Back when I was younger... much younger, I used to be a wild child that allowed his own pain to rule him. A lost boy in poverty without a mother. Most chit chat with me on or off Elliquiy tends to leave others to see this reserved, easy-going guy and nothing more. Yeah, that's a safe generalization of the person I've grown into
and I continue to try to treat others as I'd like to be treated as a general rule. It isn't always easy, though. Being the sensitive type combined with ex-soldier/wild child history can be difficult to balance. Challenging to restrain and keep in check. It's not always
the "keep the tiger in the cage" (or "keep the feelings bottled up") cliché, although it can be just exactly that. It's a phase akin to being this feral wolf within a noble, caring heart. And believe me, it's one of the things that frustrate me even more. Really, why can't I just be simple? Aren't guys supposedly simple creatures according to what society feeds us? Bah. Anyway...
One of the things I think about when I roll through the 'Quiet Fury
' is how men (even the "normal" men that don't have to worry about niche gender roles and drab society labels) are often type-casted.
"A man never
"A man never
"A man isn't weak
(to show his feelings)."
Yeah... all of that machismo crap that we are fed throughout life. It's both humorous and tragic in a roundabout way: My father taught me that grief can also make a man more resilient. Told me that fear can bring out depths within you that you never knew you had, and sometimes it even keeps you alive when you're smart enough about it. Although... my mother was the one to teach me that seldom expressing joy, sadness or fear can bring worry to others. Because you don't become a man in a woman's eyes, normally. Not in that situation, anyway. You become an enigma at that point. Something that borders between human and mystery. I always feel like there is a danger to just rolling with it just because it is considered "weak" to do otherwise. So that leaves me with this interesting balancing act: Just when
do I express gratitude? When do I show my appreciation or pain? How do I give praise or bear my soul in such a way that it doesn't put others
in an uncomfortable place? My brother, for example, who is as alpha hetero (and unapologetically ignorant) as they come. He doesn't "do" that stuff because it seems weak, and of course... he is slowly becoming this same sort of enigma.
With women, I walk on egg-shells. Do I praise her for this or that quality? Do I give advice because she's asking me, or does she just want to vent and take comfort that someone will listen to her for once? And more importantly... when do I let out what grinds my gears? When do I vent and where? Well... I guess I do that here now, don't I.
It frustrates me when I get my wires crossed and struggle to articulate how I feel due to this dumb paradigm that both men and women in society seem to "contribute to" in their own way. And what's funny about it is that I'm not the only one that feels this way. Men like me are fed up with this paradigm. Women (that apparently look for guys like me, I guess) throw their hands up and lament the fact that society complains about the robot men... yet, this status quo is still reinforced. The men of my generation are still expected, apparently desired to be what I am through the eyes of the romantics... except with and
without my sensitivity. Without my artistic spark or imagination. Without my insightfulness or "weakness". Look
. And listen
to me, now
, my dear readers...
A man is not
(nor should he be) defined by the sum of his parts. He is not defined by his might alone, nor is he identified by his interests or his ambition, really. He is defined by what he does
. He is who he is because he likes and does what he damn well wants
to. He sheds tears for his lost loved ones, he accepts
his fear and accepts that it makes him human. A real
man, in my heart, strives to become an even better human in every
way. Not just with lazy, binary solutions such as "If Pain; Nullify Source of Pain".
He drives forward, but after he embraces what makes him human. Not because he is supposedly "unafraid of dying". No...
But because he is unafraid to live
. There is an important distinction between the two.
On the Music
: On another note, this song brings back other memories that I may or may not share some other time.