Strength is appealing. The idea of having it, anyway. I’m not sure what draws me to it: whether it’s a baser, masculine thing, or the idea that I WANT to be strong, to be a man that someone can rely on, to be a rock in a sea of troubles.
I have a hard time admitting when I struggle, because I want to seem strong. I wasn’t the hard-bodied Greek god, so I had to make it up in other ways. I’d see men in movies, see my father, not giving an inch under pressure, stone-faced under daunting trials, and think to myself, ‘I want to be that’. But I didn’t understand what it meant to be that way.
Strength comes in many forms, and it took me a while to figure that out. I had to see my own weakness and acknowledge it, not hide from it. Sometimes being stone-faced wasn’t right, when my insides were churning, when it was hiding from the fear and struggle rather than facing it.
Being a thinker, someone who remembers, my weaknesses stay with me. Sometimes the fear, the uncertainty, built up to a point where I couldn’t take it, and I would break down, with friends, or family, letting it all come out in a flood, so much that I or them couldn’t take it. I’m so grateful for my family, who supported me in my uncertain moments.
I still feel my anxiety, my want to be stronger. So when I can be a rock for someone, it’s something I can appreciate, something I understand better because of my own experiences. Strength is not necessarily being stone-faced and not reacting, the unemotional, uncaring action stars of yore. But facing my weaknesses, knowing where I struggle, helps me to understand it, makes it less daunting.
I can’t make it all go away, though. The urge to be a protector, a provider, will always be there, as someone who wants to be a man. I’m understanding why I feel that way, and what can make me good at it. If I know my weaknesses, they don’t scare me as much.
You can lean on me, because in my weakness, I have found strength.