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So, you’ve had your heartbroken. More than once. Maybe you feel like just throwing in the towel. Before you do, listen to Teddy Herzog’s story. He’s a master at remodeling old houses, an author and coach but it took him decades to get his inside to match his outside.
Teddy had everything he thought he ever wanted: a great marriage, a daughter, and a successful business. But inside he felt something wasn’t right—he just couldn’t do it anymore. After 25 years he divorced his wife. He spent the next ten years in one dating relationship after another, had a second failed marriage and spent down his wealth before he began the tough work of learning to love the most important person, himself.
Breaking through for Teddy meant healing childhood traumas and unlearning codependency. He realized he was consistently looking to his female partner for his own happiness. He didn’t have strong relationships with men either. He knew he needed to plant his feet on solid ground.
With Rebeccah’s help Teddy set about doing the deep emotional work of letting go and learning to allow himself to connect with his own feelings. His healing has positively impacted his finances, his self-image, and his health. He says he enjoys a deep sense of relaxation he’s never had. Teddy’s advice? Get still and quiet, identify your emotions without judgment and allow yourself to feel.
Turns out for Teddy, the third time’s a charm. He finally found the love of his life, his wife Carol. Their marriage is built upon truth and vulnerability, not needing her to fill him up or tell him what to do. He continues to be committed to cultivating an abundant life with his family in sunny Petaluma, California. His story is a testimony to the power of not giving up on love.
Are you ready for your love story?
If you would like to connect to Teddy Herzog, he’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org We’re always Tougher Together! Please tune in to other episodes of our Breakthrough podcast and explore the human connection between us.
Rebeccah Silence, is a speaker, coach and international media personality, who survived cancer while pregnant and has impacted hundreds of thousands of listeners through her radio programs and appearances. She is the Creator of the HEALING IS POSSIBLE movement and courses and is committed to helping others heal their traumas. As a certified world-class Emotional Healing Coach, Rebeccah is uniquely qualified to facilitate breakthroughs to wellness and transformation while she inspires hope and possibility in even the most challenging times. She is best known for healing heartbreak, and her clients frequently tell her that she brought them “back to life”!
Rebeccah [00:00:00] You’re about to meet a man who refuses to give up on love. It took two divorces and commitment, and his third marriage is a dream come true, and he’s going to tell you how he got there. You don’t want to miss this episode.
Intro [00:00:16] The Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast is brought to you by RebeccahSilence.com. Visit RebeccahSilence.com and check out the online courses designed to help people like you stay tough. See for yourself. So, what is a breakthrough? It’s finding your way out of suffering and stuck. It’s that feeling of new energy, renewed life and excitement. When I was seven months pregnant with my second baby, I received a life changing diagnosis. I had cancer. When I told my older daughter, she said “So, you’re going to die?” And the only thing that saved my life during that time was knowing how to emotionally break through. Welcome to the Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast. I’m your host, Rebeccah Silence. I’m a speaker, coach and the creator of Healing is Possible. In each episode I prepare you for life no matter what challenges you’re facing. I’m going to invite you into the stories of real people who are living life in breakthrough and making the world a better place. If they can do it so can you. Breakthrough is your right. Get ready to break through. Get ready for the rest of your life.
Rebeccah [00:01:42] I’m Rebeccah Silence, your host of the Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast, and today we are talking about love and love stories that do come true—it can happen to you as cliche as it sounds—and we’ve got one of my favorite people that loves love and stayed committed to love through heartbreak after heartbreak, divorce after divorce, financial devastation, all of it. And he’s living his love story and he’s here to tell us how he broke through and made it happen. Welcome Teddy Herzog to the Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast.
Teddy [00:02:21] Thanks, Rebeccah, it’s great to be here.
Rebeccah [00:02:23] It is so much fun to have been privileged and honored to be a part of your journey. Tell us, tell us what breakthrough means to you.
Teddy [00:02:31] Breakthrough is like, you’re this person and you’re living inside this little shell of this little version of you and you don’t know, you don’t even know that for you at that moment, it’s all that there is, but then you’re able to escape, or I’ve been able to at times escape from the way I’ve thought about myself, the way I’ve behaved, the way I’ve heard other people, the way people have showed up. It’s like, it’s like breaking out of this little shell and entering into like a different world. It’s like stepping into a different world is really the best way I can say it.
