Previous birthdays never really meant much to me. At eighteen I could buy cigarettes and porn, but I didn't because I don't smoke and know what the internet is. At twenty one I could buy alcohol, but didn't because I don't drink. I could gamble, too, but had already been doing it for years online. At twenty five I could rent cars at a discounted rate. That was a little bit exciting, but not exactly a life changer.
So when thirty rolled around, I didn't expect much. And, of course, the actual day didn't really change anything, but the increasing comprehension that my twenties were over did change something. I got serious.
My first ten years were spent filling diapers, and then drawing with crayons. It's tough to expect much from a 0-9 year old, and I'm sure I just about met those expectations.
My next ten years were spent learning, mostly. I learned how to make money, how to write, how to do math, and how to speak some Chinese and Spanish. A lot of my good friends were met during these years, too. So the 10-19 age range was mostly experiencing the world and building up a collection of reference experiences to help me understand it. The foundations of who I "am" were built during these years. I became a nerd, I became interested in Asia, I neglected social skills to the point that I would later have to become a pickup artist, I gained a deep understanding of risk and reward, became an entrepreneur, and I started exploring things.
My twenties could best be described as me doing whatever the hell I wanted to do. I dropped out of school, traveled the world, made a bunch of money gambling, had a few girlfriends, moved into my RV, and learned a bunch of interesting stuff. During this decade I basically completed my entire bucket list, including a lot of things I never thought I would do. I lived in a mansion and penthouse, ran with the bulls, flew a plane, skydived a few times, dated girls I would have thought were way out of my league, bought three mercedes, a house, and my first Rolex, explored the catacombs beneath Paris, rode a camel in the Sahara, walked through the ghettos of Haiti, met and befriended a few celebrities and most of my heroes, and a whole lot of other stuff I can't even think of right now.
The truth is that I've done almost everything I want in life that doesn't involve having a family or having a lot of money. There are always more countries to explore, more girls to date, more adventures to be had, but the marginal utility of each one has diminished. I've done all that, I've done it well, and I've enjoyed every second of it. If I died tomorrow I'd die with a smile on my face.
I'm happy about all of these decades. I mean, I don't think I executed them perfectly or anything like that, but it would be hard to really pinpoint any major regrets and say that I should have done things differently. I wouldn't trade my friends or experiences for anything, and their existence is due to the precarious path I took through life so far.
Upon turning thirty, I asked myself what my thirties should be about. The easy choice would be to continue doing what I was doing in my twenties, just living an awesome life. Thirty is an arbitrary number, things were going well, so why not continue?
On the other hand, my forties are looming. If I don't have a family by forty, odds are that I'll never have one. It's not impossible or anything, just less likely. If I can't find someone compatible enough to start a family and also become wealthy enough to support a family by forty, when WILL it happen? Despite some slightly offbeat attitudes towards marriage and dating, having a family is really important to me. I'm so grateful for my family and I love children so much that I can't imagine not being a parent.
So, again, here are my thirties. When I was in my teens I knew with complete certainty that I'd be a millionare by the time I was twenty five. And, truthfully, I probably earned around a million dollars through gambling. But I spent some of it and most of it was confiscated. I also thought that I'd probably meet The One by the time I was that age, too.
Suffice to say that neither one of those things happened in my twenties. I had an attitude that as long as I kept doing whatever I wanted to do, things would fall into place. One of my side projects would be so amazing that people would line up to pay me the money I deserved, and I'd become a millionaire with very little effort. If I just kept doing whatever I wanted, I'd bump into some perfect girl who I could have babies with. The latter turned out to be a bit more realistic than the former, but still I found myself single at thirty, financially comfortable, but not wealthy enough to support anyone besides my self.
My thirties, then, have to be a bridge to my forties. I'm 31 now, so I have nine years to get everything together. I've never thought about these long time horizons before, but now they're the shortest spans I consider.
