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<editorsnote> Hi, I'm Jen Friel, and we here at TNTML examine the lives of nerds outside of the basements and into the social media, and dating world.  We have over 75 peeps that write about their life in real time. (Real nerds, real time, real deal.) Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the stories!! </editorsnote>





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#YesAllWomen: A male's perspective 

#TalkNerdyToMeLover's @Saintpepsi

It's a little disheartening to think that any man can claim to know just what it's like to be a woman.

- To tell them to suck it up.

- To be more accepting of advances as they are really just compliments no matter how grotesque the pick up line might be.

- To assume that we have any measure by which to judge their experiences.

We are very different sexes.

In theory equality would be a fantastic ideal to achieve. In reality men will always be given a pass.

Rarely are we judged on our sexual actions, rarely do we fear walking home in the dark, rarely do we have to suffer cat calls and beratements based on our attire. Men as a whole sex have no idea what a girl goes through on a daily basis.  No matter what small inconvenience we may have suffered once. It is not something we have to live with everyday. We can’t wrap our heads around it, because it is not our reality. So we stay silent because we don’t know what to say. Some men will sympathize, but no man can empathize.  It would seem the only time men have something to say is when it comes to defending their honor. Because we are all honorable aren’t we. When women make broad sweeping statements about all men being some way. We react in hostility saying #NotallMen.

Even if you are blameless in your life for helping firmly establish misogyny. You are still reaping the benefits of that birthright you acquired between your legs. We as a sex have taken everything from women. Their right to choose their own medical plans, their right to walk without fear,the right to an opinion that goes against the commonly held beliefs, their last names, their trust and worst of all their faith in an equal society. Not only have men taken these things, they react in the most redundant way. Blaming either a period or assuming she’s just crazy. Because all women are crazy… Right!

If I had to walk in the shoes of a woman for a day I’d be insane too. A full attire for a man down to his underwear could cost less than 70 bucks 150 if you are dressing nice. For a girl double if not triple that. If I couldn’t leave the house without fear of being analyzed by every person I pass girl or guy based on how I looked I would be a little freaked out to leave my house. Just to meet standards given by an industry run by men. If I had to suffer strangers pushing through my personal bubble just to talk to me because they KNOW I must be so interesting only to win a number and high five some friends. A number I probably gave you so you would get the fuck away from me and I could go back to talking to my friends reminding myself to block or not answer any unknown numbers or people I saved in my phone as creepy guy 15. YES! 15 I have seen it in my friend’s phones. Not all Men are the problem, but you can be damn sure men are what keeps the inequality alive and well. I have had friends who were raped, sexually abused, and sexually taken advantage of even in relationships. Not a few. More than that. This entitlement that men feel they have to always get what they want is despicable. I have walked in those shoes before. I have wondered how could this woman not like me? I'm such a nice guy and other excuses for plain bad chemistry or even good chemistry. Where I am in total disbelief that she can’t see our friendship as more. Even if all she really wanted was a guy who saw her as a friend and not a sexual object. Seeing her with guys I assumed were douche bags. Why are they douche bags? She’s not with me and I want her. That’s why.  Why would I think these things? Why wouldn’t I wait and see if who I am matters more, than what I want.  It took me years to realize that I don't deserve any woman. They are not things to have or acquire like some sort of new toy. They are human beings pure and simple. They should be treated with the same respect given anyone.

I work part time as a bouncer and I can tell you the greatest difference between men and woman at the bar is how they enter. What are they looking for. While some girls desires may be sexual they are generally looking to be social, dance, experience life a bit with friends. Maybe even find a little romance. For men they come in as a predator right off the bat. Looking to satisfy an insatiable lust that needs something to devour. Even if they don’t come to the bars for that reason, the pressure to not leave alone compiles and by the end of the night you are making a drunken fool of yourself just to get a girls attention. Just remember to blame the alcohol.  Nightly I hear as I check ID’s, “So are there any hot girls here tonight.” With everyone’s standards of beauty so very different how am I to know what you are looking for. Even if they don’t ask me up front I will still see them walk in, look around, and then leave saying there aren’t any girls here. Not people they know, but strangers to prey. They come to get something and no matter how many times they strike out, they will fight on to find what they want. Men are the Mormons of the sexes. Knock on a enough doors and someone is bound to say yes.

Most of the girls that I see go home with random Joes do so out of sheer unwillingness to fight to stay or leave alone. It has become easier to accept a reality of misogyny than to fight back against it for fear of the tide of remarks that follow. Deny a man at the bar, you’re a bitch or a lesbian. Sometimes said to your face in an anger undeserved of a casual refusal. Other times said with in earshot so they can hear and know the mistake they made by not accepting this gentleman. I used air quotes when I said gentlemen. The problem will always be put at the feet of the woman. I actually had one girl tell me she gives guys a blow job just so they leave her house. Why does this work, how can we claim to be men if we don’t act like human beings. It’s not like girls don’t have a choice. Girls could get laid any night if they wanted to. Fact! Men are so driven to acquire that it’s far too easy to get a yes. Girls say no because they have been shamed into believing that if they allow their sexuality to show they will be called sluts by both sexes. Even the terminology is screwed up. Men who fuck around are players. All these arguments have been made time and time again. If I tell you a girl is a slut you would look at her differently, even if you don’t know her. If I told you a guy is a player even as a warning. There’s a cultural norm to almost praise him for his conquests.  

Look through the comments of any girls photos on facebook and witness them broken down into pieces of flesh. Cuts of meat with dollar signs attached to distinguish value. How can you fight against such a horrible reality, but to give in and assume this is the norm. That peer pressure and undaunted repetition will ultimately yield results. Knowing if it doesn’t, you will branded as a prude. It sickens me to see the anonymous nature of the internet breed more misogyny. With demeaning language thrown about to contort a woman into believing she is less than human, because she doesn’t meet an impossible standard. To sit in judgement of a woman for having not put on makeup for a trip to the grocery store. When Men are required to do nothing in prep for any event.  No you can’t say shave considering a girl has to shave half their body weekly. Heaven forbid a woman leaves the house without her mask. That’s really what it becomes though. A mask that all womankind must wear. Not because it is a choice they have been given, no it is requirement of society. Wear your makeup, and 4 layers of clothing on a hot summer day. to ward off the eyes of the unknown. So you don’t make it on some internet trolling site that snaps photo’s of girls to compare. Without permission or consent.  I have played the gentleman role, protector role, and guardian to girls just trying to make it home safe.  I have been there to hold my friend hands in fear. Hugged those taken advantage of.Through all this I will never know… truly know what it is like to be a girl. To be an object, not a person. Sadly, they will never know true peace. For a life lived in fear of the nonintellectual response by a group of unenlightened people is the assumed normal our society has to offer. I do not hate men, I hate what we have established and perpetuate.


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After I posted this blog, I got an email on Facebook from Steve Hardison. It was short, sweet, and personal. 

I met Steve and his wife at an event in LA many years ago, and when he speaks not only do you 1) naturally know to listen & stop what you are doing, but 2) you know in your heart it is true.

I won't make this hokey, and I won't talk Steve up like he is this mythical creature.

The more I have seen aspects of myself unfold the more freaked out I get by "coaches" or people who claim to have it "all" (by whatever definition you place on that all encompassing word)

This isn't that.

I know in my heart this message is true, and whatever anyone takes from it, I just know I want to share it.

As a public declaration of my own honor and commitment if you take a few minutes to read it - great.

If you have a half hour to watch the video - great.

If you have two hours and can watch the speech in its entirety - great.

This isn't a story about a football player, or even Steve. 

