Those Damn Tables


I recently read about the importance of pattern recognition when assessing the past.  Breaking those patterns down and utilizing what I’ve learned to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.  Here’s how I applied those principles on a recent trip to Vegas.

I landed in Vegas at 8:30 PM on the Friday before Memorial Day.  I’m normally not the biggest fan of Vegas.  On my flight I spent time thinking about why I didn’t like Vegas.  What mistakes I have made there in the past and what I needed to avoid.

I had been complaining about “having” to go to Vegas for the past two weeks.  Then I realized how lame that sounded.  I should be thankful I was able to get away from Philly and do something different and possibly exciting.  Many others aren’t as fortunate.

I’ve had rather bad luck in Vegas.  Especially when it comes to gambling.  I’m an addict so anything that feeds that side of me I love/hate.  I lose myself in the bright lights and loud noises.  Delusions of grandeur dance in my head.  I dream about sitting down at a blackjack table and walking out with all my financial problems solved.  Normally the complete opposite occurs.

The best part about Vegas is that you can be whoever the hell you want to be out here.  No one knows you.  Everyone lies.  I listen to their stories, nod my head and smile.  It’s almost as if they are speaking in a foreign language.

I’m trying to figure out the story I will tell people as I write.  Most people in Vegas want to assume I’m an MMA fighter because I’m in shape and covered in tattoos.  Ten years ago I would have gone along with that story.  Today a real MMA fighter might overhear what I’m saying and call me out and embarrass me.  I have to be careful.

Maybe I want to be pilot or an explorer.  Who knows.  No one truly cares out there.  We are all working off the same time table.  We all just want fun stories to tell our friends about when we get home.

My first night I had an issue checking into my room.  I had about 3 hours to kill until I could check in so I ate and hit the tables for 30 minutes.  In those 30 minutes I lost $1000.

The next day I woke up early, hit the gym, went to the buffet and got ready for the pool party at Marquee.  My friend and I got there around 1:45.  Just the two of us.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to pan out because he’s not always the most social guy and sometimes neither am I.

I made the judgment call to start out double-fisting drinks.  It paid off in spades.  Before long I was dancing around while Benny Benassi was spinning.  Girls were everywhere.  All seemed well with the world.

As the day party was winding down I had picked up a 22 year old girl.  She was ready to come back to my room when my friend said some things that made her uncomfortable.  She left and told me to call her later.  He claimed he was doing me a huge favor.  I said she was a hard 6, he said she was 3-4 at best.

We went back to the buffet, stuffed our faces, crashed a nice dinner two British girls were having, got drugs and went back to our room.  I was getting tired waiting to go out for the night.  To pass the time I took a pill of something called Sassafras (it’s similar to Molly).  I had never tried it before, but it was lovely to say the least.

A few girls I knew from California met us at XS that night.  Avici was spinning there. I was out of my head.  At one point I was pretty sure I was having a religious experience while we were dancing as confetti and smoke were flying everywhere.  I witnessed Chuck Lidell’s first Dj’ing appearance.  If I wasn’t having a hallucination, I realized it was time to go home.

My friends were pretty pissed at me because I didn’t  bring the California girls back with me.  But I was too fucked up. My dick wouldn’t have worked. Plus it’s wasn’t my fault they cant close the deal on their own.

IMG_7838I woke up the next morning feeling horrible.  After a freezing cold shower and popping another pill of Sassafras I was ready to roll.  We headed to Wet Republic and the shit show commenced.

A girl I always wanted to sleep with in college met me there.  We got hammered and hooked up.  I didn’t show up for my flight that night and had to book a new flight in the morning.

I had an amazing time in Vegas.  I met some great people and made amazing memories.  I did the exact opposite of almost every other trip to Vegas and It worked out for the best.  I stayed away from gambling other than the first night.  I had zero expectations of how my days would go or what I wanted to accomplish.  I removed the giant stick I normally have crammed so far up my ass.  When I met new people I was open to taking them at face value and not projecting my insecurities on them.  I enjoyed myself in the moment.


