I used the essay, “Dearly Disconnected” by Tim Murphy in class as an example for an anecdote introduction. The heart of the essay deals with Tim’s interest in payphones and the change in our society because of cellphones. Without giving anything away, Tim takes his kids to a payphone that played an important role in his story. It was a landmark in the love story between him and his wife.
Teaching the essay got me thinking about the landmarks we have in our lives, both physical and emotional ones. Both are important in understanding where we are in life, and how we got there. Landmarks can also inspire us to move forward.
Physical landmarks are fun to revisit – to share the stories connected to that place.
Your childhood home
Your high school
The street you cruised
The place where you asked the question…
The photo above use to be a coffee shop. The coffee shop moved to a busier street, but this is where I proposed to my wife. We even had a few wedding pictures taken here. The place has changed. The story hasn’t. The importance of the moment hasn’t. Obviously that moment changed me… proposing to my wife was an emotional landmark. We are all works in progress. We have emotional landmarks that identify moments that impacted who we are today. Some good. Some hurt. Others almost destroyed us.
Many times the physical and emotional landmarks intertwine in our personal stories. The difference is that the physical setting had no real role in the moment. The emotional component is the focus. No matter if the landmark was positive or negative, emotional landmarks are worth visiting. The stories may be more intense, making them hard to share. But it is worth it.
We grow… we may even change to a degree. Our landmarks are there for us to remember, but even more importantly, to share with the people in our lives. To inspire. As a dad, I’ve come to understand the importance of sharing my landmarks with my children. My path is part of theirs. More importantly my landmarks can help them develop into who they become.
Let’s connect; share a landmark in the comments.