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My Puzzle Pieces Don’t Define Me

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

By McKenna Leavens

One of the greatest gifts we are given in this life is the ability to reflect. Now, this is not an easy gift to use, reflecting can be painful but it is also detrimental to one’s healing process.

I will be 21 tomorrow, and in my short little 21 years of life, I have gotten into two major car accidents, got my heart broken twice, watched both of my parents fight through addiction, and unfortunately one of them didn’t quite make it.

Now, all of these things were out of my control. I didn’t get into my car hoping that I would crash it, I didn’t fall in love in hopes that I would soon fall out of it and I definitely did not think that I would ever live in a world where my dad didn’t.

But all of these things happened to me, they are pieces of my unfinished puzzle that I haven’t quite figured out how to put together yet.

Also in my 21 years of life, I got into one of the top journalism schools in the country, I continue to be on the dean’s list each semester, I have started to write a book and I have healed from things that I never thought I would get over. 

These are the other pieces of my puzzle and one day my puzzle will be all put together, combined with the trauma and the accomplishments.

My point is the things that happen to us are just pieces in our lives, they don’t make up the whole puzzle they are just a part.

We can look at those pieces and reflect on them, wondering where they should fit and what other pieces from our puzzle match. 

This life is not promised to anyone, the world doesn’t owe you anything but the world did give you a gift. It gave you the gift of looking back at the awful things that have happened to you and knowing that they don’t define you.

We are all doing the best we can with what we know. I truly believe that. You get to put your own puzzle together, you get to solve it.

There are many things that we have absolutely no control over, but the one thing we do have control over is how we put ourselves back together after we fall apart.

The important thing is that we do put ourselves back together. We try, that’s all we can do is try and reflect and take the gift the universe gave you. 


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