Becoming a Father

There are two moments in my life that I will never forget and will cherish forever. These are the births of my two daughters.

First of all, I will say this, there is nothing, and I mean nothing in this world like being a father. It is a feeling you won’t get any other way but to truly be there from birth to watching them grow up. I can’t describe it. I can only live it and report back. I want all men to feel it, because it truly speaks to us on a basic, biologic level of our existence. It shows you who you truly are when you are able to help conceive and then raise a child.

The births of my two kids will be something I will never forget. My first was the most stressful, the second was a more common delivery, but they were both special to me.

Welcome to Fatherhood

My first daughter was a harrowing experience. I was not only intimidated by the trip to the hospital, but by all that happened during our hospital stay.

My ex (who was my wife at the time) went into the hospital for a planned induction in the AM. After waiting all day and most of the night, there were complications. My ex had to be rushed in for an emergency c-section after my daughter was deemed to big to be delivered (she was over 9 lbs). I went with my ex, held her hand as they delivered the baby, but heard no crying. My daughter was silent. Something was wrong.

As I helped the hospital staff with the umbilical cord and the first diaper, they noticed that she wasn’t breathing very well. They rushed her to the NICU and began to figure out what went wrong. Me and my ex were stunned and worried. This was not the best way to start off our first born experience.

We waited in the room as my ex recovered, and I would make regular trips to the NICU to see what was going on. My daughter had had her first bowel movement while my ex was delivering her, and she had swallowed and breathed in the waste. So she had contracted pneumonia from it as well as sepsis. She was put on antibiotics immediately. They couldn’t tap a vein on her arm, so they tapped a vein in her head. It was a gruesome sight, watching my newborn daughter struggle.

The hospital was a formula supported hospital, which means that they would discourage breast-feeding in the NICU. However, my ex and I found this out when we saw our daughter not recovering as fast. The NICU doctor insisted that she be given formula, but we insisted that breast milk would be required for our daughter to get better faster.

My ex wasn’t allowed to even breast feed our daughter, and times were contentious in the hospital as we did battle with the NICU director as we demanded to have access to feed our baby. Finally, he relented and she was allowed to breast feed. Almost instantly, her condition started to improve.

For 5 of the longest days of my life, operating on minutes of sleep, checking on my daughter and running errands for my ex as she lay recovering, I was a mess. It was hard, but as my daughter’s condition improved, I saw signs that this nightmare was coming to an end.

Finally, after 5 grueling days, my daughter was healthy enough to be released. We were overjoyed, and this experience had taught us some tough lessons right out of the gate on parenthood.

But what the most amazing thing? My reactions to my ex and my daughter as a father were instinctual. I leaped into action immediately as soon as my family needed me, without hesitation. This was an important moment and my first lesson of fatherhood, I was the rock, the foundation, the protector, the provider. At the time of greatest need, I was there. And through the years, I haven’t wavered on my dedication and commitment to my kids and family, regardless of my personal feelings for my ex.

Talk about being thrown right in the fire. But it’s an experience I’ll never forget and it is a part of our family lore for generations to come. The scar on my daughter’s head, (Ala Harry Potter), always reminds me of that trial that I went through. But I know it was worth it because I have my beautiful, healthy daughter. She’s just turned 12. I’m a very lucky man.

A Healthy Delivery

My younger daughter was more of a normal delivery. She was still delivered by caesarean, and was almost 10 lbs! My ex and I decided to schedule a C-section as opposed to trying to go through a delivery and have the same issues crop up from the last time.

We wanted avoid any and all complications. So, scheduling the surgery for the morning of December 30th, we went to the hospital. Unlike the first delivery, my second daughter came right out with a full head of hair and was breastfeeding within 30 minutes.

I got to clip her umbilical cord as well. I think she had a full set of teeth because she tried to bite me! She was crying, a complete opposite of my first child, and I got to put on a diaper, hold her and give her to her mother.

It was amazing because it was just how a birth was supposed to be.

My little girl and ex were released in 36 hours and we recovered at home with very little fanfare. And damn was I glad. After my first child, it was a welcome event.

