Tuesday, August 29, 2006

On Becoming a Man

Twenty-five years ago today, I celebrated my Bar Mitzvah, and so was declared a man in the Jewish religion. Even at age 13, I recognized the absurdity of calling myself an adult in any real way, but that didn't mean that I didn't appreciate the presents. Still, this rite of passage required months of preparation toward the achievement of the goal. Between that effort and the fact that Aaron and "man" were first associated with each other at that event, I recognize that my Bar Mitzvah began my slow journey into adulthood. How slow? Well, consider:

  • Twenty-two years ago I got my first job that didn't involve yardwork, babysitting, or a position my Dad got me. Not that it would have paid the bills or anything.
  • Twenty-one years ago I went off to college, meaning I was responsible for how I lived my life, but I still didn't need to support myself.
  • Twenty years ago, I was allowed to vote.
  • Seventeen years ago I went to law school, meaning that in many ways I stayed just as I had been the preceding four years. Except that I was legally able to drink, so maybe you could call this a period of regression.
  • Sixteen years ago I got engaged and started the process of learning how to live with someone in a relationship.
  • Fourteen years ago I graduated law school and finally started supporting myself financially.
  • Twelve years ago I paid off my college loans.
  • Seven years ago I got married, and together, we bought a house.
  • Six years ago I had to put my dog with cancer to sleep.
  • Five years ago I became a manager at work.
  • If all goes well, in two months I will be a parent, and for the first time will be responsible for another human life. Perhaps that event will be the first in a thread 25 years from now entitled "On Becoming an Old Man."