A Letter To My Younger Self

Timothy Wayne Hicks, with his little sister and a devil cat, 1993

Dear 22 year old Tim,

I’m here to tell you some things that I need you to know so that you don’t take the next 22 years and blow up, then rebuild, then blow up your life again.

I’m your 44 year old self, fresh off of 22 years of fun, games, heartache, tragedy, loss, joy, and fun.

At this point in my life, at the time of writing this letter, these 22 years have flown by. I will tell you some things that you won’t believe but shouldn’t be surprised about:

  • As of this writing, you’ve been employed by two places, both family-run. One you left because you wanted to start a wholly-owned family business with your father, mother, sister, and good business associate. You’re just starting work at your father’s first company at 22, and you’ve got a shit ton of hard work that you don’t know is coming that is coming for your ass. College was cake, this real-world shit is not.
  • As of this writing, you’ve finally, mercifully discovered the world of women. It took you 20 years to do it, and surprise, you did it well. But it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and it certainly wasn’t the lifelong quest you needed to have to find your Moby Dick. And yes, you slept with a couple of white whales. Don’t sleep with fatties.
  • You’ve had a life of living overweight and out of shape. For 20 of your future years, you will be a fat ass. It’s not personal, though it is. You come from a long line of family who doesn’t take care of their health. And going into the workforce after you managed to take care of yourself in college, you’ll let all that slip. You’re going to balloon into a 308 lb unhealthy human being, and only between riding the roller coaster of diets and exercise will you truly find visions of your true self, before you fall back into the fat abyss. But the good news is, at 40, just like everything else you’ll learn the hard way, you’ll finally get your shit together and be able to outrun your kids and outwork men half your age because that’s what you should’ve been doing all along.
  • You have two amazing girls and an ex-wife. Yes, I said EX-wife. You spent your 20’s working hard and not putting work into your own life, so in your 30’s you married a woman because she was the only one who said yes. She married you because you gave her to opportunity for children. Both of you didn’t know who you were because you never bothered to find out. Your divorce put you in massive debt that took you two years to pay off. At the time of this writing, you are agonizingly close to your goal, with a mere $4500 left to go.
  • Your kids are incredible. Your oldest is just like you in every way, almost to a fault. Tall, lanky, and opinionated, but strong-willed and spirited. She’s also got your anxiety and anger issues, some of your more unattractive qualities, but she’s still a firebrand and an amazing student, as well as a robotics champ and an engineering fiend. Your youngest is smart, funny, social, and doesn’t take shit from anyone. She’s an independent dynamo who is friendly to everyone she meets, as well as a supporting and nurturing presence to her family and friends. You’d be amazed and proud of what amazing kids you’ve produced.

I wanted to reach out to you because I know what you’re going to be going through and I want to tell you things that I would recommend you do, knowing what I know now.

I will give you a rundown, and trust me what I say, this will save you YEARS of heartache and spinning your wheels. I can tell you that you are doing well at 44, but not as well as you could be doing if you follow me on what you need to be doing. Many people write these puff pieces of what they want their past self to do, but mine is truly from the heart, and you have a chance to re-live this life with vigor and more heart that I did, because you will truly know who you are and what you want.

  • Find out who you are

You are Timothy Wayne Hicks, but you don’t have the first fucking clue who the hell you are or what the hell you want. You MUST find out. It will solve almost 90% of the problems you will have in the future. Travel, try new things, spend time with friends. But know this. The myth that you were told about having a wife, house, car, kids, job, etc, is just that. It’s a myth that’s been propagated as the meaning of happiness in life, and it’s not that for many people, you included. You need to understand that just because your elders are pushing you into a direction they think you need to go, it doesn’t mean you have to go there. You have to think for yourself and don’t buy the myths of what is supposed to make you happy. What makes you happy is being who you want to be, doing what you want to do, and living how you want to live. No one has the right to take that away from you, and many people have succeeded in doing that in my life. No more.

  • Don’t go into trucking

Yes, your father offered you a great opportunity, but you needed to do something else. This job, as successful as it has made you, has taken years off of your life. Trucking is stressful, problem ridden, and thankless, and you jumped in when you were young and dumb, which is right where they want to get you. Now, you’ve lived your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, but at a potential cost of your sanity. It was never what you wanted, and will never be what you wanted. You’re a slave to it at times, and while trucking runs in your family’s blood, it’s cool comfort to a man who’s endured shit tons of crap from it for 22 years. If you have a chance to do something else and then come back to it, fine, but my guess, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that you need to travel, and take that trip to Argentina to immerse yourself in Spanish. Live there for 6 months and get yourself some world action.

  • Have sex and socialize

In 5 years, at the age of 27, you’ll have sex for the first time. While this probably won’t come as much of a shock to you as it should, you’re terrible with women and you have been for a while. And it won’t get better these next few years, so I encourage you to get out and socialize. Put the fucking video games down and put your head in the game. Go out with your friends, go to business dinners, travel, and meet new people. You’ll wait 20 years and a failed marriage to get this through your thick skull, and it needs to be said. You must get better with people and improve your social skills. Experience women from different backgrounds and walks of life. And most importantly, wrap that rascal. But you need the experience.

  • Pursue your passions

You love meteorology. But you couldn’t cut it because you thought it would be too hard. You never even tried it. You just assumed. Stop assuming. Get your ass to work and get a degree in something you love. You wanted to be a storm chaser, you wanted to be a meteorologist, you wanted to fly into a hurricane. You walked away from it all because you thought it was too hard. You’re a dumb fuck if you do it again. Explore what you want to do in this life. You will discover, 22 years too late as it seemed, that you have a passion for writing and a passion for helping men to live a full and more stable life for themselves. Get some balls and make a decision to be good to yourself and fuel these passions. It’s your call. Don’t forget that.

  • Get married on your terms

Yes, you’re divorced at 44. Yes, you wasted 10 years of your life with a woman whom you loved, but whom you loved only because you were told that’s what to do. She’s a great mom to your kids, but you need to be better at vetting potential women in your life. At 22, you would marry the first woman that said yes to having sex to you, and you actually do that at 30. She’s a good woman, but disaster is coming if you marry her, which you do. 10 years of a loveless marriage, no sex for nearly 2 of those years, and an inert relationship that dissolves slowly. You’ll make the tough decision to leave the marriage in 2015 and you’ll be glad you did, but it will cost you years off your life as well as tens of thousands of dollars. She’s not a bad person, as a matter of fact, she’s a great co-parent and best friend, but you shouldn’t have married her. But the good things that came out of it are the two kids you have. They’re very special. But you need to marry on your terms and only when you’re ready. You’ve rushed into marriage under pressure from family and friends to “settle down”. Don’t listen to them. You’ve got to blaze a path on your own. You must take the world by the balls before you invest in another person, and that person has to be the one to help you conquer the world. If she’s not, then there’s no point.

  • Be smart with money

You learn 5 years into your marriage that debt is a prison and you rack up tons of it with your wife. Then you take Dave Ramsey, and you start to get it back, until your divorce when you rack up debt again. Don’t go into debt. There’s no point in trying to have everything at 22, when you can work and live for practically nothing and save up every penny. Your success should be internal, not to show up your neighbors or people you don’t care about. You have to be smart with money and set up retirement early and contribute often to it. At 44, you’re kinda starting over on that point, and if I had done this at 22, I wouldn’t be in the straits I am now. And I want you to get a will done immediately. And life insurance, term life insurance. And get a good accountant, lawyer, and tailor.

