“What hurts the most; having so much to say, and seeing you walk away…”

No matter how many break-ups you go through, the next one is always going to hurt.

No matter how many break-ups you go through, you’ll never be truly prepared for when a girl just disappears [like a ghost].

What hurts the most was being so close
And havin’ so much to say
And watchin’ you walk away
And never knowin’ what could’ve been
And not seein’ that lovin’ you
Is what I was trying to do

The feeling of not being done yet, yet powerless to do anything about what’s going on or to ascertain what might have been. Powerlessness combined with the fear of the unknown. I don’t care who you are, there’s few things that match this particular pain. Even if you think you’ve seen it all.

It’s hard to deal with the pain of losin’ you everywhere I go
But I’m doing it
It’s hard to force that smile when I see our old friends and I’m alone
Still harder gettin’ up, gettin’ dressed, livin’ with this regret
But I know if I could do it over
I would trade, give away all the words that I saved in my heart
That I left unspoken

Recognize any of that?

After dealing with 4 ghosts in the past two years, one of which confused me, two of which hurt, and the one the rended my heart, I’d like to add to some excellent advice that my good friend Ace has already provided on the subject and answer some potentially frequently asked questions on the subject.

  1. Get a support group of people you trust to whom you can vent about the girl and (over-analyze it if you must). Having a large group of people is important, because you’ll get tired of talking about before anyone in your support group does. Telling the story to more than three people makes the story get old, to the point where you’re actually fed up about it enough to stop thinking about it so hard.
    1. My support group at one point consisted of (* = most important/helpful):
      1. Dad (vent/advice/sounding board)*
      2. Brother (vent)
      3. Sister (vent)
      4. Sister’s Husband (vent/advice)
      5. Mother (vent)
      6. Best Friend (vent/sounding board)
      7. Family friend (vent/sounding board)
      8. Family friend’s Mom (vent/sounding board)
      9. Mentor (vent/advice/sounding board)*
  2. Write it out. Write as much or little (and as meaningful) as possible on the subject as you can allow yourself. This will get some of the pain out of your head and on paper. It’ll help you think less of things because you’ll not worry about forgetting details, especially the good parts. Might help you come to terms with things or see them in a sober light if you take a break and come back for a review.
    1. Here a couple of examples of this in action:
      1. Russian-Thought Criminal
      2. Smarty Pants
  3. Realize there’s a reason for everything and sometimes it’s not you. Sadly, since you don’t know what could have been it’s hard to accept that things are over when you aren’t ready for them. Realize that ultimately, you’re better off that these relationships are over. Yes – I know. As someone who’s employed to get shot at and live, I never thought it could hurt so much to dodge a bullet either.
  4. Give yourself time to recover. Of course it hurts. Attempting to deceive yourself into thinking it doesn’t or that you’re perfectly fine doesn’t work. Often times, bottling your emotions just means that they’ll come out at a time you didn’t expect when you can least afford it. Try to give yourself a reasonable deadline to mourn the relationship. Allow yourself to listen to sad songs. Allow yourself to stare off into space. Allow yourself to drone on about it to your support group. In my experience, the pain leaves sooner when I let it go through rather than attempt to block it or otherwise bottle it up.
  5. Date girls who live close by. It’s easier to see the signs in girls who live close by. They’re less likely to ghost on you as they’re more likely to run into you and you can better gauge how they feel about things and more importantly, you. This doesn’t mean you can unequivocally stop a ghosting, but rather see it before it happens and prepare for it, at least.
  6. If you have something to say, say it. If you think there’s something you need to do, do it. A medium plan executed now is better than a good plan executed later. Women are creatures of the moment. If you don’t say what you need to say or do what you need to do at the moment it’s time, you don’t usually get another chance. So don’t worry too much about saying or doing the wrong thing, as you’ll always regret and beat yourself up over inaction over action. Every time. Sometimes all you can say is that you still like her and that she knows where to find you when she realizes her mistake.
  7. Vocalize your dislike for ghosting to each girl you start to see. Say it’s because you don’t want to waste your time or hers. You may not (ok, probably won’t) get the whole, complete, honest answer why things are over, but you’ll probably at least get clear message that things are over. This will stop you at least from wondering where you stand what you could have done about your heretofore unsure standing. This won’t work 100% of the time, but it’s worked so far for me.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) Does it ever get easier? Does it ever stop hurting?

