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Abraham Lincoln Had a Step Mom

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?

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Steve April 14, 2015, 7:14 am

    to the untrained eye, my timeline doesn’t look super impressive…but to those with a discerning eye for detail, it becomes quite obvious that all of the mistakes…I mean lessons I have been learning…are leading to unparalleled greatness. I just haven’t peaked yet.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 14, 2015, 7:46 am

      I hear ya. So far nobody can see my timeline through all the greasy chocolate smudges and beer spills. That poster paper really soaks it up.

  • J@n April 14, 2015, 7:19 am

    Mine will be used to illustrate the Ten Commandments or the Seven Deadly Sins.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 14, 2015, 7:45 am

      BAHAHAHA! No doubt.

  • Susie @ SuzLyfe April 14, 2015, 7:59 am

    If my history were based on my resume, people would just ignore it. But if they lived it? TV Movie. fo sho.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 14, 2015, 8:29 am

      Oh, I hear ya. I’ve got Jerry Springer and Maury Povich in a bidding war to have us on a show.

  • Vern April 14, 2015, 9:27 am

    I think mine would be called “Life at the Zoo”, with mandatory tranquilizer consumption before reading.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 14, 2015, 1:35 pm

      Ahhh, yes. I relate.

  • Lynn April 14, 2015, 10:15 pm

    Awe Suzie… Once again you’ve made my day. Thanks. If I had the gift of writing that you have, I’d be hogging your blog! xox

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 15, 2015, 6:42 am

      Thanks for your kind words, Lynn! xox

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets April 15, 2015, 3:17 am

    The other thing is if we ignore those tiny dots, they will fester and grow. Problems when left unchecked never get better and they don’t stay the same either. They get worse.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 15, 2015, 6:44 am

      Zacly. Which is why whenever I or anyone close to me has made a big mess I tell them that it’s not game over yet! If they pop back up, quickly make things right and move forward then it will be but a blip on the radar. Otherwise, yeah. Big mess on the timeline.

  • Beth @ Running with the Sunrise April 15, 2015, 1:37 pm

    I don’t think I ever had to do this in school, but I guess one of the advantages of being a great figure in history is that people tend to forget your faults. We all have missteps and make mistakes. That’s being human. I’m sure my line would be a jumbled mess (hello, graduate degrees that I don’t use) but it’s the only line I have!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com April 15, 2015, 2:26 pm

      Well, if Monica Lewinsky can come back and speak about mistakes and grace and forgiveness and living through the aftermath of a mess as catastrophic as hers, anyone can!

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