The World In The Life Of A Guy: Part 1 -Sex

Written on my wall since high school is a simple question printed on a label maker. “What Makes A Man?” it says.  This ambiguous question, with no clear answer, is something that I come back to regularly as I contend with realities of the world. Hearing stories about what men are capable of both good and bad makes me question what type of person I want to be. Over the last several months I’ve been posing questions to people around me about their interactions with men. The answers I received were confusing and at points horrifying. I want to show you what it’s like for a regular guy out there in the world, one who doesn’t necessarily know if he is an outlier or the rule.

Sex, it always starts with sex. A stupid place to start but a grand motivator for most men.  Guys will usually have a story about something they do or have done because of girl. I among them found my love of running because of a girl in high school telling me she liked guys with runners bodies. As I get older, this departs from the much more innocent motivations of young; a desire to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible is found. Guys are motivated by sex.  I can’t honestly deny this, what changes is willingness fight against this all-consuming emotion to find a higher ground to stand on.  In our mind, sex it presses up against us, invading our thoughts and without strong mental fortitude it wins out the day. It whispers fantasies and delusions into our ear, denying that reality in which we are for one that could possibly be if you were to play the game right. That is no way to condemn us to being sex fiends, but something we must contend with.  That inner strength is what I find as being the man is all about.  The ability to put these thoughts and feelings aside for something that is much greater than the hedonistic vices of sex can provide me.

It’s that relationship, though, between guys and gals that so intertwined with this dynamic that it becomes bogged down but the tension between friendship and sexuality.  From When Harry Met Sally, a movie about a man and woman attempting to have a friendship that eventually turns into a romantic relationship, even the one of the protagonists clearly states that he doesn’t believe men and women can be friends because sex will get in the way. This idea was foreign to me, why can’t we foster and hold relationships with people of the opposite gender?  It’s within the expectations that are held, the way we picture things when I say I have a relationship with a guy friend versus a girl friend. Not to mention the amount of narratives I’ve heard from women of always having to be wary of ulterior motives when entering a friendship with a guy.  With all I’ve heard, the hesitation is warranted.  Love is a drug, and we are addicts, so if you need a fix, you’ll try to get it from anywhere. 

Do I believe we different from the previous generations of human beings in such a way that we can deviate from this cycle of sexual magnetism?
No, but I do believe in the human spirit, which can look create the world we want and I do believe in values and the ability to motivate ourselves to relationships that go beyond sexual attraction.

In this regard, I find to be the best way to end this conversation about being a guy in this sexual environment is talking about what I strive for. This comes from many hours thinking about the kinds of relationships I want to foster along with listening to troubled tales of the lost souls out there in the world. My truest goal is to find a place and strength to be able to say no to sex.  With the ability to wait and find a sense of truth beyond the physicality of it all. Don’t get me wrong intimacy has a place in every adult relationship, but I don’t want to be under the control of these feelings. It’s not to deny them,  but to find a way to curb them appropriately. The world does not revolve around sex and I shouldn’t either, I want to enjoy the world and people for who they are and not have this lingering thought in the back of my mind. It’s what I am working towards, and something I want for my relationships in the future…but hey, at the end of the day I’m “just a guy” right.

A Square Peg In A Square Hole

How do you keep yourself outside of the box? How do you keep these thoughts flowing like a stream in the spring? Can I foster this type of non-unilateral thinking?

There is a dream I have that I would be one of those people who comes up with this novel way of looking at the world. A type of perspective that widens the world of those around me.  That dream turns into a nightmare when I realize that I might not be cut out for this dream.

I look at forks in the road of how life can go, and in some ways, it’s easy to follow the set path before me, it has been well worn in. So many before I have walked these steps and gotten to where they wanted to go. Then there are paths I see which are less worn but still recognizable. Those paths may be different, and the road might be harder to follow, but from the perspective of I stand, the footprints are still warm from the person before.

The problem is taking the last path, the path that has never been taken before. Where there are no roads ahead and feet, have never tread. In a system where I like to know the laws and parameters to work within it’s those who bend and break those rules in the right way that seems to be able to push past the boundaries of what we consider doable.

In some parts I am afraid of that path, I have been taught this road can lead you to nowhere, to dead ends, and to danger. Ironically it’s that path I have to take if I want to accomplish my dream. Life has no clear way to feeling you where to go, it has many suggestions but no real stake in which direction you take. Each life we live will always be different the one of the next, and yet we feel this force that draws us together to have this type of unifying experience with each other. A way to be able to relate with one another. And maybe that is my hesitation, as it is I feel that few know me and even fewer understand me and if I keep moving away from people onto my own path I will lose that connection I have worked so hard to create. That It will no longer be understandable as to what I am trying to accomplish. I like to know things and to be taught, but I have no guide, no way to know if I am moving in the right direction. With no sense as to what direction to take, do I just step out and hope for the best?

Even now as I am typing this, it seems silly to put so much weight upon this fear, the fear to not know where which way to turn. I know the world is full of people and that there are people are like-minded all over the place, but having been without them before there is a fear just the same.
I know in the future I want to step out and act in my own way. Follow the path my feet set out for me. I will likely live differently than most people, and I will place along the road I was meant for. This is something I have and will be working on for the rest of my life.

Hey Chicago Girl

I saw you in my dreams, and it felt like you were almost real to touch, I wish I didn’t have to wake up.