No. It doesn’t really get easier and it doesn’t stop hurting. Eventually, you find it within you to carry on despite the pain. To my mind, the quality of girl and circumstances around the ghosting determine the recovery period from a measly couple of weeks to many miserable months.

2) How do I make it hurt less?

Make yourself busy to the point where you don’t have time to sit around and be sorry for yourself (that is not saying do not deal with it!). Eventually you don’t think about it because you don’t have time to and therefore won’t dwell on the pain, cutting old wounds afresh.

3) Is there anything I can do about her leaving?

You can do nothing. Anything else will make it worse and in time you’ll regret. Contacting her in hopes of the small dopamine hits you get from talking to her, seeing her, will take their toll on you when the withdrawal from what you really want from her (everything) hits you.

4. Will she ever come back?

No. Don’t even go there. Out of 6 ghostings, one girl messaged me back 9 months later after no contact, to tell me that she found out she Ovarian cancer shortly before she broke it off and blocked me on all social media. She didn’t come back to me, she just got in touch with me to let me know what happened out of guilt and because she thought I was over her. She was mostly right. Regardless, the more you accept your fate (it’s over) and that there’s nothing you can do about it, the more likely you are to get a second bite of the apple.

Hope this helped.

~Wald

He Mattered

Bob last posted on 30 March this year, and after checking back in a couple times since then and noticing a lack of updates, I checked the comments section and found my suspicions confirmed.

It seems I’m late to the punch.

Robert Martin Wallace Jr., 60, of Granite City, IL, passed away unexpectedly at 1:07p.m. Thurs. Mar. 30, 2017 at Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City.

He was born Aug. 17, 1956 in Granite City to the late Robert Martin & Glenna (Weiss) Wallace Sr.

Bob worked at the Granite City warehouses and wrote his own blog, Uncle Bob’s Treehouse.

He is survived by a sister, Dawn A. Wilkinson of Granite City and her children, Julie, Daniel and Jacob Wilkinson and their spouses and children.
He will be missed, he was one of my favorite bloggers.
The family will hold a private service at a later date.

I’d been reading Bob for almost two years after discovering him late 2014/early 2015. I found his perspective a fresh one amongst a seemingly more and more uniform palate. While I did not agree with everything he wrote, I could never deny that Bob had a point, which made for really good reading. I’d say he was a very good countervailing opinion, in some respects, to keep one balanced in thought amongst our own echo chamber.

I only wish I could get in touch with this man’s family, his sister, her children and say, “You don’t know this, but Uncle Bob mattered.”

God Bless, Uncle Bob.

Save me a seat up there.

~Wald

A Speedy Brush With a Smartass & a Sweatheart

Dear Smartypants,

Even though you won’t read this, I hope this short note finds you well.

Our short ride together has been a series of broken expectations.

I didn’t expect to meet anyone special that night in the pool hall. I didn’t expect you to remember me well, despite asking for my phone and tapping your number in. I didn’t expect to enjoy talking to you as much as I enjoyed kissing you. I definitely didn’t expect to like Coyote Ugly or Burlesque, your two favorite movies.

How can I fault you for taking the information I freely gave you and making a decision? I can’t.

I didn’t expect to like you as much as I did when that Saturday morning came ’round.

The phrase “good intentions, poor perfomance” is highly underused and underrated and I owe you thanks for giving me (albeit unintentionally) a lesson with that. That, your curves, and your smile will stick in my memory long after I fade from yours, like tears in the rain.

I wish you and your Father all the best.

