I Have Arrived

by Frost on October 17, 2012

I knew this day would come. Finally, finally, FINALLY! I’m here. It’s me. I have arrived.

But where is here? Simply, sadly: I am right back where I started.

I have arrived, alright. Full circle.

I’ve been putting off writing this post, because doing so requires an uncomfortable degree of honesty and self-awareness, and that scares me. But that’s all the more reason why I need to vomit these thoughts out, both for my own sake, and because I have a duty to whichever readers are using my experiences to help guide their own life choices.

Two years ago, I introduced myself:

“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.”

And today, I look at myself in the mirror and I ask: Truly, what has changed?

One year ago, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Bangkok. At the time, if you had asked me to describe what sort of life I was expecting for myself upon my return, I would have said something like this:

I’m home. I’m making enough money via book sales to not have to work, but perhaps I do anyways, just for the fun of it and the extra spending money. I’ve achieved some degree of internet celebrity, and possibly even seeped into the mainstream media consciousness. I’ve published three books, each of which has been released to wide acclaim. I’ve started sketching out my fourth, a journal of an epic road trip across the United States, charting the ruins of the dying American Empire, partying with and interviewing the great Manosphere writers, and meeting readers. I’m also free to start planning the next one-way flight to Buenos Aires, Warsaw, Tehran, or Tokyo.

In short: I had decided to leave behind the world of grey cubicle walls, petty office politics, and ‘face time.’ I was going to be a writer. An entrepreneur. A Free Man.

But today I declare: I have fallen short of that goal. I have failed. I am right back where I started, and two years older. Still young, at twenty-seven, but not so young as I was. To my list of concerns, I have recently added: Tooth sensitivity. Time marches on.

Why didn’t I make it? I touched on a few of the reasons last week in Back To Reality: I spent more time living, traveling, and experiencing than writing, learning, and building. I drank a bit too heavily from the lifestyle design Kool-Aid cup. My goals were too ambitious, for the amount of work I was willing to put in.

Truly, I blame no one but myself for my present situation. And I’m not even sure if I blame myself. Should I have traded off my time meditating in an Ashram in the Himalayas, surfing in San Sebastian, or getting beat up my 120lb Thai dudes in Chiang Mai, for a few extra bucks in passive income? I think not.

But now I’m slipping into positive thinking, which is not what this post is about. Yes I can rationalize, I can look on the brighter side, I can examine my choices with the benefit of hindsight and decide that I’m perfectly happy with my choices – I can do all of that quite easily, and I often do.

But this post is about a fundamental truth about the past year of my life, that absolutely nothing can change: I set goals for myself, I visualized achieving them, and I incorporated my vision of where I wanted to be today into my overall life plan. And then I failed.

This past year has been the most interesting, most novel, and possibly most fun years of my life. But it has also been the year leading up to my greatest personal failure: Walking through the doors of my old office building and plopping my ass down for the first of God knows how many more eight hour days of cubicle drudgery.

It hurts.

But have no fear! Tomorrow, brace yourself, because we’ll come back with more positivity than the bastard child of a Care Bear and a My Little Pony.

Until then, we wallow in failure. Gentle reader: Tell us the story of your greatest moment of personal failure. How low did you sink? What did you learn? Most importantly, how did you bounce back?

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Maciej Rajk October 23, 2012 at 9:40 am

Don’t worry man! Way to freedom is always a long one – whether it’s a country or an individual.

You ask about failure stories…
I always wanted to be a writer. A novelist to be more precise. I’ve gone through so many attempts! Maybe you’ll find inspiration in it (your blog is sure inspiring me!)

- January 2008: I’ve quit my corporate job to write a novel. I couldn’t do it. I ended up starting a recruitment company.
- December 2008: I’ve left the company to my partner. Why? To write a novel.
- January-February 2009: In a mad pace I wrote my 1st novel. I started looking for a publisher.
- July 2009: I found a publisher. It’s good, cause I was broke. And not, 2012-broke, more like 1928-broke. My electricity was turned off, I was eating carrot with rice for a month, I had 4 months of rent due… The book wasn’t published until November, first money came in July 2010… I try to write my 2nd novel. I get half-way.
- November 2009: completely broke, I have to find a job. I do it. I barely write anything. I slave away till spring 2011. I cannot take it anymore.
Spring 2011: I finish writing my second novel.
Summer 2011: I publish my 2nd novel. I write my third novel – one productive summer!
February 2012: The publishing house bankrupts. The 2nd book has to be taken from bookstores. By miracle I save it from being recycled. I barely got any money from it…
March 2012: I find yet another corporate job. Being 27, now. I work there until today. Good news: my third book is about to get published. I got rights for my e-books. I have a website that’s a bit popular…
I’ve never been so close to be a full-time writer, yet I know it’s a long, long road. In 2009 when I published the first novel, I thought I made it. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Here’s a bit more: http://en.maciejrajk.eu/about-me/

So… dear Mr. Jonathan, keep pushing and best of luck to both of us!