Maybe the reason I’m writing this letter is because I’m scared for you to go through what I went through and I want you to avoid it. But maybe avoiding it isn’t the way to go. Maybe all the shit you’ll go through is so you can tell your story to a younger man than you, so he’ll learn from you.

Trying to avoid a life of some difficulties makes soft men.

You need to take life as it comes, and learn from the mistakes I made, but you’ll still make mistakes. We all do, and the best of us learn, adapt, and warn others about said mistakes. You have a lifetime to learn the hard knocks classes, so get started.

And on second thought, after you read this letter, tear it up, and do what you need to do to live your life. Just stop listening to other people who think they know better that you do about YOUR life. They don’t, and they never will.

You’ve got this, Past Tim.

Go live your life.


Timothy Wayne Hicks, 44

The Eye

Hurricane Laura – August 2020

“In the eye of the storm, I’ll make my stand. But I’m not waiting for the walls to close in. I just brace myself for winds to change their ways.”
– Godsmack – “Eye of the Storm”

The hits kept coming.

“I can’t keep doing this.”

I thought to myself.

There I was, out on the warehouse floor of my work, Christmas rush blasting the dock, my daughter had potentially had another seizure, my parents were fighting, my ex-wife was threatening to take me back to court, and my aunt was having serious health issues.

On top of all this, I had just broken up with my girlfriend.

Towering waves, wind crested and pushed, were tossing me around. Swirling vortices of water, pushing me in every direction, a doomed ship upon the angry sea.

And I kept refusing to put down my anchor.

Helplessly bracing for the next hit, I was letting all of this consume me.

This hadn’t been the worst day. There’d been worse, don’t get me wrong. But everything was hitting at once. And I was letting it affect me. So I had to say “fuck it” and dropped the hammer. I lashed out at everyone at work about my shitty day. I got emotional. I punched a door. It was too much.

So I stormed out and slammed the office door. I was on the warehouse floor with freight, machinery, and large equipment in a righteously pissed off state and that wasn’t good.

After tossing a couple of load locks, my phone, non-stop since that morning, started ringing again. I chucked it across the dock.

After taking a 2x 4 to a pile of old pallets, I finally calmed down. I was sweating, out of breath, but surprisingly, everything was finally, mercifully quiet for a moment.

I sat on the pile of pallets, breathing heavy, fuming, and upset. It wasn’t stopping. The phone, surprisingly still working, kept ringing. Texts, alerts, overload.

It had to stop. It wasn’t going to.

I had to make it stop.

Enforce Your Calm

A man must understand one thing.

The storm of life doesn’t ever stop. You create the calm within it by being the strength to face it.

As I said in a blog post a few months ago called “Storms”, life doesn’t give a fuck about you or your problems. It’s unrelenting, and you can only control what you can control.

But what you can control will determine how you weather these storms, and if you are strong enough, anchored enough, and steadfast, you create your own calm, your own eye within the chaos, rather than being tossed uncontrollably by a machination of calamities, both perceived and real.

This is a matter of personal, emotional, and even physical strength. You make a stand against all of this, everyday. You put your chest out and face the wrath, unflinching. That’s the difference between today’s stressed out man and the man of the past, who was stressed, but did his shit anyway.

There is something to be said for stoicism, the practice of Marcus Aurelius, and why the manosphere continues to pine for his wisdom. Zeno of Citium founded the school of philosophy, and there is a ton of wisdom in it. It’s a lost art to be able to keep one’s cool, especially with a world that is constantly yapping at men to perform. Imagine a world that Aurelius lived in, with wars with barbarian hordes, disease, famine, and low life expectancy, as the back drop for a philosophy that required you to keep your head about you at all times, through all events.

Now, fast forward to today, where modern convenience has made all of what Aurelius dealt with obsolete, and see how we are MORE stressed than ever.

It shows to men today that we are not even close to being as weathered as our ancestors. And with the feminization of society, it only stands to reason that as society continues to denigrate men and masculinity, the victim hood of circumstances defense will still continue to get airplay.

All the more reason for men to focus on the small picture and handle their immediate concerns, and forge a calm center to retreat to in case of issues.

It really is up to you how you attack this.

The Mind’s Eye

All calm in your life starts with the calming of your mind.

Close your eyes in a quiet room. No distractions. Do you hear your mind chattering away? This is your mind’s default setting, but it is one that you can control.

You have issues. You have things that you have to do. You have worries. You have fears.

You have to assign importance of all of this in your thoughts.

You control what thoughts you listen to. You control your reactions to the thoughts that scare you.

You are in control of your brain. Many people aren’t, however. That’s where taking time to calm the mind is where the calm in the storm starts. When you’re calm of mind, the world calms around you, because you aren’t letting it escalate. This takes an enormous amount of self and emotional control which many men these days don’t have. To stand in the face of a blinding wind, gigantic waves, and the imminent threat of loss of life is to become more than the hurricane.

And it starts in your head.

The world, and hell, life in general is a bully, but it’s all bark and no bite, for the most part. We live longer now than we ever have. We have somewhat of a civilized society. The big picture things are handled so that we can obsess about the small shit, and obsess we do.

The human mind must always have problems to solve, or it creates them on its own. Idle hands are a major problem, and the problems that are easiest to solve tend to be the ones we overlook, and the lack of control for the bigger problems overwhelm us.

While seething on the dock that December afternoon, several things happened.

  • My dock was full of freight and we were busy
  • My daughter’s seizure was a false alarm
  • My parents worked out their issues
  • My ex-wife called and apologized and we worked out the issues
  • My aunt found out she didn’t have cancer

My relationship with my girlfriend ended by my accord. I found out later that she had been seeing her ex-boyfriend before me again, so it made my breaking up with her much easier to handle.

All the shit I was stressing about during that day had worked itself out (with little lifting from me).

After an apology to my work crew and a bit of door repair for the dented door, I was back to being even-keeled. But this time, I reminded myself that feeling this way wasn’t the way to go, and clearing my mind was going to be a priority to avoid future blow ups.

I’ve always had a problem with anger, and there aren’t easy answers. But you can control and channel your anger into productive exercises, as well as utilizing stoicism and mind calming techniques to pull back from the brink of the blowup.

Before, I would be uncontrollable with my stress induced blowouts.

But now, they happen much less frequently because I’ve managed to remember the big picture and how forming a eye of calm inside a storm of reality will truly make me a better man.

Find your calm and claim it.

Guilt and Shame

“You can twist perception. Reality won’t budge.”

  • Rush – “Show, Don’t Tell”

Show me a man doing what he’s told, and I’ll show you a woman who used either sex, or guilt and shame to accomplish it.

Men, especially men here in 2020, millions of them, are in relationships or marriages where the woman calls the shots.

And the way the women call the shots? It’s the way they always do, utilizing emotional manipulation and withholding sex to achieve their goals.

Men are still, after all is said and done, responsible for their actions, however, they need to be aware that women (a majority) are doing this not because they are some sick, twisted soul, but because they can navigate emotion with great skill and do all of this unknowingly.

Women, regardless of where they are in your life, do this almost daily. We call them “shit tests” here in the manosphere, but we also must realize that this isn’t something that women can control.

While we want to rail against women who purposefully do this (they are called psychopaths or borderline personality disorders), a majority of women do this simply to make sure their man is up to the task.

This also goes for mothers and their sons, sisters to their brothers, aunts, nieces, etc.