Nine years isn't that long. I remember nine years ago when I was twenty two and it seems like yesterday. Soon I'll be forty, looking back at when I wrote this post, thinking how IT seemed like yesterday. I have three goals for the next nine years. That doesn't seem like much, but they're all really big goals.
1. Find an amazing woman to raise a family with. I'm the kind of guy who would much rather be single than date someone mediocre, half as a matter of pride, and half as a practical strategy to avoid wasting time that could be spent productively. I have a somewhat bizarre lifestyle and set of ideals, which makes me incompatible with most of the world. I've also dated a handful of really great girls, and don't see much point in dating anyone who doesn't measure up favorably with them.
The truth is that I have no real idea how I'll find someone like this. Pickup is a step in the right direction, but it's a huge focus and time investment and results in a lot more chaff than wheat. I don't have any better ideas, and may resort to a full year of pickup or something like that, assuming that in such a long amount of time I'll meet someone amazing, but this doesn't seem all that efficient.
2. Get really wealthy. If I were to put a number on it, I'd say ten million in the bank. I'd like to have enough money to be able to be a stay-at-home dad and spend most of my time with my family, traveling around with them, and teaching my children. My friend Leo homeschools his six children, and talking to him about it has inspired me to do the same. My twenties were all about me, so my future will be about my family. It would be fun to have a private jet and a private chef and a custom tour bus and all that stuff, but really I'll be happy when I get to the point that I can fly coach anywhere in the world on a moments notice without regard for the cost of flying there and renting a spot in the middle of the city I'm visiting.
3. Contribute positively to the world. I think I've already started this through my blog. I don't reach a TON of people, but I do get a lot of feedback from people saying I've changed their lives. I'll die some day, but my hope is that some of the work I've done will flow forward in time through generations, and improve life for people. I'll do this through my family, too, but I feel like I've gotten so incredibly much out of the world that I owe it a debt. I don't intend to finish this in my thirties, but just build a solid foundation.
So, three big goals. I think that they'll work together pretty well, too. The more I contribute to the world, the more like-minded people will know about me. I sort of expect that whoever I end up raising a family with will find me through my blog, since it's such a self-selecting medium. I have a strong moral code, so any method by which I'll get wealthy will also impact the world positively. When I do find a woman who I want to raise a family with, I'm sure that she'll play a part in my financial success as well as my contribution to the world.
With nine years until I'm forty, I figure I'll spend the first three primarily focusing on becoming wealthy, the next three on finding someone to have a family with, and the last three shifting my attention towards contributing to the world. That's not a strict timetable, just an idea of how I see it playing out.
All this is why I'm serious now. I wake up early, I plan my day, and I execute. I write a blog post every single day, posting the best two per week, and work on SETT for the rest of the time. I spend some time with friends and family, but don't do much else. Right now I'm only working on getting wealthy and contributing because I won't be ready for a family until I'm wealthier and by contributing positively I expect to increase my chances of finding someone to have a family with.
Tynan, First I want to tell you how much I enjoy your Blog. It is my absolute favorite and I have learned quite a lot from reading your posts - so this is my chance to give back a little bit.
I probably have a different profile from most of your readers and I am sure I have quite a different perspective. What I have to say will probably challenge you and your readers. It is not meant to offend but the topic is an important one and is also one to which I have given a lot of thought. I wish someone had laid these things out for me to consider when I was in my 20s or 30s.
A little about me so you can see where I am coming from (and that I am not some lunatic curmudgeon)! I am in my early fifties. I have been married twice – once for 10 years and once for 13 years. I have a kid from each marriage. I created and sold a business so I am financially independent. I am a passionate traveler. I have surfed, kite boarded and climbed mountains all over the world. I read voraciously and with your inspiration, have embraced a minimalist approach to life.
I applaud your taking a long view of life but I want to suggest that you take an even longer view and consider a few things. Hold on to your hat – this is a no BS reality check!
