I don’t do well with pain.
As a man, that’s difficult to admit, because there is this notion that men are to be of a certain ilk.
Simple, strong, and emotionless.
It’s that last one that really gets me. I can try and try to minimize the things in my life down to the bare-essentials, and I think I’ve been doing a decent job of that. I’ll never be the kind of guy who can bench press 250 lbs. with ease, and I’m OK with that.
But the idea of “manning up” and ignoring one’s natural instinct to feel is an affront to masculinity. The truth is, though, I tend to despise myself for the way I feel at certain times. And yes, I see the apparent hypocrisy. It’s ever before me.
For years I hid behind a mask that covered my true emotional self. I denied that I was a crier. Sure, it wasn’t unusual to see me cry in public, but when my emotional state was leveled, I would pretend to be stronger than I really was. Or at least what I perceived “stronger” to be.
The past few months have been some of the most difficult of my life, for various reasons. During these days, I’ve succumbed to anger, joy, despair, etc. at the drop of a hat. I’ve criss-crossed between good and bad in the blink of an eye, and it has hurt a few of the closest people in my life in the process. Through out all of this, one of the most constant truths is that I cry when I’m hurting. I can’t help but be moved to tears when something hurts my heart, whether it is directly related to me, or I’m witnessing it in the life of another human being. I even cry when I’m happy now. Happy tears.
The truth is, I’m coming to accept that I actually am a crybaby. It’s especially easy when you take into consideration that I’m crying right now as I type these words; kind of unavoidable at that point.
While I don’t ever intend to equate the struggle of a man accepting his emotional self with the struggles of those of a different race, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, etc. than I am, it still has its place.
Ultimately, I know that the tears will dry up and life will continue as regularly scheduled. I know that there is a Hope far greater than these present circumstances.