Rebeccah [00:03:04] And what is the benefit of taking the risk to break out of the shell that is comfortable and entering a world that is unknown and uncomfortable?
Teddy [00:03:15] In my own experience, there’s been years and years at a time where I was kind of comfortable just hanging out the way I was, but… And it was good and it looked good, and I felt like I was successful, but at some point it becomes so stifling that a part of me starts dying. So even though it’s comfortable, it’s like—I guess, to use that old analogy—it’s like the frog in the boiling water; everything feels OK, but slowly I’m dying because something different needs to happen.
Rebeccah [00:03:47] Yeah, yeah. And will you tell our amazing listener, our audience about what you’ve learned about breakthrough in relationship to love?
Teddy [00:03:58] OK, I guess the key thing is, you know, I’ve been in relationships in the past where I had a problem with the other person and this person was doing X and Y and Z, and if only I could change the other person, then everything would be great. But the key thing I’ve learned is anywhere I am in life, like with you or out in the street, whoever’s in front of me most of the time is a mirror for myself and whatever I see going on with the other person is a reflection for me of what’s going on inside of me. And so the people I attract in my life, the situations I find myself in the conversations I find myself in, the feelings I’m having about the other person are all this incredible guidance system to what’s happening in here? It’s like, I got these gears turning and the gears are saying, this is what I’m going to produce for myself, and then I go out and I have relationships and conversations and feelings that are consistent with the machine turning inside of myself. And so… I mean, the question you asked me is like, what’s… I can’t remember the question, but something about what’s the key to finding love? It’s got to be taking my eyes off a while, this will be the amazing person or this person’s a jerk, and I can’t stand this person to… Hold on! What’s going on inside of me and why am I doing this dance with this person, just like I did with the eight people before? It’s like, Huh I’m a person who likes to dance with people in this way. And is this really working for me, or do I want to change it? Am I ready to expand? Is this something that would be healthier for me, much more mature for me, and that would be like this incredible new experience. Did I answer your question?
Rebeccah [00:05:44] Yeah, and I would love for you to share with us where you were and where you ended up, and how did you get there?
Teddy [00:05:53] That’s a good question. I was just thinking about that before we started the show. And it’s kind of a fun story now to recall. I was in a good marriage, we had a daughter, the real estate, had the quote unquote financial success. We were all set up in San Francisco. And I got to a point… Well, I didn’t quite know that a part of me was dying. Like, it was almost unknown, quiet conversations. “I can’t do this anymore.” Part of me was like, “I need to break out of this.” And so we were in this marriage, it was a 25- year relationship, a 17-year marriage, had all the bells and whistles of what looks like a successful relationship, and I ended that marriage and I moved on. And I remember when I moved out of the house and separated, I thought to myself, “Well, I think I’m going to be dating again soon.” And somehow, I knew I had to do some work on myself before I could date again soon. And so, I ended up doing a series of workshops and coaching. I mean, this went on for years and years. And I began to, like I said, start looking at what’s going on inside of me; it’s like, what are the repeating patterns in my life? Like what kind of person am I showing up to in a relationship? What are my fears? What am I re-creating over and over again? So, I divorced, I went on 10 years of dating. I mean, some of it was what we call crazy dating with people… in hindsight it’s like, Well, why was I with that person? I actually had another marriage to this amazing woman in the middle of, or near the end of that, actually. And that didn’t work either, because I was still doing like a codependent dance with this person, and we could talk more about what that means. So I went on this journey, dating, I moved from San Francisco to a small town in Colorado. I had my financial success and I managed to blow all of that in the small town in Colorado in a boom bust town. And in the end, I ended up imploding. Everything that I knew about success and everything that I kind of built up to… like this is how you do life. And I got to see inside myself and learn … I guess learn what was going on inside of me in terms of my pains and my traumas, and stuff I just hadn’t looked at and dealt with and slowly telling myself the truth about what was in my heart and in my gut and in my lungs and beginning to unwind that, let that go.
Rebeccah [00:08:10] Will you share even more, specifically about what you uncovered? Like, what were some of those traumas and what were you holding on to?
