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On Adulthood

Posted on:November 8, 2021 at 08:00 PM

When did I become an adult?

Was it when I knew I liked beautiful women? When I wrote my first apology letter? When I wrote my first program?

Perhaps when I could lie and manipulate. Or when I could articulate my ideal job. When I slammed my first door, or wrote my first song.

The first death in the family? Caring for a mentally unstable parent? Standing up to the elders and defending what was right?

Doing user research, web design, print design, and copywriting for startups and upstarts? Getting in to college, and writing production software? Making friends on the basis of sincerity and goodness, not just fun?

When I flew the first time, getting into graduate school and leaving everyone behind, coming to a home I’d never been before? Learning a new organization of life, customs, traditions, and mores each more charmingly peculiar than the last? Spending years alone, without friends, coming to an acceptance of lovelessness?

How about when I got my first job, and met my best friend? And others who never knew me as a child, but only as a working professional? Who took me to bars and road trips and burlesque shows and listened seriously to what I had to say?

Or when I truly did fall in love, and was summarily disabused? Or the years it took for me to come to terms with it?

Or when I got my second job, with even more grace and prestige, that filled me with a sense of safety and meaning and belonging?

My first solo trip? My first mountain hike? My first friend’s wedding? When I became a writer, a painter, a speaker, a yogi? When I lost my last grandparent?

When I was forgiven, and forgave in return? When I tried again? When I became a lover, and almost a husband, but then didn’t?

Was it when I couldn’t stand, or walk, or eat anymore? Or when I started describing my limp as stylish, and accepted the lopsided chewing as normal?

Am I an adult now?

The answer is: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, and yes.