Men Have Insecurities Too…

“People are never more insecure than when they become obsessed with their fears at the expense of their dreams.” – Norman Cousins

You know, I think sometimes we as men like to perpetuate the concept of masculinity as something that does not include weakness. We have this notion that we must be strong at all costs. We are brought up to really adhere to the social construction of gender roles that states a man must be all mighty and never falter. Women are also indoctrinated to believe this as well, that they must be attracted to a man that is aggressive and somewhat bullish.

However, as a man it is hard to admit insecurities. Contrary to popular belief, not all men are alike. While, we tend to make too many of the same mistakes, we are all very different. One thing that all men share are insecurities that we choose not do deal with. This is sorta like the guy we all know that refuses to go to the doctor for whatever reason because he feels that whatever issues will just “go away”. Men deal with their insecurities in the same way.

Of course, not all of use share the same issues. My insecurities will differ from the next man. However, I think I can pretty much pin point what my issues are and try to address them in my own way. Not all men are willing to do this. I am not going to sit here and say that I am better person because clearly I am not. However, after the year I have had, I think that my road to self redemption is paved with insecurities.

Oh, do not think that I am not still on my journey because I am. This personal journey is not something that will take a month or a year. This is something that will take as long as it has to, which could be a lifetime.

Today has a specific significance because this marks the true beginning of my road to the single life. The papers have all been signed and submitted today and we are officially separated. My feeling on this is that, yes it is a new beginning but, I do find myself looking back at what was. I have made so many mistakes and I have done so many things that I continue to pay for in small ways.

I am not saying this because I feel sad. This is not a post about being depressed or feeling pity on myself. This just a friendly reminder that I need to not make those same mistakes again. This is where the heart of my own insecurities lay. I am so confident in my other areas of life. I think I am great at my job. I would like to think I am getting better at poetry. I love writing on this blog as well. It is my personal life that I feel needs some improvement, although I think it gets better everyday.

What I will not say is that I am not confident in my personal life. I gain confidence about my future everyday but, it is a cautious confidence. Kind of like when we first dip our toes into the ocean at a beach, we are not really sure how cold the water will be. Of course, once our feet are wet, we tend to just dive in. I want to be able to sail in all of my en devours. I would be foolish not to admit that I am a little intimidated to face life alone.

Yet, I am also excited as well. This is the first time in my life that I have been alone without being lonely. I will take today to look back at what was my life and my marriage. Imagine a man who is on a journey and looks back for a moment at all he has witnessed. I will take a moment to mourn something that was once special to me, then I will move on to my next destination.

Being Single

There is something to be said for what happens when you are single and what happens when you are married. I think for most people, they spend their single years either trying to get into a relationship…and when they finally get into one, they think about how great it was to be single. I find myself smiling at many students who tell me how bad their relationship problems are. It is hard to convince many of them that their current boyfriend or girlfriend is just a phase in which they have to go through.

I have made this point before that as a society we expect 18 years old kids to make a decision on their lives starting with picking a major they may not like by the time they graduate. Why is that any different when it comes to love? Love is just like any other subject in school, you have to be educated in it. Sometimes you pass and sometimes you fail, but in each case you learn.

The real problem that I have learned is that when I was single, I was not in the mindset that I need to better myself. Many times the thought process is to maintain a job and to date as many women as possible. Keep in mind, that when I was 25, I did things that I would never do when I am 35. In general, our thought process changes.

I can see how single people in general are afraid to get married. However, marriage is not bad. The problem is that no one ever tells us what marriage is about. I know that sounds strange but, it is very true. The only reference is what we see on TV. Of course their are books about how things should be, but I am a firm believer that we shape what our relationships should be. Society should never dictate anything to us.

I was talking to a fellow writer over the break about true love and marriage. She was amazed about how arranged marriages always seem to work out. Her belief is that love is learned and developed through growing and learning together. That means to me that as single people, we are too busy “trying to get it in” to try to really learn anything. Of course the love learning process is not just a two way thing. Learning to love someone also means you have to learn to love yourself. This is where I think we all get screwed. We think that we can make someone fill that lack of love for ourselves and replace it with theirs…

I have learned that being single means I need to take that time to fix me. I should have done that in my twenties but I was too stupid to even realize it. Being single means means I have to take care of myself. I need to maintain my health and I need to really set my life in order. Not to say that I could not do this when I was married, but what really happens is that when anyone of us gets into a long relationship, we get too comfortable. I got complacent. I let myself go.

On thing that people do not say about marriage is the fact that people no longer feel the need to impress their partner. It just happens. The once tight haircuts do not happen as often. The lack of exercise becomes apparent and before you know it you have let yourself go because the mind set is…there is no one to impress. Granted this is a bad way of thinking, but is it the truth.

So the being single should be about finding the path to our true selves. A relationship should not define us, we need to define our relationships. Marriage is not for everyone and perhaps I was not ready and I can admit that now, but the learning of who I am in the process is something that cannot be replaced or even duplicated.

