Well as of an hour ago my 21st birthday has come and gone.

Of course, 21 is a big deal for those in or around my age. For the obvious reasons – being legally allowed to purchase and consume alcohol – and thus by extension somehow attaining manhood? Something about drunkenness doesn’t quite add up to manhood in my mind.

I found an interesting article/infographic courtesy of the New York Times showing the various conceptions or progressions of man as he ages and the stages he goes through.

According to these various stages, at age 21 the following should characterize me:

  • The stage of youthhood or adolesence, governed by emotion (Hall)
  • I arrive at full strength (questionable) and proves his manly valor (Solon)
  • I should be killing pleasure (Bell)
  • I am still a boy (Hippocrates)
  • I am led by a mistress (not so sure about that one) (Feltham)
  • I am in the age of triumphs, desires, self-love, independence, and vanity (Youth’s Miscellaneous Sketch Book)
  • I am “French” – “pretentiously philosophical (possible), embarrassingly vain, ridiculously romantic, and insincere” (Gill)

Interesting the differences in opinion. I’m still trying to figure it out. And will be for a while.

Happy Birthday.

NYT – Writers Define the Stages of of Life

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