11 Things I Want to Say to My Ex


I wrote this for myself a few months back.  I never planned on publishing it.  This post was originally titled “10 things I want to say to my ex.”  But I ended up with 11.  It’s kind of ironic because her and I used to play a game with the time, 11:11.  If one of us saw it on a clock we would text it to each other or yell it out before the other one could.

We haven’t spoken in several months.   It was always such bad timing for us.  Every time we were happy something came along and changed our relationship.

She reminds me of myself in so many ways when I was younger.  If we were able to speak there are a few things I would like to say to her.

  1. I’m sorry – I’m sorry about how I handled all the change in my life.  I’m sorry you had to see me at such a low point.  I’m sorry I didn’t get help for my depression when you begged me to.  I’m sorry I hurt you and your son.  I was a judgmental asshole who projected all his own baggage and inner bullshit I carry around onto you.  I forced you to become a person you were not.
  2. You’re a whore – As much as I don’t want to admit it there is still a part of me that is angry, resentful and hurt
  3. Stop blaming other people for your problems – You’re better than that.  You constantly blamed issues in your life on what has occurred in the past.  You’ve become a volunteer victim.  Breaking this cycle is incredibly hard.  Its taken me 35 years to start doing it.  You are a strong person underneath all the pain.  You are a survivor.  Take responsibility for your life and your actions.  It will allow you to have a better life ten fold.
  4. I hate who you have become – The last few months I was around you it was like spending time with a stranger.  There were occasions I saw the woman I fell in love with, but they were few and far between.  I look at pictures of you from this summer compared to when I last saw you and you’re not the same person.  This summer you looked fresh faced and full of life.  You had this light in your eyes.  Now that light has gone dark.
  5. I hope you find yourself – You told me every that with every guy you have dated you took on their personality and made their interests yours.  You get lost in whatever some else likes because you don’t have a sense of self.  I think that may be one of the reasons you and I found each other at the time.  I have such a dominant and overpowering personality that you clung onto me.  Even though you weren’t into my lifestyle you still gave it your all.  You need to find out what you love and what makes you truly happy.  I hope you spend some time by yourself and figure out who you are.  Jumping from one guy to the next, like you have, will never allow for that.  I did that with women and it set me back many years.
  6. Not everyone new is better –  You become infatuated with anyone who is new in your life.  All the new people who come into your life get all your mental and physical attention.  You talk about them constantly and put them on a pedestal.  It’s almost as if you wish you could have their lives just because they are different than yours.  You take some aspect of their life and you romanticize it to the point that these people can do no wrong.  The people in your life that have always been there for you, that have given you so much, you treat with little regard.  You seem to only care about them when they are useful to you.  Otherwise you treat them as a burden.
  7. Relationships, like life, take hard work – I think this is a concept we both struggled with. Hard work, in most aspects of my life, has been something I have shied away from.  I remember you telling me you thought relationships should just work.  I’m not saying they should be as difficult as ours, but they require a lot of effort to be great.  This same rule applies for most things in life.
  8. Be the amazing mother you once were – That’s one of the reasons I fell in love with you.  You were such an amazing mother.  Being a single parent has to be one of the hardest jobs in the world.  You have faced adversity and still gave so much love to your son.  The last couple months I was around you you were always hungover or too concerned with your phone and work while he was starving for your love and attention.
  9. You’re beautiful – You don’t need to do the things you do for attention.  You are a beautiful person.  If you are confident in that and respect yourself the right people will come into your life.
  10. Thank you – Thank you for the time we spent together; good and bad.  Thank you for allowing me to be in your sons life.  He taught me so much about myself and what I want in my life.  Thank you for hurting me as bad as you did when you ended things this summer.  If it had not hurt so much I may have never seen how unmanageable my life had become.  I may have have never stopped using pills.  I may have never got to this place in my life.  I am finally becoming happy and comfortable with who I am.
  11. I love you – I’m not in love with you.  I don’t want to be with you.  I don’t even really want to see you again.  But, I love you.  I have compassion and love in my heart for you and your son. I keep the two of you in my prayers and  wish you a beautiful life.

