“Some of the best years of my life were some of the worst. If you know, you know.” – Tim Hicks
No time is worse than rock bottom. But no time is better to learn than in that time.
6 years ago, I was there, I was at rock bottom.
And as I sat alone in my gigantic empty house, devoid of furniture, working my ass off to get it ready to sell, in the middle of divorce, work issues, and personal problems, I had a choice. I had to either get up and fight, or lay down and die. I was fighting for my new life, not suffering from one disastrous choice after another.
The bottom line: I had to choose to OWN my life.
So, I picked myself up and I decided to do just that.
Every year since, I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and decided to do something that would improve my life.
People make broad resolutions based on what they think they want, what society tells them they should do, or what their friends or family are pointing towards, but very rarely do these folks ever truly look internally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally and do what’s best for THEM.
But I’m here to tell you, not only are resolutions important, but they should be a regular part of your daily life.
Small goals add up to bigger dreams. And there’s no better time to start than now.
You don’t have to wait until the calendar strikes the next year to truly take control of your life. You learn hourly new things you want to achieve, ideas that you want to implement, and challenges you wish to tackle.
And that is the key to all of this. What are YOU doing to make yourself better?
Utterances as the ball drops are just that. It’s why you see an empty gym in February, after the potential go getters get got.
So many people don’t want to make bold proclamations because there will come a time the rubber will have to hit the road and they won’t be ready.
So they chuckle to themselves, laugh out a “maybe next year” and fall back into the inevitable rut they figure they’ll be in until that day again comes around when they look at themselves in the mirror and say, “Let’s try this again.” Same song, same dance.
But there are the determined few that understand what resolutions actually mean. They mean an end to “normal” and the beginning of “work”.
And that simple fact terrifies the normies.
But it emboldens the strong willed. And makes them the people that lead their lives in quiet determination, confidence and consistency.
In short, they do it because it’s hard.
My years leading up to Twenty Twenty One have been a long journey to discovering who I am, who I was, and who I want to be. It’s been a series of forward progress, devastating setbacks, and small wins that has propelled me to the person I am today. It’s been acceptance of my past indiscretions, my current faults and flaws, and my boundaries, convictions, and beliefs as they’ve manifested in these past years.
I made resolutions in each of those years. Not only yearly, but monthly, daily, and hourly, to improve my worth as a person and become the man I’ve always wanted to be.
I’m not there yet, and of course, the tough part? I will never be. I will never get to the heights I want to, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.
My weak points are many. I am addressing them one at a time. Sometimes my convictions wavered, which shouldn’t be up for discussion. And that exposes a weakness in me that I don’t believe my own words, that there will always be an exception to my declarations about myself. If a man can’t hold to his convictions, he’s a shell of a man.
So I made resolutions, daily, and put up. And I’m still doing it, at this particular moment, with my health and fitness. But even with my yearly proclamations, I still, daily, make sure I’m still on course with what I’m doing. My history has shown that my dedication to these changes will be consistent.
Last year, it was relationships. I had to finally come to terms with the very blatant fact that long distance relationships don’t work for me, they never have, regardless of the hope I had in the women I dated. I had two women that I had to let go of, two very awesome women, because the distance can’t be overcome. I’m an Indiana boy, always have been, and my life, my kids, and my world is here. Many things are unmovable, others are flexible, but the bottom line is my core values have evolved into a solid line of what I want in my life, and with these in hand, I vet and date with a purpose now.
Two years ago, it was my ability to be a father. I left my kids on auto pilot while I decided to jet set. And it came back to bite me in the ass. I needed to be a father first and foremost. My kids were suffering because I was there but wasn’t really there. So I made it so I was there.
Three years ago, it was my identity. I wasn’t the jet setting, red pill, tall, dark and handsome “playboy” that met beautiful women around the country in an attempt to bring one back for a relationship. I was the father of two girls, business owner, no nonsense man who wanted a simple life with no drama and no frills.
And slowly, over the years, with these resolutions, I’ve solidified many of my core beliefs. I stand for what I stand for, more and more things fell into place, and as I’ve learned from experiences, my stances have hardened into what I won’t and will tolerate.
As I’ve surpassed more and more resolutions, committing myself to being a better man, better person, and having more convictions and standards, my list of preferences for who gets to be in my life have changed as well.
2022 brings new resolutions that already began and have worked in perpetuity in from the last 6 year.
Fitness and Health – I’m in the best shape of my life and getting better. New personal trainer Phil Foster has helped me dial in my macros and I’m working on getting my abs I’ve always wanted.
Taking a fighting class – My kids and I want to take a fighting class and get better at learning basic fighting skills
Contacts – One of my biggest things to overcome is “touching my fucking eye”. I want to get contacts and work on being able to touch my eye and handle contacts with my hot dog fingers
Become more handy – I am going to make a concerted effort next year to be more handy, taking better care of my house and understanding basic fixes for my home
Debt – I will be out of debt in 2021, and my finances will be better and will continue to grow in 2022.
These are all big time goals I want to set and hit for myself. I may not hit them all, but I will sure try.
And that is the bottom line: You have to try.
Make a resolution, right now, today, to make yourself better.
Make a change, however small, right now. Drink more water, don’t eat out as much, go to the gym, start a small side business, write, take on rock climbing, shooting, bow hunting, etc.
But don’t wait until after the decorations are down.
I’m telling you through my experiences, TODAY is the day.
For nearly 20 years of my adult life, I stood still and let life happen to me.
Then, on my 40th birthday, I made a resolution that I was going to be a better man.
And that resolution has come true today, 5 years later. But it’s only the first step….
For every girl that you unfairly appoint as your “one”, you lose her before you even had her.
For every girl you spill your guts out to, you lose a small shred of respect she might have had for you.
For every girl you let drive the bus, the more contempt she’ll have for you.
For every girl that you show you’re much too eager to please, she’ll resent you more and more.
For every girl you put on a pedestal, she’ll put you on the chopping block.
You don’t have to explain yourself all the time. You don’t have to justify everything to her. It’s a dance, and you’re doing the Seinfeld Elaine Benes “little kicks” and she’s cringing with every jive.
In the relationship world, one of the hardest things for men to do is to understand that she isn’t the goal, she’s merely a piece of the whole puzzle.
Too many times, myself most definitely included, we jump the gun with the girl who we want, we get too excited, we over-commit, over-engage, and over-explain.
When I was deep into dating in 2016-2019, at the beginning, I was outcome dependent. Each date with a girl would be the setup I needed to get back into a relationship. I put too much pressure on her. I said and did too much.
Three months. Poof. 6 months. Gone. Too eager to start a life she didn’t want me in. Too ready to say “I love you”. Too much jumping the gun. Too much romance and too little mystery. I was an open book, and she didn’t want to read me.
When I became a bit jaded after failing relationship after failing relationship, I stopped and just started fucking.
And it became easier because I didn’t have to care about the woman I was dating. I didn’t have to care because I knew it wasn’t going anywhere.
But after nearly two years of strange bedfellows, I had resigned myself to be a better person. So I worked and fought, and the class of women I met and dated improved. But with that, the clingy, cringey old me started to show his face again, overdoing everything.
Can there be a fucking middle ground here? Why, when a potential life partner comes into play, do I start my word salad, mouth breathing, full court press of said woman? Because of many things. But mostly because of scarcity. You worry that this girl might be someone you can have as a woman, as we hear, someone who “completes” you.
So what’s the play?
It’s Not About Her
My job has always been, and always will be, developing a life of success and happiness for myself.
Notice, if you will, that I didn’t say having a woman is required. It’s not a barometer for success. And yet, we try so hard to do it, get the house, the car, the girl, the kids, the white picket fence.
But we really, really, really don’t get at the guts of what we want from a partner, but more importantly, who the hell we are and what we represent to a potential love interest.
It’s not about her.
It’s about you. Who you are. What your life goals are. What you want out of your life.
Have you truly thought about these questions?
What do you want? Who are you? What are your life goals? What do you want to do with your life? How do you want to build your world?
Again, none of these poignant questions have anything about a woman or significant other in them.
This is ultimately about you, who you are, what you do, what your world is and dreams are, convictions, motives, beliefs, and purpose.
But men, especially modern men, fall into the trap of being too flexible on the above questions.
Scarcity mindset drives this. They’re too anxious to get into relationship mode. They feel like they have to push because they won’t get another woman who checks the boxes they need.
And this is why we say “You Are the Prize”. It’s not someone’s value in a relationship superseding someone else.
It’s you cultivating value in yourself through self esteem and confidence. Confidence in you and who you are. Confidence in what you provide as a partner. Confidence knowing that whoever gets you, gets the full you, the real you, the complete person for which healthy relationships are built off of.
If any woman or possible love interest is going to feel satisfied and content in a relationship, you need to have your shit on point. That means holding true to the person you are, regardless of missteps, screw-ups or falls in your past. That means working everyday to be the man you want to be, not the man a woman wants you to be.
She decides if she wants to be a part of your world. This is too important not to mention again.
She decides if she wants to be a part of your world.
If she doesn’t want to join your world, i.e. she wants her world, then she will have to find a partner that wants to submit to her world. That may be a man who wants to join her and take on a more submissive state. If it works, it works.
But for this conversation, and in general, my goal and men’s goals should be to build the life, and invite her to it.
If she declines, fine. It takes a special woman to want to join your world. She has to align with you on the important things. It doesn’t mean she has to align on all things, just the big ones. But it will ultimately be you inviting her to your life, and her accepting that role. For a man who wants to lead, it can’t and won’t work any other way.
