|Dear Diary... (Take 2...)|
I suppose that puzzle pieces are as good a place to start as any... for they serve as a good analogy for those millions of tiny bits and pieces whose sum total make up our lives. Memories, skills, weaknesses, knowledge, scars, events, emotions... all of which are discretely packed in little containers in our minds, yet need to somehow fit together and intertwine with one another to make sense of things and allow us to see the bigger picture... However, the puzzle pieces that make up our lives differ in two ways from the usual jigsaw puzzles that we've put together so many times...
The first is that we do not have a final completed picture to work off of while living our lives. When we were younger, our lives were simpler and the rules by which we lived were more clearly defined. As we've grown older, our lives have grown more complex, and the rules have been tinted with many shades of gray... knowing oneself isn't as simple as looking into the mirror, one must examine the heart and mind and their inner workings to make sense of it all... We don't know what our life will look like until we've lived it. I think that we have a pretty good idea of where we are heading in the next hour or day, a decent sense of where we are heading in the week or month... and perhaps even a general idea of where we are heading a year or two out... but beyond that, it's simply too cloudy to put together. How many times have we set out plans, only to have them foiled by unforseen circumstances? or perhaps even ourselves? Goals provide us with a sense of direction, and make clearer those things which need to come together to make something of ourselves.
The second difference, is that we don't always know which pieces are our "edge" pieces... the boundries... our exposed self... how do we know what experiences will define who we are today, and who we will become in the future? I think that many times, when push comes to shove, our boundaries are defined by the values that we keep, and those people which we prioritize. Values keep us rooted and give us something solid and unwavering to connect with. People relate to us, reaching out to us as we reach out to them, connecting and complementing our nuances and attempting to fill the gaps which we show to them.
In the end, we have all these pieces... all jumbled up, sometimes lucky enough to get some that have a connection or two, and only by living and being are we able to make sense of what goes where, what boundaries shape our identity, and what our lives come to look like, both to others and to ourselves.
It is my hope that as our lives draw to a close, and our own personal "puzzle" nears completion... that we see how we ourselves are each one piece of a much larger mosaic - one whose pieces are people themselves... working together... with one another... for something that is much larger than any one person on their own. What a grand image this collective work this will become...
The journey begins when the first two pieces are connected...