Wikipedia describes a blueprint to be a paper based reproduction of a technical drawing, but I think that all of us have a blueprint, a pattern that makes us who we are, derived from the years that we have lived and the experiences we have shared. Every morning, when I make my trip to the station I listen to my father’s choice of radio, and there is a feature every morning where they talk to children about things that they have coming up. They are then asked to rate how well they thought they did. The common answer is often one million, but rarely less than ten. These children, and all children, haven’t had the stamp on their blueprint yet that they might be able to do things better, or that there is room for improvement. What a fantastic notion.
As you get older, and go through your teens you get more little cuts and pencil lines on your blueprint, and you learn things from trial and error. Good things happen to you, bad things happen to you. You get to participate in new experiences and you lose things that are valuable to you. You are pliable, like playdoh, but this time of your life is seminal, and the dough sets into something that forms your blueprint.
Sometimes you take a long hard look at yourself and realise that you need a really good eraser, or some tippex to alter the marks that have been put there and become the person that you want to be, rather than the person you are. You want to forget your tried and tested reactions and learn to think before you speak. Because it’s the injured teenager inside you that steps up and retorts when the grown up runs behind, trying to clear up the mess that she is leaving. The only way I can describe the wild child is like the bludgers form Harry Potter; big and ugly balls that have to be strapped into a chest to keep them safe. When let out, they seek out trouble and try to cause damage to people. To be put back in the box, one person needs to pin them down and the other strap them in. What a palava! Pushing self destruct is never a good idea as it’s far harder to clear up the mass of debris that you leave in your wake.
Blueprints have two contributing factors: genes and environment. Genetically you will inherit traits that are hard to change; they are part of your make up, the staples, glue and stitches that hold together who you are. Environmental factors are also just as hard to change, but you need to try to be the person that you want to, otherwise you will always follow the same path and be unhappy.
But how do you make the changes to those documents? It’s not easy, like a child with an eraser; it’s more a process of seeking someone with a bigger erase button than you have. Often they are kept under lock and key by another part of your personality, a part that is reticent and fears change. The first step is realising that the whole world isn’t against you, and there are people out there who are there for one reason and one reason only; to help you make the changes. They are the holders of the other end of the pencil, and if you accept their help they will rub out those lines that you started to draw. Not only does every person have a blueprint, every relationship has one too, and they should be a large expanse of blue when they start out. But sometimes the paper we use to shape this blueprint is creased or has something drawn on it already; I’m all for recycling but that means that it will be doomed from the beginning.
The trick is to take a clean sheet of paper and start tentatively drawing little sketches that will meet in the middle. When you have two people drawing on the same page, you are a team. Neither is against the other, and two is far stronger than one. If you try to struggle or assert a dominant trait then you will encounter adversity, and the paper will rip. Your blueprint will be no more. The trick, it seems, is to identify that the paper is starting to weaken, and if you really want it to stay whole, change your behaviours. After all, tiny little slips of paper blow away in the wind. Big pieces tend to have more staying power.