The Evil in Indifference

“There is another kind of evil we must fear most, the indifference of good men.”

man-praying-on-one-kneeEvery night before bed I pray.  I ask God to replace my fear with faith.  I ask that he puts me in situations where I can be courageous and face things I fear.  This doesn’t necessarily mean I have to be put in a fight or flight situation; but put in situations where I am forced outside my comfort zone.

Today I was presented with an opportunity to be courageous for someone else and fear kept me from acting.  I was rushing on my way to get my haircut.  I stopped at a red light when I saw a older man about 50 feet away from me walking his dog.  The man was probably in his 60’s.  He was clearly intoxicated and was yelling at his poor, defenseless dog.  The dog was terrified.  The man even went as far to kick at the dog when it wouldn’t listen.

I love animals, especially dogs.  I was enraged by the mans actions.  I started screaming out of my window at the man to leave the dog alone.  The dog was trying its hardest to run away from the man and almost ran out into traffic.  A police officer was stopped at the same light perpendicular to me and watched the same events I saw.  The police officer sat in his car and did nothing.

The red light stayed red for what seemed like an eternity as I watched this drunken, abusive man yell at his dog.  I so desperately wanted to jump out of my car and harm the old man for treating a scared, defenseless animal in this manner.

My blood was boiling as I screamed at the old man from my car.  But I did nothing to help this animals plight.  I let my fear stop me from doing what I felt was the right thing.

I feared that if I got out of the car I would have immediately act in a violent manner.  I was not in the frame of mind to handle the situation delicately and kindly.  A police officer was sitting there watching and I feared getting a citation or possibly arrested.  I feared hurting the old man and getting sued and what that would cost me.

I was confused as to what I would do if I did step in and was able to take the dog from the man.  Would I keep the dog?  Would I be arrested for stealing his animal?  What happened if I did not take the dog from him?  Would this drunken man abuse the dog further for my actions?

Then I realized the fear I am most embarrassed to admit.  I feared being caught up in this altercation and missing my haircut appointment.   I feared how that would effect my day and all of my other plans because I am leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow for vacation.

My selfishness and indifference played instrumental roles in my lack of action.  I call myself an animal lover; yet I see an injustice and I am more concerned with how this may impact my day instead of doing what I feel is right.  That realization made me ashamed and disgusted in myself.  I turned this into “someone else’s problem.”  That is the greatest evil in my opinion.

I’m not sure what the correct action was at that exact moment, but inaction certainly was not it.  I feel that is one of the greatest problems facing communities and societies today.  People are afraid to stand up and defend those who cannot defend themselves.  This is one of the main cuas why neighborhoods and cities are destroyed and overrun by  those who wish to do harm.

People are afraid to stand up and do that right things because they fear the outcome.  Quite often there is a good reason to be fearful.  You could get arrested, sued, injured, shot, outcast in the neighborhood, be targeted for violence later.  The list goes on and on.

If we want real change to occur in our world for the better, we as a society must start taking these risks.  We have to develop a plan to take our streets and neighborhoods back.  We have to make a difference in the lives of those who are young and defenseless in order to instill in them the confidence and courage to take the correct actions.  Even if it’s an unpopular decision.

Parents, teachers, leaders need to evolve in our communities and invoke the sense of pride that people once had where they would not stand for people acting out and destroying where they lived.  Without citizens taking ownership in what occurs around them their environments will continue to decay.

I know their are good and courageous people out their every day who take action to make the world a better place.  They understand how turning a blind eye to what may seem like an insignificant problem leads to ignoring much larger issues later.  Like the people in Baltimore who stood outside of local businesses defending them from looters.  To all these men and women I respect and salute you for your efforts.