Simon October 18, 2012 at 8:25 am

Sounds like a typical post-Christian man simply trying to do what he’s meant to do.

It all depends on how long you’re willing to chase the dragon. You can spend the next thirty years chasing the feeling you’re after at the moment, and end up in exactly the same place you’re at at the moment. Nothing achieved at all, unless it leads you to accepting Christ.

It’s not a nice feeling, but the moment you accept Christ is the moment you stop chasing.

Swedish-Hallstatt October 18, 2012 at 5:31 am

Look Frost, you wanna be a writer? Stop trying to take the easy road then: stop writing a blog about you dicking around and then hoping to convert it into a bestseller. The blog is fine, but no one is going to pay for this stuff.

Moreover: The manosphere is incredible small, maybe 30 000 regular readers or so. Its simply not a big enough market for a guy like you to make a living off it: the only niche that’s available is that of pick-up writer (since, face it, getting laid is the main interest of the spehre), and Roosh has that pretty well locked down. Sure, Chad Daring can make a few extra bucks peddling his recipes to fellow spherians, and why not if he enjoys it? But he is not going to make a living of it, nor are you, nor is alpha persona. The only one besides Roosh who can do it is Heartiste, because he has actually broken into a semi-mainstream fame. And to be honest, you’re not as good a polemicist and blogger as him.

But worry not.

Instead of solipsistically writing about your own uninteresting shit and thoughts and expecting the world to care (it doesn’t and its been done to death since Kerouac/Celine/Bukowski), why don’t you do what actual writers do: add some value besides your own five cents. The world are full of young men with semi-cool lifes and reactionary ideas. I, for example, spent six months last year in Israel. Banging Jewish chicks, spending some time in prison, staying beyond my visa, working illegally, etc. Thats fun to tell my friends, but no one is going to pay to read it (well, NN:s stories might be an exception, being so extreme). No, if I wanted to sell a book I would go back, interview people in the religious settlers movement as well as their victims, get fake jew-papers and wallraff as an inhabitant of a predominantly American, ultra nationalist settlement. Then I would go back and write “I, colonialist”.

Or, if I wanted to write fiction, I’d come up with an actual legitimate plot, do a bunch of research (besides my personal experience), go back if I need to and finally sit down and write “The Third Man in Tel Aviv”.

and you know what I would do then? I would try to get a publisher. If no publisher is ready to touch your book its probable because it sucks. (Or politically incorrect, of course.)

Sorry if I come off as aggressive, no time to re-read. Anyway, thats my five cents.

Frost October 18, 2012 at 8:05 am

I agree that there is no great market for my own solipsistic ramblings. I publish those for myself, as much as the reader.

I also agree that if I want to sell books, I have to take writing books much more seriously then I have. Making money online, same story.

So, thanks for this comment. Aggressive perhaps, but accurate in a lot of ways.

A few points of disagreement:

- The Manosphere is small, but growing. We are the spearhead of a cultural movement that is replacing the mainstream. There is room to grow, believe me.
- Kerouac, Celine, and Bukowski sold a few books, as I recall. Perhaps every literary generation needs a few whiners
- I’m not the only reactionary guy trying to live a cool life, but I might as well be. How many do you meet on a day to day basis? Whatever other benefit I offer (or don’t) it’s nice to let them know that they’re not alone.

“I ceased in the year 1764 to believe that one can convince one’s opponents with arguments printed in books. It is not to do that, therefore, that I have taken up my pen, but merely so as to annoy them, and to bestow strength and courage on those on our own side, and to make it known to the others that they have not convinced us.”

asdf October 18, 2012 at 9:41 am

The Man-o-Sphere is hella small and it isn’t going to change anything. People tell themselves that to feel like all this bitching on the internet isn’t what it is. There may be useful info to some people, but its not changing shit.

You know finance somewhat so I’m sure your familair with the random walk. If I through 1,000 investors at something at least a few will get rich, even if it was nothing but a series of coin flips.

Writing, heck most of these 4 hour workweek things, is much the same. I have no doubt that if you worked harder at it your chances would increase, but it would still be luck.

Roissy is the best man-o-sphere writer, and he hardly monetizes it at all. Roosh is the best travel/pickup writer and he barely makes enough to scrape by (with no health insurance or retirement plan). Both of those guys are a lot better then you and they are hardly getting rich off this stuff. I think we all need to recognize the Tucker Max like successes for what they are, the one in a thousand dudes doing basically the same thing that happened to get lucky.

Ulysses October 17, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Nobility, not mobility, but my typo works.

