The birthday last night was, for me, one of those almost perfectly circular life moments that I have occasionally, although not usually on this sort of scale. A total of thirteen people (myself included) came to dinner; when a fourteenth showed up just before we left to head out for drinks, I gave him the full table tour. It took a while. There were people I'd known for years and people I met only a few months ago, people I work with, play music with, cook with, chatting amiably about wedding flower disasters and ok cupid dating personas. (The conductor of my new music group said to me "This is awesome! You have non-musician friends!") My ex-girlfriend, her friend who I only met a few weeks ago, and my cooking friend headed up a discussion about polyamory that fascinated my musician friends and was much referenced at the bar after dinner. The first person I met at Northwestern when I moved here sat across from a violist that I met a few months ago online.
Of course, any mixed gathering contains these kind of details, but for me it was like a summation of my time here in Chicago in dinner party form. Nearly all the aspects of my life, past and present, were scattered around the table and they were all getting along. That was the key point, and it tasted so unexpectedly sweet to me; that my life can integrate its varied parts so smoothly is not something I had anticipated. It felt very whole, and yes, kind of mature. So maybe that's part of what maturity is, really: realizing that your life really is a whole entity, that all of the things that you are don't have to be separated or compartmentalized but instead can come together and pass the wasabi.