~Wald

80 Proof Playlist Complete

I’ve gone through Ace’s blog and have added 9 songs to the 80 Proof Playlist, bringing it to 80 songs in length. As you read this, I’m working on the youtube playlist to bring it up to date.

  1. “..and I place a nameless stone.” (A Pale Horse Named Death – Shallow Grave)
  2. “Times have changed and times are strange…” (Ozzy Osbourne – Mama, I’m Coming Home)
  3. “I just wanna lay here and let myself die…” (A Pale Horse Named Death – DMSLT)
  4. “…zero to 60, can it outrun her memory?” (Montgomery Gentry – Speed)
  5. “…still got that feelin’ but I’m too old to die young now.” (Brother Dege – Too Old to Die Young)
  6. “How low low low can we keep digging this hole until we come out on the otherside?” (Red Sun Rising – The Otherside)
  7. “To feel the pain that spurs you on” (Alice in Chains – Your Decision)
  8. “…trying to be me, oh, it ain’t easy…” (Bad Company – Simple Man)
  9. “Sent a letter on a long summer day.” (Journey – Wheel in the Sky)

These songs are a bit dark. The last 5 from no.4 to no.9 will no doubt find their way into your ears more than appropriate, when you endure a break up.

All my best to you and yours.
~Wald

A Short On My Brother and I

I started writing the below post 33 days ago, but couldn’t finish it because I wasn’t happy with it. Now, I’m pushing it out anyway. Between the “~” is the original post. Below that’s my commentary since the birthday has come and went and I’ve asked the opinion of my sister and my Father.

~

With a 15 year age difference, living apart for most of our lives, and different mothers*, my brother and I have quite a bit of a gap between us, without accounting for any ability to get along or not. And the last four years, I’ve not gotten along the best with my brother.

My opinion of him has oscillated between outright hating his guts (briefly) and being glad I have an older brother, even if just one. At this point though, I feel that my sister’s (then fiancee and now) husband’s been more of a brother to me than my own brother has.

The long story short, is that most of the time, my brother and I just don’t get along well. It’s been hard to bridge the gap. For the last four years, I’ve been focused on his side of the story. He did this. He did that. He married this women, of whom I’m no fan. At moments when I was angry, I was ready to cut him out of my life.

But I still call him every now and then. To keep in touch. I called him today and when he asked if I could make his birthday, I told him I couldn’t because of work. Then he told me that no one was showing up for it. Not his best friend, not my sister, not her husband, not me. His 40th birthday. I’m not even sure if his wife will make it ( they don’t live together yet, because of work circumstances).

The 40th birthday is a big deal.

I was talking to my sister about it, who is about to be in the same situation with her 30th birthday. I made an (in hindsight) insensitive remark about how no one was there for my 24th birthday, but she patiently pointed I was missing the point and explained that while my brother has been difficult, he has shown up. Whereas not many family members have shown up for his events. She asked me if I was going to show up to his graduation (he’s about to get his masters) and I had no idea when it was; never gave

Now I’m wondering if I’ve been the bad brother all along.

~

My father’s been trying to impress upon for me for the past couple of years, in between listening to me complain about my brother, that family is forever. Family will show up, when it’s important, even if they’re mad at you from last Saturday. Family will still pick up the phone when you call, even after it’s been months, if not years, since you last spoke. Family, generally will have your best interests at heart, if at least, make sure they don’t step on your toes. Family is the original safe space™. It’s why my Father still keeps in touch with his sister, despite her giving him plenty of reasons not to.

After talking to my sister and my Father, I’ve decided that I haven’t really been a good brother myself. I’ve been so caught up in how my own brother’s been wronging me, that I’ve not been receptive when he’s done me right. I’ve not made any real effort to build any inroads myself. I’ve made to no real effort to bridge the large gape that exists between us.

Neither of us has been a terrible brother.

I still call him about once a month, and I’m happy with that for now.

But once he gets his housing in order, I plan to visit him once a year. Perhaps in Spring.