Plato poignantly and concisely said it better than I ever could:

“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”



Priming For The Day

Seven months ago my life sucked.  Mainly because I made it that way.

Today I’m so grateful for every day I wake up. I found that one of the most important aspects of making my life better was creating a daily practice to start my day.  I’m the type of dude who needs structure in my life to thrive.  Every morning if I’m going to have a great day I have to do the following:

  1. Wake up, hit my knees and give thanks for the day.
  2. Jump in the coldest shower possible to get the synapses firing and release endorphins
  3. Find some positive motivation – Today it’s from my dude Les Brown

4. Then start working on something I’m passionate about or head to the gym. Today it’s gym time!!


Wanna Get Ripped For Summer?? Here’s How!

I no longer use steroids and have the Testosterone levels of a man 20 years my senior.  Cutting up for the summer is now a much more difficult process for me.  Two years ago I would clean up my diet a little, bump up my weekly Test dose by 150-200 mg,  throw in a little bit of Anavar or Winstrol and boom, I was in beach shape without losing appreciable muscle mass.  Those supplements are no longer options for me.  I have to be much more careful about how I cut or I’ll end up looking like Justin Bieber without all of his money or fame.

Here’s some tips that I’m using to get lean while retaining or even gaining the most amount of muscle possible.

  1. Eat your Greens – Kale, spinach and broccoli are your friends.  Eat one of them at every meal.  Not only will they help fill you up and keep your from gorging on empty calories, but they also can help increase testosterone levels.
  2. Take Magnesium and Zinc – Take 30 mg of zinc and 750 mg of magnesium daily.  You need to be careful not to consume too much of these minerals as there could be issues with toxicity.  I like to take these post-workout and before bed as magnesium has a calming effect on the body. Studies have shown that taking 750 mg a day of magnesium boosted Testosterone levels in men who suffer from Low T by up to 26%.
  3. Earn your carbs – Eat the majority of you carbs (65-75%) when you body needs them the most; around the time you train.  I am a big proponent of intra-workout carbs.  My intra-workout shake has anywhere from 40-60 grams of Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrins to fuel my workout and restore glycogen levels.  Post workout I have a whole food meal where I consume anywhere from 50-70 grams of carbs in the form of a sweet potato or rice.  I prefer using sweet potatoes lately as my body seems to react better to them – less inflammation and water retention as compared to rice.
  4. Time your carbs – I eat the majority of my carbs at two key times during the day.  Around my training (which I explained above) and during the last meal of the day, which is roughly two hours before I go to sleep.  I eat a half cup of oatmeal with a tablespoon of raw honey.  Your body tends to be more insulin sensitive later in the day.   Plus the carbs produce serotonin that can help make you sleepy.  Stay away from processed carbs and sugars as much as possible as they will wreak havoc on your diet.
  5. Keep your protein up – I aim for 250-270 grams of protein a day.  I weigh 210 pounds now that I have cut.  As a general rule I like to keep protein intake around 1.2-1.3 grams per pound of bodyweight during this phase.
  6. Eat your good Fats – I increase my fat intake when I am cutting carbs.  I eat at least 15 grams of good fats per meal.  My favorite fat sources are coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, raw nuts, eggs, grass fed beef and grass fed butter.  Adding these to my meals keeps me satiated.  MCT’s help with energy and research shows they increase testosterone levels.
  7. L-Leucine – Supplementing with Leucine has greatly enhanced my ability to retain muscle mass while stripping body fat.  I take 5 grams of Leucine with 3-4 of my meals, as well as my intra-workout shake.  Leucine regulate’s muscle protein synthesis.  If it’s present the body will synthesize protein.  If not, the body will break down muscle tissue to find the leucine and BCAA it needs.
  8. HIIT –  I limit my HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions to 3 times per week.  I warm up on the treadmill for 3-5 minutes.  After the warm-up I sprint for 20-30 seconds and then walk for 30-40 seconds.  I repeat this interval for 7-10 minutes.  I end my HIIT session by walking for 3-5 minutes to cool down.  HIIT training is anabolic and continues to burn fat hours after you have finished training.


