“When I get older / Losing my hair / Many years from now / Will you still be sending me a Valentine / Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?” Wise words there, readers, from my homeboys, The Beatles. This week is both my birthday and Valentine’s Day. One of these is an actual, verifiable thing, while the other is a commercial construct.
One reflects, as is customary, as the circle of life becomes a click more complete (about half way for me, depending on one’s optimism in predicting the circle’s circumference). This past year, I finally felt like a grown-up. What is that? Is there a clear set of rules and regulations for what constitutes a fully realized grown-ass human being? My best guess is that the parameters are set within us by personal filters wrought out of nurture. For me, the realization of full adulthood has come as the result of a number of long-sought factors. The result is that, to outward appearances, I have become what I have long held in my mind to be.
A writer. Check. I have been getting paid to write for many a year, but only lately have I begun to be able to dictate terms, writing what I want, when I want, for whomever I want. No more writing for clients. I write for me now, and have found kindred creative spirits prepared to accommodate, nay, encourage creative whims.
A dad. Check. I have been a parent for many years, but my kid is now at the age when I am not simply managing their development, trying to help them learn while simultaneously stay out of the emergency room or worse. No, the kid is their own person, and I can cash in the years of care at the bank of making a difference.
An equal partner. Check. I have the immense privilege of partnering with a person whom I love more than this verbose, loquacious jackass can do justice to. My other half, in the Platonic sense, more than completes me. They make me better and more whole than I alone am capable of. This past year, I truly feel that I pulling my weight – go ahead with an onanism wisecrack here if you want to kill the mood.
Financially stable. Hell to the yes, and check. For years, having been brought up in a solidly working-class family in Liverpool, England, I have striven for financial security. I don’t want “things.” I do not collect labels. Nor am I looking to one-up anybody. This is about going to the grocery store without having to operate a running tally of what we are going to eat the next week. This is about going beyond the 10th of the month and not having to nurse the double digits left in the bank account ‘til payday. This is about looking forward instead of looking down. Truman has entered the building –– the one with the adults in the room.
If you have ideas for Truman, send me a postcard, drop me a line / Stating point of view / Indicate precisely what you mean to say / Yours sincerely, wasting away. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org.