If you build it, she will come.
But you also have to do the work to vet her and make sure she is worthy to be a part of your life. This is where men miss the boat, and where I’ve missed the boat dozens of times. You can’t just let her in because she makes your dick hard.
Is she supportive to your mission?
Is she a teammate that brings you joy over grief?
Is she dedicated to you and what you’re doing?
Is she aligned with your core values, your goals, your beliefs, your convictions?
Look for red flags. Always keep in mind that if you are consistently showing up, she needs to as well.
You lead, she follows. If a man decides to follow a strong woman and it works, then fine. But for this and other examples, a strong, leading man is an attractive trait for many women looking to secure their feminine.
And patience, wonderful, agonizing patience, is the key in setting up a long term relationship with anyone.
Rushing anything, especially when you are trying very hard to vet and get to know someone intimately, is relationship suicide. Pushing doesn’t help at all, in fact, it only exacerbates the situation and guarantees death by a thousand cuts through anxiety, worry, questioning, and general uncertainty about a relationship.
If you have to wonder if she’s into you, then she’s not into you.
If you don’t know where she stands, she’s not standing with you.
This is potentially months of vetting and getting to know her to find out where she stands. And she’ll be very clear when the time comes on where she stands and if she truly wants to be a part of your life.
And that’s the rub here. You, as a man, must maintain unshakeable patience, resolve, and drive when it comes to making your life what you need it to be, and only then can you invite a woman in. If there is any semblance of chaos or disorder, especially when dealing with when the shit hits the fan (and it will in one for or another), she’ll not truly be ready to let you lead.
And that is what she wants. For you to take charge and lead so she can play to her feminine strengths. That bubble she is in must be unbreakable, a FRAME, for her to paint a beautiful picture.
The “ME” Factor
I’ve failed many times in the past with relationships because I haven’t been rock solid on my life and what I wanted, what I was doing, and what my frame was. I’ve had to learn the hard way that things must be settled in my life, be it career, fatherhood, beliefs or fitness to truly attract a woman who wants to be a part of it.
But I must also be clearer on setting my convictions and not letting boundaries slide because I want something to work. I waffled so much when it came to things that I needed to be solid on that it’s been an ongoing problem with potential relationships.
So, I fall back to square one again, but this time, I MUST be honest with myself about who I am, what I want, and who I intend to share it with.
I’m a good man. I know this with all my heart.
It’s just time for me to accept that, smile in the mirror, and realize that my world is worth sharing with someone, but that someone needs to be a person who can fulfill what I need, not just because it feels good.
So I have to be honest with who I am, what I want, and what I’m willing to work with.
And, especially in many of these writings, I’ve stated that time and time again, but when the chips are down, with a chance at commitment staring me in the face, I buckle like a belt. The beta I’ve tried so hard to kill sees a chance for love and falls face first into it.
So it’s time.
And only time will tell if I can recover from these spin outs.
Third game of the young baseball season. Double, standing at second in the bottom of the third inning.
The adrenaline of the young season already pulsing through his veins. He had scholarship offers from three D-1 schools, but this season was going to put him in the elites. The team was eliminated in Semi- State last year, but the championship would be theirs this year.
Single. He comes around easily to score. This was going to be his year.
Bottom of the ninth. He walks. He’s already scored three times, but their bullpen had issues and gave up a two run homer. Game was tied. He’s 264 feet from the sweep.
Bunt drops. He dives for second. Safe. One step closer.
He’s been giving it his all, not just for the offers, but because, he believed, he was the best on this team. And of course he was. Led in most catagiries, defensively good in the outfield, and brought it every game. Great teammate, and this was going to be his year.
Next batter. Shallow single, but not shallow enough. Give him the sign as he rounded third to hold. Fuck that. He picks up steam. He slides focusing on the plate, and the catcher has the ball. Time to collide.
He hits the catcher full speed, ball drops out. Game won. But in the commotion, in the heroic act to win the game, he comes up wincing.
“Probably just a sprain…”, he thinks. Then he feels the sharp pain in his knee. He drops. The team, in their celebration around him clears for the trainer and coaches.
He’s sure it’s not serious. But damn it hurts. He goes for X-rays. Torn ACL, sprained MCL, the blood drains from his face. There it goes, the offers, the state championship, all of it.
This was supposed to be his year.
Sometimes, we’re so focused on checking the box, pushing so hard to get it done, that we destroy everything else around us in this singular focus.
The idea of hitting a goal, at whatever cost necessary, sets us back further on other, more important things.
Instead of losing one thing, we lose everything. In the example above, the best player that the team needed, pushed when he didn’t necessarily have to. And in his push, it cost him and his team the championship. It cost him offers. But most of all, it cost him himself.
Sometimes, playing smart means taking the short term L for the long term W.
Blazes of glory don’t do you any good when you’re dead.
Injuries don’t help you because you can’t play.
We give people shit sometimes for not going 120% all the time, because we think they aren’t trying hard. Whereas, many of them are playing the long game, understanding that it’s difficult to go undefeated if you don’t have your best on the field.
The goal of fixing the light socket doesn’t really matter if the house is burning down around you.
For a long time, at my job, I have two chess pieces in my office. A king and a queen. I knew I had to be a king to get the queen. But for years, and even recently, I’ve been caught up in checking that damn box and getting a woman that I could call mine.
I’ve written so much, so many times about how a woman shouldn’t be your focus, and here I was, making it that, trying to check that damn box, because I thought, after years of frustration, I had finally gotten to the relationship I wanted.
Nothing else mattered, no how she felt, not the timing, not the whole situation. Taking my time wasn’t in the cards, because I had to check that box.
So here I am again. I won a battle, but lost the war. I focused on home plate, but wasn’t concerned with this woman’s reaction to all of it. It wasn’t fair to her. She didn’t get a say. And that wasn’t right.
We, as men, are taught to lead, and they will follow. But we also can’t go off half cocked, shooting from the hip, especially when there are other people involved. It does zero good to build a life with someone by smothering them in your plans, aspirations, and goals without talking to them.
Assumptions are the mother of all fuckups.
If you want a “Ride or Die”, she has to be holding onto you right on the bike, not being dragged behind by a chain.
All because I wanted to check that box.
All because the idea of a significant other overrode all other scenarios. I didn’t make her a teammate, she was a subject, an object that I gave no mind to, all for trying to check that box.
It hurts because it was an unforced error.
It hurts because it could have been prevented.
I was too selfish to see that the plate was blocked, and I was going to get hurt sliding in.
Many of the lessons I’ve talked about in my past posts on this blog have only been given lip service to me and I haven’t truly lived some of them, especially in relationships.
It’s very humbling to have your words used back at you to tell you you haven’t been true to who you say you are. It’s mirror work that needs to happen, and as strong as I am in many aspects of my life, my relationships with women still need a ton of work.
And that starts with me. It starts with applying the lessons I’ve talked about, but apparently haven’t fully grasped.
It’s leading, not dictating. It’s strength, not dominance. It’s empathy, not stubbornness.
It’s confidence, not desperation. It’s abundance, not scarcity. It’s outcome independence, not hanging my hat on a star.
It’s patience, not pushing. It’s understanding, compassion, and humility.
A man who is measured, strong, and content in his life won’t be eager to check a box. He sees home plate and a shallow single, but also sees the hold sign at third. He knows that he’ll still be playing in the next series, win or lose, because he listened instead of busting ahead haphazardly.
I wasn’t ready. I was only ready to check the box. And checking the box doesn’t mean shit if the whole world is burning around it.
It does you no good to be sitting out injured while your team goes on without you when they didn’t have that choice. You made that choice when you rounded third, and you hurt those who depended on you, who loved you, and who believed in you.
But most of all, you hurt yourself. You made choices that you know weren’t right in order to justify checking that fucking box.
This blog has always been a journal for me, taking the lessons in life, the experiences that have shaped me, and applying them and learning from them. But there are still lessons I haven’t learned. Still things I have to apply. Still places where I’ve fallen short, merely pretending to learn while not truly grasping these situations.
This isn’t a simulation. This isn’t a sheet of paper with boxes to check off. This is real life, love, and other people with feelings, goals, desires and aspirations. They matter too, and in the quest to find a quality LTR, they have a say. They’re your teammate. They’re your lover, they’re your friend. They aren’t a mark on a paper, a post on social media, a trophy that you can add to your mantle.
I have work to do. I’m still trying to be the best man I can be, I’m working everyday to put what I preach into practice. But there are still blind spots that I need to address, especially when it comes to relationships.
But as I’ve always said, and recently forgotten: “You can’t have a quality relationship until you love yourself.”
Everything about you has to be sincere, honest, and representative of who you are striving to be.
I’ve forgotten some of that, and those closest to me have made it very clear that this is a pattern I need to correct. And I intend to.
“We tell stories about ourselves because we think the truth isn’t impressive enough.”
I admit it. I made shit up. I lied, cheated and stole. A lot. Especially when my life wasn’t much to speak of.
I failed to be congruent with who I really was. And it sucked when I finally started to think about how to circle the square in my life.
I thought my life wasn’t exciting enough. “How can I get clicks? Hits? Attention?”
So I made some shit up. As an semi-anonymous Twitter dude in the fall of 2018, I needed the dopamine. I needed to rush. So I put shit out there.
As I matured, I slowly realized that my reality, my true reality, wasn’t as lame or bad as I made it out to be. So I started sharing more of my world. I went with my real name. I shared painful stories of my past that I thought would help men struggling with their own demons.
