Aside from noticing a bit of gray hair on the left side of my head when I wake up in the morning, there have been a few tiny events in my life that have made me realize "Hey, Drew, you are a grown up." Here are just a few things I've come across. This list isn't finite by any stretch of the imagination and could potentially be updated on a daily basis. Don't worry though, it won't be.
-Buying a new vacuum cleaner: The actual purchase wasn't grown up as much as my excitement towards it. I had been anticipating buying it for about two weeks the same way a kid anticipates buying a new video game console. What's even sadder is that I called my girlfriend after purchasing it and we had a ten minute conversation about vacuums. That may go beyond "grown up" and venture into a "just plain sad" category. On a side note, carrying that thing home was interesting. I bought it at the Best Buy in the Hancock Building and carrying that thing down Michigan Avenue on a Saturday night drew some interesting looks and comments from tourists. (In an attempt to spice up the story, I am pretty sure I saw Jeremy Piven downtown on my walk home).
-Paying Bills: This isn't the part of adulthood I particularly enjoy. This point of my life has seen a bigger weekly paycheck than I've been used to (which isn't saying a lot compared to working random summer jobs and free internships) but I also have the largest amount of financial responsibility I've seen. It's amazing how your priorities change (spending-wise anyway) when you are 100% on your own. Now I'm looking at 401k's as part of another expense (saving...but still less spending money).
-Business cards: This is a somewhat vain observation on my part but one of the most adult feelings I've had so far is talking to someone on a flight and exchanging business cards with that person at the end of the flight. This is probably no big thing to those who are veterans in the business world. However, this initial thrill hasn't completely worn off with me yet.
LinkedIn: This goes somewhat with the above mention. I believe the fact that I now spend as much, if not more time on LinkedIn than I do on Facebook has got to say something about adultness.
-Insurance: When I finally became eligible to join our company's health insurance plan, I got way excited. I had always been under my dad's plan (being in school and all) but having my own insurance card and having to read documents and hand select a plan for myself got me probably more excited than it should've.
-Cleaning: This is somewhat of a part deux of the above vacuum story. When people asked me about my weekend plans, I talked about how I was going to clean the apartment. Not like "put things away" cleaning...sanitization/scrubbing/vacuuming type cleaning. Tasks that I saw as pointless years ago I now saw as having a purpose this weekend. When putting up a fight with my mom about doing them back in the day, she would always say "When you are grown up and have a place of your own someday, you will understand!"
Well mom...you win. I understand now.