This is something that I believe you already know in your gut. ‘Happily ever after’ is an illusion. You are not going to find “The One” because she doesn’t exist. Think about the chicks that you thought were the one and couldn’t live without – Katya and that other woman you wrote about on your blog. They start out as “The One” and then turn into reality. This illusion is just an advanced form of one-itis and a hope for something that doesn’t exist. I don’t know a single guy in the US over 40 that has been married more than 5 years and that is truly happy. Marriage in the US requires emasculation to such a degree that it is impossible to be honest and truly happy. There are good reasons why 50-60% of marriages end in divorce. So do yourself a huge favor and do some research. Talk to a divorce attorney about what you are signing up for and the rights you give up when you get married. US divorce law is a travesty for men. Instead, I recommend connecting with great friends for companionship and using your pick-up skills to have sex with women to whom you are attracted. Stay free to live life and do great things! And if you absolutely must have a girlfriend, choose someone from South America or Asia and DO NOT bring them to the US.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
I know you believe you know what it takes to raise kids because of your experience with your family but truly consider this. Take the weekend or even weeks you spent helping your family with the kids and multiply that by years and years – and remember it will also require you to give up or greatly curtail many of the things you love and care about passionately. The research says that people are much happier before they have kids and after the kids leave. This is for good reason. I love my kids but I also know I would have been just as happy and fulfilled if I had never had them. Just like anything else in life, kids will not make you happy or fulfill you if you don’t have those things already. Fulfillment is an inside job. Also, when you have a kid with a woman, she has a hold on you forever and the US court system will grind you to dust to uphold her right to extract money and pain from you. Divorce with kids is a nightmare – especially for the kids.
Here is something else to consider. There are already enough people on the planet. Overpopulation is the root cause of the majority of the problems we face. So ask yourself really why you want to have kids. It’s most likely pure ego or social brainwashing. If you truly care about kids, give your love and time to children that are already on the planet and have no family. These kids are the ones that need love - not more american wage slaves! Your love and care can make a HUGE difference in their lives and to the societies in which they will live.
This is something else you already know. Money is good for one thing – Freedom! Freedom to live how you want, follow your passion, and to make the world a better place. Jets, Chefs, Buses, etc. are nothing but distractions and ultimately decrease happiness and contentment.
I know all of this is a buzz-kill but these are hard truths that very few people will be willing to tell you. The US is now a culture of women and children at the expense of men – and it is completely socially unacceptable to challenge the illusion that marriage and kids are the ultimate pinnacle of happiness. Don’t buy into it – it is a false hope with a huge downside.
Tynan, you already have it figured out – Minimalism / Independence / Freedom. Don’t fold with a royal flush.
Hey Prestojx, I think Tynan has decided not to marry, ever. I remember reading so sometime back, so he's on the same page as you, but I wonder if it's for the same reasons. It'll be interesting to see if he ever changes his mind if he meets the otherwise "perfect" woman, who insists she wants to be married. Tynan, I'd like to read a post about how and why you decided not to get married. I'm more interested in why you initially decided to (parents' divorce etc), rather than all the supporting facts you gathered later over the years to strengthen and reinforce your decision.
US culture and and courts are experiencing some growing pains. After centuries of being a culture of men at the expense of women and children, it's trying to balance itself. I see it working pretty swiftly actually. There are a large number of women paying their ex-husbands alimony and even child support, and now that more and more women are earning more than their husbands, these numbers will only go up in the future. Neither the courts nor the feminists are trying to achieve anything but equality and equal treatment. Just as Whites shouldn't feel demoted because the status of Blacks and other minorities is raised up to the same level as that of the Whites, men shouldn't feel emasculated because women's status is raised to the same level as men's. Unless of course, one expects a superior status to that of minorities or women.
When fathers got away without paying child support, (in most States children who are now in their thirties and older fell into that generation), the children suffered a lot. The fathers did enjoy their lives unburdened, but the children suffered and harbored grudges. Not to mention how the mothers suffered bringing them up. I know a several such children, they have no relationship or strained relationships with their fathers, and the stories of their childhood suffering due to financial hardship is heartbreaking.
