On Thursday of last week, I turned 35. Like almost every birthday since my 18th, I don't feel like a full-blown adult. Then again, I wasn't exactly sure what being an adult would feel like.
Not often, but occasionally in my teenage years, I wondered what being an adult was really like. I looked at adults around me and pondered things. Will I be taller than I am now? Will I be listening to Kenny G and Celine Dion? Will I be living by myself in a big empty place?
I can't say there is one event or moment when I stopped being a youth and started being an adult. Becoming an uncle seven years ago was an indicator, but so was moving into my own apartment back in 1998. There are so many transitions in life; more than I would realize until later.
If you want a good indication on how much you've grown, talk with someone you haven't spoken to in a number of months or years. You generalize the main events, including obstacles that seemed huge and unable to get over. Some of those have been surpassed while you're still working on others.
When I turned 34, there were a lot of question marks about what the year ahead looked like. There were some things that were not changing any time soon (love does do that to people, thankfully), but the job situation was very up in the air. I was freelance writing and still holding out for something full-time. Turning 35, I have two part-time jobs and two freelance writing gigs, all while still looking for the right fit with a full-time position. On the personal side, I live in a house with my girlfriend and our three dogs in a quiet and friendly neighborhood. We are quite happy living where we live. Each day is highly fulfilling, especially with the presence of our dogs.
While I continue to network and search for my next full-time job and ponder graduate school, I must not lose track of doing what I love to do. Writing is still a necessity, as is drumming, even if it's not done every single day. Doing improv and seeing rock shows are still a part of my life, serving as a healthy distraction and a chance to approach struggles in different ways. Being committed to a recovery program is also a major factor.
At 35, I still get carded, but not as much as in previous years. I have a better idea of what I'd like to do in the immediate future, as well as what not to do. Focusing on making progress instead of buying into a myth called perfection, the journey is still going and I'm happy to be along for the ride.