Teddy [00:08:17] A lot of it was with my mom, it was kind of a codependent dance. My mom and I had this codependent relationship when I was growing up as a kid where she leaned on me, she didn’t have a very close, intimate relationship with my dad. I was the oldest child, so she would lean on me like the man of the house. Somehow, I grew up, as an adult, trusting women, not trusting men at all. And I was leaning on women… I was like, I was always looking to the woman to tell me what to do next. And in the first marriage that worked out pretty well, at least financially. I was in other relationships where that didn’t work out well. I was like, Why am I asking this person to tell me what to do and to lead me? And it was very subtle. It’s like, Well, what does a woman think I should do? That’s what I should do it. And so, I noticed that I was not standing on my own two feet. And another part of that journey was I noticed I just had a long distance relationship with all men. I didn’t have any… Well, I didn’t have many men close to me. I didn’t have a community of men that I trusted that I could communicate with. I didn’t have any men that I could share my deep feelings with. And so that meant all of my emotional needs in life, I needed to get from a woman. And so that woman typically was whoever I was in an intimate relationship with, so that person, whoever I was dating at the time, was my lover, my business partner and my confidant, like, what should I do next? I was a needy, dependent person, who hadn’t learned how to fully stand on my own two feet as a man in his own power, but who was like needy and leaning on whoever happened to be my lover at the moment.
Rebeccah [00:10:03] Yeah. And you actually forwarded me some emails between the two of us right before this episode where we were working on you, really taking on that relationship with yourself as a man and with men. Tell us about that.
Teddy [00:10:19] I mean, I’ll just describe it… it was like this dark energy. There was this particular episode of what I call, like, this dark knife energy; just this weird thing. There was one point where my dad was having this girlfriend… He kind of did that. He kind of went off with other women. And one of these women showed up at the house one time, and my mom took me aside the next day and said, Well, the next time that woman shows up, I’m going to hand you this kitchen knife and you go out and slash the tire of her car, and we’re going to call the police and I’ll tell you, go cut the dog rope. That was kind of, supposed to be the code word, but I was… I don’t know what I was. I was 8 or 10 years old, maybe. And I was supposed to take this knife and go out and puncture a tire. And it was like, I mean, just even thinking about it now is almost traumatizing. But the work we did is, I noticed in my first marriage I was always weird around a kitchen knife. Never had a kitchen knife in my hand around my first wife. It was a weird; like, Whoa, what’s this all about? And I can name an episode that happened with my second wife or came up again. But there was some kind of dark energy of, Oh, mom said, I got to go out and puncture a tire… I don’t even know if I can stick a knife in it, with a knife going off… I don’t know if I can do it. My mom told me to do it. So, when the time comes, I just have to do it because that’s what mom said. And that was some deep… that was some deep crap. I mean, I can still feel it in my body like, I don’t know, I don’t know if I could be a man, but if my mom tells me to do it, I guess I got to do it. And so, I started dating Carol, I was at the very beginning and it was like, I don’t know, it wasn’t more than two months and I started freaking out. Somehow, the dark knife energy came again. I was like, Holy shit, where is this… I mean, I’d already done a bunch of work. It’s like, Where’s this dark knife energy coming from? And so, I called Rebeccah and we did, you know, we did some sessions. I couldn’t even tell you what we did to get rid of it. Part of it was, I was able to step into the relationship with Carol, not being needy. I was able to… I had already done a lot of men’s work. I was just afraid, I mean it was like a fear. It was like a past memory and my body is, Oh! Here’s an important relationship. What about the dark knife energy? And it was me resolving stuff I’ve done the work on, and I was ready to let it go. But you know, the sessions you and I did were about me saying, OK, you’ve already done the work. You’re ready to let this go. It’s not going to happen again in this relationship. I didn’t show up into the relationship with Carol needy. I mean, I think that’s one of the key parts of my relationship with Carol, I mean, people think it’s weird. It’s like I don’t need her. I don’t. I’ve never needed her. I’m a free man standing on my own two feet, and I choose to be with you as my partner. I choose to be there with you because I choose to love you, not because I’ve fallen in love with you, but because I choose you as my life partner. And I love you because I say so and I choose to do that.