There are plenty of South American and Asian women who've come here and they have happy families. Yet others are divorced. Yet others were ill-treated by their husbands. Yet others used their husbands for the green card. It's the same on the other side, plenty of foreign men who've married American women have come here, and are happily married, divorced, or they too only used their wives for a green card. It's a pretty even playing field. My point is, these things are not only happening to men. In my experience, the idea that South American and Asian women are more subservient and submissive than American women is an over-exaggeration that largely comes from comparing American females from your circles in America to women of dissimilar status in other countries. I find they stack up pretty equally for the most part if you compare similar groups: the educated to the educated, the jet set to the the jet set, the rich and powerful to the rich and powerful, the country women to the country women. Many of my Asian female friends (who live in Asia) are much more emancipated and feminist minded than the average American woman.
With industrial progress, the world is assimilating to Western culture, many Asian courts are now following suit with child support, alimony etc. In some Asian countries, the strides they've made in just a decade is staggering and surprising to those who were familiar with how things were just a decade or two ago.
Tynan, I clicked "Edit" instead of "Reply" just now, and it loaded. Looked like it would've allowed me to Edit Prestojx's comment above. I didn't publish changes, of course, so I don't know if it would've warned me then. I am assuming you only want the authors of the comments to be able to edit. While we are on the topic, why not add the Edit function to the "replies" as well?
Web, thanks for your thoughtful response. You make some excellent points and I will certainly take time to consider what you have said.
I want to clarify that I am not opposed to equality of women and celebrate the advances that have been made on that front. But it is important to acknowledge that in any quest for Cosmic Justice, such as equality, the costs need to be considered as well as the benefits. It is especially important to the people that have to pay those costs. In this case, it is men - specifically successful men- who pay because they are treated with inordinate inequality by the Family Law process. Unless you are a man that has been through the meat-grinder of the court system in a divorce or custody battle, it must be very hard to understand or even believe.
In a simple custody case for example, the courts can require you to essentially make public all of your medical, financial, business records, personal journals, correspondence, and on and on. Judges have very broad powers and are unafraid to use them especially on behalf of a woman that portrays herself as a victim. An unscrupulous ex can use this information to do great harm, to vilify or to cause exquisite embarrassment for no purpose other than pure malice. And if you believe that Judges can prevent this, just try to get justice once it has occurred.
My point is simply that most people have no idea that this kind of thing is possible. And the more successful or unconventional a person is, the higher the risk. And this doesn't begin to address the exorbitant costs of pursuing justice or even simply defending oneself. What I have gone through would bankrupt a normal middle-class person.
I agree with you that kids from broken homes of the past were often scarred when women were abandoned or left financially destitute; but there is also significant heartbreak for children when there is endless venom, conflict and legal wrangling. I am saying that the system supports this under the guise of the equality you describe. What happens in the Family Courts now goes way beyond assuring that women are taken care of or that justice is served.
To my original point, men should think long and hard, weighing all the costs, before giving that kind of control to a woman on the basis of thinking they have found "the one".
You also make a good point about the comparison of dissimilar classes of women in different countries. However, I would contend, after living in all three cultures, that in countries where there are more traditional gender roles, women make better girlfriends. They aren't typically under the illusion that they have a god given right to "have it all". Again, I see nothing wrong with a woman wanting to have a great career or do anything else she pleases. But I know many women that are absolutely miserable - as are their husbands or boyfriends, while they desperately struggle to "have it all" (See this month's Atlantic Monthly). I am saying that American culture fosters this illusion much more than other cultures and I say caveat emptor!
Of course, everything is a matter of perspective. I have come to these conclusions through personal experience. Maybe your experiences are quite different.
Thanks for the dialogue.
Most people having kids aren't as intelligent as Tynan. There's dysgenic pressure going on right now--the population is getting stupider because educated women have fewer children than less educated women. If anyone as smart as Tynan wants to have kids, I'd say go for it.
Don’t fold with a royal flush.