Women test men daily, hundreds of times daily at times, to make sure he is who he says he is, believes what he believes, and holds his boundaries and beliefs unflinchingly.

But what we are seeing is what I was under for 10 years of my marriage.

Women can use guilt and shame to attempt to influence a man’s actions.

He must not let that happen.

The Fog

As I stated, I was in this trance for most of my life.

It wasn’t that these women who were in my life were manipulative.

They weren’t. I’m sure they wanted what was best for me.

But what was best for me in THEIR mind was different from what was best for me in mine.

My mother and sister, as well as my wife, tended to push me in directions that I didn’t know I didn’t want to go because I didn’t know any better.

As a man, I had no direction, so these women were trying to

My mother has been through a lot in her life.

She is a champion and is a fantastic mother.

She’s endured child abuse as a kid and survived cancer.

She helped my father raise three kids that weren’t hers as well as 2 that were.

She was a successful financial accountant for a giant corporation for 30 years.

And she is my rock when I needed support.

And she continues to be there for me.

But it wasn’t always on my terms. For a time, it was on hers.

She over-compensated with my child rearing, because of how bad her childhood was, she swore that her kids would have a better life. And we sure did, my parents were and are still very loving and supportive. But with the over-compensation, I was over-protected and relied on my mother for a ton of decisions that I needed to make myself. And that over-reliance on the women in my life spilled over into my sisters and my wife (now ex-wife). I didn’t want to take responsibility for my life, so I decided to let the women of my life drive while I fucked around.

Important decisions about my life were given to the women of my life. And as soon as I let go of the wheel, I was going to places I thought I wanted to go, and looking back now after taking back control of my life 4 years ago, I should’ve taken control sooner.

But many men never wake up, letting their wives / mothers / daughters / sisters take the wheel and drive their lives. And it’s not as if they aren’t good drivers, but men nowadays are more concerned with the “clock in, clock out” world than they are with actually making their lives all that they can, with women as their willing accomplices. But here’s where the break happens…..


I highly doubt my mother, or my sisters, or my now ex-wife wanted to tell me what to do with my life. I was so eager to avoid conflict, take the easy way, not fight for what I believe in, that their advice became a crutch for me to excuse making tough decisions in lew of the path of least resistance.

In short, I didn’t want to live the tougher parts of life. So I conceded that control to women who I felt had my best interests at heart. And in their own way, they did, except their goals and dreams for me never lined up with what I REALLY wanted, hence when the rubble of my marriage and my life was still smoldering, the conflict with the other women of my life came full circle. My life goals were now, after 10 years of marriage and 30 years of female control, diametrically opposed to that of the women in my life.

When you give someone overreaching control of your life, don’t expect to have an easy time getting it back.

It’s not that they want control, it’s the absence of control that you exert that forces women to take the wheel. Like an abandoned ship with no crew, she has to take control or she’ll be dragged down with the wreck.

I don’t blame my mother for any of this. She had a childhood where she was basically abandoned by her father and her mother neglected her. So she had to steer the ship. She had to control her world, and it took her childhood away from her. She didn’t get to be a kid, she’s been an adult her whole life and it didn’t give her a chance to rest and recharge. She didn’t deserve it, which is why when I took back control of my life, my goal was to tell her to put down the hard stuff and let me take it. And the process of that will take time. She needs to be able to relax, and me taking control of my life, though disappointing at first to her, gave her some relief that she didn’t have to take the wheel anymore.

And it gave me relief because I now have control.

The Only Way to Win is Not To Play

So you’re being guilt and shamed by a woman in your life? The best way to overcome and pass this “shit test” is the only way. Don’t play.

Any attempt to guilt and shame you is an attempt to change your mind using manipulation of a certain set of circumstances.

“If you don’t do this for me, I’ll XXXX.”

If someone is giving ultimatums to you, you walk. Ultimatums are a cry for help because these people have lost control of you. You have free will, which is usually a bad thing for a person who’s trying to control your actions with their guilt and shame.

As I say with many confrontations, you don’t avoid them, you turn them down.

Not getting guilt and shamed by someone so desperately trying to is the answer. Walking away from a losing game is not avoiding confrontation as much as it is not wasting your breath on such a confrontation.

You have better things to do, and trying to confront someone who has no interest in changing their behavior wastes your time.

You do you. Let them worry about themselves.

When you finally take control of your life, there will be MANY people who won’t like the direction. My response has always been “if you love me, you’ll support my decisions.”

And most importantly, you can’t be afraid to cut people out of your life, at least temporarily, but worst case, for a long time. Charting your own course, by your own rules, is the healthy option. Unless you are doing unhealthy things like drugs, crime, etc, you have every right to do what you want with your life. But many people see you doing that and it takes away their power over you, and the benefits of that power doing good things for them.

Don’t be afraid to walk and never look back.

Sometimes burning bridges is a good thing.

So back to me. My family life is improving. The women in my life may disagree with my path, opinions, or convictions, but they understand that as a man, I have every right to chart my path.

But with me wrestling back control, I have seen the women on my life, mother, sisters, and ex-wife, understand and accept my chosen path, and now, even support me no matter what.

That’s why I love this new me so much. I have put my flag in the sand and now people can either rally or leave. And the women in my life haven’t left, they’ve only become better allies in my conquest of my world and myself.

And for that, I can’t thank them enough.

I love you, Mom, Debbie, and Shanny. And yes, Jill, even if we’re divorced, I still love you. You ladies have helped me to understand what I really need and are there to support me.

I promise, you won’t be disappointed by the finished Tim.

He’s got this.


As a new subscriber of Dr. Taylor Burrowes’ “Ideal Relationship System” group coaching, I’m sharing some of my experiences therein with approval. You can find more information about her work here www.ideallovelife.com.

“I will quietly resist.”

  • Rush – “Faithless”

Ask any random man on the street about his dreams, his goals, his wants and desires, and you’ll generally get about the same reactions.

A woman.

A good career that he loves.

A piece of land with acreage.

Children and lots of them.



There are many things a man truly wishes he had in his life, and the above tends to be where he lands.

Quite simply, ask any man what he truly wants and he’ll tell you, “freedom to do whatever the hell I want.”

Isn’t that what we all want? We want the freedom and flexibility in our lives to live the lives we truly want.

But many times, men intentionally put barriers to their own happiness and freedom because they are bound by some sense of honor or duty to anyone else in their lives but themselves.

In short, they’re playing a game they didn’t create and they can’t win.

The Same Script

Many, many of the men I’ve spoken with, am in organizations with, or grew up with have all told me, generally, the same hopes and dreams that they all have. The freedom to do whatever the hell they want.

I’m sure most men, when they are in their 20’s, don’t have a damn clue as to what they want to do with their lives, so, and I speak from personal experience, we are TOLD what to do, and we do it. They give you a solid blueprint when you are getting out of high school, college, or the military on how to live your life. Job, car, house, kids, wife. Retire after working 40 years or more. Have debt, buy toys to make others envious.

It’s all bullshit, of course, but it’s still pushed by men before you, because it was pushed by men before them.

It’s an assembly line of thought, mass produced by a society that sees men as expendable cogs in a gigantic machine. Men must provide value or die. No where does it forgive men for pursuits of their own dreams, it actually punishes men for failing to work for the greater good. Sacrifice isn’t coveted, it’s required.