And, you know what?
All the sudden, my real, true life was something to be proud of. All of my accomplishments and failures became bricks to build on. It was real for me, because it was me.
So often, we on social media, are trying very hard to pretend to be something we aren’t. And it gets people to love the person we’re not. And eventually, they find out and are disappointed because we aren’t that person.
How are you going to truly affect any change, help any person, if you consistently are not yourself?
Social media hits different. People are afraid to share their world for fear of scorn, mocking, or reprisals.
But you can’t be afraid of it. You have to be who the hell you are because that’s all you’ve got.
You have to truly build honestly, being who you are, no apologies.
And that’s where I’ve been working for a while now. At some point in early 2019, I decided to give up the moniker of my fantasy and try to share REAL events that occurred in my life. And these events and the people that responded by my sharing of them became more and more touching that I could’ve ever imagined. All because I decided to drop part of my charade and be real, be able to connect with people and have people connect with me.
So many have asked me to share my stories. And they’re all here, in my blog. It’s the one place that I can go to truly be me. I don’t have followers who I have to try to impress, or analytics I have to hit. No, this blog is my journal, a journey into my mind and my world. And it, to this day, is where I can share my truths, my pain, and my triumphs.
Many men have asked me to give them the whole story, in one post, detailing how I got to be Uncharted Father.
So here it is, the story of me. Abridged, but this will still be my longest blog post ever.
I was born in Indianapolis, IN on, yes, April 20th, 1976.
I have three older half siblings, two brothers, and a sister, and a younger full sister.
I have two daughters, 14 and 12.
My parents are awesome, my father has run three successful businesses that he either started or helped start. He was a strict disciplinarian, but a loving father who cared for his family and taught me amazing life lessons.
My mother worked for a large pharmaceutical company for 30 years. She’s the epitome of a loving, caring mom. She’s always been there for me, whether up or down, even if she disagreed with my actions and motives.
I had a very loving household growing up
We moved around a lot when I was a kid because my father was in trucking, and like other industries, it’s uncertainty was seeing him constantly trying to find a good company to work for, until he decided to start his own part of a company.
We settled in Indianapolis and from third grade on, we had some stability. We did what normal families do. We took amazing vacations with just a van and a cooler full of bologna and cheese and Pepsi. We were very close knit.
Aside from the vacations, one of my favorite past times when I was a kid was either riding my bike or playing basketball. I would also go to small creeks and pull out crawdads or turtles or just play in the damn mud.
I loved to play outside, and myself and the neighborhood kids would hang out, play sports and video games, but I really only had two close friends until late middle school or high school.
I did stupid things as a kid. I was a latch key kid in 3rd grade, with both of my parents working, so I would goof off at the house with no supervision, until one day I lost my key and used my kid butt to bust down our front door. Not wanting to get in trouble, I lied when my parents called the cops to report a breaking and entering mystery. (Yes, Mom and Dad, I admit it, I lied to get out of trouble.)
As I grew up, I took to music, and started to play the trombone. I learned Spanish, but never immersed myself in a foreign country so I’m not quite the expert I used to be.
I was bullied a lot, starting in middle school. I’d get into fights with kids at school who called me fat and a nerd, and why not? I was 5’7″, 250lbs and wore glasses. I enjoyed all the nerdy stuff, like video games, board games, and band.
My mother was especially strict when it came to grades, and my father was brought up by his parents to not be very supportive or give positive feedback, so I was always trying to get approval and wouldn’t get it very often, (i.e. “You got an A-? Why not an A?”).
But I managed. I had two friends and they had no friends, until I reached high school and got into marching band. I started to lose the fat and get taller, topping out at 6’4″. The bullying stopped after that growth spurt. And I poured myself into band, playing in 6 bands and becoming one of the best trombone players in Indiana.
At this point, I was utterly backwards socially, even as I got out of my shell a bit in high school. I didn’t kiss my first girl until my senior year. I went to dances and socials but it was with a group of friends. I went grunge and was considered part of the nerds or outcasters, and it didn’t bother me one bit. I used to write funny stories and show them to my friends about hot girls in high school we’d love to date, or what teacher was a fucking douche, etc.
I worked my first job as a busser and dishwasher at a regional family restaurant who’s primary sell was unlimited popcorn (The Ground Round), and really got the job because my older sister worked there as a bartender and my older brother was a cook. But it was a great learning experience. I tried out grocery bagging for a bit at the local Mr. D’s, and even showed up for my interview in my full suit, but still didn’t get the job even after the working interviews.
As I transitioned to college, I became a pothead. My grades didn’t suffer, but I needed the weed because of my hideous social anxiety.
For the first semester of my freshman year at Indiana University Bloomington, I didn’t eat in the cafeteria. I stayed in my room and ate Hormel Chili microwave cups. My roommate, an asshole from Long Island, met friends and they made fun of me for being so backward and anti-social.
Eventually he moved out, and my new roommate, a really cool player from Fort Wayne, moved in. He would have no qualms about bringing girls back to our room and fucking them while I was sleeping on the top bunk. “No shame in my game” was his motto, as he banged every girl from 3-8 on the hot scale. I was jealous, because my crippling anxiety precluded me from having this success, and would for the better part of the next 7 years.
But, eventually, I got over my anxiety with people in general and got some friends. But I dated very little in college. I got my first blowjob from a girl I was dating my junior year, but that was the best I was going to do.
I worked two jobs my junior year at Eli Lilly and Ground Round to save up for room and board costs in college. It was a good experience.
I graduated from IU with a BS in Business Management and a minor in Spanish.
I had scant choices in terms of employment, with the idea of having to relocate to BFE or some blue city living with 6 other peoin a one bedroom studio. My father approached me and offered me a position at his company for more than the others were offering, so I took it. Little did I know, my foray into trucking and logistics would be one that would last 23 years and counting. So, January 1998, I started for my father and worked on the dock for a year, then went into the office and did so poorly, I got kicked back out for another six months.
I trained as a dispatcher and worked in the office for 10 years, often moving loads in the morning, going out to the dock in the afternoon to load the trucks, then billing in the evening.
14-16 hour days were the norm, and once again, I wasn’t meeting any women and I was still awkward, lightly dating and going on forgettable first dates that a relative or family member set me up with.
I was getting chunky, eating like shit every day, and at 6’4″, I was topping out the scales between 290 and 310 most of the time.
Still, I hung out with my friends and played video games or board games. It was the life I was living.
My goals had always been spoon fed to me, with my father particularly telling me the boxes to check: car, house, wife, kids, job.
I had three on lock down. I got my first house not a year and a half after I started my job. It was a proud moment for me, because I had something to show for my work. With a new leased truck and my house, I thought I was going places. But my anxiety and terrible ways with women would preclude me from the other two “goals” I was supposed to achieve.
So, I started online dating. Between a friend’s wedding where the woman I was dating became hysterical because I wasn’t into her and women not being what they said they were online, it was a terrible situation.
And to be honest, I wasn’t putting out a very good product. 300lbs, glasses, cargo shorts, frumpy, not confident.
I was the epitome of a blue pilled beta male, including the soy face.
So after the dumpster fire of my preliminary dating life, I joined eHarmony, with the promise of finding my soul mate.
And I thought I did, when I met my future wife. Oh, by the way, she was going to be my future ex-wife as well.
She was fine. We fell in love. And yes, she took my virginity at 27. She moved in with me after 6 months, and after a year engagement, we were married in October of 2005.
We had two children. Life was going well, with everyone telling us that married life would become boring and bland. And it certainly did. We both became slaves to the relationship, making sure that everything was fine on the outside while it started to chip away on the inside.
We both played our roles, and as the sex diminished to a trickle and then to nothing, I did nothing but blamed her.
Instead of looking at myself, I lashed out. Part of it was certainly her fault, but I was doing nothing to help the situation.
Work was a bitch, I just wanted to come home and rest, but my wife would passive aggressively shit test me by protesting when I went out to entertain clients, saying that I didn’t want to spend time with her and the kids. And she was half right. I didn’t want to go home. It was miserable there. She and I didn’t have many friends, and what ones I did have, I joked that I had to have documentation turned into my wife in order to hang out with my friends. It was just me being a passive aggressive bitch back to her.
We tried to fill our lives with “things” to make us happy. We bought a giant 4300 square foot house with a pool and 4 car garage. It only served to make the fire more out of control.
We both grasped for answers. There were none. The problem was we were both people who weren’t who we said we were.
So I became more distant. I dove into porn. Yes, the story where I asked my wife if I could pay for porn is true. She allowed me to do it and with it, our relationship really started to go downhill.
The last two years of my marriage, I had sex twice. Yes. It was crippling. And I started to have anger issues at work, lashing out at people. So I went to therapy. It took me three years of weekly therapy to really find out that my relationships with women were suffering because I was a boundary-less people pleaser who couldn’t deal with conflict.
In essence, I had three women in my life telling me what to do. My mother, my younger sister, and of course my wife.
And when they were aligned, I was a good little boy. But when they weren’t, I was conflicted. I was so afraid of letting any of them down, I would lash out when their orders conflicted even a little bit. And they were conflicting more.
It wasn’t their fault as much as it was mine. These women were doing this because I was allowing it. My boundaries were shit.
Not to mention the lack of sex and emotional intimacy. With the lack of sex I reached out to other women, eventually cheating on my ex while speeding into separation and divorce.
