2019 – Be me | Be you

I recently bought a pair of shorts that had only 1 pocket in them. ONE! And it was a cargo style pocket. Now I know that women’s clothing often lacks pockets, or they are so ridiculously small to make them unusable for anything, but men’s clothing usually have good pockets. Well, I quite like these shorts, and want to wear them, so I said to my wife, “I need a bag’. My wife agreed and she decided to get me one for Christmas.

Roll on Christmas Day, and we’re opening presents. I open the one containing the bag, and out of someone’s mouth came, “Is that a man bag?” Well, you know what? I’m a man. It’s a bag. So… I suppose it is. Does that mean if I was a woman it would be a handbag? Does it really matter in 2019 (or 2018 when I received it)?

My bag


The next thing I heard was, “You’ll have to be careful not to put too much stuff in it cause you don’t want it to be a woman’s handbag.” Uh… You know what? It’s a bag. It’s sole purpose is to make it more convenient to carry things. I’m going to put stuff in it. I’m going to put in it what I need and also what I want. I couldn’t do that in that pair of shorts I bought, but I can in this bag.

I’m not upset with the people that said these things. They’re a different generation. And, to be honest, it’s taken me a long time to start to see things differently as this was also the society I was raised in. – I don’t want to carry a bag (even though it might be convenient) cause people might look at me funny or think it’s a handbag. I’ll fill up my pockets and have really inconvenient (inappropriate?) bulges instead. – I’m choosing to do things now that work for me and what I like.

You know what? I also like to paint my nails sometimes. I’m very self-conscious if I go out with painted nails, and have only done it a few times and usually only with neutral colours or only with one nail painted, but I want to get past that. I know there are a number of males (including celebrities) that paint their nails but it’s not the New Zealand blokey thing to do. I’m not trying to be feminine. I’m just enjoying a bit of colour – something that is lacking in men’s fashion here as well!

During 2017, I realised I spent a lot of time in the evenings just sitting and watching TV. I hadn’t been studying for a couple of years and didn’t really have anything else productive to do. My wife had taught herself to crochet and had been spending her time creating stuff. So, I asked her to teach me. I thought I’d make one or two things and go back to just blobbing, but I actually found I really enjoyed it. I could still watch my favourite Star Trek episodes, but now I was being productive. I’ve created in the past year beanies, scarves, a cowl, baby blankets, little amigurumi characters and more recently earrings for my wife! Again, this is not something that you normally hear about Kiwi men doing, but I’m enjoying it and will keep going. If you want to check out what I’ve made see my Instagram: capnhook_nz

Shelf full of crochet amigurumi characters
My amigurumi shelf

So I plan on being me in 2019. The me that I enjoy being. The me that doesn’t worry too much about what society expects me to be. While I’m already trying to do this, it’s still a challenge for me.

Other goals that I have for the year are to get this blog up and running again with one post a week and to lose the other 20 kg that I should’ve lost in 2018! My wife and I are hoping to buy a house and I’m planning on getting started on my PhD.

I’m going to be me. Now you be you!

Nathaniel Written by:

Nathaniel is passionate about people reaching their full potential. He has expertise and experience in education, e-learning, face-to-face and online facilitation, virtual mentoring, training, leadership and school governance.