Bohemian hipster parents always had that wall. It was a specific wall that rested adjacent to their bohemian kitchens where cakes and flapjacks were always in mid-bake, vegetables and home cooking melding together to create a gently domestic aroma. The wall was often stripped bare and painted white. You know the style, white walls and wooden furnishings with ethnic art hung elegantly, worn middle-eastern rugs covering well walked, uneven and permanently unpolished floorboards. That kind of decor.
This wall, stripped bare, was always tattooed with the graphite from a primary school students pencil-case. Dash marks were the introduction to a neatly scrawled name which was followed by a height. This formed a measurement chronology. One could chart their growth, literally from the floor upwards, as each year, each annual party, new measurements were placed on the height wall.
The desire to grow became a competition. You wanted to out-grow the tallest person on the chart, who inevitably happened to be a 6″7 giant who probably has painful joints for all their success in the height-winning competition.
The trick, however, to finding contentment in that chronological measurement test, was to, year on year, strive to beat your previous height. To ignore the scrawled names that decorated your honoured positions, and just strive to grow and get taller. Because the physical height was really an external expression of an internal, psycho-emotional growth.
When you reached a growth plato, that wasn’t a signal that you had stopped improving and had begun to regress. Really, it was a deeper sign – one that slyly hinted at you to recognise, the competition had ended. Hopefully, by that time, the desire to compare had been lost or at least transformed into the desire to just live your life, as you are, in peace, knowing intuitively, that you were growing, improving in yourself.