As I made that awkward transition into adulthood, I felt like I spent years pretending to be a man. Assuming the space and stance of a man. Answering (sometimes) to the name “Mr Heaton”. But I was rarely comfortable.
It was only some years later when I felt like I stopped the pretence. But the thing is … it wasn’t a conscious decision – the facade simply fell away. I just realised one day that the energy I was investing in my own creation was now focused somewhere else. It seemed to focus into myself, rather than outwards towards others.
And from that point onwards I felt comfortable in my own skin – as if I was filling out the clothes that I had been wearing since my teens. I felt I could breathe the shape of the world and hold it in my chest. It was a revelation.
The thing is, we all come to this sense of being in our own time. And the greatest surprise is that this well of understanding is always-already deep within us. Look quietly. You’ll find it there.
Every man has a story – no matter his age or experience. If you know someone whose story should be told, share it with us here. Each of these stories will be published in a special publication in time for Father’s Day in September 2009.