I wish him and his all the best.

~Wald

 

Lacrimosa

It’s official. Another one’s journey is at its end.

The Private Man was one of the older figures in the sphere and I don’t mean by his age. He’s been in the manosphere since the beginning. Since at least February 2011. Almost over a year after I had first started reading (though no doubt he had been reading for some time himself). Since then, he was a constant fixture in the manosphere. Many blogs came and went. Many men came and went. He was always there. Often times he was the first light a lost soul might happen upon, before embarking upon the journey we now call “taking the red pill”.

Everything changed for him in September 2013, when he found out he had cancer. He later even gave it a dedicated page. A long while later, it appeared that he had gone into remission.

Then it went terminal. He held a going away party and that was the last I heard of him.

While I knew of him, and read his blog a lot in the early years, I never spoke to the man in person. I never truly knew him, though several of my friends did. Because of this, I can’t truly do him justice in this obituary.

A small conversation between my mentor and I will have to do:

Me: Also, bad timing I know, but send up a final prayer for Andrew (aka The Private Man)

Mentor: What happened?

Oh shit.

Me: Yep. It was finally his time.

Makes me feel kinda old, to have been part of the manosphere long enough that former contributors are passing through the pearly gates.

And at the same time, a little lonely.

Mentor:  Amen.

Me: I forget, often, how far I’ve come socially, and how huge a help the manosphere’s been, simply for being there. Because I knew I wasn’t just crazy. I wasn’t the only one.

Mentor: Exactly.

Me: And after enough time, it almost felt like an extended family.

Mentor: Ditto

Me: Even though my family’s a tight-nit group, I was still the odd one out. The oddball. And I never really fit in anywhere else in my life except briefly in highschool when I played rugby.

In the manosphere, I was just one of the guys. I belonged somewhere.

Home at last.

Mentor: Agreed 100%

I’ll close with this:

For all the ‘sphere’s faults, now and since it began, imagine living (once more) without it.

Me: Perish the thought!

Mentor: Exactly.

~Wald

Getting Up In the Morning

Just a few tips for getting ready in the morning and getting to where you’re going on time every time. At least, it’s always worked for me when I followed them.

Being On Time:

Take the slowest amount of time it takes to get to your destination and give yourself at least twice, if not three times that to get there. If it takes 10 minutes to get to work, give yourself at least 20, if not 30. Leave at the 30 minute mark if you can, but drop everything and go at the 20 minute mark. This accounts for traffic and those days when green lights hate you. If you’re not ready by the 20 minute mark, you’re wrong. Wake up earlier, drop a task, or wake up earlier (and go to sleep sooner).

Shower:

If you’re not used to taking showers under 10 minutes, have never been in the military, or in a military school environment, there’s a simple trick for you. Pick your favorite song and play it loudly during your shower. When the song ends, so does your shower. That’s enough time to shampoo your hair and wash your nasty body with soap.

Clothes:

Lay out your uniform in one neat, folded pile in one corner and your workout clothes opposite of them the night before. Follow the basic order below. If you’re showered, your bed’s clean, and you find yourself pressed for time or sleep, sleep in your gym clothes. If you’re pressed for time and sleep, sleep in either your gym clothes or uniform. Though I recommend doing your best to not sleep in your uniform if you don’t have to (it gets wrinkles and your sleep is not as good).

Shirt on top of

Shorts on top of

Underwear (if you’re not already wearing it) on top of

Socks on top of

Shoes

Ideally, all you have to do when you wake up is put on your clothes and start your day.

Breakfast:

If you’re cooking breakfast, stage your cooking utensils and plates the night before. I eat steak for breakfast. So every night, I leave a pan on the stove, a plate with a fork and knife next to it, and a glass ready to be filled with orange juice next to them. When I wake up, after I shower, I pop a piece of butter on the pan and turn on the stove to warm up and melt the butter. In between various stages of getting dressed I come back, put on the meat, turn it over, salt it with garlic salt, and then get it on the plate shortly after I’m fully dressed.

