I’m Absolutely Puzzled!

I’ll admit, one of the best parts about being obsessed with puzzles is all the jokes and puns I get to make about them, much to everyone’s dismay. So, yes, I am a jigsaw puzzle addict. My addiction started back in 2009 when one afternoon, a former manager mentioned to me that she went home on her lunch break to work on her puzzle. She said it was almost like an obsession. My first thought was, “Whaaaaaaat?! You’re THAT into puzzles?!” Little did I know I would soon begin my own spiral into puzzle obsession.

Up until 6 years ago most of my interactions with puzzles were during childhood. The most important lesson I seemed to take away from puzzles then was that they were stupid, but also that the frame should be completed first.

Now I find puzzles relaxing. It’s a time to turn off my brain and focus on connecting the pieces. I’ve seriously sat for three to four hours at a time, absolutely mesmerized by a puzzle. Time just flies by. Not always, but sometimes.

Sure, I openly admit that puzzles are a pretty odd hobby. I mean, when I finish one, I just wreck it, throw it back into the original box and never look at it again. But you know what? I still like them anyway.

This is supposed to be fun.

My ultimate goal with blogging is not to always talk about blogging, but given that I post every day, I think about it a lot. Blogging often gives me anxiety. I came here today after a day off, excited to write a post about my love for puzzles. What stopped my joy was my analytics.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about blogging. I wrote my first ever blog post back in 2000 or so. I complained about these kids I had to babysit. I found it on the Wayback Machine and had a good laugh. I’ve been writing ever since then, with the majority of my posts actually being on LiveJournal. I started Those Graces/Road Darling in 2010, around the time bloggers started getting book deals and movies made about them.

This little thing I started doing on the Internet when I was 14 turned into a real profession. For a long time I thought I wanted to be A Full-Time Blogger, but when I quit my job a few years ago to try it, I found that I hated it. Turning my hobby into a job was a bad idea, so I went back to a “real” job.

Over the years I’ve met many women (and some men, too) who blog as a job or at least a steady income source. I’ve seen a lot of them worry about analytics and follower counts. From time to time I’ve told them, “You know this is supposed to be fun, right?” The way they worry doesn’t seem like fun. It looks like hell.

About two years ago, I deleted my blog for 6 months because I was just done with it. Ultimately I decided to un-delete my blog, and since then I haven’t tried to make it a job or even a source of income. When I find myself worrying, like today, about bounce rates and visits, I remind myself that THIS IS A HOBBY! I am choosing to do this over other things, because for whatever reason, I like it. I’ve kept a journal since I was 12-years-old, so maybe in a way I see myself more as a diarist that a blogger.

Friend Breakups Do Get Easier

Do friend breakups ever get easier? Jury’s still out, but I’m tempted to say yes. I wrote about my first ever friend breakup in in 2011. Honestly I don’t remember why this girl and I stopped being friends. At the time, I remember it all felt very dramatic. Even now, I’m not sure if I’d rekindle the friendship, but I like her well enough that I follow her on Instagram. Oh, modern technology, confusing everything.

Since then I had two other friend breakups that happened around the same time I split from my ex, so as you can probably imagine, it’s very easy to remember why those friendships ended. I’m currently going through what will probably become another friend breakup, but this time it’s over why I’m hurt by this person.

As I age, I realize that even though friend breakups do get easier, they are often more difficult than romantic breakups.

It wasn’t until this past year that I realized friend breakups are part of life. I came to this conclusion after watching many episodes of Wendy Williams, who has talked openly about losing friends. She’s a big believer in the fact that we all have a finite time in any given day and it shouldn’t be wasted on people who are bringing you pain. In Wendy’s world, she shows them the door, ride or die style.

Before I thought a lot about my friend breakups, but now they taken up less space in my mind. As I near 30, my bullshit detector has gotten better, and when it goes off, I listen to it. I think the toughest times in our lives reveal who’s a true friend. This is not to say someone is bad for not being a true friend. They just aren’t a friend and that’s that. It’s easy to be a good friend when times are easy, but easy times say nothing about who a person truly is at the end of the day.

I used to think friend breakups were the end of the world, but the truth is, they aren’t. One or two (or more) people exiting your life means there’s more time for other people to enter it. At the end of the day, we only have so much time and it’s just a numbers game of to spend it with.