Driven

When I was younger, I used to drive. And I mean drive. When I was in the midst of thought about my purpose, my meaning, and in those years, my unhealthy continued pining for a girlfriend, which I specifically thought was my purpose.

Damn, how far I’ve come.

Those days, living in my two bedroom apartment in Indianapolis, IN, with my two best buds and immediate family as the only outside contact for me, working 14-18 hour days on a cold dock, I had to wonder what the hell my life was going to become.

Dealing with eternal anxiety, with OCD thrown in to boot, I had just struggled through 4 years of college with no clue on how my life was going to go. Terrified to go anywhere, relapsing my senior year of college, still a virgin, I was told to go to work, get a car, get a job, and the wife / kids thing would come into place. I was at an impasse in my life, but really? I wasn’t. I was at an imaginary wall. A point that didn’t even exist but for in my own fucking cranium. I was to grind eternally at work until I was ready to have a family, and then I would find a wife and do the life thing.

Except, I was struggling with finding a girlfriend. My horrible social skills had culminated at that point in my life with just 5 dates, several kisses and an impromptu blowjob for hanging a girl’s vertical blinds. I was 23 years old.

So, in the midst of this “pretend” crisis in my life and it was a “pretend” crisis, because I didn’t see what real crises people were going through. In my shitty little world, it was all about me and my “pretend” crisis, but it led me to a tactic that has helped me sort through the difficult issues of my life, more difficult than this minor bullshit, and it is, driving.

I used to saddle up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, get into my GMC Truck, and drive. I drove for hours. For a few years, it was on I-465 (the loop) around Indy, then in the boonies around my stomping ground near Greenwood, IN. I would just drive. A full tank of gas would drown out the anxiety. One night, I drove to Fort Wayne and back, a 3 1/2 hour jaunt, and my longest drive was in the middle of the night on a Saturday night to Chicago and back.

I just drove. Why? Because it cleared my mind. It allowed me to make sense of the senseless. And with the growth of my own character, it has become an indispensable asset in my quest to seek truth in my own life as well as take real time to make real decisions that I know need time to simmer.

Alone With Thoughts

What many people don’t understand, especially people who believe that they don’t need it, is that time alone is one of the most valuable things you can possess. With men these days, they barely have enough time to process everything in their lives, let alone taking an hour a day to get the fuck away from it all. Wife, kids, job, family, bills, etc, it all coalesces at their front door and won’t go away. So he copes, deals, and but never fully exorcises those demons. And they don’t go away…

The only way many men could and should cope is by having a healthy amount of alone time.

When I was single in my 20’s, I pined for a woman because I felt very alone. And I was, I didn’t have many friends, and only in 2003 (5 years after graduation from college) did I finally start to understand that that alone time I so foolishly squandered pondering for a girlfriend was and should have been used to get to know myself, travel, explore, and understand what I wanted. I was so focused on getting to the goals set for me by others that I completely forgot to set goals for myself! My life was being lived for others.

So I drove.

Between 1998 and 2003, I easily logged 50,000 miles on my truck just driving. Two – three times a week I would drive. I would drive, and drive, and drive. And it was invaluable to clear my head.

As 2003 ended, when I was lost at the beginning of the year, I had a girlfriend and was headed to marriage in 2005. I was still lost, but I felt that at least I had some kind of direction, even if it was the direction that I truly, deep down, thought I didn’t want to go, at least I had accomplished what my family and others were wanting me to accomplish.

It would be a decade before I finally got the hint that my life needed to change.

As my decision to divorce in 2015 finalized with my official divorce almost 4 years ago, I was again on the road in my Jetta. The drive has been indispensable to me as an effective means of getting my mind right and clearing out so I can make good decisions about my life.

But now, instead of having to make decisions based on what everyone else wanted of me, I now make them for me.