The contemplation was hitting a fevered pace as my therapist and I discovered that the real source of my misery and anxiety was my crumbling marriage, and more so, my inability to find out the person I was.
So, in February of 2015, I woke up in the middle of the night to tell my wife I wanted a divorce. She was shocked, but only because she really hadn’t seen the writing on the wall for so long. We were playing parts, not really married. We portrayed people who were supposed to be happy, and we hadn’t been for a long time.
She wanted to do counseling. But it was way past that for me. We tried a few sessions, but it was futile. I had made up my mind.
This was the first time in my life I had made a decision for myself and my best interest, sans the control of women I was seeking approval from.
So I filed.
My Divorce and The Red Pill
My divorce, surprisingly, went very well. We hired a mediator to help us parse through the assets.
We tried living on separate ends of the house while separated in 2015, but the in-fighting and stress on our kids told me otherwise. I helped my estranged wife move out of the house and into a place of her own and I helped her furnish it.
Even though we were divorcing, she was still my kids mother. And they were watching me. I could’ve fought with her or bit the bullet and spend the money to help her transition.
I ended up keeping the giant house. She took most of the furniture.
So, between September 2015 and May 2016, I was in a very dark place. My divorce wouldn’t be finalized until April of 2016, and so I took to drinking and reckless dating in order to fill the void.
I dated some really fucked up women.
Yes, I dated a dominatrix who tried submission on me. I didn’t much care for it and she was toxic as hell.
I started online dating to fill the void, also hit on women during football tailgates.
The parade of damaged broads that I slept with during that time was rough. Most of them were slump busters that I thought were the only ones I could get. And to be honest, once again, the product I was putting out was terrible. Drunk, fat, and a bit lost and depressed. But I knew that I had put myself there, because I knew that all of this struggle was better than being in a loveless, sexless marriage. So I trudged on.
I was suicidal, especially in early 2016.
I was trying to get my house ready to sell because I could not afford to stay in it.
I was working a ton, broke so I had to take my kids to my mother’s for dinners a lot.
My mother and sister were upset with me because I had chosen to divorce, and they thought it meant terrible things for my kids.
I had two people I really leaned on during this time, my older sister and my best friend.
I had to pack up my house alone, but they came to help me take up carpet and get things moved around.
My mother and sister eventually came around when they realized why I did what I did, but it took time.
They still loved me very much and I loved them too, they just didn’t know how to feel.
I lost a couple of college friends in 2015, one to suicide, the other to heart attack.
I lost my dog to diabetes in February in 2016. I was downing an equivalent of a 12 pack of beer a night.
I was shelling out thousands to update my house, going almost $75,000 into debt over it as well as trying to put a down payment on my future house and hold up my end of the divorce settlement.
So yea, it was rock bottom, and I contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. Meanwhile, women came and went, literally and figuratively. One night I’d be having sex in my pool while drunk, and the next I couldn’t remember who I’d slept with and who I hadn’t.
My life wasn’t very good at that point. So, in an attempt to try an wrest control and keep it from spiraling out of control, I decided to change course a bit. I started doing Spartan races. I trifectaed in 2016 with a Sprint, Super and a Beast. And in May, 2016, after several tough months, I finally got into my new forever house that was mine. The divorce was finalized and I had my debt to get out of the way. So slowly but surely, I started to try to dig out.
I had a few relationships that ended after 3 months or so with different women (See blog post, The Three Month Itch).
I red pilled in 2018, when I started this blog and called it “The Red Pill Dad”. I got on to Twitter with the same name and became an account spouting mantras and red pill ideology because I had been unplugged. I started to dabble in pickup, and read game books from Alan Roger Currie, Mystery, and Rollo as well as So Suave and Pook. I did reports and started doing business networking as an owner of a company and terminal manager at my work to meet women. I hit on girls whenever I could and managed to knock down some notches of some better looking girls.
I was getting better, but then, I made a very big decision at the end of 2018.
I decided I was done being fat.
Choices: 2019 – 2020
My first choice was to lose weight. I hired Alli Covington and got to work. I had already scaled back about 30 lbs on my own, but with fasting it melted away quickly. Before I knew it, in August 2019, I was down to 228 lbs, after starting at 308 in mid 2018. Alli has been instrumental in getting me in shape, I would not be where I was if not for her unwavering support.
My second choice was to travel and meet hot women. Which I was doing in 2019, whether it be driving or flying, I would meet up on social media, then I would be on a plane or car to a destination scoping for tail, and eventually hoping that the said woman would leave her life and come back with me to Indiana.
But I was neglecting my kids. And they were struggling. My youngest was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2018 and my oldest had the same crippling anxiety that had plagued me through my whole life. And I was jet setting off on trips to get pussy.
My priorities were out of fucking whack.
I had changed the Red Pill Dad to my second pseudonym of Tim Beckett, and after some soul searching in 2019, I decided to change course and really focus on my adventures, my fitness, my fatherhood, and my life. But it wasn’t as exciting if I wasn’t flying and driving around getting laid, because I thought it had to be fun. So as 2019 ended, I was dating a ton. Not because I wanted to, but because I thought I had to sell this father by day, playboy by night image to my followers. Fatherhood was clearly taking a back seat, and it was taxing me to the breaking point. Worst of all, it was costing me dearly with my kids.
As another failed trip in 2020 with a woman I really liked (see post: The Grey), and a life altering trip with FoE, Covid hit.
With being grounded as a sign from a higher power (I am not religious but damn), I decided to go monk mode for a bit and really focus on becoming a better father for my kids. And that involved really focusing on what I was doing in my own life that was weighing me down.
I stopped drinking alcohol in September of 2019, seeing what that had done to affect me, my health, and my goals. I focused more on being present with my kids, securing a stronger homestead, making my job a priority as I hadn’t with all the vacation and travel I had done.
I pushed myself to get out of debt, which I did in mid 2020. I started to really work on my house, after 4 years of neglect, to make it a home for my kids to feel safe and comfortable in. I was insistent on hitting on women who were far away from me, hoping that they would be able to move to me if we hit if off. I met up with Dr Taylor Burrowes, who has been instrumental in helping to make me the man I am today with the help of her and her Ideal system.
I also leaned into Fraternity of Excellence, of which I’ve been a member since 2019. It was invaluable in pulling my head out of my ass and getting me some accountability for my actions.
2021 and the Future
What I lacked in 2019 – 2020 was consistency. I had networks that were available to me that I failed to utilize. I thought I had to do it all on my own in order to get to the place I wanted to be. But what I needed was a tribe of people, especially men, that could help me to hone my skills and level up in life. Sure, I could get much done by myself, but to really level up, I needed to ask for help.
And in 2020 and 2021 I did.
As a result of leaning in and taking responsibility for myself, I have started to have success.
After a struggle with Covid restrictions last year, my business is back to it’s pre-Covid surge.
I got Covid this year, but instead of feeling sorry for myself, I pushed through and it was a light illness. My kids and I have grown closer, and I’m working with Anthony Migliorino on being a better, more peaceful, father. It is paying dividends.
I am now working with Phil Foster to level up my workout game. My goal? Six pack abs, look good naked, and be able to out run my kids, my kids’ kids, and my kids’ kids’ kids.
I’m now 2 years sober. I won’t be getting drunk again in my life.
I’ve taken the role of the patriarch in my family. And after years of letting the women in my life dictate how I run my life, I stood up and said, “No more.” I call the shots on my life.
My ex and I get along great. She’s an incredible mom and person. She’s getting married to a great guy and I couldn’t be happier for her. For all that we went through, she is still the mother of my children and we will continue to work together to raise amazing kids.
I’ve had two very tough breakups this year. But the reason for the breakups was because I wasn’t being true to myself.
I have said many times that long distance relationships are not good, especially for me. My plane hopping to distant locations to try and find a relationship has led to broken hearts way too many times. And I was acting with reckless resolve over trying to create a relationship instead of letting one grow. And believing in circumstances that weren’t happening in reality with these women.
Both women are amazing people. And I know they will both find love. They both meant a lot to me.
If I want a woman in my life, she will have to be in my area, or be willing to live in my area. I can’t ask any woman who has her own life in another state to move here. It’s not fair to her.
I am established in Indiana. This is my life, it’s here. My kids are here. And for the foreseeable future, that is where I will be.
My future is something I’m contemplating.
A big question for me is if I want kids still. I would love to have a son, but I also want to travel. I have to think on it more. I love being a Dad, more than anything in the world.
I will continue to write, and get my book done someday soon.
The blog isn’t going anywhere. And neither am I.
My life has been an amazing ride, and at 45 years old, I’m not stopping anytime soon. And I’ve stopped pretending, because the real me is an incredible man who is going to continue to take on challenges in my life.
And through my writing and taking on these challenges, I sincerely hope that I can help other men to navigate the pitfalls in their lives by showing them what I went through.
My logo, a lighthouse, has been the inspiration for me to continue to share my struggles and triumphs, my wins and losses, my growth and regression, and my reasoning or lack of for the choices I made. And one thing stands out, I own my choices even if they aren’t popular.
And that is what men have to do. Life is uncharted. Just like in the old video games like Civilization, you have to explore to win the game, by finding new lands and risking yourself to try and get better.
The future is uncertain. But I will continue to forge myself into a better man, learn from the lessons when I stumble or falter, and continue to face the world with my chest out and my chin up.
Your love and support have been amazing and I can’t thank you all enough for letting me come into your world with my writing.
I will continue to provide my unique perspective with other things coming down the pipeline in 2022 and 2023.
