i had an epiphany, yes an epiphany. ( i can’t write that without thinking of a former student of mine. we were in a school meeting discussing his progress, i started the meeting by addressing the fact that his attendance was affecting his grades, when, he stopped me, with a grin and a finger on his chin and said ‘i just had an epiphany.’ his eyes were squinted and cast my way. ‘a what?’ i said, wondering where this word came from, and why was he saying it in a low tone like a godfather gangster discovering his best friend had ratted him out. my student was confused, he thought we were friends because i respected him, he didn’t understand why i would uncover his four-days-a-week absences in the meeting, he thought i was turning on him, so he turned to me and shared what he thought was a decisive way to express that our bond had been broken -that he had an epiphany. it got kind of weird when all he would say was “i just had an epiphany” with a shake of his head. we moved on. man, i love the teenage mind.

my epiphany had to do with legos. the girls got a box of legos for christmas. now, i don’t remember playing with legos when i was younger, i’m sure i did, but i was more of an action figure kid. he-man to be exact. my lego epiphany? they come with directions. there are things that you are ‘supposed’ to make with the pieces. i think i knew this, but thought you just ‘built stuff’ that the box suggested. wow, there are step-by-step directions to make specific things. we made a car, helicopter and house, but after a while, i missed my flying house with skis, and we quickly disassembled our fleet, better said, h. and a. weren’t too into the uniformity either, or they didn’t have the patience to search out specific pieces and put them in the exact place they were to go, according to the directions that is. so, we used the helicopter propeller as a steering wheel for our ski ship.

there are ‘direction people’ and there are people who prefer to be directionless. now, directionless does not mean lost. i’m reminded of the bumper sticker “not all who wander are lost”. or all who ‘wonder’ either. then there are people who use directions in some situations and don’t use them in others. and even more people, like me with the legos, who don’t know that directions exist. i have never been a fan of categorizing humans into one of two ‘camps’ that they can’t get out of. once you are a direction person – you are always a direction person, in some people eyes. (a few other ‘types’ of people – people who floss/people who don’t, people who look at a map/people who ‘will remember when they see it’, and people who stand in line patiently behind someone who’s having a hard time deciding between cone or dish/people who push them out-of-the-way/or a third group of people who know what ‘people who act like they have a hard time deciding between inconsequential life choices and make a production out of their ordering to prove their complex understanding of the mundane’ look like, and skip them in line) no, not a fan of breaking us down like that.

i enjoy using the directions at times, and creating our own lego universe other times. if you use directions, cool. if not, cool. if you’re like me – you’re even cooler, but are you happy with what you made? does it matter what the end result looks like to others – as long as you enjoyed the process and appreciate the outcome? do you put your creation in a shrine or break it in pieces the moment it is complete (i’m looking at you h.) and put it together another day? the thing of it is – we are all using the same pieces, just mixing and matching them in different ways to form objects that appear different when assembled. when broken apart in all there separate little pieces – they are the same. i will not judge or criticize what you make with your legos, or how you make it, as i would like the same from you. and please – don’t throw your legos at me (i’m looking at you again h.). see, you may not know, but this is the century of the lego. people will be making lego everything, and i am preparing you for the reality that we all view our legos differently.

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