Retro Relapse: Man Up, the Right Way

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

*This is somewhat of a continuation of some of the stuff I have already discussed, albeit not at the length I would’ve liked to within posts regarding broader issues.

There’s an old adage that says “If you want to feel like a man, act like a man!” Okay, it isn’t really an old adage but it is something I have said from time to time. Point being, if you are having trouble traversing through an emasculated existence and feel the absolute need to embrace your masculinity, just fucking embrace it.

To do this, even if it seems difficult, you must start acting like a man. It may be hard because you have never done this but you have to do it. The alternative is accepting your existence as less than you wish to be. You will never be happy just accepting your fate as it is. Change is uncomfortable but that’s the fucking point. Would you rather deal with discomfort and eventually man the fuck up or would you rather continue on as a depressed shill unable to look himself in the mirror?

This post isn’t really a “how to” on being a man, it is more of a “how not to”. Reason being, I see so many guys trying to embrace manliness and they’re so far gone that they just fuck it up and look even worse. Some call it an early midlife crisis, I call it sucking at manliness.

You know the guys I am talking about. Usually they are in their late 20s to early 40s and drive around on a shitty motorcycle usually decked out in motorcycle clothes that looks childish or ill fitting. While driving their motorcycle, they just look uncomfortable and awkward and usually do ten miles under the speed limit in the left lane. Some of these guys may even go out and buy a mediocre “fast” car that they can’t really afford. Some buy a boat but have never driven one and didn’t take into account the price of a trailer or a truck to haul the thing. Others start randomly getting tattoos even though they never expressed interest in it before. Usually these tattoos are picked off of pictures on the parlor wall and have absolutely no meaning to the man whatsoever. An ornate dragon wrapped around their ankle is a clear sign of one of these dudes. A man with a tramp stamp is a totally different conversation.

The point being, none of this bullshit makes you a man. Yes, I’ve talked about what makes you a man and this doesn’t cut it. In fact, this just makes you look like a dorkdick retard.

Now I am not going to rehash what a man is, as I did it in Misconceptions of Manliness. But in a nutshell, it is none of this material bullshit and trying too hard to be something you’re not. It is about enhancing who you are. Now applying that to what I said about “act like a man” means that you should take on some manly skills and activities. Learn some carpentry, play the harmonica, work out more, go hiking, go camping, play baseball and most importantly, stop giving a fuck about what people think.

That last point is the most important. The reason guys embrace the bullshit when compensating for what feels like a lack of manliness, is because motorcycles, cars and tattoos are just some of the things that society projects as manliness and badass.

Fuck all that noise.

Stop giving a shit about what everyone else projects onto you and just do what makes you feel badass. Because really, does wearing some dumb leather outfit while you scoot slowly like some down syndrome turtle on a motorcycle in the fast lane make you feel badass? You’re faking the funk, you’ll never be satisfied and you will always still feel like you are lacking something. And I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with motorcycles, fast cars and tattoos but if they truly are your thing, embrace the fuck out of it and push it to the limit. Don’t just half ass the shit like an awkward pussy unsure of yourself.

Men need to feel badass from time to time, that isn’t a secret. It is good for their confidence. Just find your natural thing because your unnatural fix isn’t going to build your confidence, it’ll just magnify your insecurities. Try out some new shit. Do something uncommon and challenging. Besides, embracing new experiences and challenges is a pretty manly thing to do. That’s how you build some goddamned confidence.

When I’ve been faced with shit lately, where I feel like I need some other dude to come to my house and fix this thing or that thing, I now do the best I can to try and understand the problem and find a solution myself. If I am able to fix the problem on my own, it feels pretty fucking good because I learned something new, I challenged myself and I succeeded.

In my experience, that does more to boost up my manly ego than buying some five year-old midlevel BMW or a used Suzuki Hayabusa. It sure as shit feels better than branding myself for life with some barbwire-wrapped Chinese character that translates to “respect”.

Just find your thing, stop embracing other people’s thing and rock it the fuck out.

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