So I got my learners permit when I was 16 years old, I waited until it was about to expire nearly ten years later to finally take my driving test. I guess I have a little bit of performance anxiety and driving in front of someone scared the daylights out of me. Needless to say, I passed and it wasn’t as bad as I expected. However, what I got in return was a perspective that I hadn’t anticipated. I often think about this encounter and how much it helped me along the way.
When I showed up to take the test, I was presented with my instructor, he was an older gentleman named Kenneth. He was one of those types of people made for the job, he could tell I was nervous and did everything he could to calm me down before the drive. After passing and while taking my photograph for my license he asked, so when are you getting married? I looked at my hand and remembered I was recently engaged, about 5 months in. I said I wasn’t sure yet and proceeded with my paper work. He then said to me, “can you do me a favor?” I kind of looked at him like he had seven heads and offered me a line. Shortly after my blank stare he said, “when you get home, I want you to find a puzzle, one with as many pieces as you can find, tiny little pieces and ask that young man to sit with you. If he gets frustrated and gives up then you know he may not be right for you. But, if he sits there patiently and takes his time to match the pieces and get the puzzle done, if he cares about all the details and intricacies of the puzzle, then that is how he will be with you. He should be patient, and know that what he has is nothing short of a masterpiece.” I smiled and said, “okay.” He gave me a lot to think about, I have always had an old soul, so when the older population speaks, I tend to listen.
Somewhere between arriving at home that afternoon and dinner, I looked at my fiancé and said, “hey, we should do a puzzle,” to which he responded, “ugh, I hate puzzles.” Five months later, we broke up. Although that wasn’t the reason our relationship ended, I did find truth in the words of the wiseman. That relationship wasn’t the right one for me, for many reasons. I have felt complicated for the majority of my life and although most times I talk myself into believing I am not, there are still moments when I can’t help but to feel like an irregular shaped piece trying to find my place on the wrong puzzle.
I have come to realize it is hard for me to operate in the unknowns, it’s extremely difficult actually. I guess that’s what makes me complicated, the need for information and reassurance. When I’m confident in a situation and know my place, no one can shake me. . .but not knowing makes me an anxious set of circumstances and I don’t know how to not be this way. I realize I have this need to talk things to death so that I can understand them but not everyone operates this way. People aren’t elements on a periodic table, their thoughts aren’t black and white. Things often lie in the grey and although there is nothing wrong with that, I suppose I’m having a hard time trying to keep my spot in the gray without overthinking things. I find that I am worried about coming across as complicated and feeling like the same puzzle I used to feel like. I have many questions yet I’m not prepared for the answers to said questions. I’m willing to figure things out in time but I can’t help but worry that I may become exhausting in my need to know way of being.