Rebeccah [00:13:23] Yeah, Teddy and this couple, everyone, they have a beautiful life in California in Petaluma. Teddy has written books, Carol’s living her dream. And to me, it really is an example of a healed love story, and Teddy, I think what you’re talking about in taking on the dark parts of you, the unhealed inner child in you, and not just looking at your relationship with the opposite sex but looking at your relationship with you as a man and with your same sex parent. I think there’s so much relationship advice about dealing with the opposite sex or the gender of the partner that you’re wanting to be with, right? But we have to deal with the opposite as well.
Teddy [00:14:09] Yeah, I think a lot of what I’m talking about is this ability to step into this relationship with Carol in a clean way, like, you just said it. Because I was in a men’s group. Now I still am, and I’ve done a lot of this men’s work, and yeah, I can now stand on my own two feet as a man. I don’t need Carol to be everything for me. I’ve got a men’s group. I actually have a group meeting tonight. I’m going to go be with these men and I can get my emotional needs met. I can share myself deeply with these men in a way that I just never could, because my dad couldn’t. Just… he never had a dad who did it with him. His dad took off when he was five or seven or eight or something, and he just didn’t have that tool set. And so, he was unable to hand that to me. And so, it’s something I had to obtain for myself as an adult.
Rebeccah [00:14:58] And how has that ability to heal your relationship with you and your parents and the limited possibility, really, that you were in around love impacted other areas of your life?
Teddy [00:15:11] It’s that old trope of the onion, if you do this deep emotional work, it’s this layer after layer after layer. I’m just now finding, like I said, I went, well, I don’t know if I said it, but I went through bankruptcy after the first marriage and it took me a long while to crawl myself out of that. I’m financially in a good place now, but I’m actually noticing that I’m still peeling back my mom relationship in a way. Then I now have a freedom to say, OK, I’ve got myself to a certain level of financial success, but what’s next? So financially, your question was, Well, where else does it show up? I’m seeing it show up today; it’s like, OK, great, I’ve taken myself to this level. I’m now free to move beyond who I considered myself to be as a boy with my mom, and I’m now free to stand on my own two feet as a man and create this next chapter in my life financially. I think there’s something, in terms of my physical health, in my 20s and 30s, I think I had a certain level of anxiety running through me, like I got to succeed, I got to prove myself. I got to get out there and make it happen. And I’m at a place now in life where I’m a lot more calm and relaxed, I can just kind of trust the flow, I’m a relaxed person, so physically in my health and my body, I have a deep sense of relaxation that I’ve never had through my 30s and probably into my 40s as well.
Rebeccah [00:16:35] You’re free, you’re relaxed, you’re being who you want to be, I so appreciate and honor your vulnerability and willingness to share your story because there are so many people wanting love and just blind to what is that wall in front of them that’s keeping them from it? What do you think had you staying committed to the possibility of getting where you are today, when there was so much evidence that maybe it wasn’t worth it or not working?
Teddy [00:17:05] There was always like this small voice inside me, this voice of possibility; like, my parents always said to me that you could be anything you want to be and like, I believed it. I tucked that away somewhere. I felt lucky. Even when I’ve gone through years of darkness, I’ve always had some connection to the light. I’ve always had this ability to have this spiritual sense of being like, I’m lucky, like I’m connected… Somehow, I mean, I’m guessing or imagining those people who don’t feel like they’re lucky in life, but things just happen for me. Things flow, as long as I can get myself quiet. There’s always a steady flow of signs and communication about what to do next, and here’s opportunities and here’s an amazing person coming into my life, and I feel like I’ve just had one lucky thing after another happen to me. And the more that I’ve been able to relax and get myself out of the way and just trust and allow the abundance of life to flow to me, then the more it does.
Rebeccah [00:18:08] And I would just challenge you. Teddy, I’ll put you on the spot. It is not luck; you stayed committed. I’ve known you for at least 15 years and you stayed committed. And I don’t want our listeners thinking it’s just waiting for luck. There’s an element of commitment that my wish for you is that you will own because you have literally transformed your life and you have literally designed it exactly how you dreamed it to be. And you’re still growing and you’re not complacent, and you do the work with your wife to keep it hot and to stay committed and to keep it going.
Teddy [00:18:44] Yeah, that’s one of the really great things about Carol is she’s also committed to doing the work, so I’ve got a partner in doing the work, so deep emotional work we can and do say anything and everything to each other. And she, you know, she’ll go out there and get her own coaches, she’ll go out there and do her own workshops, we do workshops together. So, it’s empowering to be partnered with someone who is committed to the work.