Take from it all what you will. My work here is done. xx

Original version posted on

How It Was
Excerpts from The Arizona Republic, Sept 7, 2010, “Despite early weight concerns, Arizona Cardinals right guard Deuce Lutui gets start in opener,” by Kent Somers:

Guard Deuce Lutui wasn’t offended this summer when his waist-line became a major storyline for the Cardinals. "It’s not the first time I’ve been called fat," Lutui said. "It’s one of those things that as a big boy, you’ve got to live with."

While coaches expressed concern about Lutui’s weight, which had crept near 400 pounds by mid-June, and his absence from off-season workouts, Lutui didn’t sweat it. . . .In training camp, Lutui joked that he was the Cardinals’ Lindsay Lohan of the summer because of all the bad publicity he received. A restricted free agent, Lutui chose to wait until mid-June to sign his one-year tender of  $1.76 million, which didn’t please coach Ken Whisenhunt and team management.

They feared that Lutui would gain weight, which he did, and made it clear Lutui’s job was not secure. 

How It All Started
This is an e-mail written by Steve Hardison to John P., who sat behind Steve at a Cardinals game. John’s curiosity was piqued by the strange banner with the letters TBOLITNFL that Steve was waving and irritated by Steve’s enthusiastic cheering for Deuce. (It didn’t help that this first banner was black and white and that the Cardinals happened to be playing the Oakland Raiders.)

Sept 27, 2010


About three weeks ago I called Vai Sikahema, a good friend of mine, to see if he could help me reach Matt Leinart. I do not know Matt at all, but I knew that this former Heisman Trophy winner who had just been released from the Arizona Cardinals was hurting. I also knew his problem was deeper than football. As I said to you at the game, I work with people on their minds and their thoughts. I knew I could help Matt. Vai didn’t personally know Matt Leinart, but he does know Deuce Lutui and Deuce knows Matt. So Deuce and I connected. I told him that I was trying to help Matt. Deuce asked me how I was going to do that. When I explained to Deuce what I do, he asked if I would help him. When I asked Deuce when he would like to meet, he said, “How about tomorrow?”

On Sept 7, Deuce was at my doorstep three minutes before our appointed time. For the next three hours, Deuce shared with me details about his life, his relationships, and the things of his heart.  Then I asked him one simple question: "Deuce, who is the best offensive lineman in the NFL?" He thought for quite some time. He never answered my question, but his silence screamed the answer. I got in his face, woke him up, and invited Deuce to go and do two things: 1) Consider what we had just spoken about, and 2) Go to my website and sauté in it---read every word and apply those words to himself. If after that he could find out who he was committed to being then he should get back in touch with me and we would go from there. Deuce communicated back to me in just under 13 hours. In his email, just above his name, he typed in bold letters TBOLITNFL.  It stands for “The Best Offensive Lineman In The National Football League.”  On Sept 7th at exactly 9:50:50 pm Deuce Lutui gave birth to his commitment: TBOLITNFL.

Those letters are his and they mean a lot to him. They are more than letters in an alphabet; they are his new software. By the way, just above those letters, at the close of his email, are the words "Ofa atu," which means, “Loving you.”
Thank you for your support of the Cardinals and for Deuce Lutui, The Best Offensive Lineman in the NFL. It is almost 2 am and I have just finished watching the tapes of his game twice. He played a pro-bowl level quality. On several plays he took out two guys. On one play he took out three. And this is the same man who did not want to go and did not go to training camp. There is a lot more to football than the physical. Read through these emails and you will see what I mean.

Ofa atu,
Steve Hardison

Deuce Lutui’s first e-mail.
This is Deuce’s Personal Internal Commitment which he generated after his first meeting with Steve.

Sept 7, 2010

A few things I wrote down after our session and going on your website. 
This has locked my future and has secured my goals
The best in the game!!! The best OL in the NFL!!!
best pro bowler there is!!!! Best at my craft!!!! Best on the team!!!! 
Captain!!!!! PAID!!!!!!!!! I AM!!!!!!!!!!
The scary thing is this isn't enough for me nor good enough
Love you brother I want you to witness this at every game at every 
play please let me have you at every game you are able to make. It will 
bless my life to know your behind me literally watching my every move! 
Again, The best in the game!!! The best OL in the NFL!!!
best pro bowler there is!!!! Best at my craft!!!! Best on the team!!!! 
Captain!!!!! PAID!!!!!!!!! I AM!!!!!!!!!!

Ofa atu
Deuce Lutui

Steve’s Response:
Sept 8, 2010




Loving you-
Steve Hardison

Will Keiper – CFO of William Keiper FirstGlobal Partners
Deuce, like most Tongans, has great honor for the King of Tonga. Shortly after Steve and Deuce met, Steve shared his experience with Will Keiper.

Sept 9, 2010

Steve—I just shared with my wife Pamala the ‘Deuce’ story. . . . She told me that her husband, now deceased, went to Tonga in 2007 when his planned coronation was announced and stayed at the palace with him (for 2 weeks!). My wife has known the King (then Crown Prince) for 20 years, visited him in Tonga, stayed at the palace, went to the Tonga Millennium celebration, and he visited her family in NY three or four times a year, for many years (he loves the restaurants).

She said that if we invited His Highness to our home for Thanksgiving, he might well come. If Deuce is interested, and you and your family might be interested, and there is (or isn’t) a game around that time*…it could make for a powerful connection for all….

I leave it to you brother…

Ofa atu..

*It just so happens that Thanksgiving is on Nov 25th. The Cardinals will be playing the 49ers on Monday Night Football on Nov 29. The King of Tonga is planning on being at that game to see TBOLITNFL.

From Steve to Deuce

Sept 10, 2010


Good morning. I want you to know that you have inspired every one of my clients with whom I have coached or spoken since we met on Tuesday. They are blown away by your commitment and the e-mail that you sent me that night [i.e. Deuce’s first e-mail.] They are creating and living from your commitment TBOLITNFL. I know you have heard from a few of them. They all want you to know that you are inspiring!!!

Deuce, there is a powerful statement in 2 Corinthians 2:3 that offers an excellent instruction on what you can do with this powerful commitment you have made regarding TBOLITNFL. The scripture reads:  "written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshy tables of the heart.”

You need to take your personal internal commitment that you have written in ink and sink it into the fleshy tables of your heart, into the fleshy tables of your huge and loving heart.

Loving and thinking of you and your powerful commitment-
Steve Hardison

The Impact of Deuce’s Personal Internal Commitment statement: TBOLITNFL
In the e-mail above, Steve said, “I want you to know that you have inspired every one of my clients with whom I have coached or spoken since we met on Tuesday.” The following e-mails or excerpts from e-mails show how deeply and profoundly people have been inspired. The e-mails are in chronological order.

Clate Mask, President and CEO of Infusionsoft

Sept 10, 2010

Awesome!  Can’t wait to watch him in action on the field this week.  I told my boys about his declarations and talked with them about the declarations they can make as well.  They are starting to get the hang of it.

BTW, I told my boys last night that Deuce Lutui will make the Pro Bowl this year.  I have no doubt about it.

Clate — Highly successful, God-serving family man and extraordinary CEO of a billion-dollar software company

Rob Owen, VP of IT at Microchip Technology

Sept 9, 2010

Mr. Lutui, my name is Rob Owen and I’m a client and friend of Steve Hardison. Steve was sharing your personal breakthrough with me. I so congratulate you as I assert the root of all human suffering is the belief that something is so. The root of all human possibility is the declaration and being of such. You have now declared yourself TBOLITNFL and will be such!
I wish you the very best,

Rob Owen

Judy Robinette, CEO, business owner

Sept 9, 2010


I too am a friend of Steve Hardison and learned of your vision. As you have discovered, Steve is a game changer. I am very excited to watch the Cardinals and see you explode on the scene as TBOLITNFL. . . . Let the games begin. 

