When focus keeps me away

“It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself.” – Lester Burnham, American Beauty

It's a bit of a rare opportunity for me to be able to spend some time clacking away at my tiny keyboard and be able to drop some text to TheInterweb™.

I'm going to try and not sound disgruntled, but I make no promises.

Summer is winding down (although it feels like it ended weeks ago, if it had even started at all), it becomes increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that I'll be turning 39 soon. Part of me wants to be bitter about it, but at the same time, I'm not entirely sure I really care. This isn't being cynical, or a denial about aging. This also isn't the mantra of only being as old as you feel. While I can pinpoint certain possibilities that it is not, its still difficult for me to pinpoint exactly what it actually is. It could be that, despite my being of middle age, and the acknowledgement that there are no certainties about life span, I know that I still have at least a couple of tricks left. I still have the capability to surprise myself (not always a good thing, but generally leans to toward the positive).

A weak example, but applicable. On Saturday I made and committed to the action of a slight change of style. Since I departed from my pervious employer, I have been wearing nothing but street clothes, day in and day out. Hoodies, jeans, runners, and pop-culture T-Shirts. While observers might consider me upping my game to remove the hoodie and runners, and add a blazer and matching kicks insignificant, I personally consider it to be a bit of a big deal. Yes, the pop-culture Ts and the jeans are still intact, but part of that is because I do not have the means to change my wardrobe overnight. Plus, abandoning my sizeable T-Shirt collection would hurt my soul a little bit. I am not changing as a person. It's still the same engine, its just a bit of a cosmetic change.

So does this matter? This was an unprompted change. No one was forcing me, nor encouraging me. However, this small change alters the perception of me by others, and more importantly, the perception I have of myself. This is likely the first time I've really made a style change that wasn't forced or strongly encouraged. It means I have the capability to change more than just my physical location every couple of years. In a way, this could act as a bit of a catalyst. While I am hardly a mirror image, this introduction to change is rather Lester Burnham.

Proof of heterogametic sex.

I grew up without a Dad.  Instead, I grew up with an infantile boyfriend-turned-co-habitator since the age of four or five.  I do not wish to speak too disparagingly of the dead, but to say the least, he was far from a role model.  As he did with my brother, once I reached high school age he refused to speak to me and would actually go out of his way to try and get in trouble with my mother.

Yeah.

For the most part, the only positive male role model I had was my uncle, and even then his proximity to my home was  usually hours away (save for a few years of my life).  In short, what I’m trying to say is that anything I learned in regards to being a man I more less had to learn on my own.

Fast forward to now, I am not ashamed to say that I fall at least a few paces from being a man’s man.  My wife asked me if I had ever been in a fight before, and the closest thing that came to coming to blows was when Cam started kicking me while I was at my locker in middle school.  I got tired of his insults and threw a few back at him one day.  I didn’t engage him physically.  That would have been stupid.  Zero fight experience vs. guy with martial arts training (must have trained at the Cobra Kai dojo).  So no, I have never really been in a fight.

Ima all grownd up.

Ima all grownd up.

This is all neither here nor there because for about the past fortyfive days or so, I’ve been shaving using blades!  With shaving cream!  I have never been a fan of shaving, as told by near constant scruffiness since college.  Lately, however, shaving has become a bit of a thing for me.  So much so that I just signed up for the Dollar Shave Club.  The stubble has been kept to a relative minimum, and my sense of masculinity feels so much healthier because of it.

“I missed a spot shaving. The spot looks like a mustache.”
Jarod Kintz, So many chairs, and no time to sit