The Zoey Blog: A Momentary Tsunami of Emotion FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Momentary Tsunami of Emotion

I'm not sure when I became such a soft pile of softness. I used to be an angry young man. I punched people in the face. I didn't back down from much. I felt bold and strong. Now I just mostly feel small and frightened. I feel humble and fairly feeble on occasion. Things make me nervous. I get worried. I lose sleep. I used to sleep just fine. I'm no disaster, but I might not be the guy you'd want in your corner when a fight breaks out. I'm the guy who needs talking down off the emotional ledge. When did that happen?

A lot happened this changes... financial changes...a new home...stresses...strains...and it's taken it's toll. I feel pretty meek at times, and I don't ever recall feeling meek. It's funny, because I get a lot of love and respect from some people in my life...there are people whose opinions mean a lot to me, and I feel about half worthy half the time. I feel as though they have this image of me that isn't accurate...that is anything but true. Sometimes I just flat out don't believe the nonsense that compliments feel like to me. That's bad isn't it?

It might be the way that I was raised, where the strong and dominant personality in the home was my mother. I still can't comprehend how she kept it together when it was always coming apart at the seams, but even now it's a woman's respect and admiration that I value most. That makes for some strange internal conflicts when you're a grown man. I don't have many really close and intimate male mentors or role models, and here I am at thirty-nine years old still desperate for one, or two, or six or maybe seven. My Mom was a shining example of determination and strength, but there were very few lessons in masculinity.

I very often feel less like a man and more like this smaller version of that same thing. I don't feel strong. I don't feel entirely together. I am happy to hide...happy to avoid confrontation. It's embarrassing. I'm tired of feeling small, and small is how I feel a lot of the time. I need to be convinced that I'm something other than what I feel like I am at times. I tell myself that I'm a good man but more often than not I feel like a good man who just happens to be very weak fairly frequently. I know that I'm stronger than I feel in my weakest moments, and tougher than I feel when I'm easing into peaceful, and more manly than most of the men I know. I'm down with those ideas, but sometimes I have to retreat to a quiet place to remind myself. Occasionally I get a message from a friend, or a kind post on another friend's tumblr, or sometimes a comment is left here that lifts me up, but not enough, not when you're feeling fragile. I tell myself that real men feel fragile sometimes.

In the end this is what I think...

This is why I work so hard to make things different for other people...why I feel such a commitment to making young men whole again. Not another young man will feel the way that I feel or have felt, I tell myself. Not if I can help it. Not another young man will grow up with no idea of what it takes to be a man, or of how this whole man thing works. Not another young man will grow up and be desperate for the kinds of answers that I've sought out my entire life. They won't feel as weak and desperate for steering as I've felt...not on my watch, not while I'm able to look a young man in the face and convince him that he's everything he's supposed to be...that he's perfect, even when he is obviously and naturally flawed. I might not feel all that strong all that often but I'll be pained to the end of my days to watch another young man feel anything but strong.

There...sorry, that's my Friday night rant in six paragraphs or less. I don't feel quite so bad now. Thanks great hopeful, reassuring void (and thanks Woo for such kind words).


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