Fuck I Don’t Feel Like Writing


“So baby girl put it on me!”

I can’t get Ja Rule out of my head.

Its playing on my Spotify in the background.  I never write while listening to music.  I usually can’t concentrate unless I have silence.  But today I’m not sure what to write about.  Or if this will turn into anything other than a draft that sits on the back-end of my site forever.

I’m sitting on my couch with a smile on my face.  My dog’s sprawled out next to me sleeping the morning away.  It’s one of those funny mornings where I know I have a ton to do today, but I’m not stressing.  I’m trying my hardest to stay present and enjoy my day as it comes.

Too often I stress the future and what I feel needs to happen.  I can’t sit still and focus on whats happening in the present.  I want to get to these future events and get them over with.

I’m not sure why I feel that way.  I don’t know if it’s that I feel there is a void in my life right now or if it’s because I haven’t achieved a certain goal yet.  Possibly its the anxiety and fear of not knowing how it will play out.  The one thing I do know is that the the anticipation and the process of getting to wherever I want to be in life tends to be the most exciting part.

One of my favorite lines from any movie sums up these thoughts so perfectly:

“It not about the past or what you think might happen in the future, its about the ride for Christ Sake. There’s no point in going through all this crap if you’re not going to enjoy the ride.  And you know what?  When you least expect it something great might come along – Something better than you even planned for”

Listening to those words always makes me smile and puts life in perspective for me.  Something as simple as taking one minute to watch a clip of a movie can completely change my outlook for the day.  Gleaning little pearls of wisdom from all aspects of life helps me get a better understanding of myself and how I should live.  Appreciating each day for what it is; a gift.

I may not have all the things I want in my life today, but I have what I need.  Hell, I have more than I need.  At some point I may even want to getting rid of some of the possessions I have.

Life is a journey not a destination.  Trite but true.  A journey that is difficult and painful, but rewarding.  Reminding myself of this allows me to slow down and appreciate things as they come.  I don’t have to worry about filling a void or achieving a goal right this second.  The most important thing I can do is enjoy this moment because it will not come again.

About A Boy

Without even recognizing it, uncomfortable emotions have crept up on me again this year.  My Ex and I have been off and on for the past three years.  This time has been the longest of our break ups.  Each time we have split up we started talking on Mother’s Day and end up back together around Memorial Day.

We rush back into our relationship blindly without looking at the past wreckage we both have caused.  Ultimately the results are always the same.  It doesn’t work out because we have never resolved our past issues.  We take what we feel is a serendipitous reconnection and impulsively jump back into our relationship.

This year I am able to step back and assess my past relationship with her with a more discerning eye.  Too much has occurred between us for me to want to be with her again at this point.  I can’t allow myself to be hurt, or to hurt her, again knowing full well what has happened in the past.  At least that’s what I am telling myself.

The most regrettable part of this story is that she has a son who had to go through all this.   He deserves better than what her and I created.  I haven’t seen him in a little over four months now.  He’s the greatest little guy I have ever met.  I love him like he is my own.  I miss spending time with him playing , building Legos, and the bond we shared.

If I am being truthful, the reason I reached out to her on Mothers day is because I miss him.  I want to be a part of his life again.  When her and I broke up the last time we made an agreement I would stay in his life for as long as he wanted to see me.  I stuck to this agreement and saw him every other weekend for the next nine months.  However, I got to a point that I could no longer be around her.  It was unhealthy for everyone.

Unfortunately that meant I couldn’t see him anymore either.  I never wanted to stop being a part of his life, but I could no long be a part of her’s.