The orange glow of the midday city sun cut through the thick smog. Carolyn was driving, listening to some tight Spanish tunes, I sat in the back with my thoughts, reflecting on what had been my first journey by myself anywhere ever.
And I could’ve gone anywhere. The Great Lakes, Florida, Texas. I could’ve done the Grand Canyon. I could’ve done Boston, the northeast. I could’ve gone to New York.
But here I was: Los Angeles
The wind blew in my hair, my sunburnt skin reacting to the cool breeze. I sat quietly, contemplating my life as it was right now, and where I was. What I was. I’d come so far.
I’d done much since my divorce 3 years ago. I’d cultivated a now budding side hustle as a blogger, giving advice to men in my situation, including how to get back into the dating pool. I’m a successful business owner, leading a family run business for almost a decade through the trials and tribulations that befall or bless said business. I’d learned how to date again, practicing my newly found game over the past 18 months, and getting more successful by the day. I’d struggled with my child’s epilepsy diagnosis and all the uncertainty that came with it. All through, I morphed from another red pilled guru type spouting off diatribes against beta males, single moms, IG models, and hypergamy, to sharing my own journey with weight loss, fatherhood, dating and relationships.
And here I was, on my way to Laguna. The 5 wasn’t bad at all for midday, although LA is such a huge city that going anywhere by car means “road trip”.
This excursion was in part a midday getaway on my last day here, and also a lunch date that had cancelled. I kept on, determined now more than ever to live this last day in the City of Angels with the same flair I had lived my life since becoming unplugged and entering the world on my terms some 3 years ago.
Why was I here?
I had several amazing friends I wanted to see. I knew one from many endeavors, and I had wanted to visit for sometime. One friend in particular was eager to show me her city. She as well as the others lived out there, so it became a long weekend of fun in the sun and an experience I wouldn’t soon forget.
Los Angeles is such an indescribably beautiful city. Millions of different cultures wedged in between the Sierras on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west. It’s built like a giant chaotic mess, with small chateaus, bungalows, and cool eclectic dives sharing the roads with million dollar homes. Gas stations look up to huge hills filled with massive homes, looking like fortresses watching the invaders they turned back.
Everything walks, rides, or bikes. All the stuff is within walking distance. Like little bubbles pooled together, each sector of the city breathes its own life, with neighbors seeing each other at Starbucks, the grocery store buzzing with activity, and the joggers out in force.
LA is a fit town. The people are beautiful. Everyone’s in shape. Everyone’s waiting for their big break. But they all love it here. It’s a rich, diverse, crazy home, but it’s theirs. The people are so warm, kind, generous, welcoming, and generally good natured that you can’t help but fall in love with all of it.
Rolling down highway 1, California’s iconic site, I was amazed. Beautiful palm trees, rolling hills, blue skies and beautiful blue water. My Lyft driver turned into the Ritz Carlton, dropped me off, and went on with her day. That’s what I noticed. Everyone is LA grinds and hustles, but they do it with a smile. It’s always sunny, so why not?
I walk around. Sun is blazing, the air off the ocean smells like the Earth’s breath, fresh from each tide push. The reflections off of the yellow and orange buildings makes the sun seem millions of miles closer. The brilliance is something to behold. As I walk, I can’t help but feel this city is speaking to me, a voice I haven’t heard before but now listen to intently.
I keep walking. I knew where I wanted to go. After watching my diet for the trip, I had a cheat day, and I wanted a giant sub. A small deli was situated just past the hotel, so I struck out to that very place. I wanted a sandwich.
You can tell a lot about a city by its food. Over the course of the past 5 days, I had a chance to sample the best food from the most unassuming places. Little hole in the wall restaurants are always where I go, because they have the best food, as well as the pulse of a city and its identity. The people that work there truly love it, and it’s why I try to find just those places.
And I couldn’t have been more happy with any of it. The staff looked like 20 somethings waiting for their big break, but in the meantime proud to work for a sandwich shop that takes care of its customers. Great, earthy people who have taken on the identity of their city, all while cultivating their own life from the mountains and beaches they inhabit.
I sat and dined, enjoying people watching as I ate. I wanted to read, but kept looking up from my book to just watch the world of Southern California walk by. You can’t help but be fascinated by the folks that meander to their destinations. Tan skinned beauties, surfer dudes, boomers with fedoras, and housewives grabbing a beer.
So as I finished, I went for another excursion. As I walked, I thought about all that I’d experienced. Meeting new friends who exposed me to a whole new world. I painted for the first time since I was a child. My picture, as California as everything else I saw, was painted with a new energy flowing through me given to me by this land. I just can’t describe it any other way. The brush took on a life of own, and showed me, just like everything else here, just what I was capable of when I stop and let life take the wheel.
I called for my Lyft, because no self respecting SoCal visitor rides Uber. As I got in, I looked around one last time at this alluring landscape. When all you see as an Indiana boy is nothing but flat, green fields, this landscape can seem alien at first, but does it ever impress as you view it totally.
The driver and I chatted on our way back about LA life, pick up and game, the pros and cons of online dating, and how well the Clippers would be this year. He was truly a Southern California star, open, warm, and engaging. For almost two hours, we spoke like brothers, even though we were separated by 2000 miles for most of our lives. It’s like good friends who haven’t seen each other for years picking right back up where they left off.
As he let me off at my hotel, I thought about my trip. The great friend I had made who showed me around this great city. She truly made me feel at home in a amalgamation of 20 million souls, all bound together by a sense of belonging, regardless of race, creed, or color. She made it seem so small and welcoming. She was proud of her city. She lived it everyday and showed it to me. Her friends were mine, with every laugh filling the air with joy of a perspective I didn’t know, but was glad to be a part of.
I came to LA not knowing a thing about it, but I left with a new found enchantment of a truly unique city. I was able to find a distinctive voice that opened up a whole new part of myself I didn’t realize was there. This city changed me for the better, and for that I am truly blessed.
I also made a lifelong friend, who made my LA experience truly magical. I’m forever grateful for her friendship. You shared your city with me, you showed me compassion when I was alone, and you took me to places that I would never had known existed. I can’t thank you enough for your hospitality. It meant the world to me.
So goodbye LaLaLand. I’m glad you opened your doors to me and added yet another layer of experience to my already growing travel life. You embraced me and made me a believer. I’ll most certainly be back.
I’m an honorary Los Angeleno. And like the great Billy Joel, the song “Los Angelenos” lyrics tell the story that I just lived in my “funky exile” that I wouldn’t ever give back.
“Los Angelenos All come from somewhere To live in sunshine Their funky exile Midwestern ladies High-heeled and faded Drivin’ sleek new sports cars With their New York cowboys
Hiding up in the mountains Laying low in the canyons Goin’ nowhere on the streets With the Spanish names Makin’ love with the natives In their Hollywood places Making up for all the time gone by
Los Angelenos All come from somewhere Cuz it’s all so easy To become acquainted Electric babies Blue-jeaned and jaded Such hot sweet schoolgirls So educated
Tanning out in the beaches With their Mexican reefers No one ever has to feel Like a refugee Going into garages For exotic massages Making up for all the time gone by Hiding up in the mountains Laying low in the canyons Goin’ nowhere on the streets With the Spanish names Makin’ love with the natives In their Hollywood places Making up for all the time gone by
Los Angelenos All come from somewhere It’s so familiar Their foreign faces.”
Nothing fucks with your head more than walking through Las Vegas at 5am.
The long faces, the worry, the fear, the toil of a long night spent living in Sin City with the hopes of that good roll, that last pull, the last hit, the one that made it.
Sure, you heard people cheering earlier, they were the lucky ones. They picked the right machine, the right table, and got hot. Now they have hookers and blow in the penthouse suite. Now they can make their mortgage this month, now they can qualify for another card game, they can smile for another day, they can breathe easy.
Until they have to go back and do it again tonight.
The visible frustration of watching someone else win as you are losing your ass is palpable.
The desperation, the despair as each pull, each click, each button press drains your total. The chance of hitting it big, in the casino or even in life, keeps us putting the bills in the changers.
What we don’t realize? The ease that we see of hitting it big isn’t easy, it’s kneecapping us in so many ways. We are exerting minimal effort for a overwhelming return. When we hit it big, then we’ll fix everything. Because we got lucky.
But is it really luck if you just wasted your time?
Is the payoff really worth the lack of effort?
Will hitting it big really change you, or are you just going to not cash out and keep pumping bills for a BIGGER return?
Or is it all a pariah? Is it an oasis that you see but vanishes after you trudge through miles of heat and sand? Or was it the time you spent getting there that you wasted, only to come up empty handed, bitter and disappointed?
The presence of virtue in Sin City is negligible. And the people who accept the natural motives of “letting go” in Vegas are too numerous to mention. The problem is that too many times, too many people have too little self control.
And seeing the faces all over this city that never shuts down was enough to show me that self control, principles, and beliefs are left on the tarmac getting off the plane in the desert.
“Why can’t you just enjoy yourself? Let go, let your hair down.” It’s fine. Do that. The problem lies in all of the issues that arise when folks turn off their common sense and turn on their consequence free thoughts, with just living and having fun in the forefront and serious consequences that come up after.
I’ve never heard anyone who lost in Vegas say they wish they could do that again. What I have heard is that people say Vegas is a blast if you play responsibly, that is, think with your big head versus the little one.
How many people put their head in their hands when they’ve been let off the leash only to make horrible mistakes that cost them in time and life?
