What the hell is a man?

Is this a man?

I’m going through a bit of a masculinity crisis. It’s very similar to an identity crisis and a mid-life crisis. Actually, it’s equal parts of both. I’ve reached a certain age now where I’ve become restless. I’ve started to examine my life in terms of accomplishments and defining moments. I’ve started to look at the future and I wander where it will take me.

For my wife, who is of course my biggest fan, please don’t read that sentence and assume that implies anything other than true happiness with our relationship. In fact, it’s probably the only thing that feels right.

For as long as I want to remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. I don’t really know why. I like to tell myself and anyone that asks that it’s because I love to tell stories about people that no one else is writing about. But that’s not really true. Perhaps it’s my arrogance that compels me to write. Perhaps I think the particular way I place words on a page is more important than the way another person places words on page.

It’s not.

The truth is, I am compelled. I get ideas. I see people in my head doing things and then I sit at my desk and I try to describe what I see. Sometimes I’m successful at it but most of the time I’m not. I don’t know why I write. I just do.

Why am I telling you this? (You being the Internet.) The reason is I’m wondering if this is part of becoming a man. Is this the point in a man’s life when he starts to question his path? Is this the mid-life crisis that has been exploited by silly sitcoms, novels, plays and just about anything else where some sad sack of shit is depressed because he really wants to bang a younger woman?

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Again, my dear wife, I’m not going to bang a younger woman.

So this restlessness, the incessant internal badgering of “What have you accomplished?”, is this a symptom of being a man? Am I a cliché? I fear that I am. And popular media has taught me this is in fact what happens to men. If it is true, then I’m entirely unprepared for manhood. Going beyond my meager life accomplishments, what else can I do that all men must know how to do?

Can I start a fire? Sure, with charcoal and lighter fluid.

Can I build something with my two hands? Anything? Not really.

Am I a great shot? Probably not. Guns terrify me.

Could I be trusted to raise a child? Fuck me, I have no idea.

I’m hoping that this space will become a personal journey into my manhood. Wait, that didn’t come out right but I’m going to leave it.

I hope to use this space to define what being a man means to me. Don’t expect a hard-drinking, gun-toting meat head, because that’s not me. But don’t expect a whiny pussy who’s afraid to punch someone in the face, because that’s not me either. I’m somewhere in between. Just where, I’m not entirely sure.

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