Machismo is one of those things that many people generally understand as something that men use to cover up their insecurities. Slick cars, action movies, porn, muscles, being a dick, etc. - none of which are inherently bad (except being a dick) but all of which contribute to the stereotype of your average macho jerk. Still, machismo is much more pervasive than that and is probably the biggest issue your average man has to battle with. I have the same issue in my own unique way just as most men do.

I have this idea of myself as a strong independent passionate man – and I am one. But I find that with this idea I often may be stifling myself by not making the right choices in my life and not truly living life as the emotional creature that humans are. I don’t even remember the last time I cried. But by the same token of machismo I can’t really get past my own rationalization for why I didn’t need to cry at all the times I should have. I have a pretty thoughtful insightful mind and, having been a nerd my whole life, I’ve spent a lot of time being introspective and thinking things through so as not to get too upset by them. The problem with this is that there’s a dangerously thin line between dissecting your feelings and ignoring them.

I want to feel. I want to hurt. I want to cry. And for some reason I just plain haven’t been able to for years now. There’s been a few times here and there but I can honestly say in the last 5 years I’ve probably only cried 3 or 4 times – that’s less than once a year and none of them were me bawling by any means. I just can’t figure it out.

I’ve realized that maybe my independence is blocking my emotions. I’ve realized that I’m not nearly as independent as I thought myself to be. I’m very strong willed in what I believe, I’m very extroverted, I’m not at all shy – but I’ve also learned that I desperately need other people’s influence in my life. I can’t be creative unless someone is pushing me on. I can’t get physically active unless someone else inspires me to do so. I can barely even get up in the morning without hearing one of my roommates get up as well. And, even after trying to shy away from my mom’s often negative influence I still go to her with questions knowing she’s going to give the wrong answer (or at least the answer that worries WAY too much) just so I have someone to listen to that I know cares about me.

Men need input. We shy away from it, we like to remain strong but we really fucking need it. Not getting input, not talking about our emotions is what leads us to be those pissed off, middle-aged, unhealthy assholes who everyone hates (most people call them ‘dads’). I can feel stress building in my heart and I can feel myself getting a bit more edgy and snappier; in short, becoming more of a dick. I want that ‘feminine’ side of me to come out, I want to feel and be loving and be nice but the fact that I’m so miserable in the shell of life I’ve created for myself I sometimes feel like I’m losing my ability to relate. I work a boring job where I sit on my ass all day dreaming about death staring at a computer monitor. I am single and alone. I have a job where I get reprimanded for being ‘too nice and talkative’ when I am one of the most talkative people I know. I need to make that change in my life where I do what I want, where I be who I want to be, but I feel that guilt of manhood dredging me down. I should build a career…plan for the future…be responsible for people and a family that don’t even exist yet. The future, it’s all about the future. It’s like the last tendrils of the American dream still trying to brainwash me with promises of the easy life living it up in the middle class with a home of my own and money in the bank.

In reality I already have fucking carpal tunnel syndrome and I’m 25. I have terrible eyesight from staring at monitors all the time. I’ve finally started going to the gym and doing physical activities to turn from pale and thin to strong and energetic (and still somewhat pale) but that is only one step. I need for people to encourage me, to take the leap, never work in an office again, do what I want, break out of the macho mold. I need help to make sense of all the anger I feel inside of me. Teenage angst just becomes heart attacks, baldness, and ulcers as you get older. Disgust with the system never goes away: it just gets buried deep inside you till the very act of pretending it’s not there causes physical illness.

I can’t do it alone no matter how much my subconscious is sent that message. I need that loving support just like any other human. Talking about it in this blog is but one small step – I need to reach out to my friends and ASK them for help because I simply can’t make the jump by myself. No one is 100% independent. No man is an island god fucking damn it!

So send me your positive thoughts, your feelings, your own stories of personal triumph and life changing choices. We’re all in this together and the more great stories I hear the more I’ll feel up to the challenge of getting my shit together. So I pose a question to you, dear reader: tell me one life changing moment that occurred from your own actions – when did you take hold of your life and take it in the right direction despite what society told you? Inspire me!

Creative Commons License