I have been thinking on some things about my life. I want to share em with you, thanks for taking the time to read my feeble attempt at writing, but it helps me be a better man. Throughout my life I have done some pretty “manly” things. I am a former US Marine, I got my first tattoo at 18 and haven’t stopped getting them since. I am pretty good at drinking beer, I have eaten enough pills to save the world (Not manly I know, but Stupid and I am clean now). I’ve stoked a couple of fires too. My favorite genre of music is Hard Rock and Heavy Metal,(Loud, Fast and Aggressive), no, you still don’t understand, I want it loud enough to make my ears bleed. You know what I mean, “if ‘ loud, you’re too old! \m/ However, the old outlaw country that I listened to as a kid still rings good in my ears, Hank, Waylon, Willie, George, Johnny just to name a few. (Thanks Dad) I have swam in the creek, fished in the dark, wrecked four wheelers, shot guns, and been chased by the cops. I dip snuff, cuss and can even grow a pretty good beard, but it’s definitely not a Chris Kael beard. I like Motorcycles, four-wheel drives and Jeeps but I have never owned a tractor. I have been in a couple fights, won a couple and lost a bunch. I like good food and i can operate a BBQ grill like a BOSS. I’ve seen the inside of a chicken house, I have walked through cotton fields in the Delta and I have climbed Mt Fuji. I have been down Bourbon Street, downtown Philly, Chicago and Rodeo Dr. I thought about these things and smiled a little bit because I thought, “yeah, I’m a pretty strong man, done some manly crap.” Throughout life these things pretty much made me feel like a man, a physical man.
Now, at 40, I am not so sure those are the things that measure how much of a man I am. Strength is typically how we measure a man. How much physical and mental strength he may or may not have. How much material possessions does he possess? Now, I am asking myself, if strength is the opposite of weak, why is it so hard to do the things that affect our hearts, to love, to believe, to hug, to kiss, to cry, etc. It takes a whole lot more strength to do those things than it ever took me to do the “manly” things.
Let me tell you what I have learned over the last week, It’s manly to hold your wife when she needs to be held, its manly to kiss her lips for 10 seconds, just 10 seconds. Try it guys, that ten seconds will turn into, well, into much more. Its manly to tell your 19-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter that you love em when they leave the house or they lay down for the night. Manly, is when you break yourself into pieces and become vulnerable so the ones you love can see the real man you have become. Manly, is crying out to someone who can help you, when you know you need help, or making amends to the ones you loved that you may have hurt. Furthermore, one of the toughest things that I have had to do was take a long hard look at myself. Not long ago, I wanted to punch the mirror (I know manly, right) because I absolutely loathed whom I was looking at. I hated me. If I can’t love me, how can I possibly give love to someone else. It is not possible. Today, is a better day. I am learning to love me again. To accept all the crap I have done to me and to those around me. I can look in the mirror now. I can smile and laugh and I can cry and its all good. My greatest strength has come from my weakest moments.
Going Forward in Reverse!
“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”