Robbie Harding, former Mesa High football player (Deuce’s alma mater)

Sept 10, 2010

Hello Deuce, my name is Robbie Harding and I’m a friend of Steve Hardison. I played for Mesa High last year at right guard wearing the number 76, right next to Lote. You’ve always been an idol to me and I know you are TOBLITNFL. Do work this season and always remember what you committed to. Being TBOLITNFL!!!!!!! You will change the world brother.
Robert Harding.

Kelley Moore, Mesa High football coach
Kelley’s e-mail to Steve after Steve shared the Deuce Lutui story, now 3 days old:
Sept 10, 2010

Dear Steve,

I feel blessed just hearing and knowing how you helped Deuce. He has been majestically and magnificently gifted by God with abilities he will now understand and apply. I look forward to being a witness to the "new man." My wife and I have been praying for him for 2 years to be all he has been created for, for his wife, family, and football. He means the world to me. Because of situations that have passed here at Mesa, I have felt disconnected from him. I love that man like he was my own son. Therefore, I am thrilled that he has connected with you, man of God, inspired, prepared and delivered into this time . . . just for Deuce. My heart has swelled with appreciation for you and this life-changing event for Deuce. You, my friend, are truly a blessing from God. I thank God for your kindred heart.

Coach Moore

Stephen McGhee, president of McGhee Leadership, author, miracle leader

Sept 11, 2010

Dear Steve,

Your story about Deuce changed the world. I mean it. Not like adjusted the world or course corrected an endeavor. It changed the world for Deuce and so it did for me. The story is a projection of greatness applied in a moment. It matters not whether it is TBOLITNFL or shoe shining. . . .
Stephen McGhee

Stephen McGhee to Deuce:

Sept 11, 2010


The miracle of TBOLITNFL has shifted my life forever and is based in your commitment to who YOU are.

I am watching YOU as TBOLITNFL.

Kick some ass on Sunday.

Stephen McGhee

Steve Hardison to Deuce

Sept 12, 2010


Great game. Congratulations.
You are going to love what we talk about Tuesday!!!

Enjoy the victory. 1-0

Loving you,

Dusan Djukich, entrepreneur

Sept 12, 2010


My name is Dusan Djukich. I’m a Steve Hardison client. I live in Napa California. I won’t be watching the 49ers this year. I WILL BE WATCHING YOU. Thank you for the stand you have taken.

Warmest Regards,

Michael Neil, Author of  the book Super Coach

Sept 12, 2010

Hey, Deuce,

As someone who has watched my life transform by expanding my vision, learning to unleash what’s inside, and working with amazing coaches like Steve Hardison, I want you to know that my son and I are life-long Patriots fans. . .and from today, we are Deuce Lutui fans as well!
May your team (and the game itself) be blessed by your presence and may all your success be fun!

With love
Michael Neill

Robbie Harding

Sept 15, 2010

Hey Steve! How have you been this week? I hope all is well with you, the family and your clients. . . . After the whole Deuce situation I've been thinking a lot and I'm determined to be just like him! I'M THE BEST STUDENT no matter where I am taught, and I'm going to make sure everyone knows about it! I'M THE BEST SON/FRIEND  that anyone ever had. I'M THE BEST PERSON out there with everything I do and there's no one that can tell me otherwise. . . .Is there any new word from Deuce? I rewatched some plays and watched him just tear into the DT, he's TBOLITNFL. What a great guy and inspiration Deuce is.

-Robbie Harding

Text from Deuce to Steve

Sept 17, 2010

Thank you coach. I don’t say anything other than I AM TBOLITNFL. Ofa atu.

Clate Mask

Sept 17, 2010


I have to thank you.  Ever since I began living from the place of “I am a highly successful, God-serving family man and an extraordinary CEO of a billion-dollar software company” I have begun to see changes.

· I discovered and eliminated a default judgment I was making about the high # of cancellations in our business—we ARE excellent and we are not defined by that current circumstance
· I got clear about how to filter out the wrong kinds of customers
· Scott Martineau implemented a 100% Customer Success Philosophy (like the zero-defect philosophy) and he is on fire with the evangelization of it
· The number of cancellations this month has dramatically declined
· I am getting clear about Infusionsoft’s “I am” statement: “The Best Marketing Automation Software to Help Small Businesses Grow.”
· Two people have, in my presence, referred to me as “a highly successful CEO.”  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  Either they’re starting to say it or I’m starting to hear it.  Whatever the case. It feels great… because I know it to be true.
· I have noticed that I am more comfortable with greater levels of success, without the fear that I’m going to screw it up and lose my family.

Thank you for helping me see who I am. I love who I am. And I love what I’m doing in my life right now.  I don’t feel the need to impress, prove myself or be “good enough.”  I feel the intentionality of what I’m doing, in all aspects of my life—not just work—and it is wonderful.  Thank you!


Texts between Steve to Deuce

Sept 18, 2010

Steve to Deuce:  “How is your spirit? How is your mind? Are you ready for some football?”

Deuce to Steve: “Spirit is waiting to unleash. Mind is set to fire. I am ready to play football like it is a way of life for me. I will live strong. I am TBOLITNFL.”

Steve to Deuce: “I can feel your power. Leave it on the field. Play as if it were your last game ever. You are TBOLITNFL.”

Steve enlisted John’s help in getting some metal sleeves to insert the poles for the first TBOLITNFL banner Steve made so he could display this banner where Deuce (and others) could see it as he approached Steve’s house for his coaching sessions. When John asked what Steve needed the sleeves for, of course Steve created for him the Deuce experience.

Sept 19, 2010


Thanks for the books, the inspirational words, and the story of Deuce, TBOLITNFL.  But most of all thanks for taking the time to stop what you were doing and make a difference in our lives. We are in the depths of some life altering, life and death, battle for the soul type, bad times.  I am sure you could sense some of that in our behavior and demeanor (or at least that all is not right.) Your kindness and thought provoking words and story was like someone grabbing me and shaking me! Oh wait, that really was someone grabbing me and shaking me! LOL! Seriously, you woke me up! I have been seeking revelation from God on how to deal with some of my challenges and recently have been thinking what the Lord would say or do if He and I were to sit down and chat for a few, and as I have pondered throughout the day the conversation my wife and I had with you, I have no doubt it may have gone something just like ours did today, with the Lord roughing me up a bit just like you did to me. I haven't been shaken like that since, well, never! And maybe it is just what I needed to wake me up.  I've read the whole email stream, wow! What a cool story.  The amazing part of the story to me is that his misunderstanding of who he is in relation to the King is part of overcoming his weaknesses. Very subtle, yet powerful and life altering! It made me wonder what hidden or unseen stumbling blocks are in my way that I am blind to? I'm going to read the books and see if I can find my way out of the "shadow side" of life, and back into the Sun. The love and passion I felt today from you is a big part of that journey.  Sometimes obstacles seem impossible to overcome.  For me that obstacle is how to grab hold of the dominion or power over the earth that God gave to me, and use it to provide for my family and to find and fulfill my mission in life.  Thank you for taking a little time to make a big difference in our lives. I am in awe when I think that along with all the other lives that were touched in all of this that there was a little something from God for my wife and me in it as well. It is humbling to know and receive a witness that He knows who we are and amazing to see how He tells us that.  Thanks again,


Vai Sikahema, sportscaster in Philadelphia and former pro football player.

