I have a love-and-hate relationship with puzzles. I really enjoy putting them together and more than anything, finishing them. However, it is very hard for me to leave things unfinished, laying there on a table waiting for me to take action. Which is why when we opened a thousand piece puzzle after dinner on Thanksgiving, I knew I would lose sleep, I would be behind with the laundry and my work and everything else, until the last piece was placed on the board.
As I’m closing in on my first year since my move to Pennsylvania, I have been reflecting on the enriching new experiences and the tough times that have come my way during this transition that continues to engulf my new life.
Like the pieces in an endless puzzle, I’ve been trying to frantically put my new life together -sometimes forcing bits and pieces where they don’t belong- just so that I can finish going through this transition and look back and admire the end results.
Real life does not seem to have an exact number of puzzle pieces to match together, however. As new parts have come to me, I have tried to find them a spot in my previous life, in my old routine, in the things that I used to do. But alas, not all new pieces fit where I would like them to and in my rush to get “back to normal”, I have forced them into a spot where they rest uncomfortably.
It has been particularly challenging to create a social circle. In my quest to find friendship, I have often forced a relationship that perhaps was better off left as casual acquaintances. At the same time, I have noticed that when I let things be, true friendships have been formed piece-by-piece.
In retrospect, I have been molding my new life in a way that does not leave much room for superficiality and rather than being a social butterfly, I have focused my energies in building strong bonds with people who have come to represent what Pennsylvania has become for me: a welcoming place filled with great adventures.
As I try to rebuild my internal puzzle, I’m reminded, once again, to be patient and to trust the process rather than rushing to a self-imposed finish line marking the first year since we moved. Nevertheless, since patience is not my strongest suit, I think I still have a lot of pieces to replace within me.
There is much work to be done still but I think this internal puzzle will definitely be one of my most precious ones when I finish it.