“The best laid-plans of mice and men often go awry…”-Robert Burns
One of the biggest things in this life that we all have to understand an eventually move past is that people change. Growth happens somewhere in our day to day runnings when we least expect it. Soon people who we pegged being one way transform into something different seemingly overnight leaving people both amazed and confused.
A truth about human nature is that we are creatures of habit and pattern. Once a pattern is established, our minds grip it tightly and expect it to be true indefinitely especially when dealing with behaviors. That’s probably where the manly tenet, “You can’t turn a hoe into a housewife.” came from.
*Disclaimer: I certainly don’t believe that’s true, but follow me for a second.
Somewhere in our past, long ago in a city far away a man witnessed a woman’s behavior over time and decreed that it would never change deeming her unworthy of the housewife role. Now we surely don’t know the rest of the story who’s to say that she didn’t impress on that man what a proper housewife could be after some time. More research would be required for that, but my point is we branded that statement to say that people’s negative behaviors can’t ever change, the current sentiment “once a fuck boy, always a fuck boy” is the same way. These last few months after many books (I’m reading voraciously; from self-improvement, to cookbooks, to race relations, to investing, you name it.) and some honest self reflection, much of which can be read between the lines on this website, I am earnestly trying to fight that mentality and be the one zebra that changes his stripes. In doing so I often feel the need to apologize for my past behaviors to the women that deserve it, and I assure you that is Pandora’s Box filled to the brim with equal parts disgust, loathing, resentment, and distrust. None of these conversations have gone like I’d expected, and it’s all due to the lasting impression my past behaviors left.
Despite what changes I make these women, understandably so, wouldn’t just take any words I say as proof of change. I’m incongruent because regardless of what they see it’s in contention with a lasting image of past behaviors that sit comfortably cataloged in their minds; A hologram of ain’t shittiness if you will.
So full disclosure, I began writing this post with the purpose of discussing what happens when a fuck boy grows up/evolves into a man, and how he must contend with his past image in the eyes of those who knew him essentially battling with versions of himself that no longer exist, but in reality that’s true of any person changing from a negative to a positive state. Changing yourself means fighting those mental doppelgängers that appear both within yourself and in the minds of those closest to you.
If the title threw you off not to worry here’s the tie in. Remember that paraphrased quote from Robert Burns, “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry…” well it is especially true in the context of change and transformation. We plan major changes in our lives fairly often like New Year’s resolutions, diets, lifestyle changes, etc. and yet with each we have to face and defeat the exhaustless entity that is the image of our past behavior. These mental holograms we fight don’t have expiration dates remains they’re taking up valuable space until they can be replaced with something else. So it’s no wonder things go awry when we plan to change things; but despite that we can’t give up hope. Hell, if hoes can become housewives and fuckboys valued members in the community (if you think about it you probably know a lot of success stories) there’s a chance for everyone to defeat their past in mental combat, it just takes a little extra sweat to get there. All it takes is time to build new images of who you are so you can reinforce the person who you will be.
So to my fellow zebras, we can change our stripes. We can take on new patterns and design the image we wish to be. Here’s to the newer you.