Being Alone and Being Lonely

There are vast differences between the two. Being alone is a vital part of a person who is mentally fit and healthy’s life. It is an important aspect that many millions of people don’t use as an effective way to stem the tide of anxiety and depression. Instead, they hope for a pill to make them all better. And that mentality has us where we are today.

Being lonely was a big part of my life. I wanted to have folks in my life. But make no mistake, being lonely was a “me” issue. It wasn’t anyone else’s fault. You can be alone and be completely happy. And you can be lonely and be terribly unhappy. The tie that binds is the fact that both are completely your issue as well as how your perspective runs. It’s all internal, it’s all manifested in how you are able to process your time by yourself. Many people feel sorry for themselves. Many struggle to take the time to understand that their alone time isn’t a time to pine for what they don’t have. It’s a time to appreciate what they do have, who they are, and how valuable they are to themselves.

Alone time is a REQUIREMENT. You cannot function as a person unless you have time to decompress. Whether it be meditation, breathing, or just 10 minutes of quiet, you have a choice to make yourself a priority in your life, and alone time does just that. As I often say, “You cannot pour from an empty cup.”

So I drive.

The miles of pavement, the lights, the quiet. The stop signs, the horizon, the clouds, the sky. The potholes, the road hazards, the other drivers. The world without physically touching the world. I let my mind wander and contemplate. I need to process my thoughts, my emotions, my world.

So I drive.

Snow, sleet, rain, fog, day, night. Headlights gleaming through the night, or reflecting on the other passing cars. The shadows of buildings, the neon lights of 24 hour joints, the letters on a sign falling down. The places still in business, the places out of business. I have to figure things out, but I have all the time in the world because, as the world goes, I drive through it. Time stops when you’re driving. Night becomes forever. Yellow lines pass into infinity under your tires. I have to figure things out.

So I drive.

You have to let yourself be with yourself, by yourself. People that don’t give you that time are clingy, needy people. There has to be boundaries for you to have this time. There have to be lines people can’t cross where your self care trumps everyone else (and it does). My self care was non-existent for over 20 years. I had to get away from the world to get myself right. I had to escape to have some time to figure things out.

So I drive.

Last night, I was driving in Phoenix, AZ. I decided, with a bit of excitement, to take a lesser route back to Tucson. I wanted to go away and be by myself deep in the Arizona desert. So I got on US 60 and took off east towards Tucson. I was in nothing but desert, with only the mountains and brush for company. I needed to see the desert, the real desert, not the I-10 passing by desert. I got out of my car on several occasions and took pictures, but I noticed one thing….silence.

The desert is so quiet. Many folks would be unnerved by the silence, even being afraid of being out in the middle of nowhere at night in the desert. But not me. I had to think. I knew myself, and I knew that I was okay. I wasn’t concerned about anything but getting my thoughts out and being content with this world. And I smiled, knowing this part of my life, this world I’ve created for myself, is the most contented I have ever been. It’s amazing what a good drive in an amazing world can do for a person.

So, if you find yourself wondering about yourself, wondering about your world, may I recommend a drive. As the song below states, a song I’ve loved since college “The road unwinds towards me, What was there is gone, The road unwinds before me, And I go riding on”.

Take a drive. You’ll be thankful for that time to unwind and be alone. It’s not only therapeutic, but it’s a requirement. Alone time. Try it sometime.

Driven up and down in circles
Skidding down a road of black ice
Staring in and out storm windows
Driven to a fool’s paradise

It’s my turn to drive
But it’s my turn to drive

Driven to the margin of error
Driven to the edge of control
Driven to the margin of terror
Driven to the edge of a deep, dark hole

Driven day and night in circles
Spinning like a whirlwind of leaves
Stealing in and out back alleys
Driven to another den of thieves

It’s my turn to drive
But it’s my turn to drive

Driven to the margin of error
Driven to the edge of control
Driven to the margin of terror
Driven to the edge of a deep, dark hole
Driven in, driven to the edge
Driven out on the thin end of the wedge
Driven off by things I’ve never seen
Driven on by the road to somewhere I’ve never been

