it.
Also: if your cat DOESN'T have tags and chips, for shame. Get it done before this happens again.
(So sorry for what I'm sure has been several harrowing weeks. Pets are maddening, but lovely. I hope it all works out and you two are reunited soon.)
It goes without saying that your enjoyment of small town life is dependent on any number of factors.
The less populated parts of the country can offer lots of opportunities for those who really enjoy outdoor activities. For one thing, you may finally be able to appreciate the full breadth of all four season and any number of seasonal related activities like skiing or camping or... well. I suppose you can do all of those things in California too.
I guess the best way to tackle this is to explain what you'll really notice as far as differences go. Traffic will be a dream. Driving will suddenly seem boring, because it will require so very little thought and effort. Cultural options may be lacking, but often a major metropolitan area will be within a few hours drive so you can make weekend trips to soak up specialty culture. There is a certain comfort is being surrounded by fewer amounts of people. It's similar to city living, how you make your own sort of community based on who you're surrounded by and the neighborhood you live in, except your community now is based on, well, the community you live in. As far as people go, things will be rather homogenized and you may run into decidedly more conservative attitudes, but there are more and more pockets of diversity (both physically and belief-wise) than there was in the past.
And there are perks, of course. I find that much of the middle of the country carries a sort of outgoingness not found in metropolitan areas. People want to be friendly, to smile and wave and hold doors. It's nice.
Bottom line: You can find a way to be happy just about anywhere. Do some hard internet searches and make sure you know where those things you can't live without are and enjoy your new adventure.
Something you love. Something that feels like coming home. That thing you would do even if you didn't get paid for it.
It should be clear by now that I have no idea what the correct answer is. If I did, I wouldn't be answering advice questions on the internet for fun.
All you can do with your life is something you'll be proud of at the end. Make choices that you feel comfortable owning and take a fair amount of risks. I imagine that once you've found that right place it will all seem obvious and you'll say, "Oh. It was this all along."
No one has friends like that. Except for maybe Courtney Cox. People seem to really like her.
Seriously though, groups like the ones on Friends are fictional constructs. There are certainly groups of friends that exist out there, but I'd say they are the exception and not the rule. Friendships and life are far more complicated than any television show will accurately portray.
Plus, most people just aren't that attractive.
First off, don't worry too much about your lack of romantic history. Though pop culture and other societal source material may lead us to believe otherwise, you are definitely not the only person who heads to college with little to no dating history.
Clearly you're a social guy and, as you pointed out, not a cave troll, so all you need to do is ease your way into it. The next time you find a person that you're interested in knowing in a more romantic fashion, don't panic. Arrange small group outings involving them and just focus on getting to know them, work on your rapport with the person. Hopefully you'll get to a place where you feel comfortable enough with them to be honest: you're interested in them, but not sure how to proceed. A lot of people will see your lack of background as a clean slate. You underestimate how great it is to date someone without a lot of crazy baggage or exes lurking around to reveal themselves later on in a relationship.
Take it slow. Be honest, with others and with yourself. Be brave. People like you. The majority of each of our lives is blundering through situations in which we have no idea how to proceed. All any of us can do is to try and shore up our resources and conquer those new and frightening experiences.
Finally, on a very random side note: if it's just that you don't feel romantic about anyone, ever, don't distress. Everyone has different sexual drives and interest levels. College is the beginning of everything. Your world is about to expand exponentially and you'll meet an astounding amount of people of every variation.
This is a fantastic question and one I'm so glad you asked.
My life is often an absolutely wreck, in no small part due to making the wrong choices at each and every turn. But that's not because I haven't known WHAT to do at each of those crossroads, but rather because of a lot of complicated, self-destructive, psychological behavior patterns. Though take heart, just because I'm a masochist, doesn't mean that I'm a sadist.
My entire life people have sought me out to talk about their problems. I'm convinced that this is not because of any particular insight I may or may not have or because I've been gifted with great wisdom. Rather, I listen. No matter what I may say on other outlets, I really like people. They fascinate (and infuriate) me. I want to know all about their lives and how they operate. And if I can, I want to help them work through the difficulties they come up against in a fashion that works best for them.
Plus, sometimes it just helps to get another person's opinion.
Oh, and I'm opinionated as fuck. So don't be surprised if I start spouting advice to those who have not the least interest in hearing it.
All you can do, all any of us can do is focus on the small things around us. The only way anyone has ever changed the world is by stopping to look at their surroundings and choosing to do better. We all need to try harder, make better decisions, demand more from those in our lives and dedicate ourselves to transforming into better versions of ourselves.
Don't get hung up in the overwhelming issues of the world at large. Don't let cynicism rule your heart. Try your best, showcase your empathy, and hope those around you follow in your wake.
Matters of the heart (or areas significantly south)(or north, for that matter) can be tricky, but I think you're probably in the clear in this case. Since orientation renders the larger issues of attraction moot, I can't think of a single person who would react poorly to someone (especially a friend) telling them how lovely they are. Just make sure your phrasing is clear and that your words are genuine and I don't see how you could go wrong.
As cynical as the world is, there's not enough time or effort dedicated to telling those around us how spectacular they are. #truth
I would suggest waxing them first and then doing pluck maintenance. That should hold you for quite awhile.