I used to cringe every time I heard someone say, "Be a real man," or launch into a verbal attack about what they saw in me that they felt was not manly enough for their standards. In my 40 plus years on this planet, I've had the phrase directed towards me more times than I care to count or remember. For a time it became something that I'd consciously say to myself, and unconsciously allow to direct my actions and appearance. Life, was pretty confusing, frustrating, and dark at times and I certainly was not happy.
One day while in my misery, I exclaimed both inside and out loud, "I am so tired of this shit; I'm done with my being happy!" And that was the moment that I started to just be. There was no need to figure it out. I knew exactly who I was and to get back to me it took shedding off everything that I'd taken on from outside influence.
It wasn't easy at first. I was used to wearing the mall of being tough, strong, and "manly." Theses things became a source of comfort and power for me. Yet the more I started to leave those masks behind the more I began to realize that hiding who I truly am to fit what the world said I should be, was killing me. So I chose life and living. And I learned that being a man was what I was. I didn't need to put on a facade. Being the kind, loving, empathetic, intuitive, quirky human being that I naturally am was All I needed to be.
Do yourself a solid, drop the masks, quit trying to be a man and just be the man that you really are. I can guarantee you that the man you want to be is the human that you already have been since you were born.