The world doesn’t care about you, and never did. That was the harsh lesson I learned as I was struggling to determine my own path in life. I was told the same damn things, and did the same damn things. But what I didn’t understand, and now do, was that this life is MINE. I get to have the choice of what I do.

As I slaved away in my 20’s at my father’s business, many times pulling 80 hour work weeks, weekends, and holidays, I didn’t understand the world. I just kept my head down and worried about the daily grind, the myopic existence that many a man endures today.

The advice and blueprint handed down is a worn out piece of paper, with many a man obeying it without question for generations, without even looking for what he truly wants to be in a man, what he truly wants for himself, what world he wishes to forge. The world he enters is already forged for him, and all he has to do is make the donuts for the hungry.

Marcus Aurelius, the stoic for whom I base my worldviews on, had good points, but he also had some things he fell short on. I don’t believe a man is just his job, nor should he be. Does he exist to serve others only if he gains benefit from it? He exists to serve himself and helping others should be a valuable by-product of this service.

As I say, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Live Your Dream

A man’s role should always be that of building his world. He should have the drive to do whatever he wants and be successful at it.

You cannot truly be happy slaving under someone else’s expectations for your life.

That’s what men lack in this day and age, the BALLS to make their own decisions and risk it all for a dream that they have. Risk averse men have taken over, run by overlords who have no object but to use them for their own devices then toss them aside.

You must take control of your own life.

Are you in a job you hate? Quit.

Are you in a marriage that sucks you dry (in the bad way)? Make plans to eject.

Is your mindset that of complaining when that other guy gets what he wants, that girl goes with another dude, or you miss a chance that you didn’t take? Change it.

Men won’t change their lives because they are ignorant of the fact that they can.

When you live under a rock, all you know is the top of the rock, the soil underneath, and the darkness that engulfs your world. It’s only when the rock is moved or you decide to lift it up that you see the true environment you are living in.

I want all men, all men, to take stock of their lives at the moment.

Are you truly living the life you want?

Are you scared to take risks to attain this life?

Are you being held back by those who don’t want you to have your own life?

This is where men must be the most selfish. They must not delay in taking their lives back.

I recently did a vision board of all the things that I wanted in life. My vision board was similar to other men, and showed that I was indeed working towards the life I wanted.

Put it all down on paper. Find pictures to help you. Get it in a place where you see it everyday so that you know your work is putting you in a place YOU want to be, not someone else.

Are you living the life you want? If you aren’t, change it now.

Immediate action is required for you to get the life you want, the things you want, the freedom you want.

Many a man has taken a chance by leaving what he was supposed to do for what he wanted to do. Don’t be the man that regrets his life.

No one, not one man, looked forward to having regrets on his deathbed. This isn’t how it supposed to be. This is not the way.

I would recommend, right now, a vision board for all men to fill out.

What hobbies do you want to do? What things in life did you enjoy before you were forced to give them up? What activities gave you joy, pleasure, and a sense of accomplishment?

Put them down on paper. Then staple that paper to every place in your life.

Look at what you are doing for what you want, and make sure it’s getting you to this paper.

Do it now. Because if you don’t, you never will.


“Stop fighting your demons and start putting them to work for you.”

  • T. Wayne Hicks (Formally TW Beckett)

So as I’ve been in my self imposed monk mode for going on 6 months now, I have been able to really do some soul searching.

Through FoE (Fraternity of Excellence) and other outlets, I have been able to re-establish who I am, who I was, and who I want to be.

And the man that you all know and love is still here, but he’s going to be under a different name. A REAL name.

The man I am is the man I will present to you all. It’s not a great unveiling as much as it is an acceptance of the fact that I can’t hide from my beliefs anymore. A surname or pseudonym need not be used, especially if the man behind them has the balls to stand up for his beliefs, no matter how controversial they are.

While it’s just a change of a few characters, it’s a huge shift in this environment today. Thoughts like mine are usually cause for cancellation, ridicule, and anger. But should it be that way? Hell no.

But it is what it is. And that alone has made me leery about this decision. But I can’t stop, won’t stop. I’ve forged my life the way I want it and now, it’s time to employ my demons to make the landscape complete.

The Challenge

As my monk mode settled in during COVID, I realized that not only had I not exorcised my demons, I had made new ones.

I was so intent on being good with women, so pushing myself to overcome this ONE challenge that had dogged me my whole life, that I let everything else slip.

Sure, I was having a ton of sex with girls. I wasn’t afraid to approach anymore. I was doing well with all my dating. I had established myself as a high demand bachelor before my monk mode hit, but everything around me was failing. In my blog post, Rise, I realized this and knew that I had to stop building a life I didn’t want, but at one time had thought I wanted.

It’s hard. Thinking you want something, then you work hard as hell, going through hundreds of approaches, and when you finally get it, you realize it wasn’t what you wanted.

This is the PUA life in a nutshell. I tried to push it because I thought it was what I wanted. It wasn’t.

Sometimes the things we want aren’t the things we need. And I found that out after a year of chasing pussy all over the country.

So I had to challenge myself and my thoughts in what I truly wanted, and it all kept coming back to my life I was trying to run from. My home, my kids, my job, my business, my everything. It was all being neglected for pussy.

I knew what I had to do, I knew this wasn’t the life I wanted after a pursuit of it with reckless abandon.

I’ve often been referred to as the “Single dad playboy”, and as we know, those two worlds are not compatible. Not in the least.

When I eventually brought some of these girls home, what would my daughters think? Do I really want to be the man whore who never got his ride or die?

I’m not afraid to die alone, I am afraid of dying not knowing who I truly was, and not accepting my beliefs. It’s another case of living someone else’s life, even if I was convinced this was the type of life I wanted.

I’m not trad. I still believe in the values of game and being good with women.

I still believe in men taking control of their lives, but if I’m truly going to reflect a change, I have to start with myself, accepting the man I am and the man I want to be, real name and all.

I do realize the danger in doing this. I do realize I’m opening myself up to cancellation for simply putting out my opinions.

I’ve weighed all of this. If I’m going to truly realize my goals and my purpose, I have to meet men face to face, as Timothy Hicks. I wouldn’t be doing them a service if I played pretend, after all my railings against that exact lifestyle choice.

My reality is now a REAL reality. No more hiding in the shadows of surnames, protection from the fire, it’s time to step up.

Put Them To Work

My demons, who’ve haunted me for so long, are going to be turned into my employees. It’s time to focus them on my purpose of helping men. They will be used in teaching men what not to do.

They will be used to get men better with women, yes, but more into working on a man’s confidence and swagger. I will be continuing my journey and that’s not changing one bit.

You still get to see me as I am, as I have been, as I will be. Just as the real name me now.

It’s been quite the journey from September 2018 when the Red Pill Dad came onto the scene with his general red pill wisdom, to the change of TW Beckett and getting into the inner workings of all things single dad life.

I want to thank you all for all of your support. I have met and made some great friends during this journey, and I hope to make many more. I am going to continue to write, put in the work, and master myself and my life, but now I’ve got my demons on staff to help me further my life, as well as help other men further theirs.

The story continues when you turn the page. And this story is just getting started. I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. But now I will do it as me, Timothy Wayne Hicks, for the rest of my life.

My Journey will continue. And it’s just getting started.


“Prepare your hearts as a fortress, for there will be no other.”    

Francisco Pizarro

Superman needed space.

