Undoubtedly I’m going to offend some people, ruffle some feathers, or someone will find it necessary to play devil’s advocate. All of which I’m fine with. You are entitled to your opinion, just as I am entitled to mine. However, I’ve given this very lengthy thought and find it necessary to report back with my findings. As I too can find an exception to every idea I’m going to touch upon, most times out of ten I find it to be true. Finally, I may have one side of the women’s rubik’s cube figured out.
Let me start out by saying that I am certainly not a misogynist. I feel I have ample female support on this claim. I am totally fine with and support equality, think that the sexism that goes on in other countries is appalling, would completely support a female President if she was qualified, and am probably 1 of 15 red blooded American males who actually watches and truly enjoys some women’s sports (the WNBA not being one of them- zing!). To dig even further, I’ve had several female bosses in my time and always got along swimmingly, have no issues with my Mother, and am generally on good terms with most of my ex’s. Girls rock!
However, to not accept that there are significant biological and societal differences between men and women is just plain naïve. And let me stress “differences” is not a negative word. It simply means that it’s not the same as “my” normality and how I interact with the world as a male. Not better, not worse. Different.
I’ve been thinking about these differences lately because I’ve been in a rut. I haven’t had much luck with the ladies lately and I started wondering why. What’s changed? While it does get a bit tougher to date as we get older, that’s not my problem. As much as I like to blame being in a heavily dominated male work environment (rock n’ roll, computers, or construction), that also isn’t the case. Simply put, I’ve lost my mojo.
Swagger, charisma, bounce, twinkle, life force- whatever the hell you want to call it, mine has slowly faded. This, and I can’t stress this enough, is 100% my own doing. I can’t place the blame on a shedevil for breaking my spirit, attribute it to a single moment of rejection, or a point where I gave up on society and returned to the wilderness. I lost my mojo because I lost direction in life.
When I was younger, late teens to mid twenties, women were plentiful. Not only are you in a lot more new and exciting social situations at that age, but I was way ahead of the game. I’ve always had a goal and dream, a job (and very well paying jobs for being that age), a decent car, a clean house with real furniture (rarely lived like a frat guy), lots of traveling, and always a hip party, club, or concert to go to. In the moment I never thought of it as glamorous, it was just me. My life. Looking back, it was pretty frickin’ rad and I can see why I’ve dug myself into the hole I’m in today.
With all of that said, I’m not the best looking dude in the world. I have a “boyish cuteness” about me but could probably lose a few pounds and get a haircut more often. However, in my early twenties, I never even had to open my mouth to get a girl (probably how I fooled so many). Externally, I seemed to have a lot going for me. I didn’t realize that at the time, I just lived everyday not thinking too much about it. Subconsciously that must have radiated. I’ve always had confidence but not much of an ego, not super competitive, never cocky, but I was happy. Lots of good vibrations. Women can intuitively pick up on this, or so I’m learning.
I could literally go to a party or bar with my boys, not have thought of hooking up, and end up with 4 or 5 numbers at the end of the night and never initiate a conversation. As time went on and my career grew, the more this would happen. When I worked for Sony Music it borderlined absurd. I had private boxes to practically any sporting event, knew every DJ in town, shared VIP rooms with club owners/managers, and of course rubbed many elbows with famous musicians and celebrities. To be honest, I really didn’t want a girlfriend. I was terrified a relationship would rob me of many of these experiences or require too much effort to subdue the drama (it was often hard to explain that my “job” truly required me to be out until 3 am, half drunk, and make an appearance at a party).
Looking back, my own selfishness truly ruined many relationships or sabotaged them before they ever had a chance. I’ll also admit that these were amazing women- well educated, great upbringing, successful, fun, and caring individuals. I should have been so lucky to even have them show a bit of interest, but I saw them as dream crushers. C’est la vie.
As time and life wore on, that lifestyle became very tiresome. I realized if I truly wanted to be a major player in the music industry, I’d have to compromise a lot of my core beliefs and change the direction of my moral compass. That pill was one I wasn’t able to swallow so I made changes and tried new ventures. It’s tough to say at this point if those ventures were successful. They were certainly spiritually fulfilling and notches on my belt that I’m very proud of but the money dwindled and when things didn’t go as planned, it affected my confidence. You start to question if it was the right move, if you or the situation “failed,” what you could have done differently, and if you can pick yourself up after this.
Also as you get older, you begin to think more deeply about life. What’s truly important? Why are we here? Is the American Dream really what this existence is all about? Is finding someone to share the rest of your life with and being a father ultimate fulfillment? These questions smacked me in the face when my parents turned the page into the golden years of their life.
With the economic collapse and many investments not panning out, combined with sickness and daily struggles, I saw how quickly life can change. Aside from all of the heartache and stress of coming to terms with these changes, my family grew closer. We rallied around one another, shifted rolls, and tried to swallow the piss colored lemons that had been set in front of us. While not easy and not always with a smile, we stuck beside each other and that resonated.
I am very proud of my Mom and Dad for the way they’ve handled things. At this point, I’m not sure if there’s a light at the end of the tunnel but there is a sense of acceptance and calm. While having a few moments to take a breath and reflect, I wonder what I have done? Have I missed out on sharing this with someone? Do I even want to share this one someone one day? They’ve lead by example of how strong a family can be and how important it is to get you through tough times. Of course I want that.
Being knocked down a few pegs is a very humbling and worthwhile experience. But like I said, my confidence was shaken and with that my mojo has taken a backseat. I’m still the “boyish cute guy,” have a decent ride, my own place with furniture, able to pay the bills, and by an unknown miracle don’t have an ounce of debt to my name. However, everyone in their late twenties has most of this and the field has shifted. Those traits are now considered “normal,” where as when I was 20 they were admired.
Because of this, in my own warped world, I feel as if I’m failing. I’m not ahead of the curve anymore. I’m not extremely successful, I’m not doing glamorous things (though I feel the things I am doing have more meaning), I am not independently wealthy, and things aren’t all that certain or stable. I do, however, still have goals and dreams…
Needless to say these days, if I go into a bar I am not walking out with a fist full of digits. Now, I haven’t tried to get any numbers but it’s been a huge paradigm shift. I’ve never had to try before…
TO BE CONTINUED...