Rebeccah [00:19:12] Yeah. And what does that take for you to stay committed?
Teddy [00:19:17] Yeah, that’s a good question. I’m glad you asked that. I mean, now my daughter is 25 years old, so it’s… I mean, she’s actually been doing a lot of good work for herself now. She’s digging into herself, and she works with a therapist on a weekly basis. And so, as a dad, I want to be able to demonstrate that, hey, you just keep doing this ongoing or you keep taking off the old shell, the old layer, you keep digging in. And to the extent that you can, every day, keep telling yourself the truth to yourself about yourself and taking a look at what’s next in terms of growth and how can I be more mature, more honest, a more grounded man today than I was yesterday.
Rebeccah [00:20:02] And why, Teddy? Why choose a love and possibility when a lot of people think it’s easier just to stay comfortable and not shake things up?
Teddy [00:20:12] Because that’s who I am to my core. I mean, even when I was single and not dating anybody, in that crazy dating situation, I knew I was a married man. Not like I’ll just marry anybody, but I’m going to have an amazing marriage and I’m going to make that happen. And so, you’re asking me, well, why choose that over, just like giving up? It’s my nature, I guess, it’s like, why not? I mean, it’s almost like it’s exhausting to give up to me. It’s like, maybe it’s pretty scary to trudge forward, but slumping on the sofa and feeling sorry for myself, that… that’s exhausting to me and disgusting to me. It’s just like, I would stand up and move forward.
Rebeccah [00:21:00] And I want people to know that relationships can make you better. I think it’s easier to go it alone or just keep starting over until it’s hard and then giving up and starting over and… You can have the relationship of your dreams. Teddy, you’re a testimony to that, and I would also love it if you would please speak to your willingness to be with your emotions as a very masculine man. I mean, you are gorgeously vulnerable. Will you tell our listeners why and how and what’s possible for them if they will step into that as well?
Teddy [00:21:38] Yeah, that’s a long path. And I’ll go back to the example of 10 years ago when I was getting divorced from the first marriage and like, I’m going to start dating, but I know I need to do some work on myself, and that ended up being this long journey that continues today of, well, working on it. If I’m going to have a great relationship, first, I got to be… I’ll feel my own feelings. I mean, over the course of the last 10 years, I felt sadness, I felt grief, I felt anger. I’ve gotten like vitriol out of my lungs. I, literally, have done work where vengeance has come out of my lungs. It’s like, where did that come from? I mean, maybe it’s ancestral. I don’t know where it came from, but I literally worked vengeance out of my lungs. The more I’m able to be in touch with my feelings… If I was to say, Oh, I’m awake now… awake and feeling my feelings is the same thing. It’s like, I’m naturally a very intuitive person. Even as a young boy, I had a sense of being in touch with my intuition. My intuition depends on me trusting my body, connecting with my body, listening to my body and trusting it. It’s like, I know the difference between thinking and feeling, and there’s something very powerful for me about just feeling the truth in my body and going with it versus thinking, Oh, I should be this way, or it’s supposed to be this way, or someone said, or what will they think? All this chatter that goes on in my, you know, I still have a chatter, everybody else does. But I also have a muscle which is, in any given moment if it comes down to me listening to the chatter in my head or trusting what I feel my body, I’m going to trust what I feel my body. And so, as I allowed for that, as I’ve done the work of connecting with my sadness, connecting with my anger, connecting with my grief and working it out and feeling the feeling, the more I do it, the more I see what a powerful tool my body is and my feelings are. And so, it just reinforces the idea of, well, I’m just going to keep digging deeper and deeper. If I’m not telling the truth about how I’m feeling, then I’m not telling the truth and I’m full of shit is really what I would call not being in touch with my feelings.
Rebeccah [00:23:52] Teddy, from needing women to tell you what to do, to trusting your body and your feelings to tell you what to do, and what you said about being awake is the same thing as expressing your feelings and they go hand in hand. I absolutely couldn’t agree more, and I really believe that that ability to connect to your own inner guidance system and having that solid, trusting relationship with yourself can make you, can make anyone willing to do that level of work. It’s about our partner and it takes the pressure off of the relationship.
