For Some Reason

There is a charming little movie that my friend Natae turned me on to years ago called Lars and the Real Girl.  It's over a decade old at this point, but it's got Ryan Gosling and Patricia Clarkson in it, and it's a love story that stands the test of time.

You will love this movie.  I swear.

At one point, Lars is asking his brother about growing up, and what it means to be an adult.  This is the exchange:

Lars: I was talking to Bianca, and she was saying that in her culture they have these rites of passages and rituals and ceremonies, and, just all kinds of things that, when you do them, go through them, let you know that you're an adult? Doesn't that sound great?

Gus: It does.

Lars: How'd you know?

Gus: How'd I know what?

Lars: That you were a man

Gus: Ahhh. I couldn't tell ya.

Lars: Was it... okay, was it sex?

Gus: Um. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's uh, yeah, yeah it's kind of - it's uh - no. Well, it's kind of sex but it's not uh, you know? I don't know. I don't know. It's - uh - good question, good question.

Lars: Yeah, but I have to know.

Gus: [dryer buzzes] Hold that thought.

Gus: [in basement] You know, you should ask Dagmar [the family doctor].

Lars:  I did ask Dagmar. And she said that I should ask you.

Gus: Okay, you know I can only give you my opinion.

Lars: That's what we want.

Gus: Well, it's not like you're one thing or the other, okay? There's still a kid inside but you grow up when you decide to do right, okay, and not what's right for you, what's right for everybody, even when it hurts.

Lars: Okay, like what?

Gus: Like, you know, like, you don't jerk  people around, you know, and you don't cheat on your woman, and you take care of your family, you know, and you admit when you're wrong, or you try to, anyways. That's all I can think of, you know - it sound like it's easy and for some reason it's not.

Honestly. See this movie - if you hate it, I'll send you a candy bar of your choice.

Anyway - I think about what it means to be a grown up fairly often.  Mostly because I don't feel like I am much of the time.  

There are a number of milestones that I've hit over the years that contribute to my full adulthood.  It was never one thing, even if at the time, it felt like a binary click from kid to adult.  We weave in and out of it all the time.  But if you must know, each of the following were bullet points on the ever-expanding list:

- Getting a paying summer job (babysitting)

- Saving my summer job money for a practical purchase (watch, typewriter and furniture for my bedroom)

- Getting a non-babysitting summer job

- Falling in love for the first time (and every subsequent time)

- Getting a checking account

- Sex

- Paying taxes

- Voting in my first election

- Getting accepted to my first choice college

- Graduating High School

- Traveling alone to Montreal

- Performing stand-up

- My 21st birthday

- Interning at WAGA-TV
- Winning an award for my work as an intern

- Buying my own groceries

- Dating someone my parents hated

- Getting jury duty

- Getting my first office job

- Getting laid off

- Getting dumped the same week I was laid off

- Losing my last living grandparent the same week I was dumped and laid off

- Starting therapy

- Seeing a gynecologist for the first time (and running into a former HS teacher)

- Managing a small department

- Getting my own dog

- Moving into my own apartment

- Getting laid off

- Going on unemployment

- 9/11

- Buying a new car

- Root canal

- Getting engaged

- My first business trip (and car rental)

- Getting married

- Moving to Nashville

- Buying a house

- First major home repairs

- Europe trip

- Starting at UL

- Dad's heart attack

- Becoming an Aunt

- Tonsilectomy

- Jim's 40th in New Orleans

- Dad's stroke

- Dad's death (and subsequent and sequela)

- Finding a Nashville therapist

- Getting a new dog

- The 2016 Departmental Summit

- Leaving UL after 10 years

- Making friends who have changed my life, and loving them like family

That's a pretty decent overview.

I'm OK with that.