There’s been a lot going on in my head recently, most likely due to surgery coming up and the passage of my one-year anniversary. However, here recently it was brought to my attention by my girlfriend that she feels like I’ve become so masculine that she feels like she doesn’t know who I am sometimes. This of course, brought up complicated feelings. I just feel more and more like myself every day.
This got me to thinking though about my search for “how to be a man” and the socialization that I continue to put myself through, consciously or sub-consciously. I’ve always been either self-described or otherwise as a “bro”. I can’t help it, it’s just how I am. I like to be confident, hard, but also able to show my emotions to not only my girlfriend, but my friends and family as well. I’m a sensitive dude, and although I struggle with that from time to time, I believe that being true to your feelings is important.
That all being said though, I found myself musing and then worrying today about “Am I manly enough?”, “Will I ever stop obsessing about the socialization or “secrets” I missed out on?”, etc. In groups of people or even in my head, I wonder if people are truly seeing who I see in my head or if they’re seeing someone else. Also, I don’t know that I always feel like I have the space to express myself (that could be some of the teen-agey feelings of transition). I worry that because I’m in my late 20s, experiencing everything I want to as a young man may not happen before I reach 30 and then I’ll need to “act accordingly”.
I know it’s not on other people and that it’s on me to make myself happy, but I don’t know that I’m always receiving validation from those that I love the most. And that makes me feel like crap. It’s almost like pre-T, everyone made such and effort and maybe now my novelty has worn off. Or maybe people are getting more than they bargained for. Or maybe this shiz is just all in my head, but even if it is, it doesn’t make my internal struggle less real or important.
I read A LOT about masculinity, new wave masculinity, gender, etc. yet I still feel lost at times when it comes to myself. I know surgeries don’t make the man, but it is possible I suppose that I’m feeling this way because I’m pre-op.
Full disclosure: I feel more manly than when watching men’s oriented programing (shallow, I know), bro-ing out with the guys, doing physical tasks or when women treat me like society has shown me that women treat men.
I realize that this may seem shallow to anyone reading this, and that’s fine, but it’s the way I feel. Not to mention, I am white, was raised in a household where gender roles were closely followed and live in the South. I don’t think any of the above should come as a surprise.
I don’t really know what I was expecting to get from this post, other than sounding off outside of my head. Either way, I’m sure this subject isn’t closed for me or those around me.