Saturday, 30 July 2011

Maturity Is...

As many of the traditional rites of passage have been rendered purely symbolic by the nature of modern society, it is a lot harder to tell when you've become an adult.

Sure you're over 18, you can vote/drink/drive (not at the same time!)/get married or join the armed forces if the mood takes you, you may have landed a 'big kid' job, if you've moved out of home you are amazed that anybody has agreed to let you be in charge of a house or apartment, but you still feel kind of like you're play acting.

So if you haven't reached any of the optional milestones or if you have but neither they nor the mandatory ones seem to carry enough weight to really convince you, what will?

Whilst I still don't feel like a grown up there are several things that I've identified as personal milestones of maturity, moments that have let me realise that I've grown up a bit.
  • Acknowledging that I am never going to be sensible enough to stop fiddling with scabs so being practical enough to cover them with bandaids.
  • Thinking 'I really really don't want to make this phone call' but dialling before I even finish the thought instead of avoiding it forever or until it makes things really awkward.
  • Actually leaving 15 minutes before I think I need to in order to get to appointments, events or places with time to spare or just on time in the event something unexpected crops up*.
  • Finding a gold coin** on the ground, getting super excited out of habit and then deciding to leave it there because I don't need it and if some kid finds it, it'll make their day.
  • Finding that I still have some money left over after I've paid my bills***.
Yeah, they're not the kind of 'coming of age' examples you're ever going to see on a RomCom or find in a YA novel but they're the ones that have, for some reason or another, stuck with me.

These moments and others like them, some without handy anecdotes, have made me realise that I'm better than I used to be at dealing with certain situations or highlighted the self-awareness that comes with experience.

And considering I am still proud - not just nostalgia proud, actual proud - of learning how to keep my skivvy**** from rolling up inside my sleeves when I put on a jacket when I was 4*****, that's about the cream of the crop.

There are also all those slightly depressing moments when you realise that not only are you grown up, you're An Adult and kids old enough to have their own debit cards see you as such, but I'll save those for another time when I'm feeling maudlin or after I've been reading OMG I'M THE ADULT.

*Traffic, forgetting something, the fact I often assume a best case scenario of how long it takes to get from Point A to Point B that doesn't survive contact with reality.

**That's a one dollar or two dollar coin

***... and then spending it on comic books. Hey, baby steps, alright.

****Skivvy = a long-sleeved shirt that you wear in the winter, sometimes a turtleneck.

*****You hold onto your long shirt sleeves with your fingertips before you put them into your jacket sleeves!

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