When answering this he must consciously think about his past — and what the future could possibly bring. He must ask himself "Am I sincerely ready to travel and be on my own like those before me– (insert names of great men that inspire you, fictional or real)". Ready to tell mom and dad, "It's okay, I can handle it." Ready to face it when he has to cut out Friday nights at Stats or Pink Pony because the insurance on the brand new Audi just isn't going to pay for itself.
And just as he asks himself these questions about life's essentials, he must also ask himself the same about another "life category" that actually, even if not admittedly, is as important. Just as there is a time in which his actions must ripen from boyish to manly– as must his style develop from the worlds to his own. It is quite hard to know when that time has come. The decision to buy a house, buy a car, or even to get married comes more naturally to most men, than to decide that "I must now own my look, my own style."
The truth is, most men never own up or develop it. They progress from immaturity to dignified maturation while always missing one element that few are able to acquaint themselves with. Many become great men, distinguished, erudite men, but not quite embodying the maximum meaning of those words because he lacks the complete essence of it.
Those before you who took the important leap did so because they felt it necessary to grow into manhood– at it's entirety. It is a complex situation– to decide what style, what look, will sum you up. To figure out what people will see of you before you mutter the simplest word. As you walk through Whole Foods, figuring out where they stash the Bolthouse smoothies– what one second summary will the girl restocking the oranges think? As the red double decker full of tourist pass you while you're off 42nd and 6th– what will be their impression of the true new yorker as they gaze upon you?
And as I ask, you must ask– travel deep into the depths of who you are and decide. Do you wish to present an outward image that fully reflects your personality? Or do you wish to be true to yourself while yet knowing that providing those on the outside with a particular reflection will only enhance your current position– be it financial, emotional, or simply artificial (in the many ways it can be)? The choice is yours…
It requires reflection, perhaps a long overdue visit to the men who have come before you– fathers, grandfathers, great uncles. Maybe it takes you finally releasing what will make "her" like you and focusing on what will make "you" like you… while hoping she sticks around for the progression.
For some, this journey, this leap, this step happens naturally– happening between 24-30 (lucky bastards). While for others, because of life's circumstances, late 30s, 40s, and midlife crisis's will induce a band-aid pull effect– this change will be sudden, very quick and fast. But for you, because you were smart enough to be on this particular site and read this particular article on this day, you have the delighted and highly coveted– choice.
You can choose to further peruse in a stagnated manhood, silently chuckle because you semi-arrogantly but mainly pridefully have already become a man and developed your own style, or you can begin this journey. Flip the coin, roll the dice, choose from the petals of a flower if you wish… I suggest that maybe, just maybe it is time to become an, Urban Gentleman.