Sept 19, 2010


Amazing.  Deuce is one of my favorite people in the world.  I love him like a younger brother.  He has a soft and good heart.  Since he was a little boy, he has always wanted to do good and be good.  He was a little boy when I was already at BYU, but I would see him and his siblings with their parents whenever I returned home.  My parents were close to his parents.  I remember my mother calling me and waking me in my apartment in Provo crying with the news of their accident.  It was a life-changing moment in all of their lives.  How they overcame their difficulties can't simply be measured by Deuce's success.  His parents' dedication and commitment to their covenants, despite extreme poverty, is the stuff of legend -- the kind of story that the leaders of the Church would use as examples in their conference talks, if they knew of their situation.

Deuce's mother is one of the sweetest people walking the planet.  His father was a warrior.  Inoke and my dad were extremely close, as is his mother Mele and my mother. . .
Deuce exemplifies all of his parents' best characteristics.

Quick story. Deuce came two years ago to watch me in a preliminary exhibition fight before Canseco.  He took the time to go to the Cardinals and asked for my old jersey, which he brought as a gift.  Who thinks to do that?  I was moved and touched by the gesture.  I have money and connections to do that myself.  Yet, he did it knowing it probably wasn't something I'd go out of my way to do.

That's why I love the man.  And there's so much more than that.  He will be TBOLITNFL. .  .I don't believe in coincidences.  I believe when you called me asking to put you in touch with Deuce because you wanted to reach out to Matt Leinart - I had actually considered after I sent you Deuce's # whether if it wasn't Deuce that could really benefit from your coaching.

Give Amy a hug.

Ofa Atu,

John Groberg, creator of Practical Spiritual Living™

Sept 21, 2010


Thank you again for your time and tough love yesterday. . . . I am honesty still trying to process [my experience].  I haven't been able to focus my attention well on anything else since then (with the exception of putting it all aside to play with my kids for a few hours last night). . . . I felt encouraged by hearing from someone else I respect so much that I do have the potential that I already know I have--and probably much more than I know.  I got the connection you were trying to make with TBOLITNFL and I agree that what I am called to offer the world is ultimately of much more meaning than football or software or loans.  . . .

With unconditional love and gratitude,

Tom McGovern, partner in Cassidy/Turley CPS

Sept 21, 2010

Dear Deuce,

Inspired by your experience with Steve, I reflected myself on "Who am I"? At 3:30 am this morning, I asked God to show me who I am and he did. I am NOTHING and I am HEART. That’s all I am. Nothing more and nothing less.

Anything more than that is ONLY what I CREATE myself to be through my DECLARATIONS and ACTIONS. From my nothingness I can be anything I choose. I choose to be an extremely effective, highly successful commercial real estate and business advisor. I choose to be a great father and husband. I choose to be a great friend, brother and son. I choose to be a great leader in the community serving people that need my help.

Thanks for whatever courage and humility it took for you to reach out to Steve for help, and for your generosity in allowing him to share your story with me. My life IS better by knowing you!

With all my HEART,

Curt Van Emon
Tom McGovern shared the Deuce Lutui story with Curt Van Emon. This is his response to Tom.

Sept 22, 2010

Dear Tom:

I AM The Man my wife counts on to take care of her and her children.
I AM The Man a business partner can absolutely count on to get the job done.
I AM The Man Who is no longer afraid but is fearless to declare and act for the life I am committed to my family and me.
I Am The Man who does.


Dusan Djukich
Sept 23, 2010

You guys are shifting the world one person and one creation at a time.

I love the unfolding. It’s a Deuce Lutui Movement.

Love beyond compare.
Dusan Djukich

Charrise McCrorey, business mentor and business coach
Charisse is responding to the Deuce story as shared by Stephen McGhee.

Sept 23, 2010

Thank you for sharing the incredible story about Deuce Lutui.  The story broke something loose in me, allowing my true spirit to be so much more clearly expressed.  I am inspired by the way Deuce is stepping into his future.  Now I can see new openings for action to create my own miraculous future!  I see how important it is to truly integrate something on a spirit/heart level - how it makes miracles possible and likely.

I finally know who I am, and now get to create massive action aligned with my greatness.

Love you!

From Steve to Deuce
Sept 23, 2010


We are going to have so much fun, we are hardly going to be able to stand it.

Your commitment is so profound and so deep and so powerful.  I believe that if we took a blood sample right now and put your blood under a microscope and looked at the individual blood cells you would see letters floating in your blood cells. Do you know what letters you would see in the blood cells?  These letters: TBOLITNFL :)

Loving you-
Steve Hardison

Stephen McGhee
Sept 24, 2010

The Deuce story continues to change lives. Deuce Lutui will go down in history as the first OL to create a personal growth conduit through football. It’s brilliant and grows and grows. I love all the emails. Please keep forwarding them.

Stephen McGhee

Jeff Patterson – friend of Stephen McGhee
This is an e-mail written from Jeff to Stephen McGhee.

September 24, 2010


Deuce’s story has ignited in me a fire that I attempt to quell by sharing it. However, that fire burns stronger with each retelling. In every instance, sharing it has brought forward a powerful result in each individual. This story of Deuce’s guts and heart has impacted the lives of at least 10 people in my world and I know they are sharing it in their own circles. Most of all, it has touched me and inspired me to live into the greatest way of being possible. Thank you Deuce and thank you Steve [Hardison].

Jeff Patterson

Scott Parker, close friend of Steve’s
Sept 25, 2010


Steve Hardison has been a part if my life since August 1975, the first day of my mission in London England.  No one on the planet has spent the time he has with me and made a bigger impression on me, in my life. . . .Will your life ever be the same?  Will you ever be the same?  We both know the answer to those questions.  I thank you for doing what you have done and being who you have now become.  There is an army of people rooting for you!!!! 


I hope to meet you someday soon.

With love,
Scott Parker

Voicemail from Deuce to Steve
Sep 27, 2010

Coach, this is Deuce. As always TBOLITNFL. Just got done watching film and got the best grade.

Jeff Dinsdale, ASU college student and soon-to-be client of Steve’s
Sept 27, 2010

Over the weekend as I would drive to my house I would see the huge TBOLITNFL flag outside your subdivision.... I knew this had Steve Hardison's fingerprints all over it...  Now it's fact.    :)

Thank you for being INSPIRATION.

Still Creating Working With You,


Clate Mask
Sept 27, 2010

Deuce’s run blocking was great yesterday!  I LOVED seeing the Cardinals run behind him on 4th and 1, as well as on several other key downs.  It was clear to me that Whisenhunt has taken note of what Deuce is doing—they are using Deuce a lot.  On the 4th down play, he blew the pile forward.  The CBS commentator said something like “Lutui was a human land grader on that play.”  TBOLITNFL.  His pass blocking was good, too, except for the play when they put 92 on him and he got around Deuce.  But that’ll happen every once in a while.  I’d say that one questionable penalty (in Week 1) and one sack allowed (yesterday) over a 3-week period is Pro Bowl material.  He had another great game.  Congratulations for all you’re doing to help him.  It is fun for me to watch him and see my own improvements through him, as strange as that may sound.

I wore my TBOLITNFL jersey to work on Friday.  Everybody was asking me about it.  I’m letting the suspense build and then I’ll wear it again on Friday and create what it is for them at the company meeting.

Thanks for everything!

