This I Believe: A Piece of a Puzzle


Source >> Please refer to references (first one)

Experiences are the stones beneath a stream; lines of a sketch; pieces of a puzzle; the threads of identity. That is what I believe in.

One of these puzzle pieces, for me, was just an accident; a mere fight between children that led to a measly amount of blood leaking from my eyes. My mother ended up brushing off. Months pass, and I’d look into the sunlight with tears leaking out instead of blood. I’d have my pictures taken with my eyes closed because I couldn’t handle the flash. Why were my eyes so sensitive? Different doctors kept saying the same thing:

“It will pass.”

And thus, another year passes before the truth is revealed – there was a scar tissue on my eye’s cornea, most likely from that mere fight between children that I had before I even entered school. One cornea transplant and laser eye correction later, I was diagnosed with what’s called a lazy eye; my brain no longer uses my left eye and focuses on controlling my right eye to see… It was an adaptation of some kind. The doctor said that the only issue I will have is in perceiving distance, especially when driving at night.

“It will pass”, they once said.

Now, here I am – fully unaware of how much distance is in between two people’s hearts; two people’s perspectives; two people’s beliefs. Here I am – talking less, observing more, simply passing by. It was as if by looking harder, I can make up for the loss of my left eye. I listen and pass by, pretending that I am driving in the dark (just as they said I couldn’t) on a stretch of blacktop, a meandering arm of mortar and macadam, illuminated by the pale ivory of a one unseeing moon, and a tired eye. Dilating and contracting. But still, I will see and I will pass by, driving endlessly, headlights picking holes in shadows, navigating around words, with a suitcase in hand, stuffed with expectations and drama and tears, barely patched together with shriveled bright stickers. Names of people, of feelings. Loss. Joy. Sorrow. Fatigue.

I am just passing by.

Perhaps on that fateful day, when the blood leaked from my eye, it dripped and funneled down through the cracks of the asphalt road. It was soaked into the dark and silent earth below –  wildflowers grow from it. And they peer, fragile and new, rooted between the cracks. Always observing, always listening, always contorting in chilly winds, wilting in withering heats and curling up in stinging snow storms. It extrudes, expands, winces, and shrivels back into itself, only to expand once more, travelling forward as if along a leaf, avid for vision; travelling forward as if it was just passing by. But I believe that no matter how much you drive forward, roots are roots, and identity is threaded together by it. After all, experience is but a mere puzzle piece; both small and big at the same time. You can’t leave it behind.

They told me it would pass, but what if it doesn’t?

Source >> Please refer to references (second one)


Dooley, Kevin. Puzzle. Digital image. Flicker, 29 June 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2015. <>.

Bouyssou, Anne Marie. Puzzle Ou Jeux De Patience… Digital image. Flicker, 19 Dec. 2007. Web. 15 Sept. 2015. <://>.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

16 thoughts on “This I Believe: A Piece of a Puzzle

  1. Dear Queeny,

    I am on the verge of tears. Wow. This moved me. Your piece is honestly so elegantly written, so elegantly intertwined with a combination of your thoughts and your story. I am upset that you had a negative experience even before you were old enough to go to school; I am empowered that you chose to say you believe experiences are the “threads of identity.”

    I feel like your strongest asset in this post was definitely your ability to make it flow and exemplify pathos. Every time you said “it will pass,” my heart ached. When you said “I am just passing by,” I actually felt my face contort with sadness.

    In terms of improvement, I couldn’t find anything for you to better except to continue to write. You have a skill that is just to die for.

    Lastly, you said, “after all, experience is but a mere puzzle piece; both small and big at the same time. You can’t leave it behind.” I see this is a flawless definition of an individual’s identity: a puzzle attached to you with experiences as pieces both big and small. I hope I have the boldness to adopt this point-of-view as something I believe as well.

    With love,

    1. Dear Ayisha:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my writing, as well as for showing your reaction to it; it makes the wavering hesitance I felt when posting this piece a lot more steady.

      Honestly, thank you.



  2. Dear Queeny,

    This piece of work is beautifully written and woven, and it truly acts as a representation of your personality. I have always appreciated and admired your ability to sit back, to listen, to observe the passing of life around you. And when you feel it is the right time, you speak up, and your words are obviously full of such thought and meaning so that no sentence, or word, or syllable is spoken without purpose.

    To read about this from such an open and vulnerable perspective was truly enlightening. To associate the passing of life around us, and how our identity is a fixed point in our life shaped by our thoughts and experiences, with a piece of a puzzle was ingenious and the fluidity of, to put it simply, your being was shown thoroughly through out this piece.