One of Your Greatest Contributions To This World

There is no greater feeling in this world than holding your newborn baby. It’s something you’ve created, something special, and you can’t begin to understand the implications behind it. And that’s what life as a father does. It makes you deal with those implications headon. There are no cheat codes. There’s no shortcut. This little life is dependent on you to be there, keep it healthy, guide it through tough times, protect it with your own life.

That’s a lot of gravity to take it. Which is why not all men can be fathers.

However, recalling my memories of my kids’ births helps me explain why I became a father, and why I recommend it to any man contemplating his role in our little world.

Almost a decade later, my little girls are growing up. My fathering has changed little as they have grown. I continue to provide, protect, and lead as the patriarch of my family. They count on me to be there, standing a post, holding them to higher standards, and pushing them to succeed in everything they do.

I make them face and overcome their fears, I hold them accountable for actions detrimental to their own success. I urge them to get involved in not only activities that help themselves but perform actions that help others.

My bond with them is stronger than ever and it will only get stronger as I help them face and prepare for the next phase of their lives.

I’m proud to be their father and I love them both very much.

A Father’s Journey Podcast – Episode 6 – Live with Jack Gefferson – Alpha and Beta

Click for the Podcast Episode

Episodes with Jack Gefferson are always fun, and this one was no exception. Live podcasting is amazing because of the fact that during this podcast, we were dodging dogs, kids, and enjoying pizza and beer as we discussed alpha and beta, the contextual definitions of each, and what current, past, and fictional characters would be considered alpha and beta and why.

Enjoy another great episode of A Father’s Journey Podcast.

There Is No Chad

Chad Thundercock, the famed internet meme and PUA boogeyman for nearly 2 decades, has been the stuff of blue pill beta nightmares.

He’s the dude that makes all of your wives or girlfriends wet with just a single smile, the guy who lives in the gym and fucks your girl.

He’s the “dream” for any woman who’s looking for that quick score, the guy on Spring Break in Cancun who hosts the wet t-shirt party, the guy who smashes the beer can over his head, the guy with confidence for years.

Here’s the issue: He doesn’t exist. He’s a figment of an imagination of guys convinced that hypergamy is an immovable object and Chad is the unstoppable force. He’s painted as the main villain to guys who don’t do enough in their lives to lead their wives / girlfriends.

“Chad” lives in the minds of terrified men.

“It’s Not My Fault”

Men are lost in these troubled times.

But what’s worse, men aren’t taking responsibility for being lost. In our current climate where victimhood is rewarded with attention, men would rather blame some faceless meat head than admit they have work to do. They’d rather fire off the “hypergamy doesn’t care” trope than look at the dude in the mirror and realize that maybe, just maybe, he’s responsible for his own life, and not some steroid induced alpha trying to spread his seeds all over God’s green Earth.

I’m here to break it to you, guys. “Chad” doesn’t exist. He’s just a dude who outworkes, outshines, or out-talents you in a certain aspect of your life. That’s it.

Men, you have a responsibility to yourself to make strides and improvements in your life.

Nowadays, men instead settle for the fact that they must do things to gain intimacy with their wives, high fives for eating a whole pizza (I’ve been there), watching porn, cheering on other guys playing sports, playing video games, and generally not doing anything to improve themselves or their relationships with their significant others.

They allow themselves to get fat, destitute, and slovenly, as well as refuse to work towards any kind of self improvement.

So imagine their surprise when their girlfriend or wife sleeps with another man. Instead of facing the potential embarrassment of realizing the issue was possibly their fault, they rely on “Chad” in all of his perfection, to come to the rescue and keep their pride intact just enough to push off any doubts that he was the “loving husband” and supportive man.

“How dare she sleep with another man? She’s obviously letting her hypergamous nature off the leash and Chad Thundercock was the right man at the right time for her.”

See how it works? He’s let off the hook for his actions, and hers are absolutely abhorrent. “Chad” saves the day again, and saves the man’s face.

The cycle repeats. “Chad” is both a villain and a hero.

