I don’t want to rush into a new relationship

Don’t worry about finding the right person.  Become the right person.

– Source Unknown

The first step to being the right person is loving yourself.

I’ve hated myself for a long as I can remember.

I’m working on loving myself now.  I feel pretty good about myself now.  I’ve got a lot of bad qualities, but there are a lot of good ones, too.  I can work on the bad ones, and the good ones can always get better.

My relationships with my boys are more important than any romantic relationships right now.  I’m a better father than I’ve been in the past, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

I’m not satisfied with a lot of things in my life right now.

I want to be able to go to the temple, and that’s not something I can do right now.  I want to improve my spirituality and get to the temple.

I’ve been doing phone jobs for most of my life.  I hate talking on the phone.  I ‘m burned out and I really need to do something else.

I’m not healthy.  I’m fat.  I go for walks, but not every day.  I don’t eat healthy.  I’m on an antidepressant and blood pressure meds.  I want to get off those.

I need to start reading books on a daily basis.  I want to learn and develop new skills.

I want to be my own boss.  I wants to build websites and make money from those.

I want to be able to afford to support myself, my wife and kids.  I want my mom to be able to stop working.

I don’t feel like I have to self-actualize before pursuing a romantic relationship.  I do want to get moving in the right direction and make some real progress first.

Making the changes I want will make me a different person.  Someone who would fall in love with the man I am now wouldn’t fall in love with the man I want to become.

The woman I really want to marry is someone who’d love that guy.

I’m bad at relationships

I tend to rush into romance.

I think I’m just scared of being “forever alone.”

I talk about getting married with a girl before we’ve even gotten to know each other.

I’ve wanted to be married my whole life.

I didn’t date at all in high school.

I took things slow with the first couple of girls I dated.  Maybe too slow.

After that I started rushing things.  Each relationship faster than the one before.

I was engaged twice before meeting my wife.  I never did get the know the second girl very well.  We only dated for a few weeks before getting engaged.  We were only together for a few weeks after that.

I only date my wife for a few weeks before we started talking about marriage.  A little while after that I realized I was doing it again.

By the time we’d known each other for a year our first son was born.

I don’t believe in public school

Public school is designed to turn you into a cookie-cutter cog for The Machine.  That way you can easily replace someone, and someone else can easily replace you.

We were meant to be unique individuals with unique functions.

We weren’t meant for soul-sucking jobs.

School doesn’t teach how to be happy, or any number of other skills necessary to be a functioning adult.

School doesn’t teach you to ask deep, probing questions.

School doesn’t teach you how to think, it teaches you what to think.

School is the mold.  Break it.

Divorce

My wife told me at the end of June that she wanted to separate.

This wasn’t the first time she’d said that.  This time was different, though.  This time she wouldn’t be talked out of it.

She felt like she couldn’t trust me anymore.

I’d lied to her about watching porn.  That was worse than the fact that I’d been watching porn.

Six months earlier I’d decided to come clean to her.  We’d been going through marriage counseling, and I started feeling a lot closer to her.

I knew my lies were getting in the way of us getting closer.

One night she confessed something to me.  So I confessed to her that I’d been lying.

At first she seemed ok.  By the time I came home from work the next day I could tell she wasn’t ok.

She went into a deep depression for several months.  I was worried, but I didn’t know what I could do.  Most of the things I tried to do were mistakes.

We went through cycles.  She’d let me know she wasn’t happy with me.  I’d work hard at being the best husband ever.  After a while I’d slack off.  I couldn’t stick with it.  She’d get upset again.

She was gentle when she told me.  More gentle than I expected.  I cried.  She comforted me.

I told her I was really going to change this time.  I meant it when I said it.

Eventually I got used to the idea.  She was going to divorce me no matter what I did.

I decided once we were divorced I’d change.  I’d become the best version of myself, and hope she’d like the new me.  Then maybe she’d want me back.

Later it sunk in that she was probably never going to take me back.

Now I’ve accepted it.  I’m ready to move on with my life.

I think…

I want to have more kids

My wife doesn’t.  At least that’s what she says.

Since she’s divorcing me it doesn’t matter.

I don’t want to get married again right away.  I want to become the man I know I have the potential to be.  The wife I find now may not be compatible with the man I want to become.

I love babies.  Whenever I see babies or toddlers it makes me want another.

It’s not because I don’t love my boys.

They’ve been asking my wife for years when she’s going to give them a little sister.

A few weeks ago they told me Mommy didn’t want to have another baby.  I reminded them about the divorce.  They seemed sad.

I told them I was probably going to get remarried, and when that happened I might have another baby.  They were happy about that.

When my oldest was born I wasn’t excited.  I’m ashamed of that.

He showed me how wonderful being a dad is.  He made me want to have another.  Now I have two wonderful little boys.

They make me want to have even more kids.

My daddy’s dead

I was three.

I only have a handful of memories about him.

After he died my male role models were my grandpas and Mister Rogers.

When I got older my Scout leaders became role models, too.

I wonder how I’d be different if my dad had lived.  Would I be more masculine?  Would I be a better father?

I used to worry that my sons wouldn’t be masculine enough because of me.  I don’t worry about that anymore.

I don’t want a cookie-cutter life

There’s a neighborhood near the place a I live.  There are a lot of big houses there.  The houses all look more or less the same.  They’re built from similar blueprints.  Some are probably even built from the same blueprint as others.  They’re all various shades of brown.  They all sit on lots that are really too small for them.

