Do you remember those connect-the-dots games you’d play in your coloring books as a child, drawing from dot to dot in anticipation of what the final figure would look like at the end? I’ve come to notice lately that life is a bit like connect-the-dots: at first glance it looks like a random disarray of moments, interests, and people with seemingly nothing in common whatsoever with each other…until you connect them in a particular order and you finally see the big picture, in this case the life or representation of a particular person. And each and every single one of us has a unique set of dots and a unique order in which they are connected to depict a unique life experience, one that only that particular person can relate to.

It’s made me think of the connections I’ve made in my own life. My Big Picture is not complete or clear, and won’t be until the day I die. But my dots consist of the people, choices, and experiences I’ve faced in my life so far. It’s funny how the most random of people can shape one’s life, and even funnier how some of them come into our lives. In one of my more recent posts, my “blogging buddy” Mr Knitter brought this up in the comments. Just about a year ago, neither of us had any idea that the other existed. It took my “randomly” coming across his blog (and I only use that in quotes because I recognized his picture from Beautiful Knitters, which had profiled him just a few weeks earlier, not long after I started this blog; Beautiful Knitters was one of the first blogs to start following mine, by the way) and leaving that first comment to start our friendly ongoing correspondence that has now lasted the better part of a year. And there are a handful of other bloggers (👋 Kris) that I have built a similar rapport with in the last year that would have never occurred if I had never made the decision to dive in and start this blog. I also think of one of my dearest friends IRL (In Real Life), The Lady Bryan, and not just the events that began our beautiful friendship, but also those that brought her husband (and the father of her son) into her life. Our friendship began on a random spring day when we were 16 and had nothing better to do in gym class. We talked the entire class period that day and it was almost as if we’d found our twin. How she met her husband was even more random: it involved a copy of Wrath of the Titans, a Doctor Who scarf and a ringtone in a public library. Their story was set on the rails essentially with just one word: “Exterminate!” (And if you’re not a Whovian and don’t get the reference, shame on you. 😝) Sometimes we meet the people who have the biggest effects on us in the strangest, most random ways.

Or how about interests? I wouldn’t be the knitter I am today if not for randomly coming across a knitting kit in the craft section of a Walmart and deciding to buy it when I was just 18. Perhaps a child who wanted to find out how their favorite toy worked is eventually able to turn that one interest into a career in mechanics, engineering, or mechanical engineering. Or maybe there’s a kid out there who has always had a penchant for telling stories who may someday become a bestselling author. One dot connects to the next connects to the next connects to the next, and so on and so forth.

The point I’m trying to get at is: life is unpredictable, but the choices we make and the people we meet can influence our lives further down the line. The things that influence us when we are young can, with the proper amount of nurturing and development, help us develop into successful adults, perhaps with careers that intrigue us and utilize our best talents, or perhaps with a passion that has helped us find some purpose in our lives, if not our careers. And the people that enter our lives can help guide and shape us into better human beings, whether those relationships are out of kinship (regardless of if they’re actual family or they’re like family to you), pure friendship, or all-consuming love. Do I believe these connections are set out beforehand? No. But I do tend to think of these connections in the way that painter, television personality, and fellow Central Floridian Bob Ross always so eloquently referred to his slip-ups on canvas: “We don’t make mistakes. We have ‘happy accidents’.” And somehow, these happy accidents all have some, even if it’s just a small, impact on the bigger picture of our lives.

Before I post, I’d like to let you all know that I finished Hidden Figures earlier this week (according to my Goodreads profile, I finished it two days ago, on April 17th). Within an hour, I picked up my copy of Fahrenheit 451 and read the introduction that English author Neil Gaiman had written for the 60th anniversary edition that I had purchased. I did try to read the first couple of pages of the novel, but I decided to put it down and give myself a couple of days off before diving into this one. I will likely begin trying to read it in earnest today, and I can’t wait to do so! I have waited about 19 years to read this book since I first heard of it. I hope the payoff is as good as the anticipation.

And so I sign off from this post, sitting outside with my mother, trying to figure out if the guys renovating the vacant house across the street from us are speaking in Spanish, in English but with thick New York accents, or a little bit of both. It’s been a real head-scratcher. 🤔