When did that happen?

12 Dec

This has become one of my favorite questions recently, and not just because my memory is slipping because of my advanced age. It is quite true that my memory is slipping, but that is not the reason this statement has plagued my lexicon recently. Lexicon is such a great word, in my opinion, and I honestly think it is underused in the general American…well, lexicon. At any rate, I see that I have gotten off point, which, I guess, kind of proves my point that I am losing my memory. Nevertheless, the reason I find myself continually asking the question is because I find myself changing.

The reason I ask myself this, is because, I seem to have progressed in maturity strata without ever noticing. I certainly don’t feel more mature than I did when I was eighteen, but clearly others see me in this light. We all see the world through our own prism or point of view. Therefore every situation you view is naturally slanted toward that perspective. I don’t believe I am alone in this feeling, but I think all of our ego-centrism sees ourselves as neither old nor young, but rather smack in the middle of the bell curve of normal. So when we are twelve, eighteen-year-old’s seem old, twenty five year old’s seem ancient, and six year old’s are immature little creeps. This timeline advances along with our age.

So, when I realized at some point in the last week that everyone I know sees me as an adult of some sort, I have to ask myself, “When did that happen?” My friend Marissa Thomas stated what I have long believed, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing!” And while that seems to suggest that my chronic goofing-off can somehow make me still be young, the reality is that no one ever questions me as a chaperon any more, that people actually never ask for my ID when they see my résumé, and I fall asleep at awkward times when trying to just do mundane things. So, I felt led to ask if there is a singular, discernible moment when you become an adult?

Clearly in my case, I cannot point to that one moment, but I am now faced with the realization that is has happened. So, what do I need to do in view of this? I mean, it is what it is. I am now stuck in this bodily encapsulation of adulthood. Now that I am here, I realize that I have a more profound platform. People actually ask for my opinion. People ask me to do things to assist them. When teenagers are debating something, they actually ask me to make the final decision. I realize that because much is given, much is required. I think this is not only true of the big, obvious talents, but even these small bequeaths of authority and acceptance require us to act with an understanding that our decisions have consequences.

As someone who now accepts his adulthood, I feel I have the responsibility to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to be angry. I have the responsibility to be educated (as a sidebar, nothing irritates me more than someone who claims to not need to be learned on a subject; if you exist and a subject comes up, you should learn about it) and well-versed on a variety of topics. I have the responsibility to be helpful without excessive prodding. I have the responsibility to serve other people. I have the responsibility to admit when I am less than knowledgeable on a subject, and I have the responsibility to rectify that when it happens.

While I cannot point to when I became an adult, I do want the answer to my follow-up question (Does a waiting period from then until you become a respected one exist?) to be that my waiting period is as small as possible. I want to be respected, and I want to do the things necessary to get there. Now, if only I could remember what those things were…

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One Response to “When did that happen?”

  1. Jenni February 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Best first paragraph of a blog EVER. 🙂

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