Hahahaha such an evocative but concise way to put it - the wisdom of experience shines through with that one!
This is something that I believe you already know in your gut. ‘Happily ever after’ is an illusion. You are not going to find “The One” because she doesn’t exist........... I recommend connecting with great friends for companionship and using your pick-up skills to have sex with women to whom you are attracted.
I've been wondering about this lately - specifically - is there such thing as 'love' or only sex? A lot of people believe in love by default and I think it truly does exist but in much rarer rarer quantities than one thinks (chances along the lines of getting struck by lightning - literally). The reason I think this way is because people (specifically from the male point of view) fall 'in' and 'out' of love all the time and when people usually fall 'in' love they are attracted sexually to the person on some level. Similarly when people fall 'out' of love a large component of it is I don't feel the same (sexual) way about the person anymore.
In addition - the endemic notion of a woman (for this example) rejecting you and masking it as let's just be friends (LJBF). If love were truly non-sexual in nature then LJBF should not exist as two people who spend a lot of time with each other and share many commonalities should be able to transition their friendship into a relationship seamlessly. Instead what happens usually is one partner suddenly makes their sexual needs known and the other rejects them sexually despite all other aspects of the budding relationship having potential. Since we are victims of our biology the sexual need cannot just be 'shelved away' and the hurt from getting rejected permanently destroys the friendship - despite all non sexual aspects of the relationship being compatible. Thus love must be purely sexual in nature - as when one falls in love one wants to kiss/cuddle/hug/caress etc.... all of which are sexual actions. Women in particular seem to be 2 people at once who both need to be satisfied. To have a working relationship with a woman from my experience you need to be compatible with her both as friends and as potential sex partners. Similar to David Deangelo's experiences though I find the sexual need trumps over the friendship need meaning if one had to choose one should always go sexual as it leaves the friendship option open (whereas it's much harder to go from friendship --> sexual but Tynan does cover this conversion somewhat in his 'Make her catch you' book)
If most of what is considered love is actually just sexuality then in most cases there is no such thing as love - only sex. Thus if that is true your advice may be completely sound. Discard the search for "the one" and just have sex with whomever you desire as love does not exist - only sex. If true love existed it should not depend upon the attractiveness of your partner as true love by nature is unconditional.
Here is my take on Love. There are two different things commonly called love and they are often times conflated. One is "in-love" which is a feeling and it is almost purely biological and sexual. That is why it comes and goes and can be manipulated with pick-up techniques. Then there is "Love" which is an action. It is the willingness to extend yourself for someone else's spiritual growth. So I can choose to love anyone - my kids, my S.O., my buddies or that old indigent man on the corner. I think there is a gigantic amount of confusion because people don't understand the difference between the feeling of "in-love" and the action of "Love".
That's a pretty good way to put it. The action of "Love" seems like a more conscious/true type of love whereas you CHOOSE to love (despite their possible indignation) over "in-love" (attraction) which is a more reactive/unconscious kind of love which results from sexual stimulus. Just as there are many types of intelligence (smart, clever, shrewd, resourceful, etc...) maybe there are many kinds of love and we should just stop grouping them all under the same umbrella.
Your view is 100% anti-human, destructive, BS.
"There are already enough people on the planet. Overpopulation is the root cause of the majority of the problems we face. So ask yourself really why you want to have kids. It’s most likely pure ego or social brainwashing. If you truly care about kids, give your love and time to children that are already on the planet and have no family."
People who didn't *plan* their reproduction caused the problem. Problem *solvers*, like Tynan should be having MORE kids than normal. You view humans to be a plague, a problem, a cancer, that all humans are identically low-value. This is dangerously false. One person's decision to reproduce before they can afford it bears no responsibility on everyone else who waits to have their own offspring and continue their genetic line.
Absolutely! I hope Tynan finds a woman with good values and has lots of children that look like him(not Asian or South American) and also inherit his brilliant mind and kind outlook. His kind SHOULD inhabit the earth!