He needed a place to go to get the fuck away from humanity. He needed a place to be himself, to vent, to figure out the questions in his head, his place in the world, the reason he was sent to Earth. He couldn’t get that in Metropolis, a city of bustling sheep and where his slam piece, Lois Lane, was always getting herself into damn trouble.

Humans, for all their benefits, were trying for the Man of Steel. Sheep, all of them, except a very few. So he hauled ass to the North Pole, threw his crystal, and watched it turn into his own, personal, fortress.

His home, his own walls away from the shit the world was throwing at him.

He needed it.

He needed to get away from a world that, many times, took him for granted. This was his world to develop his own person, his own world.

Not a comfort zone, mind you, but a place to grow without distraction, to learn without judgement, to act without guilt.

The world saw him as a savior, but nothing more. He needed a place, a home, to grow himself as a person. He didn’t want to be a weapon to defend, he was still a person, as strange as he was.

Explore, Roots, then Build

For the younger guys out there, my advice has always been the same.

Explore your world. Travel. Find a place that touches your soul.

What place speaks to you? It doesn’t have to be fancy, the city, the country, what ever, just explore and find a place that hits you as a man and fills you with a sense of “this is home”.

It may take you years to find it, but while you’re looking, you may very well find out what Goldmund did, that your home is your soul, and wanderlust is in your blood forever.

My story? Not really very exciting. Born and raised in Indiana, and my soul is truly here. The autumn is truly the time of year that I feel my soul connect to the place I inhabit. The seasons make for a great backdrop for the changes in my life that seem to happen every year, without apology.

This is the place I wanted to live. Could I have gone elsewhere? Sure.

But this is my home. It’s the place I call mine. It’s my Fortress of Solitude.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way. After rebuilding after my marriage ended, I could’ve gone any other way, but I chose home. Indiana is where my heart is and always will be. And that, young kings, is what you have to find. A place to call yours. A fortress to build your empire out of.

The greatest empires in the world had and still have spectacular cities at the heart of their culture. Rome, for example. Still the herald of ancient cities to this day, and still exudes greatness. It’s the heart of the great empire. It’s what you need.

Your decision will come to you automatically when you see the place you are in. It won’t take very long to see that this, indeed, is the place you want to put down your roots and build your empire.

Whether it be in the mountains, beaches, valleys, woodlands, jungles, or plains of this world, there is a place that will sing to you to call home.

But the search must begin. You can’t hang your hat on a moving train. You must KNOW what you want in order to feel it. So have a plan, have an idea, and have a dream. You can’t have a home if you don’t identify what makes it that way.

If you truly don’t know yourself, you can’t know what place will work for you. Self analysis and work to set out your boundaries, likes, dislikes, joys and turn offs will only lead to you finding the place you want sooner and with less headaches.

Define yourself, then define your world.


Men ask, “Why do I need a place for me?”

It’s the most important place in the world for you. It’s where you can grow, develop your talents and skills, learn, and express yourself without the absolute shit show of the outside world intruding. It’s your place to build your world.

You have to have a sanctuary for all the bull shit. You have to have a place to go when shit gets heavy and you need to put it down. You need to have quiet, you need to have peace, and you have to make it your way.

Build strong walls and a solid foundation, to keep the world out so you can work on yourself.

This is your space, defend it with your life. No person has a right to change it, nor should they request the same of you.

Many men give up their personal space too quickly to the prospect of pussy. They change things they’ve stood by for years because a woman wants them to change.

If she wants to change you, she’s not the one for you.

This is your world. This is what you’ve built.

Imagine building your own house and busting your ass over it for YEARS, only to have someone come in with dynamite and a sledgehammer simply because she’s got a pretty face and a nice ass.

Men will sell their souls for pussy, only to find out the bill is a shit ton bigger than they ever imagined.

So they cash out, become bitter, all while living in a bubble that wasn’t created by them, but for them, but those that want to see them do other people’s bidding.

You create your world. You build your fortress. If folks don’t like it, they can take a giant fucking hike.

Your world, your rules. It’s time to say “tough” to those who can’t deal with your fortress.

You build it for yourself. You build it to get away from those that would see it destroyed. You build it as you build your boundaries.


This hasn’t changed nor will it. But men, just like Superman, have become useful tools that are only needed when the world is threatened, then discarded after the danger has passed. There’s still more for you to do. There’s still a shit ton of value you possess.

While men are primarily valued for what they provide, there are tons of other factors that determine your worth, especially to yourself. You dictate all of this.

Men have more control over their lives than they realize. They just need to take the step to build the walls that enforce that.

You are Superman. You aren’t governed by anything except your own desires, needs, and wants. You control you life, so start building your fortress.

You will appreciate the fact that you did for the rest of your life.


Image Credit: Blog Talk Radio

In the blink of an eye, she appeared just behind me at the bar. I hadn’t seen her all night, but somehow, she had seen me. After she casually said hello, I treated her with the same lack of attention that she had done to me so many times 4 years ago.

I was talking to several regulars at the bar about the usual things, COVID, sports being back and maybe going away again, Trump, the police, and race issues. The debate was good enough that I failed to notice her looking at me most of the night, until after she came up, then I noticed more and more. She was trying to catch my eye, but I wasn’t having it.

We had met 4 years ago while I was in the death throes of my “nice guy” phase. I would see her at my local watering hole as she was a regular there.

I always wanted to get in her pants. First I tried the “be nice” approach. Talking with her, ordering her drinks, paying her tab. Didn’t work, she wasn’t having any of it.

Then the inevitable ignoring her, all while secretly hoping she’d see the dude I was and come running. Still nothing. She played the game well and was well versed in what a nice guy does. She’d seen it all before and I represented zero challenge. She was just like any other girl I lusted after while in my beta phases. Trying to figure out the combination for 2 years yielded my nothing but questions on what I was doing wrong.

But then that night at the bar….

Changing the Narrative

When a guy goes from the nice guy to the real guy, his priorities shift. But what doesn’t usually shift is the way women saw him and the way they still see him.

No matter the distance between the guy you were and the guy you really are, she’s not buying it, because she was sold on the guy you were and that made an indelible mark on her.

No matter the strides you made, no matter the weight you lost, no matter the style you have, the fairy tale of a self confirmed beta nice guy getting into the pants of the girl of his dreams after changing himself for her seldom comes to fruition.

And that’s the rub. I’ve seen men completely change themselves all for the possibility of the love of a woman they wanted in their lives, only to watch as despite all of their work, she still sees them as the man they were.

What they say about first impressions? That’s pretty dead on balls accurate.

The main motivating factor for all of this should be for you to change yourself for yourself, not for others. But guys will have plastic or bariatric surgery, spend thousands on a new wardrobe, get Lasik, or other things, not for themselves, but for the love of a woman.

Guys will literally replace their old personas in a matter of weeks or months in order to get the girl.

But what they have to understand is that this whole narrative doesn’t exist because she refused to allow it.

She saw you as a non-sexual entity. As far as being able to turn that piece around, it’s very difficult.

I see a lot of men trying to get some sort of success porn revenge on the women who turned them down by living successfully, however, they aren’t living successfully by shifting their entire persona. They are quite literally playing the game she’s dictating. They’re letting her decide what they do to try to get her in their lives.

It’s a matter of the “right lesson, wrong application” syndrome that recovering nice guys try to apply. The whole point is to either show her up or get her to accept you as a sexual being. It doesn’t work that way, because she doesn’t fucking care.

