“What’s a somebody in a nobody town?”
– The Weeknd, Professional
Young men need to live in a major city
Unless you’re really old you should never live in a city of less than a million people.
It will kill your brain and make you bitter.
Living in Iowa I always thought that I was depressed. The only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that I could escape. While the Midwest has some fun stuff, like crazy college parties and natural beauty, it’s not the best place for an ambitious young man.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m an eccentric guy. I’ll read a book or blog post and then go out and try what I learned. The idea of looking stupid, or failing, never crosses my mind.
But I usually had to keep my activities to myself. Any idea I had was met with insane amounts of resistance. People would come out of the woodwork with a thousand reasons against whatever I wanted.
It would be easy to sit here and bash these folks, but I don’t have any hostility towards them. They’re just simple people who weren’t exposed to a lot. In 10 years all of them will be in the same place they are today.
However, I’ve always wondered how many young men gave up on their dreams due to pressure from family and friends. Thousands? Millions? When you’re a teenager, or even a young adult, mom and dad seem like the ultimate authorities and you don’t ever want to upset friends.
As such, plenty of go-getters end up folding in hopes that it appeases others.
You have to go out into the world before you quit
I’m sure there are guys living in L.A. and New York City who have a tough time getting support from peers. It’s a problem that happens everywhere.
But those guys can always find a mentor or get inspired. If you wanted to become a professional blogger in Manhattan there are a million resources for you. Groups you can join, free classes you can take, and places that you can write about.
In the Midwest you don’t have that. Telling someone about a professional blogger who makes $10,000 a month would get you scoffed at. No one would say “Cool, I wish you luck.” Instead you’d hear some B.S. about “You can’t believe everything you read.”
On top of this, there isn’t much to inspire you. Most of “cities,” are just hives of office drones. Unless you love Applebee’s and the Gap they’ll leave you underwhelmed.
If you want to find a source of motivation you need to get out. I moved to a city of nine million and it reinvigorated me. Although there are issues, you can find your niche and surround yourself with like-minded people. A couple of weeks ago I was out socializing and mentioned that I write professionally. Nobody said “That’s dumb, real men wear khaki pants and toil away in a cubicle.” Instead I was put in contact with another dude who gave me writing advice.
The middle of the map is great if you want to live cheaply, get drunk, and have sex with a lot of Midwestern college girls. However, anyone who aspires for more is likely to become disappointed. If you want to grow as a man you need to move to bigger places.