I also hope he won't wait too long to have enough money. You don't have to be wealthy to raise children. I ended up raising my kids alone and lack of a lot of money ended up being a blessing in disguise. I put TIME and energy into raising my kids and I am proud of the way they turned out.
Raising children is a wonderful and challenging adventure if you look at it that way. It has made me a better person.
Please be careful with the limiting beliefs like "I won't be ready for a family until I'm wealthier" and others.
Fair point. My logic is that I want to be able to give 100% of my time to my children and to be able to show them the world. I couldn't do that now.
The problem is I know people like that who never ended up having kids.
If you're OK with that, then by all means go with your plan. But if you really want kids you should have them even if things aren't perfect.
Steven Pressfield writes about "my year of turning pro" in his book 'turning pro' or 'the war of art' either one I highly recommend (as do tucker max & ryan holiday). He was 31 years old. He had saved up $2,700 dollars. He moved from NYC to a sleepy town in Northern California where he could rent a small place for $110/month. Each Monday he would walk down to the small town bank & withdraw $25. This would last him for the week. He didn't hang out, he didn't chat with buddies. He worked, writing on his ancient Smith-Corona typewriter for 26 months straight, taking only a three months off to do migrant labor picking apples up in Washington state. He didn't own a TV. He actually didn't hear about the Watergate scandal until weeks after - he'd missed it completely. But he did his work - finished a novel.
It didn't sell. Nor did anything of the other literature he produced in his 30's.
But eventually some of his projects started to.
To date, he's published 13 books and 4 screenplays ("The Legend of Bagger Vance?" - that's him).
Glad you're thinking in decades, Ty. If you're going to do something creative (like SETT) AND make a living from it that provides you with 7 zeros, there's a strong likelihood that it will take at least that long.
I've read both of those books and love them... very inspiring and practical. His attitude is basically how I feel... just work, just get it done.
I wasn't too sure about this whole post, but you hit a grand slam at the end: "All this is why I'm serious now. I wake up early, I plan my day, and I execute. I write a blog post every single day, posting the best two per week, and work on SETT for the rest of the time. I spend some time with friends and family, but don't do much else. Right now I'm only working on getting wealthy and contributing......."
The part in quotes is totally about focus and discipline on your priorities, and if people get that (if I can get it!!!!) you have contributed tremendous value. Well done, Tynan.
I turn 30 in November so this is pertinent to me. You have lived minimalist and without real security for so long and yet you want $10M. It's interesting to me. Perhaps you will find as you have a family that this level of security is not needed.
As to dating do you okcupid or anything like that? I have a friend who lives in the Bay Area meet a girl in Iowa who he is crazy about. The internet is amazing in the amount of people you can meet. You need a large sample size and regardless of how good you are at pickup your exposure will be limited. This is assuming that a person you prefer wouldn't be drawn to a particular locale. Though as a traveler yourself I don't think that would be the case.
It's not so much the security as much as it is the ability to focus all of my attention on my children (and their mother). That doesn't require $10M, but I also want wealth just for the sake of it... to be able to do things I can't afford now.
I'm not focused on dating right now, but in a few years, when I am, I'll check out OKC. I have friends who like it.
Why is it that young men today think they have to "support" someone financially? What happened to sharing the load? I would suggest finding the right person first and build your life together.
Perhaps it wasn't meant as an insult, but a personal belief. Do I HAVE to support my family? No, absolutely not. But it makes me feel good to be able to.
I completely agree with you, actually. My ideal woman is ambitious and driven and able to contribute financially as well. But... I'm already selective enough-- I don't want to have to eliminate ambitious and driven women who aren't wealthy.
More importantly, I do want to be able to support my kids through their childhood. As I said in another comment, I'd like to give them all of my time and take them around the world.
Have you read Byron Katie's book, Loving What Is?