Being single should be about falling in love. Some people fight this notion because love is a scary thing indeed. What makes us human is the ability to feel. Love is our key to happiness. No one can achieve happiness without love. People are not ready to trust or even to be honest. Some cannot be themselves because love is so hard to deal with. However, I am not talking about love for another person. I am talking about love for self.

I intend on falling in love very hard this year…with myself. (I hope I am ready)

Soul Searching

“Soul is about finding something in your life that is real” – John Legend

One things about going to a lecture is that it makes me think. John Legend came to Syracuse University yesterday and spoke about Philanthropy. He also did a few songs too. He spoke very well and made some great points; the line above is what stuck out to me the most. I had to post in on twitter because I know I would have forgotten about it if i didn’t. Of course the songs that he did sing were all love songs.

To me that line says so much about the journey that I am currently going through. I wont say that I have never had anything real in my life, that would be a lie. What that line signifies to me is that I need to find something that is real to me that I can connect with. Sometimes I think am surrounded by things are just not real. Maybe it is because I feel that I am so disconnected from everything.

There are times in life in which we have to find ourselves. It is also called soul searching. I believe that we are never too young to find ourselves. I never really thought about my journey in such a way. I never thought about all this as me find myself or me searching for something real. I just felt I was going down a path of self redemption.

However, I feel like I am a new person. I feel like I can be honest with myself. I feel that I can be honest with the world around me, which is why I need a change. My realization is that I cannot change the world around me but I can change my place in the world. It is hard for me to embrace the truth when you are used to living a place that can embrace a lie. It is not healthy. That is why I need a change of scenery.

I said I feel like I am a new person! My outer shell is changing. I really do look in the mirror more than I ever have before and it is not because I am vain. I inspire myself to continue the change because I will no longer go back to the person I used to be. I used to be that person that could not admit to himself that he succumbed to all the insecurities that he developed as a child.

I find myself praying. I pray to God for strength. I am not a prayer person. I am not even a church person. I do have my own relationship with God. I have come to the understanding that the reason I have not prayed in the past is because I was selfish. I didn’t want to pray because my intentions were not true. I pray for strength because I realize what is like to be weak and have no one else to turn to.

The one thing that I have never given myself is self validation. I still struggle with this. I know I am good at what I do. I know that when I put my mind to something I can do it. But, I have become so gun shy when it comes to my feelings. I have no problems with expressing them but I have come to learn I cannot express every last feeling at the very moment I am feeling them. I am rebuilding myself to be the better man I know I can be.

I am searching for my soul. I am looking to see who the real Anthony Otero is.

Letting Go of Everything = Self Redemption

“Hitting bottom isn’t a weekend. It’s not a seminar! Stop trying to control everything and just let go…” Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

Today is the first time in a very long time that I woke up feeling great. I have learned to let it all go. The last few weeks I have been so bogged down about my life and how things are going that I have completely lost my sense of self. I lost who I was. I lost the motivation that made me what I am. Let me take it back to yesterday…

I was feeling like total shit yesterday. I didn’t sleep much at all. I was cranky and quite frankly, I was not feeling well. I decided to just go home and rest. I felt a migraine coming on. I get home and I nap for a few hours and I wake up feeling somewhat better. I left my laptop on, so I go to facebook. I scroll through all the notifications and I see one from am old friend of mine that just struck me: Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew at some point I needed to let go, but my view of that was me giving up on myself and my dreams.

I found myself just thinking different thoughts, but as usual. I was like, whatever. I went to look up some quotes to put as my status and something told me to look up quotes about letting go. That is when I found this site. I read this site 3 times.

Reading the information made me realize something very important. Up until this point, I was not ready to move on. I was holding on the remnants of the past. The reason for this is because I have never been able to forgive myself for the past. I have constantly blamed myself for this divorce. I have asked myself numerous times, “How could I allow this to happen?” I was holding on to the pain and anger of what was. Instead, I need to be seeking self redemption and acceptance.

I need to forgive myself for the part I played in all this, so that I can let go. This way I can examine and evaluate everything while looking into the future. I need to accept what cannot be. I made some mistakes and I cannot continue to make myself pay for them. Letting go is all about me. It is almost like a leap of faith. The future holds so many possibilities and opportunities that I found that I am holding myself back. I need to evaluate the people in my life and only deal with those who are positive.

Everything happens for a reason. I don’t say that in the sense that our fate is predetermined, because I don’t believe that. But, I do believe that everyone serves a purpose in all of our lives and we need to figure out what that is. When one door shuts, other doors open, so when something unexpected (or something I don’t want to happen) occurs, I need to do a better job in seeing the opportunity that may present itself.

I wont lie and say that I am already past everything. I will say that I am making that effort by recognizing that letting go can lead to personal freedom…and I need to be free. I need to be free to do what I want do, even if I am not sure what it is. What I need is face my uncertain future with a smile and know that I am ready for anything.

…and guess what folks? I am ready. I am not looking back anymore.

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” – Tyler Durden