Women are going to size you up in a few moments and if you aren’t there to shine, there’s rarely a reason to keep going. Now I’ve seen romance bloom after YEARS of not seeing the person and seeing a new man come forward, but you don’t have that kind of time, and that also means she has to be out of your life, which ain’t happening if you’re pinning your hopes on this latest stunt to get her.

Grant Her Wish

After making it more than apparent that she was indeed looking at me that night, I smiled, paid my tab, and left the bar without so much as a word to her.

I know she was wanting to talk to me, but I didn’t want to talk to her.

I knew how she felt, but more importantly, I knew how I felt. I didn’t change myself to be with her. I changed myself to get rid of girls exactly like her.

And her first wish was the one she meant. She wasn’t attracted to me in that way. And no amount of polarity, tension, or PUA techniques would change it. She was probably good for a lay, but when you see a girl not be attracted to you, believe her, regardless of your improvements.

This is what guys fail to realize. They do whatever it takes to WIN the girl, but never wonder if they should. More times that not, winning the girl means losing in life, because the life you built up just for HER is not compatible with the life you wanted.

Pussy is powerful, but it shouldn’t be.

Men will change their lives in detrimental ways in pursuit of it, without even a care as to the consequences.

You, as a man, HAVE to be able to see the forest from the trees. It is absolutely imperative that men be able to take their eye and put it on the real prize, a life they actually want, versus the women of their dreams.

But here we are in 2020, having the discussions of what “gets me the girl”.

One thing that game, PUA, and the manosphere have taught me is it’s never about the girl.

The girl brings good things in your life, but only as an accessory to what you are doing.

When your world revolves around her, it ceases to be yours.

It’s now hers. And she doesn’t want the damn thing.

She never did. It’s an idea concocted in your head and your head alone.

Which is why the crashing disappointment is a vicious cycle that men can very seldom get out of. Imagine if you will, a woman of your dreams, the dream girl that you can’t live without. She comes up to talk to you, excited to see the new person you’ve become, and you walk away from it. You walk away from all of it. Why?

Because she’s not the answer to your prayers. She’s the antithesis to your expectations.

Stop thinking she’s your world. She doesn’t want to be. And do what I did. Regardless of your past feelings for her, make the right decision to avoid something that could be worse than you could possibly imagine.

A girl that wants to be a part of your life leaves no doubt.

But you still, of course, have to approach.


“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

5 months ago, as 2020 was turning into the dumpster fire we see today, I made a decision that would change my life.

I decided to change my life.

I had been tripping around America for almost a year, meeting new people and wonderful women, exploring, going on excursions to new cities by myself, enjoying the new life that I had yearned for for so long.

But a funny thing happened as I was doing this…

I realized I wasn’t where I wanted to be.

Not in terms of location, mind you. I saw much of the US that I’d never seen and was doing it alone, for the first time in my life.

But the base, the home, the foundation of myself wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

I was making major strides with women, a weakness I had vowed to correct. My game was getting better, and I was meeting and enjoying beautiful women all over the country.

I had met the men of FoE and forged tighter bonds with them.

I had met Twitter people who became friends and more. Great folks who I truly thank for having in my life.

New things started occurring when I came back from my last trip. And no, it wasn’t COVID, but the timing was the same.

Hard Realizations

It was time for a good ol’ fashioned self imposed time out.

It was time to get the sectors of my life in order, starting with finances, fitness, mental health, my kids, and my home base.

This base to which I tethered to was not what it should have been. It was rotting from the inside out.

My finances were suffering, I was increasing my debt after I had just spent 3 years whittling it down from $75,000 to just under $23,000. But I was racking up credit card debt with my traveling, wining and dining women, and spending money on meetups with new friends. Something had to give, and it was my wallet.

I had never fully committed to doing all I could to get my debt down. I had hoped I could just wing it by half-assing it, and it didn’t work.

The debt principles I’ve lived with my whole life were being ignored in the pursuit of a good time, and while I had a lot (a whole lot) of fun, when I got back to see the receipts I was writing checks my ass couldn’t cash.

My kids were suffering from my absence. My oldest daughter had a panic attack in November and was going through the teenage angst a bit early, and with me not there to help her, it was left to her mother, who tried her damnedest to carry it, but ultimately couldn’t. She needed her dad. She needed the calming presence that I had become to her, but I was gone a lot. She couldn’t keep it in line.

We ended up having to work with my daughter in therapy, and had I not been here for any of that, I don’t think she would be where she is now. But more on that later.

My home was being neglected. For four years I’ve lived here and not once have I made an effort to really take back control of my house. Landscaping, keeping it clean, minor repairs, all left undone while I tromped around not caring if they ever did get done. I didn’t have a nice place that I could call my home, it was a pit where I threw my shit in between airport visits.

My work was suffering. As an owner of a small business, I had to step away time and time again, leaving others to handle issues that should have been handled by me. Important, company changing issues that need my attention. It was only after COVID hit that I understood the scope of what my company was dealing with, and if I wasn’t there to face it with the other owners and employees head on, let’s just say we’d be on thin ice.

And finally, my mental health needed a reset. I was constantly traveling, driving, eating out, staying in Airbnbs and hotels, all over the place. I was tired, burning the candle at both ends at times, meeting new people but never having time to really get myself right. Vacations weren’t vacations, and it was becoming difficult to balance it all.

So, against everything inside of me that was saying keep going, let the world sort itself out, I stopped and held up. I was planning trips for April, May and June, and then COVID hit. I still could’ve gone, I thought. Rack up some more debt but then be done and take the winter to catch up.

Wasn’t happening. Not even close.

Presence Required

When COVID hit in March, the uncertainty of it all hit my life like a ton of bricks. My business started to suffer due to closures of customers, trucks backed up, and we were left to scramble to figure out what to do. Had I not been there, I don’t know what would’ve happened. But the team all got together and after having to furlough several employees and part ways with a couple of others, we had stabilized in May. Small business has been kicked in the nuts during this pandemic for sure, and my team made it happen.

My daughter, after having multiple panic attacks and increased anxiety, went to intense therapy with me at her side. It was a struggle at first as she did not want to talk about what she was going through, but with our family together again, my ex and I co-parenting strongly with my presence there, she started to improve little by little. She was put on medication after seeing what a small dose did to improve her mood. She was put on the same medicine I am on, Zoloft, and we’ve seen her life improve this summer and do a complete 180 in terms of her outlooks on life.

My attendance in her life at this crucial moment was imperative. She needed the calm, guiding, levelheadedness that I provided, as well as her mother’s staunch work to keep her calm. Our whole family came together and broke through. It would not have happened unless I hit the reset button.

After gaining 15 lbs over my travels, I had to take care of my fitness once and for all. I hired a personal trainer to help me get to my goal, life goal of 15% body fat. I knew I was headed back down a road I didn’t want to go to, and while in decent shape, I wasn’t where I wanted to be. So I dropped everything and started to seriously take my fitness into account. I threw out all the old, bad food. I started getting to sleep at 9-10pm instead of 1-2am. I had already stopped drinking, but I took more steps to remove bad food from my life. No more eating out at fast food, no more carbs. The time to fuck around had passed.

And with that, I decided to completely renovate the outside of my house. I started by tearing out all the old landscaping and redid the entirety of my home in new mulch, landscaping guard, and decor. New hose reels, siding repairs, wood trim replacement, chairs, tables, and power washing. I was determined to get control of my home again.

