The Perfect Gift for a Young Man

passageAs 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.


  1. Your writing is so lyrical Gavin. It always resonates so beautifully with me.
    Thanks again for capturing this moment so beautifully.

  2. Thanks Scott … glad you are part of the “Perfect Gift” book. I am looking forward to how it all comes together.

  3. This is beautifully and genuinely written, Gavin, with a message that resonates on an important, very human, level. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thanks Anne … hope you’ll check out the book when it is ready!

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