Growing up a boy I had to adhere to certain standards of masculinity.
I never listened.
Don’t show weakness.
Looking back on my weakest moments has made me a better person.
Don’t show sadness or grief and get on with life.
I stopped and grieved and made sure my baggage got lighter.
Don’t show fear.
I showed fear and did awesome things. I gained courage.
Fight through the pain. Go beyond when your body tells you no.
I went up to my body saying no. I let my body heal. Unlike the other boys who listened I don’t have lifelong aches and pains.
Don’t accept defeat.
I accept defeat, cut my losses and move on.
As a child, I’m expected to take abuse from my elders because it’s not too bad they say.
I stayed away from abuse and walked away. I protested my abuse and insisted on the respect I deserve.
As an adult, I’m supposed to fight back.
I don’t fight battles not worth my time
Compete for everything, don’t cooperate.
Cooperation has led to my greatest moments and accomplishments.
Don’t ask for help.
I ask for help. Without help, I would not have found the paths that lead me to the accomplishments in my life.
Win all the time.
I don’t win all the time. I take solace that I did better than last time. It’s okay to be last in high-level competition, so long as you improve.
Go after all the women. Be a sex machine. Don’t go after a specific woman.
I value sex, yes, but I also value a meaningful and nurturing relationship. I value being intimate and sharing myself even if it is only one person.
Be ready for violence at any time. Punch first, ask questions later.
I resort to violence after diplomacy has failed. Nobody gets hurt and integrity is maintained if diplomacy comes first.
Be independent all the time.
Sometimes being dependent has made me get back on my feet and independent.
Don’t show love, care, and kindness.
I show love, care, and kindness and I receive it back.
Chase high standards at your own expense.
I do chase high standards, but step back when I see myself hurting emotionally, physically or financially. I go and mend my wounds.
Be strong. Look down on the weak. Women are weak. Despise weakness. Be aggressive when frustrated with weakness.
I have shown weakness and have been lifted back up by some of the strongest women in my life.
It’s okay to show emotion. It’s okay to show empathy. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to freely express yourself. It’s okay to show defeat. Just look at me. I’m one amazing human being all because I did all that.