I’ve seen neighborhoods like this in other places.  New developments full of McMansions.

I want a house of my own someday.  But not one of those.

I want my house to be a reflection of who I am.

I want my life to reflect who I am.

I don’t want to do things just to fit in.  I don’t want to do things just to be different.  I just want to be me.

I’m not trying to reject anything that anyone else has.  I want marriage, a family, a home, stability.  But I don’t want to do things just because other people are doing them.  I want to think critically.  To make sure I’m doing what’s best for me and mine.

I want to be in charge of my life.  To make my own decisions.  To be as self-reliant as possible.
I want to be free to share what I want to share.  To keep private what I want to keep private.

Too many people are afraid to truly think critically.  To really think for themselves.  They do the things they’re told they should do, and never really question why.

I don’t think the Good Lord put us on this Earth  to be cookie-cutter people.  We were put here with unique strengths and weaknesses for a reason. He didn’t intend for us to be interchangeable cogs for The Machine.

“I had a feeling I should come talk to you”

It was Sunday night.  I’d just moved into my dorm.  Classes hadn’t started yet.

I graduated from high school a few months before that.

I didn’t have any friends there.  I was alone.

I went for a walk that evening.  As I was walking I noticed a girl wandering around.  I kept my distance.

Then she came up to me.  She had a feeling she should come talk to me.

We walked and talked for a while, getting to know each other.

We went back to her dorm.  She introduced me to her roommates, who I became friends with.

I started spending more time with her.  I started having feelings for her.

We went to school dances together.  I’d never danced with a girl who wanted to dance with me before.

Later we were alone in her living room.  I was sitting in a chair.  She was sitting on my lap.  We were talking and our lips brushed against each other.

Most guys would have kissed her.  I’m not most guys.  I’d never kissed a girl.  Well, not since first grade, anyway…

I burst out laughing.

Things slowly went downhill after that.

I didn’t see her at all during Christmas break.

I wrote her a long, rambling letter.  In the letter I said I loved her.  I slipped it in her bag before she went home for a long weekend in January.

She wrote me a short note.  She said she was sorry, but she didn’t feel the same way.

I was devastated.

I was secretly relieved to get kicked out of college

I didn’t want to get stuck in a job I hated.

I didn’t want to be mistreated by employer after employer.

I was a computer science major.  I was planning on becoming a programmer.  Then I read this:

Now let’s talk about death marches, mandatory uncompensated overtime, the beeper on the belt, and having no life. Men accept these conditions because they’re easily hooked into a monomaniacal, warrior-ethic way of thinking in which achievement of the mission is everything. Women, not so much. Much sooner than a man would, a woman will ask: “Why, exactly, am I putting up with this?”

Eric S. Raymond, Women in computing: first, get the problem right

For those who are unfamiliar with ESR, he is sort of the godfather of the open-source software movement, and a master programmer.  He knows what he’s talking about.

I wanted to be able to be a family man.  That blog post didn’t give me a lot of confidence I’d be able to do that, or much else I wanted to do.

My enthusiasm about school had already started to cool.  I had to take classes I wasn’t interested in.  A lot of the work seemed like busy work.

I talked to my wife about the doubts I was having.  She left me know she would be very unhappy if I quit.  So I tried to soldier on.

I didn’t do a good job of it.  I wouldn’t do assignments.  If I did them it would be hurriedly, at the last minute.  A lot of times I skipped class altogether.

This went on for a few years.  Then when the university told me I had to switch majors it ended.

I was disappointed, but also relieved.

A few months before the end of my last semester of college, I discovered James Altucher.  Glenn Beck had him on his show to discuss an article he’d written, called 10 Reasons Why You Have to Quit Your Job This Year.

I started reading through his blog and listening to his podcast.  Among other things, he says he regrets going to college:

When I was 19, I won some money in a chess tournament. So instead of using that money for my college tuition I decided to drop out of college and buy a car.

I bought a used 1982 Honda Accord. I drove it around for a few hours since they let me drive it right out of the lot.

But when I saw my girlfriend and everyone else taking their classes I got a little jealous. I returned the car and cancelled the check and entered my sophomore year of college. But I regret it now.

James Altucher, 8 Alternatives to College

James was a college graduate.  A computer science major, like me.  He graduated college and did programming work for them for a few years.  When he got a programming job in the real world, and he couldn’t even program.

I was more conflicted that ever.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to finish school.  I wasn’t sure I wanted a programming job anymore.  I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to get a programming job if I finished school.

But I didn’t want to upset my wife.

That summer the university gave me a reprieve.

I avoid the news

I used to obsess over the news.  I’d check the Drudge Report multiple times a day.  I’d read all kinds of news articles all the way through.

I was miserable.  My wife told me I spent too much time reading the news.

I stopped going to the Drudge Report.  I checked the news less.

I started feeling better.  But still not great.

I find that I feel better if I don’t check the news at all.

Watching the news is depressing.  I gives a skewed view of the world.  It’s almost all negative.  Sometimes there will be a positive story thrown in.  But most good news doesn’t get reported.

If you’re a news junkie, try avoiding the news for 30 days.  If anything really important happens you’ll still hear about it.  See if you don’t feel better.