Ulysses October 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Bullshit make-work cubicle jobs get a bad rap. Work is a means of making money with which to pursue dreams, not a vehicle for fulfillment. Sure, those jobs take time away from other pursuits, but life requires trade-offs. If the trade-off works for you, fuck it. You’re charting a path that personally works. I’m not extolling cube farm jobs as noble, mind you, just as a means to work toward mobility.

As to my biggest failure, it’s similar to yours. I was once working toward a satisfying economic conditions proof, career, but I let time constraints stand in the way. Honestly, there was never a guarantee of success, but I didn’t make an honest attempt. Part of me doesn’t care because I’m happy with my current situation and part of me doesn’t care because I have sufficient time to do whatever the fuck I want. That’s the interesting thing about failure – the past is in the past. What matters is how you seize today.

Frost October 18, 2012 at 8:08 am

I agree re: the cubicle job. It’s a means to an end, and a useful one, hence why I took it. Gotta pay the bills somehow.

GZCL October 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Inspiring to say the least brother. Falling down is the first step towards being strong enough physically to pick ourselves back up again. Recognizing our failures shows the world we are mentally strong enough to to be honest with ourselves.

Personally, my greatest failure was damn near dropping out of high school. But somehow, some way, my dumbass 16 year old self wised up during my junior year and I managed to barely claw my way out of the grave I had dug myself. Graduate a year late because of this failure that was the product of unrealistic dreams and refusing to be accountable for my actions.

Over a decade later and I still wish to travel back in time to be the shit out of my younger self.

Frost October 18, 2012 at 8:12 am

Hah. I came somewhat close to dropping out of high school as well. Didn’t fully realize that there was a world beyond football, rugby, and what girls were going to what parties on a given weekend. D average for my first three years, then pulled my head out of my ass for the home stretch. In retrospect, it looks like I gamed a system that barely takes freshman-junior grades into account, but really I was just clueless.

asdf October 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm

I went through the same thing the last year man. An old friend became the big boss man someplace and recruited me for a job I really believed in. Left an old job that was boring but good with people I liked.

Turns out the guy I trusted was a pathological liar who betrayed me. Ended up having to turn him in for breaking the law. Dealing with the fallout from that right now and its miserable. I’m very demoralized. Didn’t even get a nice year of travel and banging out of it.

The write up in your introduction is looking pretty good right now. I interview with my old company in two weeks and I’m going to take it.

Frost October 18, 2012 at 8:18 am

Sorry to hear man. Good that you can get back in with the old job though, best of luck.

Vicomte October 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Once upon a time, it was my dream to become a United States Marine. I was somewhat lacking in the required education, so I took care of that first. I trained for months. I had some potentially disqualifying medical issues that I researched, did my best to improve, and sought medical opinion confirming that I was physically fit for active duty. I jumped through hoops, answered all of the right questions, and scored in the ninety-fourth percentile on the ASVAB. I was sworn in during a ceremony commemorating a fallen Marine, by a full-bird Colonel, surrounded by high-ranking NCOs and the family of the Marine. I had plans. I was going to be a grunt, get a deployment under my belt, then secure an appointment to Annapolis, and become an officer.

As my ship date approached, I learned of other medical issues. Investigation led to the conclusion that I couldn’t, in good conscience, do what I wanted to do. I couldn’t lie. An anonymous submission of my file to the authorities in question confirmed that I was ‘unfit’. I became despondent. I took a knife to an artery and spent a week in a mental hospital. I was now mentally, as well as physically, unfit for duty.

Then came the day that I walked into the USMC Recruiting Sub-Station for the final time, sat down with all four of my Sergeants, and told them what had happened. Why I was completely, utterly Unfit. I believe I cried. I had let them all down. I had let myself down. Pathetic.

I learned that we don’t always succeed, despite our best efforts. That sometimes, you’re just not good enough; that all of the improvement, doing everything right, honorably, the way it should be done, is not enough. Sometimes you’re not enough.

I’ll get back to you on that bouncing back bit.

asdf October 17, 2012 at 8:11 pm

I guy I knew with went through the same thing. Father was a Marine officer. Worked hard and got really close but didn’t make it. Now he is depressed and just works a dead end job and drinks to oblivion. Wish I could kick him out of his rut because he is a good dude overall.

Frost October 18, 2012 at 8:23 am

I think one of the biggest benefits of having gone through something like that is, it completely kills your ego. Its hard to go from an episode like that, to believing that you’re too cool to make sacrifices, too cool to pay dues, too important to put yourself at risk.

In my experience, guys who’ve hit rock bottom tend to come back with a fearlessness, a contempt for death, that makes them ultimately more powerful. Someone who hasn’t failed like that can fall into the trap of perceiving the slightest of setbacks as catastrophic.

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