If you take supplements, medicine, or some other type of pill, have it ready by a glass or a bottle of water the night before. It can steal a precious minute or two, to get this ready in the morning.

When it comes to cleaning, give yourself time to clean your plates, utensils, and other cooking implements right after you’re done eating. Right after you’re done eating is the time it will be the quickest to clean, before all that grime hardens and sets in. Also – peace of mind because who wants to come home to dirty dishes?

Work:

Finish all your tasks/homework at night. Whilst you can wake up extra early to finish work, it’s a fool’s errand to rely on that. Gather all your thoughts and check over your tasks the night before, so that when you get to work you already know what you need to do.

Naps:

Don’t do it. Get the hell out of bed. As soon as you’re up, the worst part is over. Don’t get back in.

Alarm:

Backwards plan. Take the time you want to be out the door by, and calculate how much time it takes to get out all your morning stuff done (work out, shower, change, cook, eat, clean, etc). Ideally, don’t plan as if you can save time by multi-tasking. Then set your alarm for that time, plus 10 minutes ahead of the time you want to leave by.

So, if you want to leave by 0610,  and it takes you 10 minutes to get dressed, wake up at 0550.

Set to alarms in case one fails. Also, set an alarm for the time you have to leave the house, if need be.

~Wald

The Wrong Lesson

When I was younger, in 9th grade, I became infatuated with a Turkish gal who later got the nickname ‘Turkish Delight’, from a poem I wrote about her (out of a dozen or so!). I spent the whole year of 9th grade thinking about her, and when she discovered I liked her, she decided she didn’t really want to talk to me or hang out with me. I was crushed and it took me quite a while to recover from that, move on, and be interested in other girls like a normal human being.

I remember distinctly one day, whilst in the car with my parents, after much thought, thinking I came up with the answer.

What answer? Why the answer to my problem – a broken heart.

I proudly announced to my parents that I knew the answer, “The best way to not get hurt is to never fall in love.”

Without missing a beat my Father told me that was the exact wrong answer to gleam from my situation. Rather than never falling in love, the correct answer was in fact to be more discriminating with regards to with whom one falls in love with.

Of course I thought I was right, even if I admitted that my Dad was usually right about everything.

It’s funny, because it took me almost 9 years to remember this incident and to have learned the lesson for myself. It really makes me wonder what other wisdom that my parents passed on to me that I just…didn’t hear or listen to.

Makes me all the more grateful they’re still around.

~Wald

My Biggest Hurdle

My biggest hurdle in life, has always been myself.

I’m self-indulgent. Lazy. Prone to procrastinate. A perfectionist, prone to never even start a project (or finish it) if I don’t like the results.

Until last year October, until now, I’ve never had to deal with it directly.

I went to military school from grades 6th-8th. I thrived in the structured environment. Went from a messy room to nearly spotless, from C’s and D’s to straight A’s. Not being accomplished in sport to finding a place on a couple of teams – mostly for my taste for hitting the other side (football, wrestling, lacrosse). During the summer at home, I was a lazy couch potato who played video games most of the day, slept odd hours, ate junk food and whatever I liked. I stayed skinny and in shape because of my youthful metabolism, free energy from youth, and a generous helping of home cooking to counteract the bad food.

In high school, I went to a boarding school for four years (9th-12th). I thrived in the structured environment. I played in a sport almost every semester and was in the gym when I wasn’t playing a sport. At one point, (mostly 9th and 10th grade), I ran 10 miles twice a week. I played rugby. I ran cross country. I ran track. Trying my best to get into West Point, I had a PT schedule my father helped me come up with over the summer and I followed that schedule through my 12th grade year and later through college.

