Do you guys remember doing timeline projects for famous people in history class? I do. We’d pick a famous person and then draw a long black line across a white poster board and then jot down different shit they did from the date they were born until they died. Then we’d have to stand in the front of the class and point out the dates while droning on about inventing airplanes or discovering gravity, hoping that our concealer was doing its job and praying that our armpits wouldn’t sweat through our three layers of skater tees.
We all screw up. Everybody does. Either we gossip too much or we lie to our boss or we cheat on our taxes or litter a juice box but inevitably and eventually we all take turns shitting the bed. We do because we are human. And because we are human, we have a timeline. It may not involve the invention of airplanes or the discovery of gravity but we’ve all got those black permanent marker slashes through the horizontal line between birth and death. And you know what I always say? I say this to myself and to anyone who will listen (after I roofie their dark roast). That we all screw up but the longer we stay stuck in it, the higher the chance that it will become a notch on our timeline.
There’s my birth in Calgary, the years we moved to LA and back, the grade I switched schools, got married, had children, the list goes on and on.
But then there’s the shitty stuff. The heartbreaks, the failures, the pain. Those all have dates too, and I’ve got the permanent marker smudges on my heart to prove it. At the very beginning, the mark is so small that it’s just a tiny dot. The tiniest dot so small that it’s barely visible to the naked eye against a long dark line. But if we don’t deal with it straight away, if we feed it, grow it, repeat it, that dot gets larger and before we know it, our timeline of life looks like a frigging 10-story ladder of shitty decisions.
What does your timeline look like? If students were forced to research your timeline 100 years from now, what would they write down?