Steve Hardison to Deuce
Sept 27, 2010

Dear Deuce,

It is almost 1:00 a.m. and I am just finishing up watching the game. I taped it and watched every single play at least twice. I can hardly wait till Tuesday to be together and discuss the game and the extraordinary way you played it. There are multiple plays where you took out two guys. There is one play that you pancaked* the defender which allowed us to get a 24-yard pass completion. There are so many brilliant plays. I want to share with you what I saw. (There were only two plays in the entire game where you got less than an "A+".) You are TBOLITNFL.
Steve Hardison

*“Pancake” is a football term. It is used when an offensive player knocks an opponent down to the ground and then lies on him, covering him like a pancake, and thus taking him out of the play.

Steve Hardison to Deuce
Sept 28, 2010


You are TBOLITNFL! Nobody pancakes a man like you. Nobody protects a quarterback like you. Nobody run blocks like you. Nobody takes out 2 guys and sometimes 3 on multiple occasions every game. No offensive lineman finds the ball as fast as you. Nobody knocks a guy off the ball like you. No offensive lineman has your power, your brute force, your created internal commitment, no offensive lineman has the mental power you have. You are somebody. You are TBOLITNFL. Ofa atu.

Here are the pictures I told you about during our session. All the individuals below know that you are TBOLITNFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


From Steve to all those following Deuce  (How to get the NFL jerseys with TBOLITNFL)
Dear members of Deuce's team:

Judy Robinett is a member of Deuce's Team and after seeing Dusan modeling his shirt wrote, "I have got to get one of those 76 shirts!"  Deuce wears a 5x, I wear a large and my Amy wears a small. I purchased nine more this evening. As far as I know there are just over 40 in existence. If you want to purchase them, click on the link below and put TBOLITNFL as the name. The pictures below show the color our "Deuce's Team" will be wearing. It could be one of the most fun $99 investments yet. Thanks for all your support of Deuce as TBOLITNFL.

This is the link to the NFL shop where you can order a jersey:

Please let me know if you purchase a jersey. I want to let Deuce know which members of the team have a jersey. When you get yours, take a picture and send it to me. Loving you all- Steve

Note: For a picture of the jersey, please refer to the photos on Facebook.

Jeff Dinsdale
Sept 29, 2010


I have been inspired by TBOLITNFL. When I am driving to work and I see it, I am filled with powerful commitment. It helps me to see what we as individuals can become if we will only create and declare.

Pure Action! Courage. No Story. Creating every single second what I want and who I am. Anything I can conceive, I AM. What I say is SO.


I AM- Powerful temple marriage! I AM- Coached by Steve Hardison!

Thank you always for your blessings,


PS. Pass an "Ofa Atu" onto Deuce for me. I served in New Zealand and know the HEART of Polynesia. HE IS TBOLITNFL.

Jeff Dinsdale
Sept 29, 2010

These jerseys are SWEET!
Just ordered mine.


Stephen McGhee
Sept 30, 2010


I got the incredible gift of the jersey yesterday. When I opened the package, I felt like a little boy opening a present on Christmas morning. Thank you so much as the TBOLITNFL is rocking the world. . . . I am writing my blog about it next week. That blog goes out to another 2200 people.

Loving life and grateful beyond compare.

Thanks for the amazing gift Steve. 

Stephen McGhee

Blake Hardison, Steve’s son
Sept 30, 2010

Pretty cool pops.  If enough of the Deuce jerseys get ordered you might even be getting a call from the NFL store asking you what TBOLITNFL means.

love ya,
the balke.

Steve Chandler
Sept 30, 2010

Will wear it proudly!

I’ll have it on during the UofA game against ASU in Tucson that Bobby and I are going to.

Steve Chandler

Michael Neill
Sept 30, 2010

Just ordered mine, Steve...

Shared Deuce's story with an audience of 80 people in London on Saturday and will be sharing it with a few hundred people from the "Creating the Impossible" community on the live call tomorrow - and enjoyed watching Deuce mow 'em down and protect his runners and QB from my iPhone and then laptop in London!

And of course Nina is delighted that I have yet another reason to watch football on Sundays... :-)


Dr. Terry Gibson
September 30, 2010

Hi Steve-

Add two more to the Deuce team!  My brother Dennis in Sacramento has been so inspired by Deuce’s story that he purchased us "76" shirts to help move the transformation forward.  I'm sure you'll meet him soon.


Steve Chandler
For Steve Chandler’s blogs go to   The two posts that are about Deuce are “Joy Through Strength” (Oct 1, 2010 ) and “What Football Can Teach” (Sept 25, 2010).

Sept 30, 2010

I’m getting a lot of positive feedback from the first blog I ran with a picture of DEUCE and his TBOLITNFL war cry. . . .

I’m composing a second blog about him right now . . . .I have a few thousand readers [that read] each blog. . . . Every little bit . . . .

It inspires me to watch Deuce play.


Clate Mask
Sept 30, 2010

First step for me is tomorrow: creating TBOLITNFL for my 130 employees in our company meeting. . .and then inviting each to support Deuce’s commitment by buying a Deuce jersey from the link below. A handful of our employees will buy them. And I’ll probably buy a few more as perks for employees. . . .

BTW, I just listened to Deuce on the radio with Doug and Wolf. Wolf loves who Deuce is being. The media machine is starting to crank up.


Kent Baker, Commercial Real Estate Executive, the Benjamin Group
September 30, 2010


I just left my chiropractor’s office for a quick adjustment.  Doc Maynard is actually the team Chiro and travels with the team. I asked Doc today: “Have you noticed anything different about Deuce of late.”  Doc said “That is so funny you asked, I have been noticing a major change and was wondering if it was a contract year for him.”  Furthermore, he commented “Deuce is a true gentleman off the field and treats him with much respect, but on the field the guy is an animal.” Upon leaving his office he gave me his two tickets to see an upcoming game.  I look forward to coming to watch and support Deuce with my wife.

All the best,


Steve to Deuce
Sept 30, 2010


Feel the power!! Personal integrity and being one's word creates. We will discuss INTEGRITY at our next session.

Ofa atu-
Steve Hardison

Michael Reeves, attorney and friend of Steve’s
September 30, 2010

Got your email.  Thanks. Now I have a reason to watch football on Sunday! Yeah! I couldn't possibly go with you to a game, so don't ask.  I love to read about these success stories.  I saw the banner by your street last week and I wondered what you were up to. . . . I even put it out on Twitter for people to watch what happens to Deuce now that he has you for a coach.  I am a social butterfly you know.


Steve to Deuce
Sept 30, 2010


Commitment makes the world go round. Integrity has the world work. "BMW"* is the basis that underlies INTEGRITY.

Ofa atu-
Steve Hardison

*BMW stands for “Be My Word.”

Voicemail from Deuce to Steve
Oct 1, 2010

Hey Coach, this is Deuce. Just getting back with you. Just got done with practice. All your messages, text messages, e-mails, voice mails -- just wanted to tell you I’ve been rejuvenated and happy that I am hearing these responses with love. I love you coach. Appreciate everything you do for me. This is definitely the greatest experience of my life.

Steve to Deuce
Oct 1, 2010


Have the best game of your career (so far)! Always your Coach, Steve Hardison

Text from Deuce to Steve
Oct 4, 2010

Coach, I’m feeling good. Just wish the efforts were better as a team. We must overcome, but as far as the game I put together individually, I am TBOLITNFL.

Will Keiper
Oct 2, 2010

The commitment I am now approaching is: Will Keiper, a strong, clear voice and thought leader, to be heard as to the absolute necessity for American business people, families, communities, politicians, and individuals one-by-one, to return to taking personal responsibility for their own futures.