    I have reread this piece over at least 5 times while trying to complete this comment. I could write more – I could possibly analyze and dissect this for hours – but inspiration from your post has driven me from this decision.

    Because this comment is a small part of the puzzle-piece that is this post. This post, this blog, is a part of our classroom, of our writing, of our thoughts, of our inner-most fears, of our highest hopes, of the essence that shapes us as individuals. And some puzzles will be left unfinished. And that is alright.

    Thank you for this gorgeous piece of work.


    1. Dear Claire:

      Thank you for creating a comment that actually sounds more beautiful that the post itself. When you mentioned the relationship between “the passing of life around us, and “how our identity is a fixed point in our life shaped by our thoughts and experiences”, my heart skipped a beat. It means everything to me that someone understood the the contrast I tried creating between static and dynamic movement. Thank you.
      The fact that you took the time to share your interpretation of my writing (Can we just take a moment to appreciate the beauty of your last two lines?) makes me feel as though you understand my writing better than I do.
      And that is perfectly alright.

      Again, thank you.



    1. I smiled as soon as I received an email that you had commented. That smile then grew from ear to ear when I read it. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post; I don’t know how I can express what it means to me.
      Thank you, love you, and miss you!

  3. Hello, I am Lucas form Mr. Avelar’s English 10 Honours class at the International School of Panama. I am truly in aw at your elegant writing and diction. It is truly a moving story, your struggle throughout your life, your every day fight and what is to come, brought tears to my eyes. The way yo use the expression “It will pass”, it truly emphasizes your message about going thru life by not addressing your issues, and just letting it pass.

    1. Hi Lucas,

      Thank you so much for your kind comment in regards to my piece; the fact that a complete stranger took the time out of their day to read my writing brightened my day to an extent you may not even realize. It is a complete honour.

      Once again, thank you!



  4. Hello, I’m Juliana Tupper and I attend the International School of Panama. I’m currently a sophomore and I take Mr. Avelar’s English 10 Honours class. Your personal narrative was exceptionally emotive and wonderful. Your writing is graceful and it insinuates a vast perception on effective diction.

    1. Hi Juliana,

      Thank you for your lovely comments; diction was definitely an element I paid attention to, so your noticing of it has made me sigh in relief! I cannot thank you enough!



  5. Dear Queeny,

    There are no words to describe how I am feeling at this moment. The fact that this piece has found a way to my heart is a huge deal. You are an incredible writer and I wouldn’t mind reading more pieces in the near future.

    I do not have any advice to give you at the moment as it was an outstanding piece.

    Mr. Avelar is currently pressuring us into writing faster, so I must bid you goodbye. 🙂

    Too bad though…I would have loved to write more.

    Have a nice day!
    – Mely

    1. Dear Melanie:

      It is an extremely, extremely, humbling experience to hear your response to my piece; thank you for taking time out of your day to read my writing, out of all people. My heart soared as I read your comment.
      I would love to hear more from you as well (:

      I hope you have a nice day as well!



  6. Dear Queeny,
    Hello, I’m Sully from the International School of Panama and I’m in Mr. Avelar’s English 10 Honours class. This personal essay was simply incredible. I was on the verge of tears as I read this story. The thing that had me feel the most was the repeated phrase “it will pass”. I thank you for writing this amazing piece that I have enjoyed so much.

    1. Dear Sully:

      Thank YOU for reading my piece. The fact that you were on the verge of tears almost left me at the verge of tears as well. I thank you for taking the time to understand the message conveyed in my writing and for leaving behind a considerate comment.

      I am truly and honestly grateful.



  7. Dear Queeny,
    Hello! I am Dixie from the International School of Panama, and I am in Mr. Avelar’s English 10 Honours class.
    Your writing is absolutely ravishing. I wish there was more of your work that I could read! I love how you have included motif in such a short piece – it gives off a sort of poetic vibe that really ties the whole piece together.
    My favourite part of your piece was the first two sentences in the last full paragraph. I’m not sure why, but it left me in awe. The image it painted in my mind looks like a truly iconic movie scene.
    If you don’t mind my asking, do you regret having gotten into that fight? Do you feel that your life would be drastically different if your eye hadn’t been injured?
    Best of luck!

    1. Dear Dixie:

      Thank you so, so much for not only taking the time to read my piece, but also for leaving such a thoughtful comment; it is people such as yourself that motivate me to continue blogging.
      In response to your question, there is no doubt that I have thought about it lot. Would my life have been different without it? I can’t say for sure. If I had a choice, of course I would choose for that accident to not happen, but the fact is, it did. And there is nothing I can do to change it. Rather, I want to believe that because of it, I now have the opportunity to write about it and connect with students from an entirely different country, such as yourself. And for that, I am grateful.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *