A line is a dot that took a chance and went exploring.
This whole line of thought was inspired by my two-year old. We were playing with pens and paper the other day and he started drawing lines – all sorts of crazy, wavy, curvy, straight, bendy, thick, thin lines. In all different colors. All over the place. Then he wanted to draw dots. But every time he started a dot he would look up at me, smile, and then holding the pen his hand would go flying across the paper, making a line. Finally, after a few minutes of this, in the way only a two-year old can, he said “my dots wouldn’t stay on the paper, they want to move and run mommy.”
And then I couldn’t get the idea of dots and lines out of my head. So what if we are all dots? And what if we are either moving around in a herd of dots or we’re all lined up and we’ve been pretty happy being dots for a while. We look around and we see other dots. And we’re used to it. It is comfortable. And then one dot decides to go exploring.
So first off, it is hard to break out of the mold. It is hard to set out on your own when you’re in a comfy pack of dots. But what if, to be truly content and true to yourself, you need to break that mold. What if you need to be a line?
So, for all of you dots out there wondering what it might be like to be a line – if I were your best friend (or my own) I would tell you (or me) to go explore. Be a line. Be straight or wavy or curvy. Be thick or thin. Be dashed or dotted. Be black or white or any other color in between. Be braided or twisted. Be shiny or dull. Be more than a dot. Make your mark in this world, in this life, be your own line.
For a brief, glorious, shiny and new 6 weeks (yes – 6 whole weeks!) life was stable. STAAAY-BULLL.
There were no major changes on the horizon. For the first time in the least three years (at least that I can remember) life was stable.
The two adults of the household were both gainfully employed and living in the same state. There was no graduate school. There was a house with no designs on moving anytime soon. The small human of the house was 2+ and doing what 2+ year olds do… growing like a weed, challenging any and all boundaries and limits, being both adorable and infuriating in the same 30 seconds all day long… but really, quite stable (except for the night he tried to put a stick through his eye, but that is another story). Family was generally healthy. Friends were generally doing well.
It was an amazing 6 weeks.
And then we launched back into the crazy. We plunged into the deep end of upending our lives and all for good reason. But still… more than 6 weeks of stability might have been nice. Maybe…
To be honest I am not really sure. I look back at the last three years of life and there have been multiple moves and job changes and a new state to live in and graduate school and boards and having a baby and raising a baby and being new parents and a complete lack of sleep (yes, still) and the challenges of making new friends in a new place and buying our first house and …
I realized I don’t really know what stability is anymore, other than the partner who has been by my side through it all and the friends and family that have stuck with us and the little human we have added to the mix. Those things are stable (and at the end of the day aren’t those the most important things?!?!). The rest of it is just ever-shifting.
So if I were my own best friend I would tell myself stability might be overrated, but I’m not really sure because I’m still not sure I know what stability is at this point in my life. I fear having only 6 weeks of calm amongst the preceding 180+ weeks might not make me an expert in stability. Just sayin’…
So how about you? Do you live a relatively stable life? Or are you constantly mixing it up? Is stability important? And if the core people in your life are stable does it matter that the rest of it keeps changing?