Going my own way (and what it means to me)

Walking on RailroadThere’s a growing men’s movement known as MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) that has been starting to take hold in the U.S., and while loosely defined in some respects, one of its commonly accepted tenets is the rejection of all long term relationships with women, including marriage.

In what I feel has to be the height of irony, I also consider myself going my own way, only my way is not the same way as men going their own way (because I do not reject long term relationships or marriage).  Nay, I say, I go another way, a way different from other ways, even the men who go their own way.

Still with me?  Good.

This is one of the reasons why I can never belong to any association or group for any period of time before I start to grate on people’s nerves to the point that I’m banned for life.  I don’t know why, there always seems to be some point where things go off on a tangent regarding a group/movement/church/party’s belief where I dissent and quite literally have to go my own way.  Once that happens a rift seems to occur where I longer feel comfortable associating closely with such a group.  It’s why I don’t attend church, why I’m politically independent rather than belonging to any one party, why I don’t belong to any clubs or associations revolving around common interests or hobbies, and why I can’t even stomach the thought of joining a guild in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I don’t like being part of a team.  I like doing things my way, which is of course almost NEVER the way a team I’m participating with does things.  I guess that’s just part of who I am.

I remember my early years in high school when this aspect of my personality really started to present itself.  I was taking an advanced economics class during my senior year, and as part of our studies the teacher put us in groups so we could learn how to collaborate on investments in the stock market.  Ah yes, my favorite kind of assignments: learning how to work with other people.  Pffffftt.

Anyway, everyone in the group I was assigned to hated me, and I mean HATED me.  Because of my disability they thought I was a mentally retarded nimrod who had no business being in an advanced college level class with shmaaartsy people like themselves, so there was a lot of tension while we went over potential investments to make for our fantasy portfolio.  Ultimately the group decided to roll with a series of companies that make golfing equipment.  I suggested that because it was, you know, the middle of January, it’s not likely that these stocks would go anywhere while it was off-season, and hey what about this company that makes Lotus 1-2-3?  This spreadsheet software seems to really be taking off, maybe we should add that to our portfolio instead?

So of course they ignored me and went with the golfing companies instead.  And of course we lost money, and of course the one stock I proposed shot up like 10% in value at the conclusion of our class project.  Right then and there I knew I was never going to be a team player, and pondered then over whether I should lobby the government to classify teachers who subjected their students into participating in group projects as child abusers.

But that’s neither here nor there…

At some point in my life I had to embrace who I was, a lone wolf of sorts who simply isn’t wired to be a part of any one group.   That’s why I chose the name A Geek in the Wilderness for my blog.  The wilderness is my home, apart from civilization and humanity, and while geek is sometimes considered synonymous with nerd, it carries a deeper meaning due to its original usage as a reference to “circus freaks,” and eventually evolving to also mean “a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, especially one who is perceived to be overly intellectual.”

My best friend would say I have trouble associating with a group because I have a tendency to purposely become prickly and abrasive just to create a sort of self fulfilling prophecy.  I think there’s some truth to that as well, but I do know there were times I tried hard, REALLY hard to fit in, guarding my words and actions so I avoided doing anything that the group I was with might not approve of, and did my darndest best to contribute as a team player.  It never worked out.  I could always feel the hatred or the disconnect.  I never felt like I truly belonged anywhere.  But you know what?  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that either.  Some of us were just born to be loners, independent of any group, and that’s ok.  I’m at peace when I’m alone.  I feel happiest when I’m alone.  It’s only society that keeps asserting that I should be miserable, that the ONLY path to happiness is to be an active part of  large social circles revolving around a common interest or goal.  No man is an island after all, as they say.  Sorry, that’s just not how I roll.

I choose to go my own way.  :-P

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16 Responses to Going my own way (and what it means to me)

  1. CaseyP August 8, 2013 at 4:03 PM #

    That best friend of yours sure is smart.

    • Frank Swift August 8, 2013 at 4:43 PM #

      Yeah, too bad he can be such an obnoxious bloviating curmudgeon sometimes. Whaaaaaaaat?

  2. Anja August 8, 2013 at 4:09 PM #

    So did Thoreau, so you’re not in bad company, really.

    • Frank Swift August 8, 2013 at 4:44 PM #

      Company? I don’t want to be in anyone’s company! I walk alone! Alone I say! ;-)

    • infowarrior1 August 8, 2013 at 11:50 PM #

      Frank what disability do you have?

    • infowarrior1 August 8, 2013 at 11:54 PM #

      You are right at home in the manosphere. You are just hanging out with wrong people.

  3. Frank Swift August 9, 2013 at 12:22 PM #

    info1warrior: LOOOOOOOOOOOOOL, it must have taken less than a week to be roundly rejected by the manosphere. They won’t even accept my posts via Viva La Manosphere. All because I use the word “hearts” in a light hearted way evidently. Nope, I don’t belong there either. I do participate in the discussions on occasion, but that’s about it.

    As for my disability, I’m hard of hearing. Not completely deaf, but darn close.

    • infowarrior1 August 9, 2013 at 8:44 PM #

      Yeah your perceived effeminacy in your use of “hearts” turned many off.

  4. Frank Swift August 9, 2013 at 10:31 PM #

    infowarrior: that’s the problem too, they wrote me off based on one comment. Literally. Out before I was even in, Lolz. When life stacks the deck against me like that, I really have no recourse but to go my own way.

    • infowarrior1 August 11, 2013 at 3:06 AM #

      We are getting along just fine. Do stick around brother.

  5. Courtney August 13, 2013 at 4:18 PM #

    To sum up this post: you’re an introvert. There!

    You should read, if you haven’t already, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won’t Stop Talking. Seriously, a must read for all of us small-talk despisers and team-player no-way-in-hellers.

  6. Frank Swift August 14, 2013 at 1:14 PM #

    Anja, no apologies needed, I actually reserved one of her books to read for this weekend. :-)

  7. Rich May 20, 2015 at 12:25 PM #

    Hang in there. I am finding myself in a similar spot. It is a place where I just can’t fit in. I am finding, for people in this (including myself) studying the traditions of the Monk, Mystics, and Monastics, may be useful. It may be useful to try to have some connection, because being excessively alone can drive one mad. For myself, it is quest to end being a manchild and become a man. I wish you well here, and I wish I could connect with others also.

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  1. A primer on why men are opting out of marriage - A Geek in the Wilderness - August 18, 2013

    […] not without a sense of fate that as a guy who goes his own way, an ideal match for me would be a woman who goes her own way as well, rebuffing the peer pressures […]

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