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I’ve realized recently that I’m a grown-up. An adult. No longer a kid. However you want to say it.
How did I figure this out you may ask? Is it my beard, my own apartment, my struggle to find work and pay the bills, my awesome relationship or my age? The answer is none of the above. The answer is this, I find that I now identify with adult male characters on TV.
Does that sound silly to you? It sure sounded ridiculous the first time I said it out loud. But then I thought about it some more. And I talked about it a little bit with Caitlin. And the more we talked and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
I’ve been watching TV in some capacity my entire life. There were years when I was younger that we didn’t have a TV at home, but I still saw some shows from time to time. I’ve had satellite, cable and regular old antenna service. I’ve watched everything from the Family Channel to HBO and back again. And for the longest time I only identified with teenage male characters. It started before I was a teenager and lasted into my early 20’s.
I had a list. A group of TV characters that I felt like I could sympathize with. Like I was going through the same things. I know that’s exactly why they were written and acted the way they were but go with me on this. I had Zack Morris and Pacey Witter at the top of that list. Those 2 guys more than any other made me feel like I wasn’t alone. I shared their high school insecurities and problems and search for information.
But now things have changed. I have new fictional peers. Adult ones. Grown men with problems and insecurities and successes and lives like I have now. The 2 that I identify with most, the guys that I feel like I could hang out with and understand and compare parts of my life with are Chuck Bartowski and Ted Mosby.
We’ll start with Chuck. It’s no secret that I love this guy and the show. I think it’s the best prime time hour on television right now. But more than anything it’s the title character that pulls me in and keeps me engaged. And I’m not talking about the intersect and the CIA business. I’m talking about the dead end job and the growing relationship and the desire to do bigger and better things. I’ve felt all of those things in my adult life.
I felt trapped in a dead end job that I am no longer at. Every day I thought about finding something new. Something that would challenge me and engage me and satisfy me. I’m about to start something new. And while it is still brand new, I do believe that I will be happier there. I will have the opportunity to shine using my skills. I will be part of a relaxed but driven and rewarding setting. I’m excited to start.
Chuck’s relationship with Sarah also makes me take stock. I love Caitlin like he loves her. I can’t wait for the day when it’s time to ask her to move in with me. When we can share those day to day moments with each other. When I can feel like a real grown up. It makes me happy seeing them work through their relationship and getting to that point even if it is just on TV.
I also feel better now about prospects for doing some of those bigger and better things in my life. There are projects and opportunites that I have in mind. Exciting things that will make people smile. I have renewed confidence in my abilities to make some pretty cool things happen.
Ted Mosby is a little different. I don’t have the search and mystery going on in the relationship department like Ted does on How I Met Your Mother. I’ve already got my girl. But I understand the wanting to be settled and stable and happy and grown up and part of something awesome.
I long to tell a grand story of my life someday. About how things changed and adversities were overcome and my happy ending was achieved. I want to be able to point to something and say it was my first big project like Ted did with his first building.
I have also shared Ted’s feelings that he was behind at points in his life. Because he wasn’t married, or happy in his work or whatever. I have felt behind a million times. I’ve shared that feeling with friends and family. And I’ve received the same advice that Ted has. Don’t rush. Don’t worry about everyone else. Your time will come when it’s meant to. And you know what? I believe them. All of the things that I’m waiting for will come when they’re meant to. And I’ll be ready and happy to have them.
In the end, I guess I should have figured this stuff out a long time ago. Maybe I’ve had some trouble growing up as I’ve grown older. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that TV has played enough of a role that I can write about it. But I’m starting to feel it now. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not all that bad.
Just don’t talk to me about my grey hair. I’m not ready for that yet.
How did I figure this out you may ask? Is it my beard, my own apartment, my struggle to find work and pay the bills, my awesome relationship or my age? The answer is none of the above.