Cross-posted at In Mala Fide. Please read and comment on it here.
Roissy and Roosh were pioneers, and to this day they continue to walk the Manosphere as titans. Spend some quality time with their archives, as I suggested, but also follow their current and future work, as their best contributions may yet lie ahead of them.
But while the first two installments of Throwback Week were celebrations, the third is a eulogy. All good things must come to an end, blogs included. This post is thus best enjoyed with sad break-up music playing in the background.
Before we begin, let’s harken back to the early days of Freedom Twenty-Five. Specifically, my autobiography:
“Less than two hours into the project, and already my legions of admiring readers (Hi Grandma!) are hungry for some biographical details. Or so I assume.
I am a twenty-five year old office drone, one year into a promising career as a (yawn). I studied (boring) at the University of (meh) before getting a (lucrative professional designation) from the U of (alright). I work for (huge, faceless bureaucracy) in the (whatever) department and have been there for almost one year. I make about $XX,XXX, plus benefits and great job security. If I stick with my career track, I can easily be making $XXX,XXX by the time I’m thirty! With that income, and assuming at least one close relative dies before then, I’ve calculated that by I’ll be able to buy a house in (prestigious neighbourhood) as long as I’m dating a girl who makes at least $XX,XXX and has a maternity benefits package. Furthermore, if I assume that private tuition and designer baby clothes prices increase less than 5% per year, I’ll be able to afford two kids, and still be able to retire by 57! And buy a convertible! And a new deck! And…
OK, that’s enough. I know it’s satire, but it’s still depressing as hell to write that. It’s scary. Sometimes I feel like I went to sleep an eighteen year old, and woke up twenty-five. Well, how do I know I won’t go to sleep tonight and wake up forty?
That’s why this blog is not going to be about who I am right now. I’m not going to talk about the University of (meh) or the (whatever) department, because they do not matter.
Instead, I will use this space to write about who I want to become. I’m not interested in the version of myself that wears a tie every day and pretends to care about his coworker’s weekends. Neither are you. So I will write about the man I aspire to be: The Writer. The Musician. The Performer. The Entrepreneur. The man who has tried the beaten path and found it lacking.”
Since then, I’ve quit my job, published a book, moved to the other side of the world, and started down the path that I originally set out for myself. Have I arrived? I have not. Nor have I completely figured out where I’m going, what I’m doing, or why I’m doing it. But at least I know that I stopped living a life that wasn’t right for me, and tried something else.
In retrospect, my decision to break out of a life that wasn’t bringing me happiness or purpose wasn’t that extreme. My family, friends, career and everything else I left, will likely still be waiting for me if I ever choose to go back. But before I made the leap, it looked a lot more daunting in my head than it actually was. I spent too many months procrastinating the decision to take radical action to fix my life.
During those months, in which I gradually came around to the reality of my situation and what had to be done, I was naturally drawn to the stories of men who had traveled similar paths before me. By far, the most influential and inspirational that I found was Jack Goes Forth.
I won’t even bother to dig up my favourite posts. If you like Freedom Twenty-Five, you will like the JGF archive. Start with the first post, and work your way through the archive. Jack’s story begins in the 2008 new year, after he quits his 9-5 gig for reasons that will be deeply familiar to regular readers of Freedom Twenty-Five, right down to the Fight Club motifs. I still remember the day I found the JGF blog. I spent an entire work day ignoring everything that wasn’t of critical and immediate importance so I could burn through the archive. This was in 2010, a few months after I’d started working as a cubicle drone, and a few months before I started Freedom Twenty-Five.
At the time, I was struggling with the cognitive dissonance between how happy I should have been with my life, and how happy I actually was. I knew on an emotional level that yuppiedom was sucking the soul out of me, but I was still grasping at the conventional straws excusing my dissatisfaction – maybe once I get that promotion, or that new job, then I’ll find nirvana. I wouldn’t say that I had completely given up on writing and unconventional success, but every day that went by, those dreams seemed a little more like unrealistic childhood fantasies.
JGF was the kick in the ass I needed. Jack’s blog made me realize that I wasn’t crazy, that what I wanted wasn’t unrealistic, and that there were alternative paths out there for men who had the balls to go out looking for them.Most importantly, JGF made me realize that I’d rather be unemployed and broke, but chasing after something worth the effort, than comfortable and mediocre. As of today, Jack appears to be quite successful as a bartender, columnist and media personality, but when I first started reading JGF, he was just a guy who had given up a conventionally successful career to live life on his own terms, mix drinks, and write about it. Still, his happiness and sense of purpose were palpable in his writing. I realized that life is better as a hustler at the bottom than as an interchangeable unit of white-collar cattle, perpetually stuck in the middle.
Unfortunately, the Jack Goes Forth Blog today only publishes links to Style Weekly columns. Jack, if you come across this, know that at least one of your readers would like to see you finish telling your story.
As for everyone else: Read the first month of Jack Goes Forth’s posts here, and keep going until you reach 2011.