Puzzle pieces


I’ve always enjoyed working puzzles. I suppose I get that from my Mom. There’s something very satisfying about looking at hundreds of pieces, analyzing each one and taking note of the detail, and then figuring out exactly where and how it fits into the overall picture. You get that little rush of triumph and discovery every time you make a connection that works.

It occurs to me that for the last year, my life has been a lot like a puzzle. I keep discovering little pieces of myself in my past and my present that help me build the picture of “who I am, who I’m not, and who I want to be.” Sometimes it feels a little more like an archeological dig—the pieces aren’t always neatly spread out on the table for me to work with. Sometimes I find them as I’m digging through the layers of who I’ve been in the past. Occasionally, I come across something truly valuable, but it’s been buried so deep that no one has seen it for years.

While I’m not a pack rat, I admit I keep mementos. I have a small box filled with photos of people who have been special to me, business cards, letters, notes, cards from bouquets of flowers, birthdays, and Christmases, as well as diaries of my early “poetry.” Other things I have simply come across as I’ve cleaned out the clutter of my past to make room for my future. Seems that each thing I find reminds me of something about myself that’s become lost over the years; some can be retrieved, and some can’t. To some extent, I now have the opportunity to choose what to keep and what to discard. I have the chance to throw out the pieces that don’t belong in my puzzle.

I spent 15 years mostly losing myself. My soul was hollow and starving, and I no longer recognized the person I had become. Now is the time to find who I am, really; to let myself live again, and to show my puzzle to the world as a beautiful work-in-progress.

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