Diary of the Despondent

One of my favorite bands is Breaking Benjamin. I discovered them in 2005 after a sales symposium I went to and a colleague from Pennsylvania mentioned his close to home town band had hit it big with primal screams, towering riffs, and ice-cold lyrics.

And as I grew fonder of them, one of their songs, with probably nothing to do with the subject, hit home as an anthem for the forever plugged in male attitude that I’d experienced for the vast majority of my current adult life.

“The Diary of Jane”, which officially has something to do with a movie star from the ’40s, I think, had lyrics that screamed through my head as the forever hopeful beta man who’d prayed, pined, and yes, even wept over that “perfect” girl for him, the girl that he loved that didn’t love him. The lyrics tell the tale…

“If I had to I would put myself right beside you
So let me ask you,
Would ya like that? Would ya like that?
And I don’t mind If you say
This love is the last time
So now I’ll ask,
Do ya like that? Do ya like that?

Something’s getting in the way
Something’s just about to break
I will try to find my place
In the diary of Jane
So, tell me
How it should be?

Try to find out
What makes you tick As I lie down
Sore and sick
Do ya like that, Do ya like that?
There’s a fine line
Between love and hate
And I don’t mind
Just let me say,
That I like that, I like that

Something’s getting in the way
Something’s just about to break
I will try to find my place
In the diary of Jane
As I burn another page
As I look the other way
I still try to find my place
In the diary of Jane
So tell me
How it should be?

Desperate I will crawl
Waiting for so long
No love, there’s no love
Die for anyone
What have I become?

Something’s getting in the way
Something’s just about to break
I will try to find my place
In the diary of Jane
As I burn another page
As I look the other way
I still try to find my place
In the diary of Jane”

Such was my lot in life throughout my 20’s and briefly after my divorce before I truly became knowledgeable about the ways of things.

Rationalizing Dust

As with most times in the lives of our current modern men who are lost, I call the 10 years between 18 and 27 of my life the “lost decade” simply because I felt I squandered my youth on the fruitless pursuit of true love, passing on from one female crush to the next, desperately hoping that this girl would love me. I didn’t have sex, I kissed four women, I rarely dated, hung with friends, played a shit ton of video games, and generally went from woman to woman like some damn episode of Quantum Leap, hoping that my next crush would be the one that set me free, that this love would be “the one”.

Pathetic? Sure. But when you see that many men are taking this path these days, it’s becoming more problematic seeing men, young men, believe the lies that I believed, and be balls deep in the fiction. My lost decade involved crushes on 5 girls, each who came into my life on more than one occasion, and each time, I was convinced fate, more than anything else, would show them that I was the guy for them.

But fate, or as I now prefer it, “rationalizing dust” is a losing and sometimes deadly game for men.

Fate, hope, and destiny are banners for the weak. I firmly believed, at my young age, that I only had partial control of my life, and these three magic words above were truly in control. So I lived my life on these as fuel. If I truly wanted, yearned, and pined enough for a girl, that she would be mine. I would use any sign, any small gesture, even her talking to me, as a rationalization that “this is why we’ll be together, this is fate taking the wheel.”

Absolute madness.

But the harshest truths are the ones that we refuse to accept, simply because it goes against all we think we stand for, all that we were told we believe. And we as men don’t want to believe such things, because not only does the truth not spare our feelings, it kicks the living shit out of us and then makes us get up for more. We want the feel-good story. We root for the underdog. But as you know if you’ve done any gambling, the underdog seldom wins. And consistently playing that role as a man looking for a woman will yield terrible results, not because of fate, destiny, or magic fucking words, but because of brutal, cold, real, reality.

Call it a pill. Call it whatever you want, but it’s the hardest, most real, most unfortunate truths about women that I didn’t, nay, refused to recognize in my gumdrop, lollipop, unicorn world of hopes and dreams. And these truths are what make or break men in their dealings with the opposite sex.

