An Egg About to Hatch

As I walk the dog around my Philly neighborhood, I notice a new kid on the block. Not really a kid, but by the look of the college logo towel hung as a living room curtain – it is someone about to undergo the transition into adulthood. An egg about to hatch. A real milestone we rarely celebrate.

Let’s not be fooled. Although we all try to make that transition look easy, it is one of the most significant cultural shifts we undergo. And I think it is especially profound for young men, particularly those who have been participating in a fraternity-style life – that bastion of full-on bad boy behavior. (A stereotype – I know – but – enough truth in it to warrant mentioning)

And then, as anticipated – poof – these young folks find themselves in their first real home – alone. It is likely a rental – and it sits in the belly of a neighborhood populated with young families, professionals and senior citizens. At this point , the community takes the baton from parents and academia and says, “Don’t worry. We’ll take it from here.”

The pressure is on. Expectations pile up quickly to build new networks. Becoming “an employee.” Learning the neighborhood rules – like when and how to put out your trash or clear the fallen leaves. It is no longer about showing college buddies how much fun you can be. Suddenly you need to invest in a new image. Stable. Respectful. Good neighbor.

Time to buy real curtains.

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