This story is about a puzzle, and the pieces that make up the puzzle. Funny little things those pieces are, fitting perfectly into place to make such a large picture. There are many different groups of pieces. I want to tell you about this group of puzzle pieces that’s different but still fits in the exact same spots as everyone else. These puzzle pieces might be an edge piece, a corner piece or that quintessential middle piece that finishes the puzzle and creates the image. What is sad though is that none of the puzzle pieces can see the beautiful picture they make, for they are puzzle pieces, their job is to be puzzle pieces and take care of their specific part of the puzzle however large or small it may be.
What’s unique about the puzzles pieces I’m talking about is that they can influence other puzzle pieces, just by existing, and the choices that are made by a piece may end up influencing their role in the picture. Now that may sound good or bad depending upon what piece we’re talking about, but I think the important part to focus on is that they never leave the puzzle, they only change the area surrounding themselves. No matter how jagged or smooth the edges that piece has it never leaves the puzzle, and that feeling of being an outcast that certain pieces feel, is only an internal issue, because the puzzle cannot outcast pieces that are needed to make up its picture. That is the goal of the puzzle to be complete, and nothing gets in the way of that goal.
Now before anyone thinks that what I meant to say was that it is wrong for a piece to feel outcasted I want to clear that up. It is not wrong for a piece to want to feel outcasted, in fact a piece feeling outcasted can change the picture if enough pieces feeling outcasted decide to join in a concerted effort to change that feeling through whatever means they need to. Those means can be many things sometimes pieces can feel less outcasted by finding pieces whose shapes are like themselves. Sometimes a corner needs to find a piece smack dab in the middle of the puzzle to learn about themselves to grow and no longer feel outcasted. Sometimes though it is internal to a piece, and nothing can be done externally other than listening to that piece and helping them know they are not alone. Those pieces have tragic stories in the puzzle. No piece may be able to affect their feelings.
If I was told those pieces had a personality beneath that shell of spikes, I would be skeptical. Yet I am one of those pieces. I belong, I can be whomever I want to be, and my piece has spikes, jagged edges, and rounded edges. I can sand them or choose to bolster their power to stab. Only I have that power, no matter how difficult it seems to be.
To me reclassifying life as a puzzle and everyone as pieces has been an empowering feeling because it means that everyone has a place. It also gives me a reason to keep trying even in the face of failure. Anyone can be thrown away and restarted a million times. In my mind, only when something is made whole even after breaking, can it be truly enjoyed for its beautiful nature. The break does not have to exist, or it can exist, but neither piece has to be broken forever.