You have to maintain control. Too many times, peer pressure puts guys to do things they shouldn’t or wouldn’t, but because of “YOLO”, they do it and fuck up things.
You needn’t believe a pariah that everyone else follows.
“Why did you go to Vegas if it wasn’t to drink, gamble and fuck?”
Because I’m not these people. The old me would’ve. Shit, the old me would’ve blown my savings on hookers, games, and drinks.
But the old me was also a stupid fuck.
The minute I started prioritizing myself in my life was the minute I understood that my time was valuable. The minute I started caring about the man I was becoming was the minute I understood that my actions have consequences. Was I going to drink, act like a drunk ass, snort lines, blow hard earned money that could be used to enrich my life, instead of pissing it away for mere minutes of imagined pleasure?
Not trying to be a buzzkill. I’ve been there. I’ve blown a shit ton of money trying to woo girls, drinking, and generally making an ass of myself.
The bottom line: I didn’t like who I saw in the mirror.
I didn’t like the man my kids saw.
But most of all, I realized that what everyone was telling me I was supposed to do was not what I wanted. If you want to be you, you gotta go against what everyone expects of you.
“Why can’t you have fun in Vegas?”
My new idea of fun is self improvement, empowerment, and helping others while I help myself. This isn’t some noble trad-con LARP, this is real life perspective shifts that take into account how I’m coming off to myself and others. How am I progressing to make myself a better person, better father, better man?
How can I try to prevent another dude from blasting a bullet in his mouth if I’m out here getting shitfaced, plowing the strip, or dropping my retirement on the impossibly small chance I actually get more?
Why roll the dice on a pipe dream when I can develop myself physically, mentally, hell, even spiritually if I fucking want and up the odds I’m going to take life by the tits?
This isn’t a fucking moral crusade to save mankind. We may already be fucked. This is an opportunity to leave a legacy to the people in my life that I love most, my kids. This is an opportunity to save the lives of men who only see the spend in Vegas, the long shot wins, the dreams come true and say, “I’ll do it that was instead of doing the work.”
Your savior isn’t digging a deeper hole hoping it rains manure at some point.
The False Flag
Why did this tweet cause so much vitriol?
What’s wrong with being free to make this choice?
Because it goes against everything that everyone says you should do.
It rides against the grain.
It pushes back against what people think.
And it challenges people’s perceptions on what you should do when you are in a particular situation.
There are people that let their environments and circumstances chart their self determination, then there are people who refuse to let outside forces deter them from being the best person they can be.
I went to Vegas knowing I wasn’t going to partake in the fun, because I had already done that. I spent a better part of my post divorce years fucking anything that moved, drinking, and generally living what everyone said to “live a little”.
But as with myself and millions of others like me, I couldn’t control myself. We are a society of excess, we are encouraged to burn the candle at both ends.
Work hard, play hard. What about work hard, play hard, learn hard, and better yourself harder?
This isn’t a religious thing. This is a personal choice to partake in things that will make me better, not drain my bank account, dick, and energy.
I choose this because it’s best for me. I choose this because I’m trying to control my rise and don’t want anything putting me back after all I’ve been through.
Dave Ramsey has a iconic saying: “Live like no one else so you can live like no one else.”
I have taken this strategy to heart, keeping my eye on the prize even if everyone is telling me to stop.
Drinking water at the bar even if everyone is drinking around me.
Passing by the hookers while other dudes fork over their cash for them.
Walking past the slot machines that I know will take my money.
Eating a piece of grilled chicken instead of that Twinkie.
All in the knowledge that if I keep pushing towards my goals, I will get there and then keep going for more.
Life is the pursuit of something that you will never get. But the pursuit is what you want. It’s what makes life worth living.
The freight wasn’t going to fit, and I knew it, and my boss knew it, and he called me on it.
It didn’t help the sting of all the effort I put into the truck, nor did it help the fact that I was convinced it would fit but didn’t. I didn’t want to admit I was wrong, so I spazzed out at my boss when he called me on it.
I raised my voice. I punched the wall. I threw a fit like a fucking child.
My boss, my best friend at the time, should’ve fired me on the spot. He was right. He knew what I was doing wasn’t going to work, and even after he told me several times, I still fucking tried to prove him wrong.
And I failed miserably. And rather than take the correct approach and understand that I had miscalculated the load fitting in the truck, I instead punched the wall and threw a tantrum.
And it wasn’t the first time. I think if I had been in any other job, at any other time, my ass would have been unemployed faster than you can say “inappropriate conduct”. But because it was my family’s business, I got a pass, and continued to get a pass, all while knowing that even if I was frustrated and acted like a little kid, I’d not face any major implications for that behavior. So I never really learned how to handle criticism properly.
It happened throughout my life with the same results. I didn’t believe that I needed to learn anything, I thought I knew it all already (many times a symptom of just being young), but it was also how I was raised and taught in school that really got me into trouble for later in my life.
I was a rule follower. I rarely got into trouble in school, and when I did, it was so stressing and disastrous to me, that I swore I wouldn’t ever do it again. So I stayed on the straight and narrow, doing so well that I really never needed to be corrected, to the point that when anyone tried to correct me, I got upset and shut down.
And the monster it created was one that I didn’t like to show, but was forced to often when I was challenged later on in college and at my job.
But why the fuck did I go into a rant every time someone tried to give me any type of criticism, warranted or otherwise?
Why did I consistently put up my defenses when anything regarding me was questioned or criticized?
And why, in today’s society, is this the default reaction to anyone who has valid criticisms about us?
Why Don’t We Like Criticisms?
Why do we take on a defensiveness whenever we are criticized?
It’s a natural reaction for humans to react to any type of criticism with a defense mechanism to try and either disprove or attack the offending party.
We tend to take everything personal. And anything, from our work, to our bodies, to our attitudes, to anything that involves us, is fair game. We feel it hurt when someone criticizes us. Just like getting rejected, we take is personally and it makes us rethink our own attitudes about ourselves.
And if we continue to hear bad things about ourselves, we tend to dwell on those things and give them validity though, many times, they don’t have any.
We seldom get criticized by people we love, but when we do, it tends to hurt more than if it were just a stranger.
And these days, we are surrounded by people, especially on the internet, that use an anonymous mask to throw insults that we all take way too seriously.
When I first started on Twitter, I would let complete strangers tell me how I did things and criticize me, and I would let it affect me. So just like at my job, I would lash out and call these people names, not even knowing who the hell they were.
All because I thought it hit close to home even when it didn’t.
So that day, and the many days before, that I had gotten into trouble for doing something that I thought was right, only to be corrected by a boss or co-worker, built up and got me more and more defensive, turning a fit into a tantrum and a punch to a wall or fight with another person.
If I was ever going to master myself, I was going to have to understand that taking criticism, especially from people who are trying to help you, is a sign of maturity that people need to have in order to grow.
So I had to relearn this lesson, starting with taking criticism and understanding good criticism and bad criticism.
So, I had to hear things.
And I had to put myself around people who were concerned with me being my best.
And I had to understand that when I was wrong, I needed to own up to it and try not to do it again.
But it took a dose of growing the fuck up to understand that I needed to take criticism to be better. But I also had to identify which criticism was valid and which was just bullshit. I had to know who I was and be around people who were interested in seeing me as a better person to understand which criticism was truth and which were lies.
It all started with me being comfortable with myself and finding a tribe of people, friends, and family, that were interested in seeing me grow.
I didn’t need people to spare my feelings, I just needed people to tell me what I needed to do in order to improve. And I had to take their comments with a chest out and a chin up. It wasn’t ever personal, it was trying to help me improve.
But most of all, I needed to be held accountable when I fucked up. And I needed to understand that when I fucked up, the best approach was to admit to it, find the fault and correct it so it didn’t happen again. I wasn’t infallible, no one is.
How did I respond to criticism after understanding that it was being used to help me minimize my flaws and maximize my strengths?
I responded by understanding that my goal was to improve myself. When I finally understood that criticism was REQUIRED for me to become the best version of myself, it became easier to take and also was used to help me.
I understood that criticism was really “feedback” from those who wanted to see me at my best.
And as I developed a sounding board that would help me be my best, the ability to take and use criticism became a superpower that I used whenever I had a setback.
I needed to have it to see my faults and fix them.
I needed to have accountability so that I could stop fucking up and get my shit together.
Taking criticism is a necessity for anyone who wants to get better.
Just find a group that wants to see you succeed, a mentor who wants to see you better, and ignore the anonymous haters who throw bombs just to throw them.
You will be a better person when you accept you have things you have to work on.
How many men have said this with a girl they’ve just met?
How many men have told their friends and family about a woman who they saw, asked out, and said this?
How many men have said this simply by judging a 5 minute conversation they had with an attractive woman?
How many men have said this after a first date?
How many men have said this after several dates?
And how many men have been absolutely destroyed when they find out that the woman behind the beauty is a crazy person?
How many men have fallen asleep on the fact that the woman they fell for has more issues than Sports Illustrated?
How many men have realized the woman they thought they loved didn’t have a tenth of things in common with him that he thought?
We’ve all been there, gents.
My relationships always started off hot. But they fizzle fast. Why? Because, as men and women, especially in this day and age, when we find someone who is somewhat decent, we grab onto them like grim death, never looking at the potential consequences on not doing our homework on the person.
I’ve said many times that men will do research on cars, fitness, stuff they’re putting into their bodies, or buying a house, but when it comes to putting in the work on a woman they are dating, it’s fucking clown shoes.
Just because she’s got a pussy doesn’t mean she can skate by your scrutiny of her.