Driven on, driven in on the thin end of the wedge
Driven out, driven to the edge
It’s my turn to drive
But it’s my turn to drive

The road unwinds towards me
What was there is gone
The road unwinds before me
And I go riding on

It’s my turn to drive
But it’s my turn to drive

Driven to the margin of error
Driven to the edge of control
Driven to the margin of terror
Driven to the edge of a deep, dark hole
Driven to the edge of a deep, dark hole

Relationship Post Mortem

While my blog tends to cover the same ground as other Red Pill bloggers in terms of what I’ve already learned, I am trying to make a conscious effort to also show that I am still learning what it means to be Red Pill.  When I reference any of these writers whom have inspired me, I try to show how the information affected me, as well as how good the information is in general for any man looking to unplug.

But what happens with that information when I try to apply it to my life? 

One thing that I am learning to do now as an over 40 aware man that I never did before in my 20’s or 30’s is to analyze myself in how I am doing in my life.  This includes my personal goals, my fitness goals, my goals learning game, and my relationship goals.  Self actualization and analysis used to be something I thought was an absolute waste of time, and being plugged in, why wouldn’t I think that?

But emerging into this new Red Pill world, writing down and recording my goals and how to achieve them, and critiquing and then analyzing my behavior in a relationship or during an approach can yield massive amounts of information to help assist me in doing better next time. 

One of the things I want to share in this blog, upcoming podcast, and videos, is how a man in my position deals with these challenges.  I want you to see my progress, because many of you don’t know where to start, how to proceed, and what to analyze.  I want you to read, listen, and watch me, because deep down if I can help one man get through the same issues I have, then I’m doing what I set out to do. 

In my interactions with women, I’m trying to learn the ways of the Red Pill, and not just in the realm of pickup.  I also am trying to analyze my relationships with women, both past and current, to see where I can be better.  So, in the spirit of this experimentation, I am going to publish a post mortem of a relationship that ended for me just recently. 

To begin, let me say that I fell into some major beta traps in this relationship.  I can freely admit I screwed up, and making that statement is hard enough for a man who just broke up with his girlfriend.  But there were also major strides made.  As a blue pill, especially in past relationships, it would have never come to me to think of questions as I analyze my actions. 

I’ll now go through some of the words buzzing through my mind as I start my post mortem, then describe what happened, and throw in details of what I feel I could’ve done.  And yes, I expect many of you will be shaking your heads until your neck hurts.  It’s an honest approach from me, and I made many mistakes on this.

Background:  I met this particular girl at a mutual friend’s party, and while I wasn’t necessarily looking for anything long term, we hit it off.  She was a year younger than me.  She approached me as I was talking to another friend, and we began to talk.  She was an HB 7, and in good shape.  I asked for her number, she gave it, and asked her out via text.  She accepted, only after calling our mutual friends to make sure I wasn’t trying to just bed her and move on.  I replied with, “Whatever happens, happens.”  Also, a very big red flag came up that I ignored.  She had just broke up with her boyfriend of two years the same day we met.

Dating:  We proceeded to go out several times, including a breakfast first date, however, she was a single mom, and did not have much family around her, nor very many babysitters, so it was hard for her to get out.  I had three evening dates with her, many lunches, and many sexual rendezvous on her work days when she was working from home.  Sex was good.   I would always make the plans and surprise her (a very alpha move), but I was beta hooked.  I was developing oneitis.  After a month and a half, she insisted I meet her daughter.  She met my kids.  It was moving fast.  Too fast. 

Epiphany:  She met my family.  Our kids met each other.  I was realizing this speed was problematic.  It was when we started the family outings on weekends I had my kids that I started to realize this was moving at a break neck speed and needed to slow or stop.  She kept saying everything about me was amazing.  Sex with me was “incredible”, she said.  She “cared for me”.  She insisted on spending time with my family, especially during Thanksgiving.  Never once did she say “ILY” (I love you), but I figured it was coming.

