Monday, October 28, 2013


Dear Little M,

When I was a little kid, I was ridiculously nerdy and I LOVED parent-teacher conference day.  As an adult, I like annual performance evaluation day?  Why, you ask?  What about an evaluation process would appeal to any normal person?

Well, I'm not normal.  You knew this.  Let's start with that.  And I like evaluation day because school and work are the only 2 things that I was EVER good at.  Being good at something makes it a lot more fun.  Trust me on this one.

(and you've suffered through enough attempts of my "cooking" to know that hating something and profoundly sucking at it are also very closely related).

So, I was really excited for your first real parent-teacher conference.  I was so proud to hear of how you're learning and growing and treating your friends.

Apparently, you're a go-with-the-flow child who gets along with everyone and doesn't hang in any one particular group.   You're interested in just about everything.  You love to explore.  You love to see new places.  You fall, you dust yourself off and you get back up.   Sometimes, you prefer to just hang with your own damned self.   You love to daydream.  You love to express yourself on paper.
You've never met a good cause you didn't like.  Your eyes give you away.

It turns out that you are a good bit like me.  Who knew?

A huge part of me loves to see little pieces of me show up in you.  We don't look alike.  Let me be honest here....I had hoped for something different for you.  Something, you know, BETTER.  Something EASIER.

There's a term for it, little girl.  We're floaters.


Being a floater is a good thing---well, mostly, anyway.  We will generally get along with everyone we meet.  We'll find something to talk about with just about anyone.  We'll have groups of friends with vastly different interests and who run in very different circles, and we'll learn from all of them.  We'll have lots of friends. We're pretty open minded and we'll have our own vast array of interests.   We'll explore the world with wide-open eyes and gaze in wonder at what we see.  The more we see, the more we'll want to see.  Chances are, we'll never stop learning and never stop wanting to learn.   We'll have a unique perspective because we'll see that there are so very many different ways to live a fulfilling life.

We're patchwork quilts.

We'll be afraid to stick to just one thing, and will be especially wary of anything that claims to be the "one right path".   We won't drink the Kool-Aid.  These are all good qualities, too.

For the most part, it's a pretty cool way to go through life.  Exploring is, by nature, pretty damned cool. We floaters are a little bit of everyone, everything, and everywhere we experience....and that's pretty awesome.

The problem, you ask?

We're floaters.   We float.  We flit.  We wander about.

We don't have anchors.  You can't really expect to float while anchored.  It just doesn't work.

Anchors are pretty cool, too.  How great is it to have a group to reel you in and to ground you?  To claim you as one of their own.   To be part of integral part of something.   To be part of the team and part of the pack.  To have roots.

Great qualities.  No doubt.

I've given a lot of thought to these concepts recently.  I love floating.  It's how I'm wired.  I'm generally happy and I wouldn't trade my experiences for the world -- I so deeply value them and they just work for me--but something I wish I'd realized sooner is that if you choose not to choose any one thing or any one group, you're probably going to be excluded from things.  Often.  You will find yourself being the 11th person when only the Top 10 will get invited to the party.  People will forget to include you in events.  People will like you, but won't claim you as their one of their own.  People will tire of your inability to attend events and stop inviting you.

Those parts are a healthy helping of double-suck.  It sucks when it happens to you.  And it sucks even more when you realize that you can't blame anyone for that predicament but yourself.  That's part of the deal.  You can't expect to have an anchor at the ready when you yourself are wired to float.

Tricky, right?

I live my life like you live yours- in a state of perpetual motion...collecting people, collecting experiences.  Something I have been asking myself recently is "What was I missing when I was so busy trying not to miss anything?"  Maybe this is one of the very best questions to answer.  Oh, and I don't know the answer, but I figure that I'm on the right path if I keep remembering to just ask the question.  

This would be as good a time as any to tell you that I have no idea what this all means.   NOT.A.CLUE.  That's okay.  We will figure it out.  Together.  We can float together....and from time to time, we can slow down and stay in one place just a little bit longer than what comes naturally.  Temporarily anchor, and then float, and then anchor and float.

We'll figure it out.  This much I know.

We all float on,

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