My debt needed to be reigned in. I cancelled all credit cards except my business one. I started to throw entire paychecks at my bank debt from my divorce. I then chewed through my credit card debt. Knocking out over $14,000 in just 4 months, I currently sit (as of this blog post) at $8000 left to pay my ex-wife for my settlement. And I’m not looking back.

All of this combined has improved my mental health. I joined a men’s group to continue to improve my mind as well as help other men try to work on their lives. My home, now handled, became a place of peace, where I could work and live without stress. As of this writing, I’m sitting on my improved back porch typing, with everything cleaned, fixed, and improved.

The Goal

So what’s the point of this self imposed exile?

It was and always has been about getting better.

When you feel like you’re the best you can be, you don’t see that there are ALWAYS areas you can improve.

My whole life has been 75%. I would do up to about 3/4 of the improvement then stop and do something else.

Not this time.

This time, I will see it through. This is my future. I’m trying to shape my life the way I want it, and half to 3/4 ass isn’t going to cut it.

It’s time to stop playing games and start pushing through the tough bits to get to where I want to be.

Debt free except the house.

15% body fat.

Stress reduced living.

Making moves in my side hustle.

Continuing to help men get through their lives.

Monk mode is needed for you to get better.

Take the time to work on yourself with no distractions, no apologies, and no bullshit.

You have the keys to it, you just have to cut out the meaningless crap to get through it.

And it never stops.

My self imposed exile will end at the end of this year. At that time, I will have:

  • Lost almost 100 lbs
  • Paid off over $75,000 of debt
  • Created a safe, healthy mental environment for myself and my family
  • Made my home a better place to live

All of this to take off into 2021. Regardless of what happens, I’ll know that the steps I took this year put me ahead for good, and I’m not looking back.


Photo Credit: Spongebob Squarepants

I think my father’s proud of me.

He’s not a man of many words, and his whole life, he’s avoided positive reinforcement of his kids. My grandparents raised him with 0 accolades of good work, words of encouragement, or just a “good job” every once in a while. It was seen as weakness to show affection or even positive rearing, because you still had work to do and you were never done. My father went on to be a successful entrepreneur, starting three companies and making them into multi-million dollar endeavors.

But even with all of his hard work and success, his parents really never complimented him on his accomplishments. So he was brought up with the impression that regardless of your wins, you can’t celebrate them. You can’t feel good about them.

Terrible way to grow up, but it was what it was.

But my dad still, at times, complimented me, as far apart as those compliments might have been. I know he cared and was rooting for me, but the fact that he was raised to see praise as a weakness was reason enough for me to understand exactly what he was going through and to know when he was happy for me and my accomplishments. I just knew.

I think a lot of the men of the baby boomer generation had the same thing happen to them. Their parents endured World War II and had to sacrifice so much, I don’t imagine there were many thanks for them for doing the basic day to day when they were busy taking a beachhead, watching their friends die in battle, and avoiding artillery shells.

But with my father, I don’t necessarily think he was fishing for compliments, I believe he was wanting SUPPORT for what decisions he was making in his life, and too often, parents are at odds with their kids on what constitutes a success.

Many parents push their kids to do jobs they believe are “successful” while putting their kids in the automated line of living a life that society tells them is the life to live.

It’s the same story we were all told.

Go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, get a house, get a car, and live happily ever after.

Applied emphasis on go to college here.

I was told that college was the key to getting a high paying, successful job with tons of benefits.

But now, we are seeing fallout of that. Kids who were told to join the rat race the way their parents wanted them to are disappointed and lost in their professional lives, and worst of all, stuck.

Living Vicariously


Because many parents are convinced that their kids can only make their lives good by doing what they say to the letter. And this is increasingly becoming problematic as kids get older and realize that they could have lived a dream instead of living their parent’s dreams.

They, like many other parents, have bought into society’s production lines of what success really means. Many people, including myself, bought into this and did what we were “supposed” to do. I wasn’t necessarily pushed by my parents, however, but my career arc followed those of many other kids in the 90’s, the idea of college was required.

We saw a shocking move away from trade schools and other things earlier in this century because of this mindset. And it was driven by parents who thought they underachieved.

Parents feel like they didn’t succeed in their lives, so they pour everything into their kids. And when their kids have the gall to decide to do something different from their parents, and kids, who are just looking to their parents for support and acceptance, get emotionally dropped kicked for doing what they love to do.

I understand parents pushing kids to do things. It’s understood that there are many young adults out there without a rudder who need a push. But the push doesn’t come from providing opportunities to these kids, it comes from parents who think they know better than their kids on what’s best for them.

This is where parents need to take the wheel in a different way. As a father of two daughters, I don’t try to push my kids into making life choices that I would approve of. I approve of their happiness doing what they want.

My job is to show them opportunities that they may want to take, give them a look into all things in this world to see if they like it. My oldest daughter is into robotics because it was an interest I saw for her and she now loves it. Not only that, but she also wants to be an engineer and do robotics for a living, and I support all of that. When I see something my kids love, I pour all my resources into that passion for them, because watching them light up with excitement is what I’m about as a parent.

My journey to this side of the world has been filled with men who are making their dreams come true by dropping the 9-5 and doing what they love, regardless of what it is. I’m not sure if their parents are proud or not, but it doesn’t matter. These guys are seeing a shift in their thinking that was hammered into them at a young age and taking the world by the balls.

Success isn’t defined by what society thinks, it’s defined by what YOU think.

The risk you take by doing something you love, even if the world thinks it’s ridiculous or wastes time, pays off when you’re happy.

And people will give you a ton of flack for it. But thinking against the crowd has resulted in some of the biggest successes in life.


I’m certainly not rubber-stamping ALL activities (drugs, etc), but I see kids lacking motivation for activities their parents deem important and this is where the disconnect turns into a chasm.

So as a parent, you want to avoid pigeonholing your kids into things you liked or were forced to like as a kid.

What’s the greatest asset a parent can have with their kids?

An open mind.

Especially when it comes to hobbies, interests, and eventually, a career they love.

And if what you do is of interest to them, introduce them to it with the same patience you would with anything else.

My youngest daughter wants to play trombone and become a writer like her dad. That makes me happy, but more happy because SHE chose it, rather than me making her choose it. And if she changes her mind, so be it.

But I want my kids to live their lives on their terms, not on my agenda.

They deserve to be given opportunities to find something they love. So as a parent, you facilitate those opportunities and watch them either love it or leave it. That’s what you do as a parent. That’s what we should do as a society.

I see a ton of failure to launch kids who are unmotivated because they didn’t have parents who led them to something they loved. They tried what their parents wanted them to, hated it, and are now left with purgatory where they have to choose job, military, or nothing.

We have to give our kids options to show them that they can do anything, yes, anything that they love. The understanding that success isn’t linear nor is it a cookie cutter blue print is key in getting your kids to the point of loving life and their choices. Regret is a bitch and we all see it all the time.

I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I am. I want to do more, I will.

All because my parents didn’t have an agenda for me to follow, even if they were and are skeptical of my current trajectory, they love me and my abilities. That’s the key here. You can’t make a pumpkin seed grow into a carrot, no matter the amount of water, sunlight, or oxygen. So you grow it into the best damn pumpkin you can.

So let’s take the glass ceiling and walls off of our kids and support their endeavors, all while showing them more things that they may take an interest in.

The thought shouldn’t be “why would you do that?”

It should be “what else can I show you about that?”

Kids deserve a cheerleader, not an agenda.

Make Believe

It was past 6:30. He was late.

