THE JIGSAW THAT IS LIFE

While in primary school one of my punishments used to be to fix a jigsaw puzzle. I don’t mean the ones with big pieces I mean the type that had so many tiny pieces, by the time you were done the image created was big enough to pass for a big mosaic painting. The thing about a jigsaw puzzle, is the confusion at the beginning. Every piece is on its own, and you have to take your time to carefully put every piece together to create the image on the box, but there is no exact formula to fixing them. At times you start, then everything falls apart and you have to start again. Other times, you put the wrong pieces together, and you have to separate them because they are not a perfect fit.
I can’t remember the events that took place on the day of my birth.  if I was to  guess what I was thinking, I would say I wasn’t thinking much, I was probably crazy confused, but with time, I started put 1 and 2 together and I am still doing that to this day.
Now, for anyone who has ever tried to or successfully put a puzzle of over a thousand pieces together to form, say an image showing a stormy ocean, pieces of a wrecked ship with a light house in the distance, you know it isn’t an easy fit. When you are done you probably just want to frame it and never touch it again. If that is so hard, what say you about the jigsaw that is life, which has so much more than an infinite number of pieces to put together, not to mention that with it you are on a constant race with time? Every time you take a break is valuable time lost, time that cannot be recovered. Also no two of life’s jigsaws are similar. The only time you’ll try and recreate a picture is when you try to copy somebody else’s life.
                I always wondered why life isn’t straight forward, why can’t we make plans and they just work out? Questions, questions, questions. I don’t remember much of the early stages of my life, but I do know Learning to talk, walk, feed myself, eat solid food, were all pieces of life I had to put together to get to the next stage of my life. Let’s jump to the parts that I do remember, having to do everything I was told…and if I didn’t I was scolded. Learning to read and write . . . ok there’s just too much to mention. From the day we are brought into this world our lives have been planned out, ok I know I said life wasn’t straight forward at the onset of the paragraph. Let me explain, as confused as life might be there is a standard direction in which it is supposed to go. from time to time we had help, but the most important things like, talking, walking we had to figure out on our own, if we delayed it was question, questions again, so naturally we probably felt a sense of urgency to develop.
                Then we ourselves became fully aware of the direction our lives were supposed to travel. We were even able to create a desired image of our desired lives as individuals living in a vast yet small world. Now here’s where the mistake came in, we were given a formula. Remember earlier I mentioned a jigsaw has no particular formula to putting it together, what I failed to mention is that every jigsaw requires a different approach, as some are easier to complete than others and most, at times look very different from each other. In simple terms there is no one formula that applies to all puzzles. It is the same with us and our individual lives, we are all different and all have a different image of what we want our lives to look like.
                The formula to a great life, clearly stated for us, is school, do exams to determine how smart you are, then go to yet another school, then look for a job. These days it has become worse, we go to school while working, and then go to school some more, we even have people going to school their whole life. It might sound like am saying school is bad but let me clarify, school works for some and doesn’t work for others is what am saying. We all have a different approach to life, just like some of us when fixing a puzzle might want to start with the edges. Others might want to start with just one edge, some might want to start at the middle and others might want to start with a definite image etcetera.
My point is its high time we as individuals, both parents and children, realize that we cannot all achieve our goals using our neighbors method. Yes we can learn from each other and pick a few things here and there, but we are not the same. At the end of the day our individual approach to life will always be a tad different, no matter how little it might be, it is still a difference that cannot be ignored. We are our own persons as much as our lives might be connected in a way. Finally even the bible says this, not in these exact words of course but we will be judged and tried as individuals.
Now I’m calm, life isn’t meant to be easy, after all we have established that putting your life together is harder than putting a puzzle together. You know what is great about puzzles though is that when you try one method and you fail, you can always try again. It also allows you to take your time to carefully analyze it and figure out what way works for you. Life offers you the same, and confused as it is with all its pieces, ups and downs, you are allowed to make mistakes and correct them. You are allowed to use your own methods, you are allowed to think outside the box. We are all special in our own ways, the way we look, the way we think, our goals themselves and the systems we use to achieve them, are a few things that make us unique and special. Surviving, excelling at, defeating and enjoying the rigorous journey of putting together the pieces of the jigsaw that is life becomes possible, the moment we accept our individual uniqueness and stop trying so hard to be people we are not.
Yours truly.

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