I'm 28, and these thoughts have started to hit me. Like you, I've spent most of my 20's doing more or less anything I wanted: traveled the world, dated tons of hot girls, went to wild parties, did crazy things, etc. And slowly but surely, these thoughts creep into my head more and more often: family, contribution, what's my legacy going to be?
I discovered your blog while doing some research for a paper I was writing about minimalism, and unlike the other prospective sources I came across I've continued viewing yours. I certainly don't agree with everything you believe, but I find myself concurring with the majority of it, particularly the post on the point of minimalism and the one about why working hard is important. Anyway, I appreciate what you do and I think I've learned from your perspective. I do have a question, though.
Will you continue to live in a relatively austere fashion as a family man, or will you do things in a more conventional way?
I think that's an interesting question, and it's something I have a tough time predicting. I actually don't have a fundamental problem with stuff-- just the obligation and hassle that comes with it. Back when I had a house I constantly had to fix things, clean things, repair things, etc. Probably one full day a week was spend on this sort of stuff.
So it would mostly have to do with my financial situation. If I was a billionaire, I'd hire someone to manage my house(s) and would buy a ton of stuff since I'd never have to deal with the negative sides of it. At least I say that now. Who knows what would really happen.
More important than the actual stuff would be how I raise my kids. It would be very important to me for them to not overvalue stuff... so if that meant not having anything, I might do that, too.
Eight years ago, I lived in a house that we called Project Hollywood. A group of the four best pickup artists in the world-- and me-- rented out Dean Martin's old house on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles. This was a big deal in the pickup community, and it spawned clones all over the world. One such copycat was Project San Francisco, six hours away from LA. Mystery and I drove up there one day to check it out.
We were both immediately stunned with how well Project San Francisco was run. We were shown to our guest beds, given guest sets of keys, and guest towels. The whole house was clean and well organized. Our house, on the other hand, was chaotic. It was usually a mess and no one really took responsibility for anything beyond their own bedrooms. Generally it was only clean if someone had a girl coming over that he wanted to impress-- and then he cleaned it himself.
The tour through the house continued, and I commented on how clean everything was. In response, I heard the magic words: "Yeah, we try to keep it a nine out of ten at all times".
What an idea! Who would ever admit that they tried to complete something only to ninety percent? Eight years later, I'm still in love with the idea of nine out of ten.
My job is mostly to hold the flashlight. Sometimes I'll cut things - mostly straight -and I'll do a lot of holding of things. My name is Mike, and I can't fix much of anything.
This is may not be entirely true. I might have an average fixing ability but both my father and father-in-law are engineers so it seems like they've fixed everything. They also come from a generation that seems like it's able to do things. To fix things and make them better. To know how to ground an electrical wire, hang a ceiling fan, change belts on cars. That's what these guy do, it's what they've always done.
What I've always done is listen to music. A few days ago the Eve 6 song Inside Out came on the radio and I did what any other person my age would do. I turned it up (while quickly trying to think if there were any parts of the song that were inappropriate for the kids in the back seat). Inside Out was released in 1998 and isn't a very good song. It's a good representation of songs that were out in 1998 but it would be considered about average. I wasn't average though, I was 16 and in the prime years of building the library of songs I liked.
Metallica, Hunger, Eve 6, CCR, Springsteen. These were the bands that I was growing to love because I was able to drive and listen to the radio as loudly as I wanted. Fast forward to 2004 or rewind to 1992 and none of the song equivalents to Inside Out would get me to pause while channel surfing the radio. 1997-2004 were my music building years where I cataloged my favorite songs. I can develop new favorites - John Prine's Paradise is a recent example - but I don't add to my list often.
In my teens and earlier twenties I developed a taste for music, in my late twenties and thirties I built my fix it library. Inch by inch and mistake my mistake I'm slowly learning all the things my fathers know because that's how they did it. My paternal grandfather was another engineer, running his own construction company and my father in-law's father put on countless roofs and fixed countless homes. For both of these men their chief helpers were their oldest children - my fathers. They spent longer crafting their abilities to fix things but for as wizardly as they are they, they were still novices once.