The last time I made a move this significant, I was 14. It was against my will, the housing market crashed, and we lost everything. I lost my belongings, my house, and my home state. No more sand between toes, no more waves to ride into shore, and no more salty air that to this day I swear cures most ailments. One of the most bittersweet memories I have is my final day with my friends. It was back when Guitar Hero and Rock Band were big, and we all played together in the living room. Our final song was Creep by Radiohead, and I still feel an ache when I hear it to this day. We sang together, the song died out, and I walked home alone. That walk home severed any ties I had to those people, and once again loneliness settled in. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about who I would have been if I could have stayed. What would my life look like? Would I have been happy? It’s irrelevant because it wasn’t meant to be.

I think I finally understand why I’ve felt completely and utterly alone my entire life. Here’s the thing though: I love being alone. I thrive, I groove, I vibe. I’m just me doing me and it’s a state of contentment people rarely experience. That being said, I despise being lonely. The tornado of chaos in my head swirls at alarming speeds when I’m left alone with my thoughts, so I avoid silence like the plague. I’ve always felt incredibly lonely and I don’t anticipate that ever changing. I think most are born into the world with a big picture over their heads, and they themselves are one piece of said puzzle. They can’t see the big picture. They can’t even comprehend how their story is going to unfold, but they pick up pieces along the way in hopes of reaching their final destination.

I think I was born with a completed picture and no pieces left to collect. Matter of fact, the longer I’m out here, the more pieces I lose. My puzzle doesn’t fit with the majority, as if my picture was yanked out of the bottom of the bargain bin at a dollar store. As I’ve aged, I’ve been assigned descriptions and labels that I’ve internalized because that’s what everyone does. “Dominant, independent, aloof, critical, aggressive, strange, unusual.” It fit the narrative those around me had crafted. If the black nail polish isn’t black enough, apply a second coat. Every internal thought I have about myself has been shaped by the labels I picked up along the way, leaving me even more alone than before. I don’t think those things are true anymore. I’m fine. I’m just fine, albeit my lifetime soundtrack is a tad different from yours. That’s okay, as we don’t all like the same music. As life has gone on, I’ve lost puzzle pieces. Some of the edges have become torn or frayed, and you can’t even make out the picture on some sections. I think you’re supposed to pick up more as time goes on, but someone forgot to give me those instructions at birth.

My only want left is to find my place. My haven, my home. Tucson has been my home for a decade, yet tragically it can never be what it was before. I use to feel the connections that tethered me there, and I ached to return whenever I left. I drove aimlessly around town as if I had never been there, or as if it never belonged to me. I know this town, but I’m an outsider. This move costed me everything. I thought I didn’t have anything left to lose, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I had no choice though, I can put that burden down. If I’m meant to wander alone forever, I at least have to try and find a little hole in the world where I fit. Even if I try and fail, at least I’ll be surrounded by beauty again. That will have to be enough for the girl with too many puzzle pieces.


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