We met in Chicago, a city that I haven’t been in. I just remember all the buildings looking down and in on us, slopped at the top as if they were sinking slowly into the ground.

I can’t remember how we met, might have been on the train, a plane, or maybe in a room. I just remember having to go up to you, wanting to talk and get to know you.

You were much shorter than I was, dark hair and pale skin but kind of verve in your brown eyes that lightened my spirit, no wonder after I was awoken by my cat I decided to go back to sleep to hang out with you.

Oh Chicago girl, you showed me around your neck of the woods, showed me the city you grew up in as we talked and talked, smiled and laughed, getting to know each other.  You had a cool job, and you seemed to have everything together as you moved through the world with a energy and joy. Even though it seemed like moving through a city normally, it felt like an adventure with you.

I didn’t want to leave but I knew I had to, I had the feeling as if I had a plane to catch to go back home.  I got a nagging feeling that I would regret if didn’t at least get to know her name or some way to contact her.  I decided to ignore this call to leave for back home, to spend more time with you in Chicago, squeeze out every last drop.

The night began to decend and we spent more time together. We went through a scary maze with monsters and hung out in the upstairs of a house were we both got comfortable just living life as people came and went.  I got the chance to really look at you and it made me happy, made me feel at ease.

We talked about where I’m from and you were so excited to listen, made me feel somehow exotic.  We swapped stories and ideas, when sitting across from each other.

This is when the my dream broke, and I couldn’t hang onto it much longer. I was sitting across from you but in reality the morning was calling me to awake.  You just sat there at looking at me as I was torn away from my dreams, not knowing what was happening or that I was fighting to stay.

Every moment that pass a little of you crumples away like most dreams, this one sticking with me a bit longer.  I am forgetting the features of your face, the topics of conversation, the building around us and what we were doing. I’m am holding on for as long as I can, this feeling that we shared in a dream.

Maybe I am hopeless but if your out there in the world Chicago Girl, if you are real, I would be love to share a dream with you again.

Invasion Of Thoughts

I noticing myself drifting off again, drifting into space where thoughts pervade my consciousness. Sitting there staring into the distance, imagining the horrors of existence.

It happened again, once my mind is tired from the day, or just don’t seem to have enough energy to fight off the coming storm.  It starts with a small “You can’t” and builds from there. These invasive thoughts that cross my mind like floodwater during a storm, I am helplessly trying to block the current as it drowns everything in touches.  I start to think negatively, working to fight back against this onslaught of thoughts and feelings I don’t want.  Once the gates are open, I just have to wait for the storm to end because I don’t have the endurance to fight against these persistent waves.  All I can do is watch and know that it will let up eventually.

It takes me the dark alleys of my mind and makes me deals with all the backhanded things that have ever popped up.  These are the things that don’t even come up on my radar normally but are apparent deeply seeded in my brain. Things like my fear about never amounting to anything, my hesitation with not knowing if I am on the right path, a constant stream of thoughts about not being good enough.  As a whole, these ideas throw me for a loop and even though they are not truthful, the ideas have already taken root and tied themselves to my very being. Will they go away, probably not, but will become easier to manage if I continue to work at it.

These thoughts are something I can’t avoid but at times are remedied simply by a good meal.  Makes me confused about the validity of the ideas.  I wonder if I should take them seriously and if there might be some small truth to it all aside from highlighting my insecurities. I don’t know if I should follow them down the rabbit hole or I should be weary that it might just lead me to a sewer.  The thoughts can poison a day or a make a good moment sour. Like with weeds, if unattended they multiply. Is my mind giving me a dose of reality or just some sick fantasy I never knew I had?

I snap out of it, only a moment has passed but it leaves a mark on me.  A smile that was once there disappears along with the gleam in my eyes.  It will be a little while before they truly return.  I keep at it, moving forward knowing there could be another storm waiting for me right around the corner.

A Resolute Resolution

What will I become in this new year?

I see a vividly a version of myself standing upon a hill with back faced to me.  A much larger more powerful person stands before me, confronted with the future, ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow.  He has a grin as if he knows what the future hold and how to move about it. This man standing at the other end of the year is challenging me to catch up.

Resolutions don’t work, at least no the majority of the time.  Trying to change yourself in so many ways all at once and expecting result immediately is only setting yourself up for failure. Anticipating the arrival of the new year to have some sort of bearing on how well you are able to do something is a bit silly. Moments should be grasped when the motivation is at hand, not when we feel like the motivation should come.

This is why I don’t have a resolution but a resolve. I want to be better, stronger, more compassionate and helpful. I want to be that man on the mountain I see before me, not just stuck staring at the back of what I could be.  I want to the one who is more of a man of action, one who is less hesitant and less likely to be paralyzed by fear and indecision. This might seem vague but what I am to do is eliminate the feeling of being able to do more by actually doing it.

In learning all I can, I came upon a concept of deliberate practice. The practice that you do to continue to push your ability and skills to the next level. This is the way you become an expert at something. This is something I must learn to do, deliberate practice of life.  To make it so I am constantly pushing the boundaries of what I can and can’t do. Learning how to get to each of the next stages in my own life.

This is my promise to myself that I will be that man I see on the hill, that man who is challenging me now, so by the time next year comes around, I will be able to challenge my past self too and welcome the next challenge with a smile.

This is my resolution, this is my resolve. I hope to all of you that we are all successful in our pursuits, but I have a back to catch up to, and I have to get started now!