Michael Neill
Michael’s Personal Internal Commitment statement

Oct 4, 2010

I reignite the divine spark inside all of us and reconnect people with their divine essence, the wisdom and well-being of their soul. In so doing, people experience deeper feelings, higher guidance, and transformation in every area of their lives. My coaching is a space in which miracles happen.

with love and thanks,

Tom McGovern
Oct 4, 2010

I visited friends and family in San Diego over the weekend. I told everyone the Deuce story. My best friend, Kevin, called me Sunday after the game and told me he listened to the Chargers - Cardinals game on radio because it was blacked out on TV. He said that during the first half alone the announcer commented on Deuces plays at least 4 times!
I guess he was mowing people over. Kevin really knows football and he said that the announcers rarely mention linemen and they couldn’t say enough about Deuce. Kevin is going to write to the Chargers (as he has done in the past) and let them know they need to get Deuce to help protect Phillip Rivers. They gave Rivers a $100M contract but they have 2 big holes on the line that leave him vulnerable and ineffective. Not a good way to get a return on your investment!


Scott D. Morrison, Small Business Growth Expert, Infusionsoft
October 6, 2010

Clate & Steve,

. . .I would like to declare this with the two of you first. Know that as I do this, it is through tears as I type this message.  This has been a very emotional experience for me, but one that I know will be a turning point in my life.

So, here it goes:

I am a highly sought after coach for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs. I help more people, in a shorter period of time, than anyone else ever has or ever will. I am the best at helping others be more successful in their businesses. I am an excellent provider for my family. I am highly paid for my services, but that is just a fraction of the value I bring to the groups and individuals I serve. . . .

Now, I will live this. Today I laid out a plan on the next 3 months of my life. . . . The fourth quarter of 2010 will be a defining moment in my life. . . .Gentleman, there is a ton of potential inside of me that is trying to get out. I know I have a lot to offer to this wonderful world. I’m striving my best to discover that! To borrow a line from Clate, “I’m just getting started.”  I’ve been on a clear journey of personal development for a little over three years now and I can see that I am truly just getting started. . . .

With much love and respect,

On October 6, Steve shared the Deuce story with 58 people at a luncheon organized by his son, Blake, who wanted his associates at the Benjamin Group to experience the Deuce story as told first-hand by Steve. What started out as a luncheon for 12-16 people grew into a standing-room only event for 58 people.

Steve to Deuce
Oct 6, 2010


We had a good turn out today. It was wonderful to have Pua in attendance. You have made an enormous difference with these people. They are inspired by your commitment as TBOLITNFL. I have received several emails from those in attendance. Please take a moment and read this one. Let the power into your spirit and to your soul. God is indeed blessing us as we live a committed life. Pua let me know how extraordinary it was being with and talking to you last night. Good job. You are a fantastic father and a loving husband. I appreciate your example and the commitment we share in treating our wives like the princesses they are. We make a great team.

Loving you-
Steve Hardison

Deuce to Steve
Oct 6, 2010

This is awesome. Steve you truly are the ultimate coach there is! I AM...

Deuce Lutui

Raja Hireker, Business Owner,  London
Oct 10, 2010

Hi Steve,

YOU sir, are magic in motion. That document belongs deep in the fleshy tables of EVERY heart. I've gone through it 3 times, made notes and carry a small black notebook that has my own TBOLITNFL version in it.

It would be surprising if everyone reading this doc doesn't alter or create a new personal internal commitment. If they do, it'll set the world on fire!

Go you. Go Deuce. Go all who GET it.

Your friend,

P.S. Steve, what WAS the conversation you had with Deuce in those 3 to 4 hours
where he then came back and created his powerful commitment?
(Note: For the answer to that question, listen to Steve tell the story here.)

This life-changing conversation was alluded to at the beginning of the Deuce Lutui Story when Steve wrote, “I got in his face and woke him up,” but has not been otherwise detailed here. Steve did share some of the details of this conversation when he spoke to the Benjamin Group in Tempe, AZ on Oct 6, 2010 and again in Salt Lake City on Oct 30, 2010. This second event was videotaped and will be available for viewing in the near future. 

Melinda Jennings, Artist
Oct 10, 2010


I received your e-mail. Also, a part of a book I was listening to made me think of you. It was a story about Frank Lloyd Wright, he was in court testifying to something and he declared himself as the best architect in the world. The judge asked him something like, "How can you say that?" His reply, "I'm under oath." Commitment!


Iyanla Vanzant, Author of Four National Best Sellers, Talk-Show Host
This is Iyanla’s Personal Internal Commitment.

Oct 11, 2010

I Am Iyanla!  A God-loving wise woman; humble, spiritual teacher, international best-selling writer and compassionate coach!  The best in my craft! Who I am and the work I do touches the souls and lives of people by God's grace and favor.  As people and their lives are changed – the world is transformed - one Mind, one Heart, one Life, one Spirit at a time.  I Am on purpose!

Caraidne Margaret MacKensie Hooson
Oct 22, 2010

Thank you for the story of Deuce Lutui: I cried for the joy of it.

Thank you for putting this story out there!  I, too, have been following it for the past month since my coaches, Jeff Patterson and Stephen McGhee, told me about Steve Hardison’s work with Deuce Lutui.

I feel both tenderness and excitement in my heart that someone in the mainstream spotlight of NFL football, Deuce Lutui, is openly declaring himself to be all that he is, . . .which perhaps allows living more fully to become a way of life for more and more of us on the planet today!  How great is that?!?

Ron Hulnick, President of University of Santa Monica
Oct 22, 2010

Hi Steve,

Mary and I loved reading Amy’s rendition of what we could call “The Deuce Lutui Effect.” As you know, our playing field is a Master’s Degree Program in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica. And, as a USM grad yourself, you have seen this effect many times as students step more fully into the aliveness that comes with emerging into their calling or, as we would say, more fully into the Spirit of who they truly are. The really good news about this is that when others read about the “effect,” it hits a nerve within them and they are profoundly moved. What a blessing for us all.

Ron Hulnick, Present
University of Santa Monica

Pua Lutui, Deuce’s sweetheart and wife; mother of four
Oct 25, 2010

Good Morning Steve,

When I first heard TBOLITNFL I thought it was strictly about football and nothing else. I could not see past the “NFL” part. But as days progressed Deuce started to change in many ways. He changed the way he talked and literally the way he walked. Each and every one of us put out a vibe. Whether it is happy, sad, positive, depressed and etc… Deuce’s aura was AMAZING! I was completely drawn to him by his positivity. Then I started to question… WHAT HAPPENED IN THAT FIRST SESSION WITH STEVE?

Steve, coming to that luncheon when you passionately told the DEUCE LUTUI STORY opened my eyes to what was actually happening. I couldn’t believe how many people were there to hear this story. I couldn’t believe how fast TBOLITNFL was affecting others for greatness. I couldn’t believe that there were people outside of this country supporting my husband’s P.I.C. (Personal Internal Commitment). When my husband declared his commitment to be TBOLITNFL he didn’t realize that this would be a domino effect. He didn’t realize that it would inspire others to make their own P.I.C.  Reading the blogs and the website and the emails one after another left me in shock and in awe. And seeing the picture from the woman in Scotland spelling out TBOLITNFL with seashells on the beach topped it off. THIS IS REAL! THIS ISN’T A DREAM! THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING.

Words cannot express how appreciative I am for all of those that support TBOLITNFL. I even appreciate all of those that took the time to read the letters TBOLITNFL. How grateful I am that you picked up that paper and read about Matt Leinart. How grateful I am that you had the compassion and the heart to try to reach out to Matt and through your lovingness you found my husband. My husband is my life, my heart and my everything. Therefore, all that you do for him you are doing for me. I love you, Steve. From the bottom of my heart and written with tears of appreciation, OFA LAHI ATU!