If any man truly wants a long term relationship with a woman, he has to know himself first. And to know himself, he has to have a checklist of major things that need to be in effect for her to even have a shot.
@ParabolicTrav has told me many times: “You determine who gets to be in your life.” Don’t sell yourself short on what you want in a relationship.
I consider vetting to be how a man, from the waist up, judges and checks a potential mate.
But how many men have truly vetted a woman? How many men have put her through her paces, asked the really tough questions, figured out the hang ups, or even had the uncomfortable conversations with her about certain things she believes, understands, or preaches about?
Vet and Vet Often
So how does one vet? If you’re like me, when I first got into a serious relationship, the first one with my future wife and ex-wife, I didn’t ask the questions, I merely let the relationship take over and take me with it. Why didn’t I ask the tough questions? Because, I was smitten, I figured she was okay, and for the most part she was, but there were several sticking points that came up after the relationship was established that should’ve derailed it, but it was too late.
So what is vetting?
Vetting is, in my words, a man’s big head telling the little head to slow the fuck down.
I’ve used an example of “shake her purse, and if it sounds like maracas, run.”
But seriously, you have to be able to look before you leap. Men fail to ask the tough, potentially interaction ending questions and allow the relationship and the woman to take the lead on this creature that is the potential relationship.
So what would a typical vetting session be about?
Have you asked a potential love interest:
If they are financially responsible?
if they have a history of mental issues?
if they are religious or not and if that jives with whether you are or not?
Does she have kids? Want them or not?
What’s her relationship with family, friends, her exes?
What habits does she have? Are they healthy or not? Does she drink too much? Smoke? Drugs?
Does she have feminist beliefs? What are her political preferences and is she open minded to other points of view?
Is she physically fit? Does she believe in being in good shape?
Does she share the same beliefs, goals, purpose, convictions?
Does she take responsibility for things she does or doesn’t do?
Does she take good care of herself mentally, spiritually, and physically?
Does she believe in traditional gender roles, or is she the boss and that’s it?
Does she keep a clean house?
These are just a sampling of the vetting questions men need to be asking women they are interested in. You are the captain of the ship. She can either get on board, or not. And the best way to ensure this is to keep vetting, even when the relationship progresses.
Good vetting only happens when you are solid in your frame and all of your life. You have a set of directives, goals, convictions and beliefs that you work off of. You hold to these unmovable traits. This is your FRAME.
She can choose to enter it or not, but when you have these sets of guidelines, she sees them, understands them, and then it becomes her choice to enter your world. But bear in mind, it is her choice, not yours. The minute you change to accommodate her, flex a piece of your frame, bend it and shape it to something other that what you apply in your own life, you’ve lost that part of the frame forever. You can’t get it back. Consistency is key in all of this. And keeping it consistent as well throughout the life of the relationship.
But the pull from the little guy is something that you must overcome. We’ve all seen hot girls, and when we see one our judgement is clouded by the prospect of blowing her back out.
Vetting helps to prevent this as well as puts you in control of the situation and how it is to go.
You have to ask the questions and not be upset if she walks.
You have to be able to hold your frame and be flexible on things not associated with your core values. She will bump up against that frame often to make sure you are holding true.
The Importance of It All
Why do I continue to push this?
Because, as with millions of men who have been affected, the modern man has not been properly introduced on the importance of vetting.
We see it every day. Men will do research on a car, house, stocks, crypto, etc., but when it comes to a woman, he’ll trust his dick over everything else.
And while she may make you feel good down there, the feeling of missed opportunities to feel her out while not wearing a condom come back to haunt men that take this road.
We see men who knew one thing about the woman they married but get a completely different person when the wedding ends. They get a woman who didn’t tell them she had declared bankruptcy, had Borderline Personality Disorder, had gone to jail, was a serial cheater, etc.
As a man, how much do you really know about her? Men ask me why they need to know things as long as she loves him. This is a disastrous mistake. A man must care about protecting himself, his frame, his assets, and other things that can be destroyed in divorce.
This is why, as a man, you have to park the urge to accept the woman just because she slept with you. When I lost my virginity at 27 to the woman I would eventually marry and then divorce, I didn’t have the intuition to ask the tough questions. I was fearful of losing steady pussy and a woman I thought I loved if I had decided to call the ball and take her to task on her questionable past.
With the state becoming a third party in marriage, it’s so important in this day and age for a man to properly vet a woman who wishes to become a part of his life. The stakes are incredibly high for men to protect everything they have and until more men start to see the consequences of marriage and divorce without vetting.
When you don’t do the work, you tend to get bit in the end.
There is also a misconception that you can vet EVERYTHING. You can’t. You, at least, must vet the BIG things, because you can’t anticipate all the little things you’ll miss.
And she’ll most certainly be vetting you, although most women don’t have to do the work that men need to do in order to vet their partner. The woman holds the keys to sex, the man holds the keys to commitment.
If you truly are a high value man and hold yourself in that regard, not just any woman can be with you. Your boundaries will determine what woman can be in your life. You will have a self contained assessment tool in your head about who can be in your life.
So vet and vet often. Work on securing and strengthening your boundaries, convictions, and beliefs, bending to no one when it comes to your core values.
And make sure a women who wants to be in your life is going to be good for your life.
Mistakes in accepting just anyone in relationships can cost a man dearly.
I was incoherent. But I’ll remember those three words for my whole life.
My head had just been smashed into a metal locker. And I was bleeding.
“I said, get up.”
I wasn’t getting up. I wasn’t even close to being able to. I was seeing little stars in my vision. I don’t know if I had a concussion, but damn, if this is what it felt like, I didn’t want one ever again.
I was just a 6th grader, packing my backpack in a crowded hallway with my locker open, minding my business, when I was pushed and my head smashed against my locker door.
I felt a kick to my side. It hadn’t been as painful as the head injury I had just sustained, but it knocked the breath out of me momentarily.
I lay there, crouched in a crowded hallway, as everyone walked past a dude kicking me. I remember much about this exchange, especially the people walking by. I fully realized that they weren’t gonna help me, because they wanted to see me get my ass throttled.
It was middle school. I was the fat kid with glasses. With daily comments about my man tits, my fat cheeks, my thick glasses, and my muffin top, it was only a matter of time before I was going to get my ass kicked and today, I was on the radar of the biggest bully in my grade.
So to say I wasn’t surprised when I was bleeding in the hallway that day was an understatement. To say I was surprised on how he got me was. He waited until I was on the floor digging into my locker to push me into the door. Then he started kicking me when I was down. But that’s how bullies work. I did the hard work for him so all he had to do was take advantage. Before he could get another kick in, a teacher stopped him. But it was of little comfort to me at the time.
And while this horrific day still rings true in my head, I’m glad he did what he did.
Because some 4 years later, I grew to 6’4″ 210lbs. I had been bullied all throughout my middle school and early high school years. But one day, it stopped.
Not because I hadn’t gotten any less nerdy, but because I had gotten bullied enough that I had nothing left to lose, and I made sure every person that had bullied me understood that.
But here’s the thing. This blog post is not intended to gain sympathy for me in my awkward and sometimes downright shitty adolescence.
It’s sole purpose is to show why society needs a bully, and why when you’ve had enough, still the best time honored situation to dealing with a bully is to punch him back in his fucking mouth.
The Need For The Bully
Bullies have been around since the dawn of humanity. There was always someone bigger, meaner, and more ruthless to take your shit from you. And as we have evolved into a more civilized species, bullying has taken on other forms. Some 30 plus years ago, when my middle school days were littered with inevitable pointing, laughing, beatings, jokes, comments and other not so pleasant actions taken in order to douse me in shame, nowadays it’s more of the cyber kind, with the same types of insults being hurled through the computer screen as opposed to the hallways.
The need for physical violence to take on the bully went from fists to guns during Columbine. A terrible tragedy of two boys who didn’t have proper parenting and who decided to murder the bully, a cost that is still felt today as we see school shootings happening.
But instead of empowering the meek to go after the bully in more constructive ways, we empowered the State to sanitize the system so that there were no bullies or bullied, but the socialism of the school, where there is no empowerment, only ceilings.
So began the War on the Bully.
There was a huge movement in the early 2000’s that has culminated today with the attack by society on bullies of every type. The now systematized shame towards the bully has not curtailed the bullying, it has simply put the bully pulpit in the hands of our illustrious elected leaders, teachers, administrators, and other adults who make decisions to protect everyone, even when those decisions affect everyone negatively.
“We must protect our children from bullies” has become the rallying cry for parents who refuse to teach and parent their kids about the importance of the reaction to bullies being an important part of mitigating them.
I believe fathers have truly dropped the ball in teaching their kids about focusing anger towards positive activities.
As we moved through the past three decades, I have seen on alarming issue that continues to come up and that is that parents have willingly given up the raising of their kids to the State. With all of these cultural movements throughout the 60’s to the 90’s, the State has subverted the family structure, becoming the de facto bully in all of this.
In short, the bullies have become the bullied. And the new bullies have men with guns.
When I was bullied, as many children were, my mother tried to reason with school administrators and teachers that her son was being bullied. All this did was make the bullying increase, for I was the kid who’s mom tattled on the offenders. My father gave better advice. “Punch them in the mouth.”
So I did. Even if it wasn’t literal. I stopped taking shit from the bullies. I stepped up and either physically or verbally jabbed them when they came close. I wasn’t going to fuck around anymore.