“It’s Hard to Take Responsibility for Yourself”

So why does “Chad” exist?

Because it’s hard to admit fault. It’s hard to take responsibility for shitty choices in life. It’s hard to get rid of destructive habits.

It’s hard.

People don’t want to accept they’ve made a mistake, especially men. It’s emasculating to men if their significant other cheats on them, especially with another man who they may deem “less” of a man than they are.

So “Chad” is invoked, and it makes men feel better.

“I couldn’t possibly competed with this dude, he was jacked, runs a million dollar business, has a nice car, etc.”

What they don’t want to admit is that their wife / girlfriend cheated with Rob in accounting or Dave who buses tables at the local pub.

The point?

“Chad” exists because men allow him to, rather than becoming their own version of “Chad”.

Self improvement is hard. I know. I’m living it. I make mistakes daily. I admit them and sack up and move on.

But is it so hard to try and make a better product for your wife or girlfriend so that “Chad”, evil “Chad”, doesn’t take her away from you?

Apparently, yes. Men no longer challenge themselves to be better, instead opting for victim hood and the prize of sympathy. “Chad” cures a lot of ills, especially any indication of a man’s lack of character, strength, sexual prowess, and leadership in a failed relationship.

Men don’t want to be seen as weak. We don’t like showing our deficits.

But here’s the thing.

If we’re going to grow up and get out of blaming “Chad” for everything, we need to start by owning it. Every fucking ounce.

“Kill Your Beta and Kill Your Chad”

Just like a blue pilled beta, the “Chad” crowd likens him to an untouchable man, someone so perfect that no one could compete. Six pack abs, football star, killer smile, the woman getter, etc. You have to kill the “Chad” fantasy. It doesn’t exist.

So what’s the quickest way to kill “Chad”? Well, start by acknowledging that he never existed, and that only you and your situation exist.

Acknowledging that you made mistakes and failed in your responsibility of a doomed relationship is the first step in getting rid of “Chad”.

Seeing your faults and weaknesses and working on them is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of growth and strength. Make this mindset the cornerstone of your new outlook, and Chad continues to fade away.

Look at ways your life is below average. Do a self evaluation about what happened to your relationship. The only thing you can control is how you act, react, and contribute. That’s it. What shortcomings did you have? Get them all out on the table and work on every last one of them.

Can’t talk to girls? Learn game.

Fat? Work out.

Crappy clothes? Style.

Carry yourself better, work to improve, and all of the sudden, “Chad” is gone and the real world “Chad” that is you emerges.

You’ve become “Chad”. What a fucking concept.

But you’ve got to want to do the work.

Most men wait out their self improvement phase until something bad happens in their life. Stop waiting.

The more you work, the less you’ll tend to blame “mysterious” outside forces beyond your control, “Chad” included. He’s not to blame. You are.

The red pill’s primary goal is to get men to take responsibility for their own lives, and stop living under the guise of not having control over yourself. “Chad”, just like being blue pilled, is another mechanism used to try and push blame away from ourselves and onto another entity. It shows that we lack control. It shows that we’ll gladly preempt responsibility for anything else. It shows laziness and lack of self esteem. It’s the easy route, it’s the comfort zone. That line of thinking sucks.

Blue pilled men who take the red pill try desperately to avoid the hard truth. And one of those hard truths is that you alone control your destiny, not imaginary dudes with a six pack. Your failures, your setbacks, your disappointments, your lack of control, your general lethargy to your own life are all yours.

Stop blaming “Chad”.

Ed Latimore

One of the things that I’m going to start doing is linking some guys in our space that I consider mentors to me in my journey.

And one of the biggest that I follow and learn from is Ed Latimore. He has taught me so much in terms of social skills and having successful habits that I wanted to give him a shout out! I often retweet his sage words as well as his strategies for helping people become better in all facets of their lives.

