am I a selfish asshole?

When I was 21 years old and graduated college I definitely thought that I’d be older by now. I mean, I’d still be 31 years old – but my life would probably a bit more settled and predictable. In case god is reading this, it would have been nice to have a bit more hair (on my head, not eyebrows) at this point. Just saying. 

When I was 25. I owned (still do) my own condo, I had a great paying job with a title that would allow me to pick up girls with my business cards, I had a tuxedo cat named Otto (still do, my best neutered friend for sure) who’d help with the ladies if the business cards failed and maybe I’d even be in a settled relationship (I was, still am – just not in the same one). 

Next up probably would have been a bigger house, a girl with a ring on her finger, two cars, a crying baby, a boat and the kind of cable package that would glue me to my sectional till obesity and back. 

That sounds like a great life to have. At 61, not 31. 

Honestly, I used to always say that I was going to (semi)retire at age 35 and I probably could have done that had I just kept going. 

But I totally freaked out instead. 

Crisis hit. 

When that happens to American men, they buy a fast car. 

I, on the other hand,  quit my job, moved back to LA, took another job, signed up for an Ironman, did that, went part time, moved to Europe, spent the past year living with my amazing girlfriend, gave up on having a cell phone,  went super part-time + remote, moved back to the US, quit my job, decided to want to become a full-time entrepreneur, now I am living with a roommate who is not my girlfriend and am about to head out on a four month road trip across America to try and do something that pretty much sounds impossible to me. 

I suck. 


Because nothing freaks me out more than being comfortable. When I hear settling down, I hear not being able to get back up. I am the absolute nightmare boyfriend, son, brother and friend. When I was 24, my mother looked at my life and could sit back and relax. Now, she knows that at any given time I am only a few failed experiments away from living back in my old room. Which has been turned into the family gym apparently. Not cool. I don’t know how Amanda puts up or keeps up with my constant life 360s but she is wonderful for it. I also have two sisters, who I adore beyond belief, but who’ve maybe seen me 30 days in their entire lives. If you call yourself my friend, you are awesome as well as I tend to miss most weddings, forget your kids’ birthdays (sometimes I forget you have kids) and pretty much can come across as a pretty confused and selfish asshole. 

I am. 

Or maybe I am not. 

In my early twenties, my biological father killed himself. He left no note, but my guess is that he was deeply unhappy about the situation/life he was in. Killing yourself is never the right solution, especially not when you have two little daughters. 

Regardless, that gave me something to think about. 

I’ve battled depression throughout my twenties. I probably battle depression a little bit every day.  It totally sucks. It’s like this ginormous cloud over your head that only seems to follow you around. It’s embarrassing because you feel bad, but really have nothing to feel bad about. Telling others that is hard, so you don’t. You feel alone and then it gets worse. 

Some people take pills for it, but I hate pills. I once spent three months taking pills to help me keep my hair a little longer. It made me not want to have sex anymore. So I chose to go bald. 

Now I like to have sex again, except when I am depressed. Life is complicated, folks. 

But that isn’t the moral of the story. 

Change is. 

If you’re fat and don’t like it, stop eating junk and start moving. 

If you’re broke and don’t like it, hustle. 

If you’re in a deeply unhappy marriage, get divorced. My parents did when I was two years old. My mom re-married my dad (not the biological one) and I can honestly say that I had the most amazing childhood ever. My parents are and will always be my absolute heroes. They are the only people in the world, who I’d be willing to be unhappy for. 

If you’re a man and like other men but you tell people you like women, don’t. Be gay. It’s totally cool, and anyone who tells you that being gay is a bad thing is most likely deeply unhappy or a selfish asshole. 

Back to my point of me being a selfish asshole. 

I am not. 

I am just trying to live the kind of life that makes me truly happy. Because as far as I can tell, you only have one life to live. 

God, again, if you’re reading this and I am wrong about it – please commment below. 

The same goes for you. 


  1. Anonymous April 18, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Amen brother!

  2. Anonymous April 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    dude, that was really heart-felt. i didn’t know a lot of that about you. thanks for sharing.

    there is a certain minimum level of selfishness that’s actually necessary for a happy life IMHO, but in the more common sense of the word you’re one of the LEAST selfish people i know. you’ve found a way to arrange your life around the act of telling the world about all the incredible people you meet. in doing so, you’ve aligned your success with the success of others. that takes an ungodly amount of patience, imagination and a generosity. if everybody in the world were selfish like you, we’d live in a wonderful, utopian world.

  3. Anonymous April 18, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    There is selfish and there is self-centered. Selfish people care only about themselves, their wants and their needs. Self-centered people focus on those things for a while, but they care about others too. I think what you are describing is more of a self-centered phase and that is ok, its normal and part of growing up. The thing to remember is that if you stop caring about the lives of your friends they will stop caring about yours and that is a tough thing to recover from. Friends are what will pull you back when depression tries to pull you under.

  4. Anonymous April 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Chad, thank you for your comment. That means a lot to me. IdeaMensch is what inspires me. And people like you.

  5. Anonymous April 18, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Paula, thank you for your comment. I think that self-centered phase has lasted for 15 years now. That being said, I will never not care about my friends. When someone needs me, I am there. Always, well, I will always try.

    I am just really really bad at weddings, birthdays and babies.

  6. Anonymous April 19, 2012 at 12:59 am

    You really strip away all bullshit in this one. I was totally moved reading it. I may not have spent thirty days with you, so I can’t be a sister to you yet, but it seems, in Mario-years, that I’ve known you forever. Follow your heart, my friend. it hasn’t steered you wrong so far.

  7. Anonymous April 19, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Clif, it would be rather weird to call you my sister but your comment is awesome nevertheless. Hope movie production world is treating you well.

  8. Anonymous April 19, 2012 at 1:42 am

    Had a great meeting with Joe Cortese today. He's going to play the heavy in the piece. He's incredible. I can't tell you how excited I am to see this thing come together. Maybe we can grab dinner before I start shooting?

  9. Anonymous April 19, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Dang. Next time you should be transparent and authentic. A-hole.

    In all seriousness, one of the best posts I’ve read. Thanks.

  10. Anonymous April 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Awesome post. This really resonates with me. Thanks so much for sharing!