When I spoke with her yesterday I asked if I could see him again.  She told me she didn’t think that could happen.  She said he has struggled to adapt to no longer seeing me and she doesn’t want to confuse him further.  She went on to tell me how he talks about me and my dog often and wants to see us so bad.  Hearing her tell me that broke my heart.

She also mentioned that she wanted to protect herself from getting confused and backtracking in her life.  I can appreciate and respect what she said because the last thing I want to do is hurt either of them again.  I made it clear I don’t want to be with her or interfere with her current relationship.

She expressed that I was supposed to in his life as a step father.  She felt if I was to see him again he would be confused and want the three of us to do things together again and eventually he would want me to stay.  Her and I both know those things can’t happen anytime soon.  Or more realistically ever.

As we continued our conversation she brought up the past several.  She made comments about “us” and resentments she still harbors towards me.  I wasn’t the best boyfriend.  I understand where she is coming from as I harbored resentments towards her until recently.  I just know that I can’t allow myself to be resentful.  It brings me down and leads me back into a world that is unhealthy for me.  But I realize I can’t expect her to be on the same page as I am.

Im at a crossroads where I’m unsure If I am being selfish in wanting to be a part of his life.  I don’t know if it would be detrimental to him in the long run.  I have already been in and out of his life twice because his mother and I have not been able to keep our relationship together.  The last thing I want to do is hurt him more.

As an adult we have to make brutally painful decisions about what is best for other people.  In this case I’m not sure I’m able to do that.  I so deeply want to be a part of his life again that I’m afraid I’m unable to see what the right thing to do is.

Too often in my past when I thought I was being selfless I was being selfish.  I have difficulty seeing the difference while I am immersed in the situation.   I truly love this little boy.  Proving I love him may mean that I have to stay out of his life forever.  That’s the sad truth I don’t want to face.

I Put the Ass In Class

I used to be a partner in a nightclub in Philadelphia.  It was possibly the worst investment I have ever made as far as money is concerned.  I dealt with some of the worst people the city had to offer.  Several of my partner were unscrupulous to say the least.  But, I met a lot of really good friends over that time and the experience I gained was worth the loss on paper.

I sold my stake in the business four years ago.  Some of my partners stayed in the business with the new investors and they turned it a EDM club.  When I was involved it was a hip hop club in the Philly Urban scene.  Complete opposite sides of the nightlife spectrum.

Their first year in business they booked some of the biggest DJ’s from around the world to play there.  Many of my friends and former colleagues still worked there so I decided to treat the place like my personal playground.  I brought whoever I wanted there through the side-door, never paid for a drink and got in fights constantly.

back2The grand opening event was sold out.  There were more than 1200 people there that night. My friends and I partied our asses off.  At one point I walked up to the main bar, broke out a line of coke and sniffed off the bar in front of hundreds of people.  No one seemed to notice or care.

I left my friends at our table and made my rounds through the club.   I ran into a stripper I occasionally hooked up with.  When she saw me she started yelling and dancing around with excitement.  She immediately left the person she was talking to and jumped on me.  She wrapped her arms and leg around me and kissed me.

I carried her away with me through the crowd and into the clubs office.  Several of the employees were in the office working so we went into the private bathroom.  We kissed and did a couple bumps of coke.   Then, I bent her over and licked her ass.  Once I got hard I put my dick in her for a couple of pumps before someone started banging on the bathroom door.  I knew I wasn’t going to finish so we stopped and walked out.

I told her I would see her later and I went back to my table.  A close friend of mine asked where I had been and why my face smelled like an asshole.  I told him the story and the rest of the night he called me “stinky-butthole-face.”

Not too long after that I wound up being the douchebag wearing a wife beater in the club.  I was so drunk I kept trying to drink out of a cracked cup and spilled all over myself and everyone around me.