He has many articles, but one that I have used the most is his take on building a network in 2019. I network a ton, and I’ve used Ed’s information to help me be successful in my business and personal life, as well as my current side hustle.

https://edlatimore.com/how-to-build-a-network-in-2019/

Ed has some very fascinating insights on network building, but the biggest thing that he states is to “lead with value.” Begging for time with bigger names doesn’t work, you have to develop valuable skills that other people admire, or become successful in your own right, as well as working to become a bigger influence in your desired field.

Ed is a fantastic follow on Twitter (@EdLatimore) and also check out his web site and subscribe to his email list, which I receive on a regular basis with all sorts of awesome advice for being successful.

Click here for his site.

The LA Chronicles

The orange glow of the midday city sun cut through the thick smog. Carolyn was driving, listening to some tight Spanish tunes, I sat in the back with my thoughts, reflecting on what had been my first journey by myself anywhere ever.

And I could’ve gone anywhere. The Great Lakes, Florida, Texas. I could’ve done the Grand Canyon. I could’ve done Boston, the northeast. I could’ve gone to New York.

But here I was: Los Angeles

The wind blew in my hair, my sunburnt skin reacting to the cool breeze. I sat quietly, contemplating my life as it was right now, and where I was. What I was. I’d come so far.

My crossroads.

I’d done much since my divorce 3 years ago. I’d cultivated a now budding side hustle as a blogger, giving advice to men in my situation, including how to get back into the dating pool. I’m a successful business owner, leading a family run business for almost a decade through the trials and tribulations that befall or bless said business. I’d learned how to date again, practicing my newly found game over the past 18 months, and getting more successful by the day. I’d struggled with my child’s epilepsy diagnosis and all the uncertainty that came with it. All through, I morphed from another red pilled guru type spouting off diatribes against beta males, single moms, IG models, and hypergamy, to sharing my own journey with weight loss, fatherhood, dating and relationships.

And here I was, on my way to Laguna. The 5 wasn’t bad at all for midday, although LA is such a huge city that going anywhere by car means “road trip”.

This excursion was in part a midday getaway on my last day here, and also a lunch date that had cancelled. I kept on, determined now more than ever to live this last day in the City of Angels with the same flair I had lived my life since becoming unplugged and entering the world on my terms some 3 years ago.

Why was I here?

I had several amazing friends I wanted to see. I knew one from many endeavors, and I had wanted to visit for sometime. One friend in particular was eager to show me her city. She as well as the others lived out there, so it became a long weekend of fun in the sun and an experience I wouldn’t soon forget.

Los Angeles is such an indescribably beautiful city. Millions of different cultures wedged in between the Sierras on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west. It’s built like a giant chaotic mess, with small chateaus, bungalows, and cool eclectic dives sharing the roads with million dollar homes. Gas stations look up to huge hills filled with massive homes, looking like fortresses watching the invaders they turned back.

Everything walks, rides, or bikes. All the stuff is within walking distance. Like little bubbles pooled together, each sector of the city breathes its own life, with neighbors seeing each other at Starbucks, the grocery store buzzing with activity, and the joggers out in force.

LA is a fit town. The people are beautiful. Everyone’s in shape. Everyone’s waiting for their big break. But they all love it here. It’s a rich, diverse, crazy home, but it’s theirs. The people are so warm, kind, generous, welcoming, and generally good natured that you can’t help but fall in love with all of it.

Rolling down highway 1, California’s iconic site, I was amazed. Beautiful palm trees, rolling hills, blue skies and beautiful blue water. My Lyft driver turned into the Ritz Carlton, dropped me off, and went on with her day. That’s what I noticed. Everyone is LA grinds and hustles, but they do it with a smile. It’s always sunny, so why not?

I walk around. Sun is blazing, the air off the ocean smells like the Earth’s breath, fresh from each tide push. The reflections off of the yellow and orange buildings makes the sun seem millions of miles closer. The brilliance is something to behold. As I walk, I can’t help but feel this city is speaking to me, a voice I haven’t heard before but now listen to intently.

I keep walking. I knew where I wanted to go. After watching my diet for the trip, I had a cheat day, and I wanted a giant sub. A small deli was situated just past the hotel, so I struck out to that very place. I wanted a sandwich.

