Five years ago, we profiled fifty-one American men - one from each state and Washington, D. C. - who were all twenty-five. We were trying to understand what it was like to be an "emerging adult," as we wrote then, in an era when "twenty-five-year-old men aren't necessarily men at all." A few of our guys were married, but the majority were still having fun and figuring out their lives. They bartended and delivered pizza, stayed up late and woke up later.
Today these men are thirty. We managed to track down and interview about forty of them. Aside from a few haircuts and added pounds, they look very similar. But their lives have changed. More than a quarter are settled down with kids, even Jason Ewell, who told us five years ago that he never wanted to "grow up" and stop partying. Some lost their jobs during the recession, like Ricky Brule, who was promoted and relocated twice by the same company - then laid off. Others went back to school. And then there are those whose lives took more tragic turns.
Perhaps most telling is that nearly 70 percent are more optimistic about their futures than they were at twenty-five. This isn't because they have achieved all their goals - far from it. Maybe it's because they better understand their own abilities and limitations and potential. Maybe it's because they've "emerged." They're thirty.KEEP READING: See What All the Men Have to Say >>
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