I remember since the age of 5 I have had an obsession with puzzles. The intriguing shape of the little pieces had always fascinated me and kept me focused. For my sixteenth birthday, my mom got me a 1,500-piece puzzle with the picture of a hundred classic films and movie icons on it. Now 1,500 pieces may not sound like much, and even just looking at them doesn’t seem like a lot, but once you begin to go through every single piece and try to find each one a partner, it becomes overwhelming. Taking one puzzle piece out of the 1,500 and finding another one to match it exactly takes a lot of time and concentration, but once I do find the perfect pair, a feeling of exhilaration overcomes me. This feeling of accomplishment is what drives me to keep going. That feeling is similar to what I experience when I resolve a conflict in my life. During that year and the ones following it, many changes in my life took place. I wouldn’t say that I was “finding myself” because in order to find oneself, one must be lost in the first place and I was not lost, but rather hidden. At times in my life, situations didn’t feel right, almost out of place like a puzzle piece. I was uncovering pieces of my life, trying to put them together, and then stepping back to look at the big picture. When it came to puzzles, the first two pieces I tried to put together never fit, so I just kept trying until I found the right piece. My puzzles helped me learn that things will not always work out right away, but if I’m consistent enough and try out new things, I will find a place where I belong. I’ve gone through many mismatched pieces but I have always remembered that when something begins to seem overpowering, take it one piece at a time and eventually all the pieces will come together and form a large, beautiful picture. My life is like a puzzle in the sense that it is challenging and everyday I’m uncovering new pieces of myself, fastening them together, and learning that although there may be some missing aspects in my life, they will one day be discovered and place in the correct spot, even if it takes more than one try.