You can tell a lot about a city by its food. Over the course of the past 5 days, I had a chance to sample the best food from the most unassuming places. Little hole in the wall restaurants are always where I go, because they have the best food, as well as the pulse of a city and its identity. The people that work there truly love it, and it’s why I try to find just those places.

And I couldn’t have been more happy with any of it. The staff looked like 20 somethings waiting for their big break, but in the meantime proud to work for a sandwich shop that takes care of its customers. Great, earthy people who have taken on the identity of their city, all while cultivating their own life from the mountains and beaches they inhabit.

I sat and dined, enjoying people watching as I ate. I wanted to read, but kept looking up from my book to just watch the world of Southern California walk by. You can’t help but be fascinated by the folks that meander to their destinations. Tan skinned beauties, surfer dudes, boomers with fedoras, and housewives grabbing a beer.

So as I finished, I went for another excursion. As I walked, I thought about all that I’d experienced. Meeting new friends who exposed me to a whole new world. I painted for the first time since I was a child. My picture, as California as everything else I saw, was painted with a new energy flowing through me given to me by this land. I just can’t describe it any other way. The brush took on a life of own, and showed me, just like everything else here, just what I was capable of when I stop and let life take the wheel.

I called for my Lyft, because no self respecting SoCal visitor rides Uber. As I got in, I looked around one last time at this alluring landscape. When all you see as an Indiana boy is nothing but flat, green fields, this landscape can seem alien at first, but does it ever impress as you view it totally.

The driver and I chatted on our way back about LA life, pick up and game, the pros and cons of online dating, and how well the Clippers would be this year. He was truly a Southern California star, open, warm, and engaging. For almost two hours, we spoke like brothers, even though we were separated by 2000 miles for most of our lives. It’s like good friends who haven’t seen each other for years picking right back up where they left off.

As he let me off at my hotel, I thought about my trip. The great friend I had made who showed me around this great city. She truly made me feel at home in a amalgamation of 20 million souls, all bound together by a sense of belonging, regardless of race, creed, or color. She made it seem so small and welcoming. She was proud of her city. She lived it everyday and showed it to me. Her friends were mine, with every laugh filling the air with joy of a perspective I didn’t know, but was glad to be a part of.

I came to LA not knowing a thing about it, but I left with a new found enchantment of a truly unique city. I was able to find a distinctive voice that opened up a whole new part of myself I didn’t realize was there. This city changed me for the better, and for that I am truly blessed.

I also made a lifelong friend, who made my LA experience truly magical. I’m forever grateful for her friendship. You shared your city with me, you showed me compassion when I was alone, and you took me to places that I would never had known existed. I can’t thank you enough for your hospitality. It meant the world to me.

So goodbye LaLaLand. I’m glad you opened your doors to me and added yet another layer of experience to my already growing travel life. You embraced me and made me a believer. I’ll most certainly be back.

I’m an honorary Los Angeleno. And like the great Billy Joel, the song “Los Angelenos” lyrics tell the story that I just lived in my “funky exile” that I wouldn’t ever give back.

“Los Angelenos
All come from somewhere
To live in sunshine
Their funky exile
Midwestern ladies
High-heeled and faded
Drivin’ sleek new sports cars
With their New York cowboys

Hiding up in the mountains
Laying low in the canyons
Goin’ nowhere on the streets
With the Spanish names
Makin’ love with the natives
In their Hollywood places
Making up for all the time gone by

Los Angelenos
All come from somewhere
Cuz it’s all so easy
To become acquainted
Electric babies
Blue-jeaned and jaded
Such hot sweet schoolgirls
So educated

Tanning out in the beaches
With their Mexican reefers
No one ever has to feel
Like a refugee
Going into garages
For exotic massages
Making up for all the time gone by
Hiding up in the mountains
Laying low in the canyons
Goin’ nowhere on the streets
With the Spanish names
Makin’ love with the natives
In their Hollywood places
Making up for all the time gone by

Los Angelenos
All come from somewhere
It’s so familiar
Their foreign faces.”

Thank you, City of Angels.