I have been hiding something from you guys… I am a closet nerd.
And I’ve noticed a puzzling pattern when it comes to me being on my own.
The first time it happened, I had just moved to the big city on my own. I’d never left my home town before, but I had accepted a work transfer and figured it would be the adventure of a lifetime.
It was, until I realized I had zero friends, and my social anxiety confined me to my little apartment. There was no adventure. That’s when it happened.
I started to do puzzles.
Not, not online brain-game puzzles. I mean grandma jigsaw puzzles.
It’s socially unacceptable for a 26 year old to spend her days doing a puzzle. But I did, and I loved it.
When I moved back to my hometown a few years later, there I was. Back in my own city where I had tons of friends, and promises of a full social life once again. But I quickly realized that things had changed drastically and my friends we now more involved in their own lives, which included spouses and children. I was still kind of on my own.
So I turned to puzzles once more. Gave up my kitchen table for weeks, binged watched girly movies, and puzzled like a maniac.
There’s just something so satisfying about sorting everything out, making sense of things. clicking those pieces together, and building a bigger picture.
Yesterday, Boyfriend insisted that I leave the house, since I’d been hermitting for 4 or 5 days straight. I took a walk to a Starbucks where I read a book for a while, and then made my way to the supermarket to pick up a few grocery items. While I was there, I found a 2,000 piece puzzle and bought it on the spot.
Now, our dining room table is booked for the next couple of weeks.
I aways start the same way. I start with some basic framework. I find the edge pieces and build the perimeter, then organize the pieces by colour. Then I start small: I don’t try to take on the whole blue sky; that’s overwhelming. No, I start with something that stands out to me, where the colour patterns obviously stand out. One little animal, or a house, or a fence. Something little that gets my head into it, and assures me that I’m making progress, and moving forward. Otherwise, I’d probably just get incredibly frustrated at the process, not get anywhere, and probably dump the entire table on its side at some point.
Oh heyyyy that sounds like a great metaphor for tackling anxietyyyyyy.
It’s true, though. The photo above is a pretty good picture of my state of mine right now. I’ve begun with a little framework, and I’m slowly starting to sort things out. Maybe try tackling one small problem, see how it goes, and feel good about being successful.
I am a work in progress.
I’m not trying to solve all of my anxiety issues at once. I don’t want to get overly frustrated and throw in the towel. I just want to make steady progress, and take things day by day.
Eventually, I think I will get a handle on this stuff.
But meanwhile, I will just bask in my nerd glory and do my puzzle today.