Then, after a more stressing family outing, she started to distance herself. 

Aside:  I have noticed in a few of my relationships, especially ones with women who have hit their wall (34-41), that these women have a 90 day trial with any new man.  If they don’t like where the relationship is headed, I have observed that just before 3 months, they start to become distant and make plans for an exit.  I cannot tell you if this happens to other women under these ages, but I would love input if it does. 

Finale:  With the speed of this relationship finally ramping down (because we both saw the signs), I decided to make a decision.  All the plans we made for the future were vanishing one by one, as we both started to reign it in.  Potential vacations cancelled, kids activities where we wanted to attend were dropped, and finally, on a cold Thursday morning, I called to tell her that we needed a break.  She sobbed, but understood.  After a weekend of no contact (that’s the rule, dammit), she emailed me back a long, drawn out email saying that I was too “alpha” for her.  I was dictating the terms (which I wasn’t), but my feeling is it was a cop out for her to go back to her “beta” provider boyfriend before me.  She said she was an alpha also.  She wasn’t.  She had other irons in the fire.

A short email was sent by her after that, ending it.

Retrospective:   So what happened?  I now know.  And it wasn’t good on my part.  Not at all.  Let’s just put it this way, it should have never moved past casual dating, but I let it.  I wish I would’ve been too “alpha”, but I wasn’t.  Not even close.  Let’s look at the tape.

Credit:  SocialMettle

Alpha parts of the relationship: 
1.  I never texted first.  She would always text me first, and on only two occasions do I remember texting her first.
2.  I led.  Or at least tried to.  On most occasions, I made the plans, I picked the places, I kept her on her toes.  I kept the surprises coming.  She would make plans occasionally, and I went along, but this was one of her major gripes as she felt she didn’t have a say in our relationship.  She did.
3.  Eye contact.  I kept it all the time with her.  I made sure she knew I was there with my eyes.
4.  Honesty.  I made sure I was up front all the time.  At this point in my life, lying is pointless and time consuming.
5.  I cut it off.  After seeing the writing on the wall, I got out while I could.  This was the best decision I could have made in this situation.

Beta parts of the relationship:
1.  Oneitis.  I got it, I fell for her.  No way around it.  We went too fast, and I let it happen. 
2.  Thirst.  I would go out of my way to go to her place (40 minutes away) to have sex. 
3.  Weakness.  Even though she texted first, I texted back almost immediately. 
4.  Preserve at all costs.  Even at the end, I was kidding myself about wanting her in my life.  It shouldn’t have even been close.  This plane shouldn’t have even got off the ground.
5.  Frame.  What frame I had, I lost.  Frame is very fluid, and in my attempt to try and get it back, I put her off. 
6.  Other plates.  Number 1 part of plate theory is spinning other plates.  I didn’t have this back up plan active.  And it cost me.

Culmination:  So what did I learn?
I learned how quickly I was ready to lose frame over an HB7. 
I learned I have to stop the beta oneitis.  It’s not healthy for me or my interest. 
I learned that I don’t benefit from thirst, especially when I have options closer to my immediate area. 
I learned that I have been programmed to commit quickly because of something that looks potentially outstanding, but just pulled back from the brink in time. 
I learned that I need to make myself less accessible, regardless if I really like the woman.  You must maintain frame at all costs, or it’s over.
I learned that it’s never as good as it looks. 

And most of all, I learned that I have much more to learn. 

So there it is.  My last relationship under the microscope.  It was brutal, and I have a ways to go to attain what I want.  An LTR (long term relationship) with my frame as the primary.  So where do I go next?

I keep learning.  I keep reading.  I keep studying.  I keep writing.  I keep analyzing.  And most of all, I keep approaching.  I’m not going to get better by not doing the work.  

So keep your chins up, guys.  It’s going to get better.  Just let my self analysis show you what to do and not to do, so my loss is your gain. 

Never stop learning.