Why Columbine was important was it showed that how kids were dealing with bullies, and how parents weren’t helping their kids, in a violent manner was not the answer that these kids were looking for. But without guidance for anger and frustration, all it did was boil over into violence on a large scale.
Killing the bully does nothing and has tragic consequences. Beating up the bully, gaining psychological advantage over him, is where the kids need to be directed. The bully provides a challenge to the child. A challenge of either beating them physically, or like I did, beat them out verbally and mentally. And when a child is challenged and they overcome the challenge, it’s a lesson well learned.
Taking the Power Back
Some of the best lessons I’ve learned are when I was getting my ass kicked.
I know of no person who didn’t have these sentiments that didn’t turn out to be a stronger individual after they got bullied.
It is empowerment to fight back and beat up the bully.
When we give kids real world challenges to overcome, as in life when they become an adult, something clicks. They understand through the harsh lessons that this is how to overcome and grow in life.
The problems with this is that parents stopped caring, and gave overreaching authority to teachers to try and be surrogate parents. I saw it in my days in my child’s PTA, when parents don’t care, kids have no where to turn but to teachers, who have no time for the kids because there are so many. So it’s left to school counselors, administrators, and other authority figures to try and reign in all of this, and they’re overwhelmed.
All because parents dropped the ball. As with the teacher who finally stopped the beating, they can’t expect to be parents at school with no parents working for the kids at home.
But it starts with the parents teaching their kids about overcoming challenges on their own with help from those that love them.
I didn’t start learning to ride my bike until my parents made me get on a bike and start peddling. I hit a mailbox and was broken and bruised, but I learned to ride a bike and I was off to the races for most of my childhood.
I didn’t learn to fight back until I fought back, with my parents watching me do it, and empowered myself to take control of a situation with an assertive move.
The world needs bullies. But more importantly, the world needs men and women to teach people that being bullied is not an excuse to act the victim, but a reason for action against an oppressive force.
If a child can’t stand up for themselves as a kid, they won’t stand up for themselves as an adult.
The pain of being bullied is gone when you fight back. I don’t feel sorry for myself for being bullied. In fact, it was a necessary evolution in the man I’ve become today. And I fought back against the very forces that we are trying to destroy.
We don’t want to remove a challenge from someone’s life just because it’s hard to overcome. We have to stop trying to save everyone and instead, give them a reason to FIGHT in life.
I see many people who’ve lost limbs in war, who’ve had diseases or defects overcome incredible odds to do amazing things. And that’s what puts the human in humanity. Overcoming difficulties, punching them in the face, and not wrapping the world in bubble wrap to protect.
People all need these challenges, but more importantly, they need parents who show them these lessons and let them fail.
It’s the only way to get stronger.
The bullies stopped as soon as I fought back. And fought back I did. I wasn’t bullied again.
The magic recipe? A commitment to yourself and to not being a victim.
It’s the way you grow to become a person who doesn’t take any shit.
And I think we need a society with more of those types of people.
Adversity is a necessity in life. And nothing is more adverse than a bully who you need to punch in the mouth.
This is part 1 of a three part series on lessons I’ve learned from my relationships.
Sometimes, the hardest thing for a man to do is walk away from something he knows he wants, but isn’t what he needs.
“It wasn’t right. It didn’t feel right. And it’s not her fault that it’s not right”, I sat in my car as it ran in the parking lot.
The wind was howling outside.
Everyone was gone from work.
It was just me, late afternoon sun shining over my car.
It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I had to make it.
I’ve had to make this choice twice before. But this one was different. She had a ton of what I wanted in a girl.
When you are a man in a relationship, you are sometimes blind to what is good for you and what isn’t. Many a man has stayed in a situation where he didn’t belong, didn’t feel right, and this was just like that. How much time was I going to spend in a situation that didn’t feel good to me? At what point was I going to draw a line on what I needed in this?
And, as in a few of my past relationships, why was I giving more than I was getting?
I have had a tendency, especially if I find a girl I really like, of slipping into a role of driving, flying or meeting them in their area. And when I wasn’t? I was calling and texting like mad. Neediness.
I did it throughout 2019 and 2020, meeting girls on Twitter, flying to their area, having a fun weekend, then flying back hoping they would be persuaded to come live with me in Indy. In many of my past posts, I lament on this problem.
But this one was different. I thought she would come. And she didn’t.
I thought I had communicated it correctly. The ultimate goal for me, in my life, is that if I’m in a long distance relationship with a woman, is that she would naturally come here.
Indiana is my life. It’s where my kids are. It’s where my career, business, and family reside. There isn’t a compromise when it comes to this place. It’s my home.
But herein lies the problem: I was trying to be the exception to a rule that I knew wasn’t good.
Long distance relationships are not good, especially if they aren’t quickly turned into face to face relationships.
It cannot be stated enough that I was naive in thinking that I was different, I was special.
Most men do.
But I was kidding myself. Dammit I hate when I’m wrong, but I was warned, and I didn’t take it seriously.
When you meet someone long distance who you really like, you tend to gloss over the bigger deals because of the fact you like them.
I was trying to bring something that wasn’t going to happen and the lines should’ve been drawn sooner, but alas, my blindness to a girl I really clicked with precluded me from making those boundaries known early and often.
Hence why I was muttering in my car on that April day with frustration over letting it get this far.
Lesson – Boundaries Early and Often
I let it ride. I didn’t question. I constantly pushed off bringing it up.
But it was important.
You let it fester, you don’t push the issue, and it drags on.
I became, in essence, and emotional tampon for her. I was there whenever she needed me. I called at the same time every night. I was enamored with her from the start, but I didn’t reinforce my boundaries and tell her, over and over again, that this wasn’t going to work if we weren’t going to meet.
Until that April day, when I did.
Finally. I said something.
It was met with disbelief and frustration, as if wanting to meet in person was an affront to all that was decent.
I had finally, mercifully, put down a boundary that I had been playing footsie with for months.
Why not sooner? Because I was weak. I wanted it to work. I really liked her. I still did.
As a man, you let a woman you really like walk all over you, or worse, commit an abundance of your time to her, then you pull away, of course she’s going to be pissed. You were doing what she wanted, what she liked, and there was no risk for her.
I wasn’t consistent with my boundaries, and she had every right to be upset because I let it fester too long. But I had every right to ask her to come. If she truly wanted to be in my life, if she truly loved me like she said she did, it wouldn’t have been hard to come see me.
As a man, you MUST provide a strong frame and not bend or break on certain things in your life. I was not only bending, but certain boundaries were not-existent. All because I didn’t want to lose her. And I did anyway.
If someone is not willing to do what it takes to be in your life, then they really don’t want to be in you life now, do they?
The minute I put down boundaries was the minute the relationship ended. She couldn’t do what I needed her to do in the time I needed her to do it. You can’t be afraid to lose her. If she wants to be in your life, she’ll find a way to do it.
Lesson – Long Distance Generally is a Bad Idea
Rollo and the boys are right about long distance relationships. They are much like playing pretend.
Women can do long distance relationships better than men because they can get their emotional needs filled.
I don’t recommend long distance relationships for a man unless the women you really like is planning on visiting you SOON.
If you hit it off with a woman over the phone, long distance, as a man, especially an man who is established, she needs to come and see you.
Before, I had made it a bad habit to be talking to a girl for a month or so then be on a plane to see her. We’d have a great, sexual weekend, then reality would set in. She wasn’t moving for me. So I had to choose very carefully on who I was going to visit. And with my issues with my business and COVID, traveling wasn’t in the cards.
But here’s the thing. I could’ve visited her. But that would have led me to the same destination as all the other women I had gone to visit. I was making a stand this time that a requirement of this relationship, if it was to move forward, was that she had to visit.
This wasn’t on her, this was on me. And that’s okay. I have a specific requirement for relationships and if it didn’t work for her, it didn’t. I shouldn’t have prolonged this as long as I did.
Sometimes, bluntness is necessary. Sometimes, you have to put it out there to see if she’ll flinch. And I didn’t. I wasn’t honest with myself on what I wanted, I wasn’t honest with her, and I was afraid of losing her.
But what was this? Can something be classified as a relationship if you’ve never met face to face?
The answer? To women, it can. To men, it can’t.
But the bottom line. You can’t truly have a “relationship” that involves two people that haven’t met. There’s only so much of a connection you can make to a voice over the phone or a face over the internet. There’s only so much you can do because inevitably, intimacy must be created. Sex and intimacy are cornerstones of a relationship. And you can’t create that over a digital space.
It’s pretend. You are still not real to the other person nor are they to you unless there is physical touch. It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is.
Stop Being Afraid
What motivated me throughout this whole thing?
Fear is a huge motivator for many things in our lives, and my fear of losing a woman I really liked was driving the lack of boundaries and the persistence of a long distance relationship.
We see men all the time give up their lives and move for a woman they love, only to be blindsided when all they’ve sacrificed translates to a whole mess of resent from her end. Then she finds another man who is solid and strong with his boundaries and his requirements and respects him more for those attributes.
I let fear dictate my actions. I was afraid of losing her. And that’s a risk as a man that you have to take. Your self respect is too important to let slide with a woman you really like. Hold your frame and let her know that you aren’t wavering.
I didn’t. And it cost me her, but more importantly, it cost me a bit of myself.
And while sad, I’m still glad I was able to enforce my boundaries at some point in this situation. I can only imagine how much longer it would’ve taken if I had just not said anything. How many more months or god forbid, years, would I have stayed on the line giving her what she needed while I got nothing of what I needed?
Know when to call a spade a spade. And know when to walk.