“Jesus I hope he’s okay”, I thought. “Fuck this is so bad he may try to off himself”, I mumbled. I couldn’t stop worrying. I’d already downed two tall beers waiting on him, and a third was on deck.

He showed up disheveled, but in one piece.

“Sorry, man, I just got off work. It’s been a rough couple of days”, he stammered.

“I’d imagine”, I talked back.

“So what the fuck is going on? She cheated on you?”

“Yea, with one of my friends. At least I think so. She’s already left the house with the kids when she knew I knew, so….”, he looked exhausted.

This once proud man, who now was a shell of his former self, had the “perfect life”. He had a wife, 3 children, and, according to his social media, a white picket fence life of pure happiness. He worked as a dispatch operations manager for a large trucking company, successful, his wife was a stay at home mom who had recently gotten a new job after she had studied to be an accountant.

For years, this couple was the toast of my trucking friends circle. Beautiful house, a loving family, the whole dream that we are told that we should all aspire to, and the friend get-togethers were the best. Always smiling, rarely stressed, the picture of happiness. Family pictures every year, vacations, their social media was abuzz with the facade of perfection, joy, and general envy of all those around them.

He didn’t know where to start. I could see he was reeling. As he started to tell me what happened, I began to see the cracks in his facade.

“Dude, dude, you have to be kidding. You’ve always been the perfect couple. The marriage everyone wanted. What happened?” I asked in disbelief.

As he sat across from me on that humid August night, sipping a beer, nearly in tears, he then realized that his marriage had been an elaborate game of pretending. And now, shit got real.

The house, the cars, the wife, the kids, the life, all of it, was an elaborate ruse to show people how life was “supposed” to be, but not how it was. He was putting on a show, an expensive, debt crushing, false act whose consequences were now inevitably showing themselves in his mind.

And the more he spoke about it, the more terrified he became. It was hitting, it was real now, all the shit was falling down around him, and all he could do was watch.

She had cheated. She had gone outside the marriage. This perfect picture he had built, on a rusty foundation of lies, bitterness, jealousy, and mistrust, was gone. When the cameras were snapping, it was the picturesque family life. But when they turned off, the dark side of the marriage came up.

He explained that the arguments were off the charts. He would go so far as to punish the kids for not lying about how happy they were when they talked to their friends. He was in debt hundreds of thousands of dollars. He had a boat, two cars, a camper, and a gigantic house.

All for the show, it seems. All for show.

Paint the Picture

As he stuttered through his sentences, trying to grasp the gravity of his situation, I thought about my own marriage. I was struggling with my own life. I was still married, but not two years earlier, my wife and I had gotten ourselves a gigantic, 4300 sq ft house with 4 car garage, pool, two wings, and plenty of space for guests. We dreamed of entertaining our guests, making them envious of our new space, all while painting the picture of two people very much in love with each other and their lives being a natural growth of that.

But, under the picture perfect house and world….

  • My wife and I weren’t having sex, nor were we engaged in a marriage, it was now a business partnership.
  • I was killing myself at work at the time to pay for this monstrosity.
  • My kids were having issues at school and were seeing the dead marriage manifest itself into other areas

But what we were doing as a couple was trying to cover up the fact that we were both miserable. And the only thing that this house and this life did was stress the cracks that were already there, and they were getting bigger.

All of this happening as my friend poured over his drink talking about his wife’s betrayal to him. But was this a betrayal to him? After all, the dude he was wasn’t the dude he was portraying himself to be. She was cheating on that other guy, not the man who sat before me.

For 2 decades, he had carefully crafted a narrative and told his family to live by it, damn the consequences.

So they did, convincing themselves everyday that this was their life, even if it was the furthest thing from the truth.

And all of their friends, including myself, were playing the game as well. We all wanted to be pictured as successful, happy, and driven because, well, envy and adulation gives you that dopamine kick and makes you think you’re doing well, even when you aren’t even close.

So I made decisions that would come to haunt me in my future, all because I wanted to be liked and admired.

When people would ask, I’d lie. I had to. They saw my posts, they saw my life, I know they wanted to be just like me, successful, happy, and confident. But I was none of those things. Friends who I’d known for longer started to understand my moods. They knew I was lying about my life. And it took me talking to my therapist about it to realize that my life was a fiction.

But here’s the really scary thing. It seemed as if every person was inventing a life to be seen on social media.

Husbands cheating on their wives and the family showing a perfect face every time the camera was on.

Financial ruin or layoff that was played off as the rubble burned.

“Keep your face in front of your friends. Don’t let them know you struggle.”

And more and more of my friends were trying like hell to bury the body of their failed lives by buying new things, all while smiling as the snake bit their calf and the venom circulated in their body.

“You can’t show people weakness, they’ll not respect you….”

I was told this on many occasions.

You Can’t Invent A Life

Showing you have the perfect life most often means it’s not perfect.

Being married doesn’t guarantee good advice.

Being successful in view very rarely means you are behind the scenes.

We invent these lives because it’s not about what we want, it’s about what we want to prove.

Be careful, young kings and queens, putting your faith in those who’s world looks perfect from the outside, but on the inside, it’s crumbling.

Your advice should come from the goods, the bads, and the uglies of the marriage world.

The iceberg tends to be bigger under the water.

As I found out from my friend that night, you can’t invent a life, and you sure as hell can’t put band-aids on it to fix it if it’s irretrievably broken.

But people will try to keep the mirage going, many times to a terrible detriment to their own mental and physical health, to show everyone else that they are the best, they are successful, they are better than you.

And it’s more relationships than you think. And the ones who outwardly give advice are the ones who so desperately need to take it. And their friends will defend them to the hilt until the billboard sign falls and charred remains of the fake life are there for all to see.

It all looks so good on paper, in photos, in the eyes of those you wish to impress, but if it’s all a sham, why even do it? People who see you for the person you pretend to be were never going to be your true friends anyway. They glom on to whoever is most successful in their eyes, amateur bullshit artists looking for someone who plays the game better than they do so they can emulate the pretend life.

Social media has given us the opportunity to pretend to be someone we’re not with much more ease and less push back. So many people gun the throttle into this new life and make mistake after mistake eventually leading to disastrous consequences, but like when a Miss America contestant falls and tries to get back up with a smile, it’s going to ring hollow for those that you are trying to impress.

It’s a pissing contest that way too many people are playing way too often. And it’s time for all of us to stop and accept the reality that we sometimes aren’t successful, sometimes we fail spectacularly, and sometimes, yes, we can’t be the best we can be because of limitations.

We worry far too often about the opinions of people we don’t like, but are desperate to impress.

Wanna impress? Try being real. I’ve had times in my life I’ve been called out for lying. Blatantly, and the only thing I felt was shame for trying to bullshit the bullshitters. I felt bad I got caught, not the fact that I actually fucking lied.

My life is boring as fuck, but that’s the way I like it. I travel to meet people on Twitter, I type a blog, I own a small family owned company, I am divorced with two great kids. I don’t scream excitement.


Let’s stop pretending. It’s a sham and you know it, so take down the walls and have folks see you for who you really are. You’ll make more life long friends that way, and you’ll also have less stress of trying to hold up the curtain in Oz.

And if you are pretending, hold tight on giving advice to others. You’re putting on a show for the audience but when you speak the bullshit that people are really listening to, you are forcing them to put on a show as well that they aren’t ready to perform.

It’s time to stop the make believe. That’s the real red pill.