The genius often lies within the simple. Recently, ‘The New Yorker‘ artist Olivia de Recat has perfectly illustrated the complex dynamics of human relationships by drawing lines, and they will have you smiling and crying at the same time.
“I bristle a little at the idea of ‘holding on’” to people,” de Recat told Bored Panda. “Something the lines are meant to illustrate, and that I’ve come to believe, is that closeness is kind of like a dance. Each relationship consists of two lives, independent and moving by/of their own volition. So, you really can’t force closeness with anyone. All you can do is be there for the ones you love when they need you, and vice versa. This is perhaps why the ‘Parent’ line punched so many people in the gut.”
Image credits: Terence Patrick
“I think it’s important to identify when relationships (specifically friendships/romantic partnerships) are difficult in ways that aren’t worth your energy. Knowing that comes from understanding your core values, and feeling confident about where your ‘line’ is going. When you’re at peace with yourself, I think you’re drawn to partners who are moving in a similar direction, even if they can be a pain in the ass sometimes. In the end, there will probably be only a small handful of individuals who stay with you through the thick and the thin. That’s okay. In time, you’ll know who these people are, because they will ignite something inside of you that is true and dazzling and ineffable. In committing to them, you’ll also be committing to yourself.”
“Honestly, for the longest time, I was the MVP of NOT letting go,” the artist said. “I could give you a laundry list of ways to keep the memories of your past relationships alive. They range from rereading journal entries to listening to old playlists and monitoring that person’s Venmo transactions. Don’t do any of those things [if you want to learn how to part with people].” Nowadays, her hunch is that to let go of someone you must face your pain, head on. “The pain just exists, and you can either deal with it up front, or drop it in a hole and handle it later. Either way, it’s going to resurface. And if you choose to bury it, it will probably germinate into some bizarre, unruly thing that will threaten all the good stuff you’ve been planting. In the same vein – and this is easier said than done – I’m beginning to think that letting go is about getting really comfortable with reality. If your line has taken you in a different direction, if their line has veered sharply away from yours, there is the temptation to project forward or look back to a time when you were closer. One way I’m learning to let go is by releasing myself from the idea of how I think my lines should be, and allow them to exist as they are.”