In college, I had to PT twice a week with ROTC, and often had other occasions where I had to ruck or march or run or something else. As the years in college went on, I was required to do less and less, but never less than PT tests and the two days of PT. This sustained me at good enough physical condition  to the end of college. After I was rejected by West Point a second time, due two C’s out of A’s and B’s in my first semester in college, I didn’t have the motivation to really get physically fitter as I once did. I just figured I’d always be in shape and had never made any new goals after I surpassed 100 push ups in two minutes. Pulling my hamstring my last semester of college put me out of the loop for a bit, but in the end, I was able to keep in APFT shape regardless.

At officer basic course, I came in and had to recycle because I wasn’t able to run 5 miles and ruck 12 miles in under 3 hours with a 47lb load. That meant 1.5 years spent in training instead of just 8 months. Because I had to improve my five mile time and my ruck march time. Even then, I had a little structure which helped me out.

What spurs my writing now is round 2, only the consequences are worse and I still don’t have an excuse. I’m at a unit. There’s less structure. I had hernia surgery end of September, couldn’t work out legally until halfway through October, and have found it difficult to force myself to run and workout to get myself back to a basic level of fitness.I’ve never really been good at pushing myself when no one is looking. Sure, during practice or PT session I’d push myself. Sometimes I’d call it hanging on for dear life.

But I’ve found it uncomfortably easy to lie to myself “I’ll do it later…I mean tomorrow. I mean the day after tomorrow”. It’s way easier to lie to myself than force myself to get out and get after it.

Today, I’m back in emergency mode because of an event coming up. I’m simultaneously praying that I don’t have to face the music and that the fire that’s beneath my feet never goes away. I pray that eventually I won’t need fire to my feet to get me to do what I do want to do, when I don’t want to do it.

So what the hell am I doing about this besides whining about it and making a bad situation worse by procrastinating more?

  1. I bet myself that I can’t run a total of 50 miles by the end of March*. (currently at 3/50**)
  2. I bet myself I can’t do more than a total of 2600 sit-ups by the end of March*. (currently at 130/2600)
  3. I bet myself that I can’t do a total of 2600 push ups by the end of March*. (currently at 190/2600)
  4. I bet myself that I can’t do more than 560 pull ups by the end of March*. (currently at 30/520)

I ran the first consecutive two miles in a row (under my own power) for the first time in longer than I care to admit. And completed my normal workout goals for the day.

Still, this isn’t the only thing I want to change about myself.***

~Wald

*Starting 4 March 2017 (Saturday)

** I really don’t like running.

***I don’t like this post. Didn’t want to write it. Not satisfied with it or writing quality. But here it is. Who knows, I might be back. If only to post everyday a tally of my miles, push-ups, etc…

A Holistic Guide to Suicide

This is a review for Ace‘s book, A Holistic Guide to Suicide:

Kindle / Paperback

Perhaps, the easiest way for me to start telling you about this book is by telling you what it is not. Firstly, it is by no means a book on how to commit suicide – quite the opposite in fact. Secondly, it’s neither feel good pablum or platitudes nor 60 pages of writing stretched into 119, with creative spacing and font sizes. Lastly, this book was not given to me for free, in hopes of spurring me to write a review. I don’t get any affiliate fees, either. I’m reviewing this book because I enjoy the author’s writing very much, have gained immense value from reading it and corresponding with him, and because I feel a need to spread his writing as far and wide as I can. I’ve already bought a copy for myself and a friend, and will likely buy two-five more. As of right now, I’m strapped for cash, so my free book give away will occur sometime in February or March.

This book does three things:

1) It correctly assesses why you picked up the book – you’re ill or have been visited by some calamity
2) It explains why our world today is messed up as it is and why this may have lead to said calamity, made it worse, or helped make a calamity out of something small
3) It tells you how you could pick up the pieces of your life and where to go from there (in part by telling you what you should not do and why

My one and only “complaint” with this book is that I’m not amongst the audience for which it is intended. I knew this both before and after I had bought the book. I’m still glad I bought it. And in fact, I know two-three people for whom I’ll buy a copy.

But that’s the thing about Ace’s writing. Sooner or later, you’ll need it.

It’s only a matter of timing.

~Wald