My friends and I went back to my house and kept the party going.  Around 6 AM only two of us were left standing.  I received a phone call from the stripper and she was crying hysterically.  She told me that her and her boyfriend had gotten into an argument and he punched her.  Unbeknownst to me, the guy she was talking to in the club when she started kissing me was her boyfriend.

I felt like a dick about the whole situation.  But not enough to do anything about it to help her.  I was drunk and coked up in the wee hours of the morning.  I wasn’t equipped to help her with her problem.  I told her I wasn’t sure what she wanted from me.  That ended the call abruptly.  Then I took a Xanax and went to bed.

Being Tortured Is A Choice

Pain-Is-Inevitable-Suffering-Is-OptionalI’m a glutton for punishment.  At least I used to be.  Looking back at how I handled many of the trials and tribulations in my life, I can honestly say I chose to be tortured.  I don’t think I necessarily made those decisions on purpose.  But suffering was the path I embraced.

Its hard to stay even keel when going through tough times. Especially when it feels like there are life altering, negative implications.  I know it’s a hackneyed platitude, but sometimes It’s hard to see the forest for the trees.

However, there are ways to utilize these arduous events as springboards to something positive in life.  Looking at my own life I find this to be true.  Out of every tragedy (or what I perceived as tragedy at the time) there has always been a lesson to learn and an opportunity to make my life better in some facet.

There have been times where I felt my world would end.  For example, two years ago I had to stop using steroids, give up my very lucrative illegitimate business and move away from the place I had called home for many years to start a new life.  I had to change everything I had known for the past decade (for better or worse) and become someone I had no understanding of.

I didn’t know what life would look like for me without the facade of who I had become.  It was the most uncomfortable time in my life.  At least it felt like it was at that point.  Today I realize it was a minor bump in the road.  I had previously survived adversity that felt like the death of “me” many times.

The results stemming from my behavior snowballed into more torture for myself.  I lost my relationship and the family setting I had so desperately wanted.  I ended up relapsing back into my opiate addiction.  I even debated making the ultimate mistake, committing suicide.

I chose to be miserable and create pain and suffering for myself.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but that’s what I was doing.  I had options, a multitude of them in fact.  However, I didn’t recognize them as such.  I was too focused on what I perceived I had lost.

I was unable to be observant of my environment.  I couldn’t focus on what my life could look like in the future.  I did’t understand that I could choose to be happy in that moment if I kept a level head and reminded myself that what I was going through would pass.

Learning to step back from my own situation and applying a less emotionally charged perspective has taken a tremendous amount of time and practice.  Quite often I fail at this.  Its like anything else, it takes a lot of reps to build that mental muscle.

We all have choices in our lives every day.  From the simplest choices like what we eat and what we wear.  To the most difficult choices of what we think about and allow into our lives.  There’s a quote I used to hear in AA when members would discuss the recovery process.  They would say “its simple, but its not easy”  The same holds true for how we choose to view adversity.

I’m A Scooter

Seen on the Avenida Do Mar, Madeira Island

In college my friend once told me, “Dude you’re a scooter.”

“What the fuck does that mean,” I asked.  His reply was life changing.

“You’re a scooter!  Ya know.  Scooters are fun to ride, but you don’t wanna  see your friends while you’re ridin’ one.  Chicks will sleep with you, then vehemently deny it when they’re around their friends.”

His analogy was genius.  I really was a scooter.   Girls would talk about how disgusting and scummy I was when they were around their friends.  Some of them would even say it right in front of me.  Then when the the night was winding down and the bars were closing they would be sneaking me into their house so their friends wouldn’t see us.

In my last year of college I made a career out of being a scooter.   I had just gotten out of a rocky, three year, off again on again relationship.  It had rocked my confidence and shaken my self esteem.  But there I was, free to run wild.  I attempted to sleep with almost any girl who crossed my path.  I wasn’t very selective.  I just needed to feel wanted and attractive.