Proud to be,
Puanani Pi’imauna Lutui




#NerdsUnite: Just let it go, man 

Here's an email I got over the weekend ... 




First off, thanks for reading and thanks for reaching out. I'm going to assume you were watching the talk from Professor for the day at Cal State Fullerton? (Click here to view)

I can't tell you to just "be awesome," or advise you to just say "fuck it" and go off on your own and figure things out. The bottom line is that no man is an island, and you're going to need people around you.

I'm sorry to hear you've been depressed since you were 10, but I'm also going to say it's time to put on your big girl pants and decide to make a change in your life.

The only person that is going to get you out of this rut is you. Period end of sentence. 

The one line in this email that sticks out the most is, "I only feel a little better when people compliment my achievements." 

What you're doing is seeking outside validation because you don't feel worthy enough just being yourself. This is REALLY hard to do, btw, because we are ALWAYS wanting to pacify people to a degree to have them like us, or want to be around us. In psychology they talk about the "masks" that we all wear, and how we change aspects of our personality depending upon who we are around. We all do it, but the problem is we are still alone with our thoughts which can be an extremely damaging internal monologue. Whatever that mask is hiding needs to be dealt with, and until you decide to forgive and let go of some of that anger, shame, whatever visceral/ basic emotion - you are only holding yourself back. Having a tight knit family, boyfriend, great job - whatever, is never going to matter. At the end of the day, you are only a projected label based on that dynamic. You take on the role of the girlfriend, the role of the daughter/ sister, A+ overachiever, but you can do, do, do, do, do, til your heart's content and it's all going to still feel hollow at the end of the day. 

I really wish Ryan Gosling made an appearance in my coloring book.Think of life like a coloring book. No matter what you are given x amount of pages in this book. The lines are there, the basic objects you are asked to color are presented but it is YOUR CHOICE what colors you choose, what tools to color, do you even want to color within the lines or are you someone who enjoys coloring outside of them? Life just is. Period end of sentence. These experiences you have, the experiences we all have - are just that ... experiences. If you let them define you you're going to be in a world of hurt. 

One thing that has been very helpful to me is getting out of my own head. I volunteer two times a week at two different local churches, almost every day I do something with my friends (even if it's just hanging out at one of their houses), I go to the beach every weekend, and I maintain a workout regimine that works for me. That's it. To most people, I'm sure doesn't sound very interesting, but honestly I've never been more fulfilled in my entire life. It doesn't have to make sense to anyone else, because I know for the first time in my life I'm doing all of this solely because I find value in it. I have very few friends, but the times that we talk and with such brutal honesty feels FANTASTIC!!! I wouldn't trade any of it for all the tea in China. 

I've said before it was always about feeling "unapologetically awesome" but it's so much more simple than that. That verbiage is still placing something shiny over something very, very basic. You just need to start doing things only for yourself Ally. Whatever it is you're doing, if it feels good - keep going. You need to turn inward (which I know can be scary) and just tell yourself it's okay, but it's time to move on. You don't reside with those feelings anymore and you're ready to take charge of your own life and your own coloring book. 

Please keep me posted, and rock on. 



#RealDeal: What being a relationship blogger taught me about relationships

Relationship blogger resume rundown:

103 dates in 9 months.

Wing girl for Neil Strauss.

Destination dating ... a lot of destination dating.

Being a domme, and that whole owning slaves thing.

Posts that make me blush to this day. 

Countless pieces of advice to both men and women.

What did I take away from all of this? 

It starts with a "no" and ends with a "thing:" nothing

<tangent> I'm genuinely embarassed now by how black and white I was in certain situations all knowing if I had taken a few steps back I could have been more objective. For that, I am sorry. </tangent> 

Documenting so much of my life for the last four years taught me an enormous amount about people and their darkest desires. By being the girl that posted everything about herself online meant you could meet (who you think) is a complete stranger at the bar and they will immediately tell you their life story because they have read all about yours. It was commiserating to a degree, but there was also an element of "hey, this person gets me" - whether that was good or bad was only indicative of the individual. 

Last week, I spent 72 hours as myself one year ago.

Previously, I had a line for everything knowing exactly how I wanted the conversation to go, and had talking points that I could rattle off like my own name. After all, I had created a personal brand, so to not be able to speak intelligently on the direction for it was a liability.

Somewhere about 10 minutes into my first meeting, I just started laughing. I have to stop, I said. I can tell you what you want to hear from me, but honestly, looking back, the person that created this website needed: 

  1. A hug
  2. A warm fire
  3. The last man on Earth. 

The LAST thing I could be at that moment was my former self ... ahhh it was like nails on chalkboard as each of the sentences escaped from my mouth. 

I continued laughing saying I wish I had listened to the “trolls.” If I hadn’t been so arrogant I could have seen that a handful of them (or more) were actually telling me like it was and I could have come to this conclusion faster. 

In regards to dating I did collect a lot of data (which as everyone knows turns me on more than Magic Mike) - but I still came home most nights and cried placing my headphones in my ears and blogging everything online that I could never:

1) admit to myself

2) say out loud. 

Re-read that last paragraph. I started it off by saying "in regards to dating" and then my brain went to speaking about the data collected. THAT is the disconnect. 

Being a relationship blogger means sourcing your intimate experiences for profit. Whether that is hits on your blog, dollars from advertisers, or leverage for something you see in your eyes as "bigger" - intimacy is for sale, and your going rate is dependent upon how much you are willing to reveal.

No matter how honest your intentions are in the beginning, if it does become popular (to whatever degree) the person morphs like a Power Ranger into a persona ... and then you're fucked (sometimes literally). You are then sucked into a vacuum of bullshit surrounded by people that tell you how awesome you are every day. Guys want to date you so they will be written about, and women want to be you because you were honest with how shitty guys can be and they view you as this poster child for girl power. 


Disclaimer: I say all of this without an OUNCE of disrespect, but an honest evaluation of what I first hand experienced. I could not speak for all relationship bloggers, and more than anything would welcome feedback if anyone dis/agrees. 

My friend joked the other day saying he would date women from OKC or Tinder and know within one “witty” joke if they were on par with him. If they didn’t get it within the first 10 minutes, he would still commit to the additional 50 just to learn something new or garner a story (for his own personal collection)

The Jen, I used to know, he said, lived her whole life for those 50 minutes. 

I laughed knowing he was right, and I also laughed not caring about what it meant.

What are you doing now, he asked? 

I briefly told him about certain projects, but the proudest moment was in telling him that I honestly don't know. I don’t know why I am living where I am, or why I am doing what I do. I don’t know much of anything anymore, but things keep seeming to work out and the fact that I'm dealing with politicians who have read this site and high fived me for just going for it made me laugh. I thought for sure once they read about me they'd run. 

He laughed saying, that’s when you’re really being honest. None of us know, but it takes all those trials, errors, and successes to at least have a better idea of what you think will work. 

He added, the one thing I can commend you for is the art of happenstance. I’ve never seen anyone turn a “I just happened to be here moment …” into so many things. 

That’s the part that is never orchestrated, I added. It really was just all from my heart and just saying whatever I felt. Life starts when I just shut off my analytical brain. It's like in chess, a good chess player thinks five moves ahead -a great chess player thinks one step ahead. 

I like this Jen, he added. 

I smiled but didn't need to tell him that I really like this Jen too. 

It wasn't until last year when I was in a loving and committed relationship that I could understand the value of intimacy and it was in that moment that I realized it was no longer for sale. Our experiences were priceless, and ours only. It's easy to sit there taking loads of "couples selfies" and post them online for the world to see how "happy" you are. Because I was so protective of him I couldn't do it. 