  • Fate is fantasy. It’s the belief that something will happen, and when fleshed against the rigidness of reality, it buckles like a belt.
  • The girls that I fell in love with never cared for me. In fact, more often than not, I was a nuisance to them. And, as the lyrics above opine, most, if not all of the time, I didn’t even register in their psyche. No pages in their diaries for me. None. Zip. Zilch.
  • Years of my life were wasted on girls who didn’t give two shits about me and never would. I should’ve done more, been more, worked on myself more. Regret is a bitch, and you can’t get those years back. “Die for anyone, What have I become?”
  • Women who did like me weren’t the ones I wanted. And the ones I wanted would never return the affections in the way I wanted.
  • Romance isn’t dead, it’s just misplaced and misused by men desperate to prove something to women who don’t care if he proves anything or not.
  • There are always other dudes. And until you can prove you have better value than the majority, there will always be other dudes. Pragmatism trumps idealism every damn time.
  • Nothing you “do” will make her like you. She’ll find an attraction to you in how much you invest in yourself
  • Women are emotional creatures. That doesn’t make them bad, in fact, it makes them the exact opposite, but you have to know what to expect, how to deal with them, and their chaotic and unpredictable patterns that seldom side with logic. Men and women really are different, but that’s a good thing.
  • Hating women for being women is misogynistic. You believe that they are operating in bad faith. And while some of them truly are, many of them don’t realize they are, nor do they care to understand if they do. Hate the game, not the player. Societal advantages for women have been around for eons and will continue because they outnumber men on this planet. Majority rules. We can still rail against these disadvantages men face, but it won’t change the big picture.

With these truths in tow, many men need to move forward to their new lives under these truths.

But many men just can’t. Hence the title of this post.

The Six D’s of a Man’s Life Realization

Photo Credit: Intellectual Takeout

I was there. I didn’t want to believe any of this. I still fought every day to believe the fairy tale, but it didn’t matter. The plug was pulled and I was out there floating. Many men will just float for decades, hoping to find that the dream really was true, many others will just continue to live their lives as if they weren’t aware and be disappointed. Still more will try to rationalize the irrational, stretching their beliefs into taffy to justify the behavior of others. And unfortunately, many won’t either unplug fully or those that do end their lives because they can’t believe that they were so wrong.

They feel they’ve wasted their lives on a narrative that wasn’t true, not even close, and rather than accept the hard work needed to pick back up, they won’t. They let go.

However, I, among many other men in this sphere that have all unplugged (yes, they all have), are living proof that there is life after death. The old you dies with all of the false knowledge you had and the new you arises equipped to deal with this new reality. It’s harsh but one thing that I can say is that you can be stronger. You can survive this new environment with renewed hope because the hope now comes not from outside forces, but from within yourself.

Self-empowerment and improvement is a cornerstone of this new reality. Faith is put into yourself which makes you more able to survive and thrive.

Here’s the six D’s I used: Denial, Disappointment, Despondency, Discovery, Drive, Domination

My message is simple. It’s never too late for you. I don’t care if you’re 20 or 80. You take responsibility for your life, your beliefs, and your knowledge at the age you do and you then grow with it. The bitter pill isn’t bitter, it’s only bitter for those that refuse to understand that the bitterness is a phase on your journey and it too will pass.

I want to show men that even after the harsh truths above, the six D’s that they go through in this process. I’m writing about this very issue in my book. The seventh D, divorce, is in some men’s lives as well as a phase of discovery.

This isn’t self-help as much as it is self-information. Men need to be aware of all of this crap because I sure as hell wasn’t and I can tell you my father nor my grandfather was either. And with masculinity under attack, the numbers of single mother households growing and the daily messages I get from men struggling, it’s only going to get worse before we can stem the tide.

We’ve lost too many good men to their own weaknesses. We can’t lose any more. The message needs to get out and it needs to get out in a big way.

Women aren’t your problem. You are. Your pining over women is wasting your resources. You’ve forfeited your life direction for a fiction. Something that you can’t control. But you can control this. You can control what you do.

That’s why I’m here. That’s why I do what I do.

It will never change the fact that there will always be men that need help getting out of this morass they are currently stuck in because of society telling them what’s best for them rather than looking inside themselves. Weak men will always be a battle that needs fighting. But the real fight is getting this information to these men without it being attacked as being anti-female or misogynistic. It isn’t and never was. Male empowerment isn’t taking anything away from women, it’s sharpening the roles of each sex and playing to strengths that have been around for thousands of years and aren’t going to go away because of “feelings”.

So stop pining over a woman, deriding your despair into victimhood, and trying to justify the lies that have been told to you. Get out of your own head and get your ass to work. You’ll thank me when you get to the other side and see how fucking awesome it is.

Open your eyes and live. Your best years are ahead of you.

A Letter to Myself

Photo Credit: VisitSpokane.com

Dear Tim,

How’s it hanging? This is you writing to you. I wanted to say how proud of you I am for all that you have accomplished so far in this life. I can say that the last 2 years of this (so far) 43 year journey have been some of the best in your life.

