I've entertained and become bored with quite a few interests, though mathematics has more or less been my central passion throughout my high school/middle school life. I've only recently started into formal mathematics and self-teaching, with undegraduate books on number theory, abstract algebra, and the like (I'm currently into Dummit and Foote and Hoffman and Kunze). It's been an exhilarating adventure all right, and it's even seemed to abate some of my minor depression, but I'm starting to wonder if the experience is truly for me.
My regimen is, read the section of the text, do all of the exercises/proofs at the end, capture a few of the more interesting ones on my diary/blog, and never move on without having understood a solution (mostly feasible through this site and Crazy Project). Sometimes I do some independent ventures, but it's almost as if the studying has sapped both my creativity, energy, and incentive to do so (why distract myself with slow, irrelevant, amateur breakthroughs when I can learn so much faster with the texts?).
But this has become somewhat tedious and threatening to me. I vigorously self-studied Mandarin over the summer, and have completely forgotten everything of it already; all of my effort seemed to amount to very little. Is this the same thing? Again I do enjoy my studying, but a great part of my motivation is "Break through the crust to get to the oil," and it's disheartening to imagine my labor will continue to go unrewarded.
I've tried to seek out some sort of mentorship or companionship to ease some of this solidarity-stress, but there's been little luck. My teacher is fine and competent about his job, but seems like a dead-end for this sort of thing. I've sampled the Math Olympiad at my school, but the students and proctors seem wholly interested in streetfighter-mathematics like geometry and functional analysis, rather than my taste for aggregative and proof-based math.
Simply put, is there any way to rekindle my passion or otherwise augment my enjoyment of mathematics given my situation?