Personal Growth and Liberty, but I repeat myself


The 90’s were an interesting time for a kid. A time before the internet, not before it was invented, but before it became mainstream. I remember regularly visiting a friend as a six-year-old and wanting nothing more than to play games on the flash new toy they had called a ‘computer’. Police Quest was one of my favourites, although it was tough since I didn’t yet know how to spell “open door” and kept having to ask my friend’s older brother for help.

The 90’s were a time of big change. Yes, change is happening rapidly now, but 90’s kids can still remember a time without the internet, a time when the news was still entirely consumed via television and print media. This was the time when change became the norm.

It was also a time when feminism had taken hold of the media and was dominating the public mood, only nobody seemed to realise, nor did they understand the damage it was doing.

I remember the male role-models that were offered to me as a young boy. I can imagine most 90’s kids know exactly what I am talking about.

Friends chandler photo
Photo by E. Avilés

Friends with goofy Chandler, nerdy and weak Ross, backed up by hilariously stupid Joey. The “strong” character was Monica. Rachel was strong as well, but seemed to play second fiddle in the group to Monica and Phoebe was the dumb blonde (although secretly the smartest one of all, if fan theories are to be believed and the evidence is compelling).

But it wasn’t just Friends; it was all TV shows across the board. Dawson’s Creek brought sensitive new aged teenager Dawson to the world. The young adolescent who was infatuated with a girl he couldn’t quite get.

Buffy, the strong female vampire slayer who just kicked ass in all ways. Star Trek with its openly Left wing narrative of “tolerant fascism” (I love Star Trek by the way). Not to mention show after show of the same “dumb family Dad with smart tolerant wife” sit-com that TV networks are still spewing out today.

Looking back, one show stands above others in how it affected me as a young boy growing up and how it shaped my behaviour as a teenager. That was The Wonder Years. For those who have never heard of this show, it’s about Kevin, a teenage boy growing up in the 60’s and 70s, learning to deal with his newfound interest in girls, bullies and normal teenage boy things.

The reason it stands out is not because it isn’t a decent show, it was enjoyable. I re-watched the first season a few years ago and it still holds out as entertaining viewing (all of the shows I listed were entertaining to me and still are). It stands out because Kevin is weak, he’s whiney and he chases his crush incessantly. He moans when she shows little interest and even gets upset, at her, for not being “clear” in what she wants. He’s classically needy.

This show, along with the other shows mentioned, were the closest thing I had to an instruction manual on how to be a man and attract women. As I’m sure almost goes without saying, they were not very good examples.

It’s not that I had no father figure either, my Dad was always around, at least until I was a teenager. It’s just that he was, and is, hardly an example of masculine charm and charisma. He’s a nice guy and I love my Dad, don’t get me wrong, but as an example of how to be a man he was a mixed bag and only added to my confusion.

Almost instinctively I knew that to get the girl you had to be the “leader”. You had to wear the pants, you needed to tease them and make fun, you needed to be confident. But I had no true example to follow, I had no guidance, I was clueless. I had two conflicting ideas being thrown at me, one from my instincts and natural beliefs, the other from wider society. Couple this with an extreme level of self-doubt and an almost autistic lacking of social skills, and you have the recipe for a real life Shakespearean tragedy.

Bound by the constraints and rules set to me by society, “be nice”, “treat her well”, “show respect”, “don’t be too aggressive”, “show your feminine side”, whilst fighting against, and almost being ashamed of, my own innate dominant masculine side, I was utterly confounded. I would constantly find out girls were attracted to me then mess it up completely when I wanted to take it further. Not because I wasn’t able to get them attracted obviously, but because society had taught me the wrong way to show interest and never taught me how to be a man.

It was horribly depressing.

The moment it all changed came when I was 19. My path went from one of despair to one of hope and growth.

I’d failed, again, with yet another girl. She was gorgeous, black hair, short, and very pretty. I’d thought I’d finally broken the hoodoo. Then, unfortunately, I listened to a friend’s advice. She told me to “be nice to her! Call her today and tell her how much fun you’ve had!” I wanted to wait a few days, but I took her advice and it went downhill from there.

I got needy when she didn’t return the interest and eventually she told me she didn’t want to see me again. It was utterly soul destroying. I cried for hours before I caught a glimpse of my sorry self in the mirror. What the hell are you doing? Fix this you idiot, fix it.

It was my “rock bottom” moment, I knew I had to change, but how?

Thank God for the internet, the greatest human achievement since Aristotle invented logic.

Wolf photo
Photo by Arne_von_Brill

If knowledge is power and the internet is knowledge, then the internet is true power. Power through individual liberty and liberation from false social constraints through self-education. It is the great equaliser.

I signed up for several non-mainstream dating advice newsletters and found various websites and blogs that gave great advice. I bought and read many books on the topic, once YouTube became prominent I consumed countless videos and even purchased coaching. I threw off the shackles of feminist indoctrination and went head on into the world of pickup and personal growth.

Men have gotten rich teaching other men simply what it means to be truly masculine. A role that society abandoned decades ago when it gave in to feminist demands for “equality”. An “equality” that, strangely, meant women had to take on traditionally masculine roles in society and, for some reason, meant men became more feminine to compensate.

Feminism hid true masculinity from men, but it never went away. By identifying this market, a few pioneering men were able to help millions of their brothers find themselves and take back their masculine identity, without shame.

More than a decade after my “enough is enough” moment, I have enjoyed personal growth beyond anything my 19-year-old self could imagine. I’ve had some amazing experiences; from the height ecstasy, to the lowest of lows, I have built myself a set of personal principles and rules to live by and a skin that is so thick that former colleagues would often call me “Teflon man” because nothing ever truly got to me.

I’ve had relationships with amazing and beautiful women and I’m currently living with a fantastic woman whom I love dearly. I’ve met amazing people only to lose them, had amazing experiences only to see them slip through my fingertips and I have lived every moment fully.

I have a son, my absolute pride, and know full well that I must be the true role model to him that he needs. I must teach him to be a man, a real man, one who lives free and with purpose.

If my journey has taught me anything at all it’s that individuals simply cannot grow within the constraints set for them by others. Only by developing and growing through their own principles, by learning for themselves, by consuming as much information as they wish, then taking risks and learning to separate the good from the bad, can people truly grow.

Without the freedom of information offered to me by the internet I have no idea where I would be right now. I’d likely not be alive.

If all people truly worked towards their own personal growth, without shame, God only knows how far we would advance as a species. Just as chains offer only the prospect of imprisonment, only freedom offers the prospect of progress.

As businesses are allowed to trade, societies profit and grow wealthier. As individuals are allowed the freedom to grow as individuals, so society grows along with them. Happiness cannot be handed to you, nor can it be dictated. Happiness can only be found and only free individuals can find it.

Mattys Modern Life writes regularly and brilliantly at

Photo by h.koppdelaney