You know, you’ve been through a ton of stuff in the past 4 years. They always say you have to hit rock bottom before you can get to the top, and they weren’t kidding. Between battling depression, anxiety, obesity, and monetary problems, you’ve been there. You were suicidal, but I want to tell you, I’m so glad you chose to live you life. Killing yourself is the most selfish act in the world, but it’s even worse because you wouldn’t have seen the heights that you have risen to as well as the heights that you no doubt will get to in this life.

I want you to know something. I love you and I’m proud of you.

However, this isn’t a reflection on what you’ve done, this is a reflection on what you are and would do. This is a reflection on what you still have left to accomplish. This isn’t a swan song for a live well lived, this is a battle cry for continuing to hoist the shield wall of your life every day. This is setting the “what would I do?” from the “what will I do?”

This is your wake up call, even if you think you’re still awake. You aren’t woke enough yet, sir.

I want you to answer this question. What would you do if you died today? What things would you regret not doing?

What are your goals, wishes, dreams for this remaining life?

Answer truthfully. Because I already know what you are going to say.

What would you regret? Here goes:

You should’ve gone to Argentina when you had the chance. In college, you had a glorious opportunity to go and do a major in Spanish. You would’ve been immersed in a beautiful country for 6 months. Yes, it would’ve been some debt, but the life experiences you would have had can not be replaced. Yet you just wanted to get out of college and get a job, girlfriend, house, car, etc. You know what you missed. Don’t do that again.

You needed to work other places besides your father’s business. You needed to explore your interests, rather than putting yourself in a position that you didn’t have any flexibility. While this has worked out in the end with you owning your own business, fulfilling one of your top goals, it still would’ve helped you more in your life to have those experiences.

You needed to go and try new hobbies. You didn’t have a damn clue on what your interests were until you were over 40 and starting over. You have a life in your 20’s and 30’s meant for exploring life and living, not working and trying to check off someone else’s goals.

You’d regret not dating around more. You know the spice of life and the way to truly find your partner in this life is to date as many women as you can. And yet, you sit in an office much of the time running the same places, never looking for new avenues or new leads. They won’t come to you. Time to switch up and get out there more and more.

I know what you are going to say. There’s a ton more. These are just the ones I can think of on my mind at the moment. Think of your wishes. What do you want to do with the rest of your life? Allow me to tell you.

You want to travel. You want to explore. You want to meet new people. You want to strengthen bonds of people you already know. You want to continue to be successful in business, learning new skills like sales and ownership.

You want to be independently wealthy. You want to get your finances in order. You have 20k left of debt. You can get past this damn wall. You will. You will be financially independent. You want to earn a good salary from your side hustle and writing a book is a huge goal. Get to work.

You want to continue to help men who reach out for help. You want to make sure that they don’t make the same mistakes you do. You want to share your life and make your mistakes an example of what not to do.

You want to continue your fitness journey. You’ve lost a ton of weight, but you still have that six pack that’s waiting for you on the other side of hard work. You want to do Spartan. Get new T-shirts and medals, get more trifectas, compete in the Elites. You’ll get there, don’t stop.

You want to learn new things, read, absorb. You want to learn to box, fight, and protect your loved ones. You want to continue to learn more firearms training, as well as other outdoor activities.

You want to date around. You would love to have a harem. Don’t lie, you know you want two to three women sharing you. And if you keep doing what you’re doing and get out more, you’ll be there. GO TO NEW FREAKIN’ PLACES, BECKETT.

You want to be more involved with your kids. You already do a great job, but you need to do more. You need to exude a masculine leadership and be a role model for your kids. They’re counting on you.

But you know deep down, at some point, you want an LTR with a woman who supports you and your mission.

But most of all, you want to continue to grow. You have come so far, done so much. But this is only the beginning. You have to do more, better, faster, and harder.

You will make excuses, you have in the past. This morning, for instance, you made an excuse that you wanted to sleep in instead of going to the gym. You didn’t. You went. You worked. I’m glad you did. Your body and mind are glad.

No more excuses. Go up to that girl. Ask her out. Take your kids places to experience life. To be the best they can be. To live without regrets.

Bottom line: You’re an amazing person. You’ve decided after a tough divorce to live your life. You are taking opportunities instead of making excuses. But you can’t let up on the gas. The time when you think of giving up is the time you need to push the envelope. It’s time for you to do more, be more, try more and accomplish more.

For 40 years I wasn’t able to say this, but I love you, Tim Beckett. I love every part of you. You are an incredible man, amazing father, and lifelong friend. You have a ton going for you, don’t squander it. I know you won’t.

Love,

TW Beckett (You)