After awhile I started gaining my confidence back.  I was pulling a new girl every couple of nights.  I was thrilled to be single.  Life had meaning again.  That meaning wasn’t incredibly altruistic or noble, but it worked for me at the time.  I understood my role as a scooter and I played it very well to my benefit.

Fast Forward 12 years and I find myself in a similar position.  I am once again single after a break up from a tumultuous relationship.   It took me a couple of months to figure out how to deal with being single again.  Not only have I regained confidence in myself, but I love being single right now.  I haven’t enjoyed my life this much, well, possibly ever.

This time around, I have transitioned out of being a scooter and have become an “In-betweener.”  I fill space in the lives of women who may have recently gotten out of long term relationships or are just looking for something casual.  I occupy their time until they are back on their feet and ready to meet someone more suitable to have a real relationship with.

That’s the reality of my dating life .  It’s perfect for me right now.  I couldn’t ask for much more.  I love being an In-betweener; just like I loved being a scooter.

I enjoy all the benefits of being single.  I can focus on growing my professional life and I have the ability to do whatever I please with my free time.  But, once and awhile I am able to spend my free time with the company of someone of the opposite sex.  We go to eat, grab some drinks, get our dogs together, have sex or sometimes even cuddle.  I’m able to experience all the great parts of a relationship without having to actually be involved with any one person.

When I meet a women I am very upfront with them that I am In-betweener.  I explain to them that these are relationships of convenience.  I have nothing to offer them except a good time.  We both need to go about our lives, see whoever else we want to see and do whatever it is that makes our hearts content.  Then, once a week or so, we can hang out together and enjoy each others company.

Sometimes this talk  doesn’t go over well.  But, like with business, I think it’s important to set appropriate expectations with any relationship in order to mitigate any confusion, disappointment or animosity.  I would rather have a women tell me she is not interested in the situation from the gate rather than deal with drama and craziness on the back end.

The only down side to being an In-betweener is that occasionally, even though expectations are set correctly and all parties agreed to the terms,  someone decides they are going to try and change you.  These are the “Hopefools.”

The Hopefools meet you and hear what you have to say but in their head they think, “Not Me, I’m different.”  Sometimes they can be extremely tricky to spot in the beginning.  They play the game so well.  Everyone starts out feeling really good about themselves and the situation.  Then after a couple weeks of it everything changes.

Hopefools will start off with the first thing in the morning texts of  “Good morning, I hope you have a great day.”  This is usually the beginning of the end.  It will quickly progress to a daily ritual.  Then they will start asking questions about the other people you are spending time with.  This is where you must make a decision about where you need this relationship to go.

The Hopefool has their mind set that you are going to be in a committed relationship with them.  You have become a challenge and they have thrown down the gauntlet.  If you continue along the path of this relationship ignoring the signs and think just because you explained you are an In-betweener that you are free from issues, I assure you my friend you are dead wrong.  The upfront expectations you set have been completely disregarded.  The Hopefool could give a shit less about what you said, because they feel deep down they are different and they are one to change you.

If you want to stay a drama free In-betweener you need to cut ties immediately.  It’s not always that easy to do.  The Hopefool tends to be extremely fun, endearing and is usually the one who’s down for anything in the bedroom.  It was all part of their plan!  They put on their A Game in order to leave you woozy and susceptible to their trap.  It’s sort of the way the Black Widow lures in her mate only to kill and eat him afterwards.

This is the dichtomy of being an In-betweener.  You have everything you want in the world, but you realize at some point it has to end or you wind up in a relationship again.  Which is is the death of the wonderful world you have created.  You will no longer be able to spend your free time as you choose.  It could even start effecting your work life.

Being a successful In-betweener can be extremely rewarding.  However, success in this game means making difficult choices.  You have to be able to balance treating people you date in a respectful and caring manner, but not so much that they want to date you.  You have to know how to appropriately distance yourself from situations while remaining honest to yourself and those involved with you.  I think Kenny Rogers summed it up best when he sang, “You gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.