I enjoyed ComicCon this year. I didn’t actually buy tickets and attend but I did spend Friday afternoon downtown sharing drinks and small bites with a good friend. We poured airline bottles of fireball into hot apple cider and watched costumed masses parade up and down the lobby stairs. It’s not as heavily cosplayed as SakuraCon but the variety is much wider so I actually recognized a fair number.

Alex and I mused on good couples costumes for next year: she’s much taller than me so pairs with a height difference came up like Rick and Morty, Morticia and Wednesday Adams, maybe Captain Mal and his surprise wife Saffron (I don’t have the right figure to be Inara).

We talked late into the night, maintaining our buzz with cheap white wine, sitting on the floor in her living room.

I thought of this moment a few days later when someone asked “What makes you feel like an adult?” I don’t often feel like an adult, despite doing many of the things adults are often accused of. I’ve generally got my shit together, I’m considerate and thoughtful and competent at a variety of things. But none of that makes me really feel adult-like. This conversation made me feel adult-like.

I’ve always been a talker more than a listener. Over the years I’ve identified good listeners like Betty Martin or Paz @ExquisiteOasis or Claire. People who ask questions and listen to the answers; people who make you feel important and interesting. I love the way those people make me feel and I’ve always wanted to cultivate that skill. I’ve gone out of my way for nearly two years to remind myself to stop talking and start listening.

It’s always felt forced. I’m doing it for a client who has never had a chance to mourn the end of a relationship he wasn’t supposed to have or shyly explore kinks and consent with a young man still learning. Or I’m doing it because I want to be that kind of person, not because I am.

This time, this Friday evening, I was that kind of person. I was authentically interested, listening to her without filtering it through my own experience. I didn’t notice for a while that I was even doing it and it was awesome.

Thinking of that moment and realizing that it’ll keep happening more and more as I practice, made me feel like I’d arrived. I felt, for once, like I could be the kind of person I’ve always admired. It’s only taken me almost thirty years, ha!

So when did you finally feel like you’d arrived? When did you feel like you were an adult, not just like someone pretending to be one?