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The Missing Piece

It was missing a piece and it was not happy. So it set off in search of its missing piece.

My apologies if I haven't posted in a while! Life did what it does best and, uh, a lot of things happened within the past few months or so. As much as I want to talk about what happened, this post won't be about that. Instead, in an attempt to do something different, I'll review a book I recently read! The title of the book is The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein and, yes, for today, I will be reviewing a children's book.

I came across this book in... an unlikely place. The specifics of it aren't that important, but I was very surprised and intrigued upon hearing the general plot of this book. Spoilers are up ahead so if you want to go check it out first (it's a short read, this post has way more words than the book) then pause now and continue later. Good? Here's the full story on YouTube.

The Story

The Missing Piece is a story about a circle that's, well, missing a piece. Because it's missing a piece, it feels unhappy. It thought that, by looking for the missing piece, it would be complete and thus it would have no reason to feel unhappy anymore. So it went on a journey in search for the missing piece.

The story shows the different stuff that "the incomplete circle" did while alone. It talked to a worm, smelled flowers, passed a beetle, and its most precious time was when it watched a butterfly land on it. It also continued its journey across oceans, past swamps and jungles, and up and down mountains.

One day, it found a piece. It was just a piece. It didn't care if that piece had fit the circle, it was just surprised at the thought of seeing a piece. It was ecstatic and it thought it had found its missing piece. But the piece wasn't happy about it at all. They said that they were nobody's piece, that they belonged to no one. They were their own piece.

Disappointed, the circle had decided to leave the piece alone and apologize. It quickly found other pieces, but they didn't fit very well. One was too small, another, too big, one too sharp, and one too square. But then, it found a piece that did fit. This piece had fit the circle properly, and it seemed complete. But it didn't hold on tight enough to the piece and eventually lost it. It found another perfect match, but held on too tightly, and broke the piece.

Regardless of the events before, it pushed on. It continued having adventures and various escapades. It fell into holes, hit stone walls, and etc. Until, of course, it met this one last piece.

It asked if this piece was somebody else's piece and they said no. It asked if they were their own piece and they said that they could be someone else's and still be their own. It asked if they maybe didn't want to be their piece and they said that maybe they do. So, it wondered one last time if they do fit each other and much to the circle's surprise...

They both had fit each other properly and it seems that all was right in the world. Because the circle was now complete, it could roll much faster now.

It rolled so fast, it couldn't stop to talk to a worm, nor smell a flower, and it was too fast for a butterfly to land on it. Still, it could sing the song it always had sung to itself, so it was not all bad. It tried singing but, since their mouth was full, it couldn't sing properly at all. It realized something and said "Aha! So that's how it is!" Upon realizing this, it stopped rolling, set the piece down by itself gently, and

As it was rolling away, it sang to itself in a happy and upbeat manner. Since it was by itself now, it can do things on its own freely again and, in the end, the circle experiences their most precious time once again.

The end.

My Take on the Story

It's strikingly obvious what the plot means and the moral of the story is extremely clear if you've read the entire book. Of course, the story is about the nature of happiness, interpersonal relationships, and independence. The main character, the incomplete circle, feels unhappy because they are incomplete, leading them to think that if they find their missing piece, they will be completely happy. In reality, this is far from the truth, as finding something "that fills the hole in your heart" doesn't usually work. It also raises the notion that "if we ever do find the thing that fills the void in us, would that make us truly happy?" Look, there are a lot of sites that can explain the intricacies of the plot better than I ever could, so I guess I'll stop there and talk about how this story fits into my life and viewpoint.

When I was in my early teens, I really wanted to have a girlfriend. I didn't really care who it was, I just thought that having a girlfriend would be cool. It was a thought at a time of early adolescence, so I had a lot of angst within me at the time and I really thought that "having a girlfriend" would magically make those problems go away. I was so eager to have a girlfriend at the time that I basically listed down every female friend I had and wondered about my chances with them, without realizing the problem having a relationship entails.

My story didn't fully turn out like the one in the story. I did find pieces, sure, but I just crushed most of them. I thought that my best friend was my missing piece and I held on to them quite hard until I broke them; rather, my friendship with them.

I never did find my missing piece in the end, nor did I ever find one that wanted to fit me. Even until now, I'm still a kissless (handhold-less, girlfriend-less, uh, romance-less) virgin, but I've been thinking a lot recently.

I've been single for most of my life and I've just grown accustomed to being happy by myself. Years ago, I'd be super pissed at the idea of going to a mall by myself, envying the couples who held hands or passed by. But now, I'm just... happy I could go do things on my own. I move to my own rhythm, I can quicken up my pace or slow it down whenever I want to, and I can just, well, be my own best friend.

Truth is, I'm not really looking for my missing piece anymore. I've simply given up on looking.

Other more pressing matters tend to fill my mind now, and they often give me a good kick to keep me going by myself. Still, that doesn't mean that I'll deny myself of romance forever, I'm just simply happy being by myself now. I'm not sad or mopey about my single status anymore and I've come to slowly realize that I can be happy without someone else. (I've also stopped that stupid habit of thinking that I could be more than friends with most girls I meet.) It's great and all, learning that lesson, but there is one other thing.

I'm just simply too broken to have a relationship, haha! I'm very moody and easily gloomy compared to other guys. I'm not that high-standard anyway, I don't have many (or any) of those "desirable traits" people find attractive. I guess that I've developed this intense feeling self-depreciation to deal with it all. Deep down, I've started to believe that I'm, well, unlovable, that I'm not deserving of someone else's understanding or care, and that I'll just screw it up.

Still, that's not to say that I don't fantasize about romantic stuff. I sometimes think of a good relationship and even a married life with some of my best friends or some pretty girl I meet, but that's all it is really—a fleeting thought. I just say to myself "they'll find someone one day that'll truly make them happy, someone actually complete" in a bid to reassure myself, for some reason. It's a weird and convoluted way of thinking, I know.

In the end, so many pieces fell out of my head, all of which were mine to begin with, a long time ago. Sadly, the most important part that fell out was the part of me that allowed me to think that someone else could still love a person like me. I know that there are people in this world that love me, even if they don't say it, but, deep inside, there's still that new part of me saying that I don't deserve it all.

This was intended to be a happy post, with nothing but happy thoughts, but that part of me keeps rearing its head. I do apologize if you had to see it. Still, I'm happy to be alone, I've grown accustomed to it now. I just wanted to share that you don't really need someone else to feel completely happy.

Well, most of the time, anyway :)

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