I have come to the realization that I feel like I have become a man. When did that happen? When did I stop being a boy and become a man?
Was it when I understand the value of my beliefs so passionately that I was able to draw a line in the sand?
I feel it was when I stopped fighting myself and let the virtues I found comfort in take shape and define my values in life:
I can make a good case losing my grandparents and parents to sickness in less than a decade transformed me from a boy to a man. However, isolating an exact time after that generalization of their death is where I fall short of being able to pinpoint one moment or series of events that have lead me to become a man.
First I have to ask myself what is a man?
I define being a man as knowing what you are capable of and having the confidence to achieve what was once only dreamed. Being a man is about understanding life and making it work for you, not against you. Did I strive to find the man in me from age 18 after my dad died? Yes, of course. Was I able to do that? No, of course not.
Naturally my vision of what a man should be at age 18 was skewed, influenced by but not limited to depression, anger, and hate for the world and myself. So when could I sit back in my chair and know that I have conquered boydem and entered manhood?
I became a man when I added meaning in my life, forfeiting my old pursuit of happiness. I chose to leave happiness on my windowsill to soak up the sun or gather dust. Happiness didn’t help my purpose, productiveness or pride. Happiness had unhinged my purpose because I thought I was supposed to be looking for it. I could never find it so I not only didn’t have happiness I felt like I had zero purpose to be here. Happiness slowed my productiveness, every project I began I had an established value placed on what or how much happiness I should get from the project. When I could not match that level I was left unhappy. Happiness fogged my view of pride, if I could not feel happy how was I to go about my daily mundane life? Swallowed by misery? It seemed so.
I have now left the skin of the boy I was tucked away while I grew into a man. For myself, I understand boys look for happiness and men achieve meaning.
I was a boy when my parents passed and the questions I had that laid in their wake made me a man. By adding meaning I added reason to my life. Not just reason to get out of bed but reason to push on. I learned to not be afraid of standing around scratching my head wondering what the hell to do next. Being a man I understand what needs to be done and when to do it not just think about doing it. The biggest difference about being a man from a boy, I can feel it. It feels like confidence and passion had a baby and gave birth to my new attitude.
I used to want without earning or respecting what I couldn’t have. I would ask for more time, I thought I could wait and happiness would just find me. While I was waiting though, it felt like happiness missed my stop and my life would be filled with misery and have no value. Now I know that happiness comes out of me and if I need something I take it! I do not wait anymore.
You don’t have to have the answers to life or what you want from life. You need a foundation to understand that you can do whatever you want because it is meaning not happiness you should chase. Gain meaning and you have happiness.
~ Happy Reading