I laughed to my friends in the beginning saying he was a professional liability, but what he did was bless me with this peace that I never knew I had been seeking. We didn't need to go out a lot, we would just watch movies and drink wine until we both fell asleep. For as long as I live, I will never be more grateful to a single person. 

It took the person that I couldn't write about to teach me that I was only blogging so much about my life because I needed to be validated by it. I was like a barking Chihuahua - you could always hear me, but I was all over the place and there's IMHO very little strength or beauty in it ... it's all just noise. 

By being a relationship blogger you do very much in your heart believe you are being vulnerable but the fact remains that you are sitting behind a computer in a room in your house (or coffee shop) all alone. It is a monologue, self indulgent, and any sort of rebuttals are deflected by loyal readers who will defend at all costs because they identify with you so strongly.

You can feel in your heart how lonely you are but what takes a while to understand is the fact that it's the digital walls you've placed around yourself that block out all of the love and light that life has to offer. 

Going back to the initial meeting, the producer then asked, where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

I want a family. I just adopted a dog so I've got one member down. 

After the meeting I thought about it and realized I couldn't ever go back to online dating, and couldn't ever go back to that person that I was. It felt good in the moment because your ego is validated by so many individuals contacting you, but your ego isn't fertile ground. Certainly weeds can flourish, but to grow anything substantial, it all starts with the solid ground you plant. 

I have three of the best friends I've ever had in my whole life down here, and one of them said the most profound thing to me the other week. She's a 10+ year married redneck (her terminology not mine) and with her thickest southern accent she said, Jen, what is it with all these guys you've told me about? 

She mimicked them, "I just felt a disconnect between us." "There is no tangible reason for why we can't be together any more. You'll just have to see for yourself one day." 

Men are simple, Jen. Here is all they need (screenshot from email as I just texted asking again to make sure I didn't forget any of her points)

That's it, she said. Start with that understanding in a relationship and you'll be fine. 

There is no algorithm or mathematical equation that results in your happiness in either self, or relationships. While all of us know that intellectually, there is something comforting in hoping to find out what investment can generate a return, however it's all a defense mechanism. 

Vulnerability and comfort do not live harmoniously, and to truly get anything out of a relationship, you have to let those walls down. Even if your heart PHYSICALLY hurts so bad, and you swear you can't do it again ... trust me, you will. I see today out of a fresher set of eyes courtesy of my loving family, FANTASTIC group of friends, and none of that intimacy could ever be for sale. Blogging about my relationships diluted too much of my own life experience, and I'm worth more than that. 


There are (literally) plenty of fish in the sea. Click to comment on Facebook



#OpenLetter: Barbie = less dream house, more little shop of horrors 

I read an article on Huffington Post this morning that inspired this post. Click here to read. 

A few months back I was shopping for my friend's kids Christmas gifts, and while in the massive toy store it struck me ... do her parents allow her to play with Barbie? I've bought plenty of gifts for kids in years past, but this was the first year that it hit me how much Barbie impacted my own life, and the responsibility I had to respect my friend's wishes on what they chose to expose their children to. 

I'm (clearly) by no means a feminist, but I have to admit that this year a lot of things have hit me as far as a woman's depiction in popular culture. Growing up in Connecticut I had every Disney movie on VHS, and if I was lucky enough, a new barbie on a quasi-regular basis. That whole pretty pretty princess thing was my jam. Contrary to my tomboy tendencies, I so badly wanted to look like Barbie one day, or any of the Disney princesses. They were all so beautiful, and like every other little girl, I would even undress them and compare myself to them. 

Barbie was so thin, with these super long legs, and how can I diplomatically put this ... she's a ... 

One day, I would think, one day I'll look like this.

Images of women in movies and magazines only confirmed the societal version of the ideal woman ... 



It's like fitting a square peg in a circle hole. I just don't look like that, I thought staring at my own body in the mirror. 

My parents and various "real" life role models reminded me that "beauty was only skin deep," and encouraged me to get a good education and not rely on the superficial things in life.

All of that was great to hear, but by the time high school hit, I was still super short, slightly awkward looking, and often referred to as "cute/smart one." I didn't just want guys to see me as the cute/smart one, I wanted to be lusted after (whatever lust is defined as in the eyes of a naive 14 year old girl). My best friend at the time wore a lot of makeup and was considered "the hot one," so I casually started borrowing more and more of her clothes (in addition to some wardrobe additions that my parents weren't aware of), and slowly but surely I was shedding all shades of cute and introducing the sun to newly formed parts of my body. 

I learned how to apply make up, took more of an interest in fashion, but by the time I was done with high school I was still 5'3, and light years away from looking like the girls on TV, or Barbie. Again, I knew deep down intellectually that none of it mattered, but if I had the choice at that age to be hot, or be smart - it was a no brainer (no pun intended)

When I was 17 I moved to NYC and studied at Lee Strasberg. The first day of my writing class, I recognized a familiar face ... 


It was Carmen Kass. At the time she was a Victoria's Secret model, and the main "it" girl for Express (which was my favorite store). Like a loyal puppy dog, I sat down next to her and during break, introduced myself. Over the semester we did become friends, and I remember one day having coffee with her while sitting on the stoop outside of school. She was wearing shorts, and as I reached for my cup, my wrist was right next to her thigh. Holy crap, I thought, her thigh is barely bigger than my arm. Trippy


As we became friendlier she would tell me about parties she went to, and adventures she had with men that I had plastered on my walls. She's a really down to Earth girl, so even though she was totally nonchalant about the whole thing, my 17 year old brain could barely believe that this lifestyle really does exist and these beautiful people really do "have it all."

Much like the projections of Barbie, and the Disney princesses she was living a happily ever after one cover at a time, and I wanted that. 

Somewhere in my late teens, early 20s, I finally had my growth spurt and after working out shed any lingering "cuteness." By the time I started actively dating in my 20s, I vividly remember guys telling me on dates that they didn't understand a lot of times what I was saying. (Growing up with a mother as a technical writer, I developed an extensive vocabulary at an early age.) Guy after guy would comment on certain words that I would use and almost immediately I developed a complex about it. I was visually more of the "ideal," but intellectually it was still too much. Mind you, this was also at the time of the celebutard where Jessica Simpson was making millions being a dumb blond, and Paris Hilton asked if Wal-mart sold walls. 


I did what every other girl at that age would do in that situation, and I too played dumb. I eventually did end up with what I was after, a boyfriend, but I wasn't myself. I was playing this part of who I thought I should be, based on what I thought guys wanted, versus being who I was at my core. 

Much like my childhood playmate, who has had over 150 jobs, owns her own dream house, car, and ran for president - I was plastic. 

I am by no means writing this pointing a finger at pop culture or at Barbie, but rather for the first time taking responsibility for myself, and any potential future generations I could impact. I wanted to change myself in order for guys to like me because clearly I was struggling with a very low self esteem; it doesn't take a rocket scientist (a job also held by Barbie) to figure that one out. 

It's not as if pop culture is going to change over night, but my desire to be exposed to it certainly is. Who wants to live in a static world of plastic when there are so many vibrant dimensions to explore? Barbie even had a layout promoting her #Unapologetic campaign in Sports Illustrated. DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE THE IRONY IN THAT?!?! 

Yes, I may live in a Barbie world, but I am not a Barbie girl. I want to be strong, not just thin, and I want my worth to be based on merit not just a quick outfit change and painted toe nails. 

Fuck, how did we end up like this?