I used to cry all the time and say I didnt know who I was. When I was feeling really bad about it, everything seemed hopeless. I'm 24 too and I used to think it was too late.
The only strong emotions I felt were negative ones. And yet, when it came to the worst things that had ever happened to me, I was surprisingly calm and unbothered by it all. I think I had blocked it out.
Blocking it out does more harm than good.
I started to take a good long look at myself and my past, and tried to see it through someone elses eyes and pick out all the parts that I don't like. I'm very self critical in my head, so it was easy to see the parts I didn't like. I didn't like what I saw in myself at all. Some parts were new, like being bitter about recent events that had happened in my life. Some parts felt like they had been there since birth, like my shyness. And some parts were missing. Like, I had no opinion on a lot of stuff. You know people without SA, sometimes they are loud an opinionated? Well I realised that although I'll probably never be loud, I could have an opinion on stuff. So I read up on things and formed an opinion. That whole of getting to know myself was hard, because I didn't like a lot of what I discovered. And there was a lot of stuff missing.
But as you go along, its actually quite nice to rediscover/create parts of your personality. You do have deep desires and wants, but they're hidden. I started with just silly little things like what food do I like. What colour. Just to make myself realise I had individual wants and tastes. You have preferences. Thats part of your personality.
You also have to accept parts that you don't like, but that are definately there, like shyness etc. You can change them with work, but you have to accept them and see them for what they are first.
I had been feeling different to other people and detatched because I wasn't doing the things that they were doing. And then I realised, I don't want to do the things they are doing. Thats why I have no motivation to do it. I want to do the things that I want to do, and that just happens to be different to what most other people want. But you have to do what makes you happy, not anyone else.
I now believe that life is all about the journey. Its not about where you get to in the end, because in the end you die. Its about the way there. I believe we are born with certain traits, and develp others in childhood. But I think the rest of your life is about creating yourself. I just got started later than other people. People who were cocksure of themselves in their teens, perhaps they rushed it and created themselves too fast, or didn't stop and think about it at all, and just accept who they are without changing any parts of themselves. If thats the case then their personality is just a product of their genes and their upbringing, they had no conscious part in the creation of it. Hardly something that has had huge amounts of thought and effort put into it for a lot of people, unless they had amazing parents/upbringing and perfect genes. (Maybe thats why there are so many messed up people in the world.) Something made me stop and think who am i. So I have a chance to see clearly which parts of myself I dislike and to change them.
I'm sorry if it seems like I'm trying to preach to you or something like that. I know how you feel about not having any long term goals and stuff, and when I realised this stuff about myself I didn't sit and plan anything long term either, it just kind of happened over the last year. This is the first time I've written it all out in any kind of order and looked at it, or even thought about the process much. Your situation just reminded me so much of mine. And I've just realised some more things about myself while I typed it. Like how much of an idiot I sound lol. But its all true, and I'm going to post it anyway because I was hoping it might help you in some way.