Teddy [00:24:25] Yeah, it’s a lot. I mean, can you imagine being a woman where everything I need is going to come from you? And I mean, that must be suffocating. It’s like, how much? What chance do you have to have a great relationship with me to just fully be yourself if I’m this needy guy? He like needs everything from you. It would be crushing, right? I mean…
Rebeccah [00:24:45] And so many people have relationships designed exactly in that codependent way. So, OK, Teddy, so where are you now? What’s life like now with your wife now?
Teddy [00:24:56] We have a great home, we live in Petaluma, which is just north of San Francisco. We’ve got this 1900 Victorian, which we fixed up. That’s what I do, is fix up old houses. I, you know, last year was weird, but normally we travel a couple of times a year to different countries and we’re going to go to Jazz Fest in October, so that’s our first big trip in a while. I’m going backpacking next week in the Sierras. I like to get into the mountains. We’re living in this amazing place right now. It’s like we got the ocean, we got the mountains… Carol’s daughter and her partner are living with us, which is really a blessing, I don’t know how long it will last. Maybe another, you know, a couple of months, another year, but it’s great to have this extended family here in our household. My daughter Maya is doing really well northwestern in Chicago. I don’t see her that much, but she’s doing great. My mom and I have a great relationship. I’m working on my relationships with my brothers and sister. I mean, financially, I’m in like this place of abundance, I’ve got so much opportunity, I mean, literally it’s like I’m just sitting with, OK, what’s next? This is so much opportunity.
Rebeccah [00:26:06] Yeah. Final Thoughts, Teddy, and homework. Would you give a homework assignment, please, to our audience?
Teddy [00:26:13] Homework assignment for the audience. I think… Something I do every day is get quiet and then there’s lots of different ways to get quiet. People meditate, actually for me, just sitting in the hot tub is a good place to get quiet. Can I get quiet and get quiet enough to then ask myself, what am I feeling? What am I honestly feeling? Is there sadness in here or whatever it is and just not judge it, not tell a story about it… that’s how I think about it: it’s like, can I get myself still and quiet? And just tell the truth about what I’m feeling in my body right now and just allow that feeling and just allow that. So that’s what I’m feeling, feeling sadness, I’m feeling anger, I’m feeling joy. That’s what I’m feeling. And just to sit in the feeling and allow it to be.
Rebeccah [00:26:59] Get still in quiet. Feel it and tell the truth about it. It’s a great process. How can people get a hold of you, Teddy?
Teddy [00:27:08] If you want to get a hold of me, you can use my email address at email@example.com and would love to hear from anybody who, if I can be a support to you in any way, would love to do that.
Rebeccah [00:27:20] Teddy, thank you. Healing is possible even when it comes to creating that fantasy love story. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Teddy [00:27:31] Yeah, thanks for giving me the opportunity. It’s fun to be here with you.
Rebeccah [00:27:36] It’s a blast.
Rebeccah [00:27:36] Please note that the content of this podcast is not meant to be therapeutic or to replace any personal growth work that you are already doing with a coach, therapist, or mentor. Take the content, have it inspire you, and then keep working with your support system. The Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast is brought to you by our sponsor RebeccahSilence.com. Whether you need to be a good friend to yourself, or to be a good friend to someone else, visit RebeccahSilence.com today, and check out the online courses designed to help people like you get through the toughest of times. See for yourself at RebeccahSilence.com. If you have a question that you would like answered on the Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast please call 303-578-0027 and leave us a message. We will do our best to get to your question. And, if you like what you’re hearing please hit Subscribe right now, on whatever podcast platform you’re listening on and be sure to also share with your friends. Breakthrough is your right. Breakthrough reminds us that we’re tougher together and that we’re connected to possibility even in the most challenging and possibly darkest times. I’m Rebeccah Silence, creator of Healing is Possible and proud host of the Tougher Together, Breakthrough podcast where we come together and we tell stories of real breakthrough that exist for you as well. Get ready to break through, get ready to live more free, and get ready to experience more breakthrough. Because that’s your right. Join us on the Life’s Tough Media website and stay tuned for more. If you want to get in touch with me, visit RebeccahSilence.com. Your time is now. Your breakthrough begins now.