My journey is a puzzle that I am working on. But this puzzle is one of those puzzles that doesn't have a defined edge, so any piece can go anywhere. And I don’t have the box with a picture to help me know what the final piece will look like.
So I puzzle.
Each piece I ponder over, turn it in different ways and try fitting it in.
When I learn where a piece goes I rejoice. Each new word I learn or cultural concept that I understand is a moment to celebrate. My puzzle becomes more and more filled in and clear.
Then I return to the pieces I have. These cause me to think, wonder, question, and search. I sometimes become frustrated and annoyed when I can’t seem to fit them in anywhere. I wonder if the puzzle will be a rectangle or some animal. I never know if a piece is the edge or not. Sometimes I collect like pieces, fuss with them for a while and then just leave them collected together on a section of the table. Sometimes I leave them liking the progress I made and sometimes I leave them to save my sanity.
Another catch to this puzzle is that I didn't start with all the pieces and I don’t know how many there are. As I walk through my day I find them. Sometimes they come out of my mouth in conversation. I find them when I walk down the street. Some are picked out of my food. Others fall off of my friends. Sometimes there is just one and other times it is a collection. But each time I find a new piece, new emotions are brought about; Joy to have new pieces to play with; Anxiety because I already have enough to fit in; Excitement because I know exactly where it will go; Frustration to have a random useless piece.
There are also helping hands, for puzzles always are more fun when you do them with someone else. My companions in my journey help me puzzle. Sometimes they work with me on a section and we can organize it way better than when I was trying to by myself. They help me to find like pieces to collect. Sometimes they even bring my attention to pieces that I have dropped on the floor which connect to other pieces.
For anyone who has done a large puzzle before, you know that it can be tiring and can take a few days (or at least many hours if you choose to just chug along). So as I puzzle, I need breaks. But each time before I break, whether due to exhaustion, dizziness, frustration, or just a change of scenery, I take a good breath and step back. I look at the work that I have done on the beautiful puzzle that is forming and I smile. I break for a while to clear my head and rest, and then I come back later to continue, curious to know what new insight I will bring with me.