Growing up, becoming a ‘man’ a slow process – Metro US

Growing up, becoming a ‘man’ a slow process

By the time the paper hits the streets today I’ll have been in my 30s for about five hours.

Now before you fold up your beloved free daily and place it on the seat next to you out of fear that I’ll spend my remaining column waxing poetic about the inner emotional conflicts of turning the big 3-0, don’t worry.

I’m not panicking.

In fact, I like to think of it as a sort of new beginning, like turning 20, just 10 years later and with a great deal more life experience.

Which leads to my philosophical non-news flash of the day — life changes for us all as we progress in years, and for men the jump to 30 comes with its own set of expectations.

One of the major common changes is that many of us are either married or on the way by this point. Like many of my friends, I’m a member of this club.

Among other common courtesies, this means I’m now obliged to consult with my fiancée about the weekend agenda rather than blurting an immediate ‘Sure!’ when my few remaining single friends offer a Saturday night of drunken debauchery.

I’m also expected to talk to my partner about future planning.

Some would call this part of growing up.

This list could go on, but as you’re probably on a morning commute, I’ll spare you the read.

If there is an observation that I could make today, it’s that growing up and becoming ‘a man’ is a relative — and often relatively slow — process that can’t be imposed under some sort of artificial and seemingly universal timeline.

This all leads me to believe that entering a new decade of life is far less important than what you do with those 10 years. Those guys who turn 30 and panic that their best years — including their hair, their narrow waistlines and their ability to lure the opposite sex are behind them have it all wrong.

There’s plenty of gas left in the tank. It’s where you drive the car that makes the trip worthwhile.


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