The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.


Moving is a great teacher. Sometimes it teaches you with general unpleasantness, but that’s ok. And perhaps my opinion is biased by my past of being an Army Brat and moving once every few years – so I’ve grown to like moving. Who knows?

This most recent move from Texas to Colorado made me realize something that I hadn’t before. People are like the game Jenga. When I thought of this analogy I thought it was profound, so I told someone and they said, “yeah, ok.” Perhaps it’s not so profound as I thought – but sometimes you need a blog post and so you go ahead and post about your mildly profound thoughts.

Here we go – people are like Jenga. We are composed of these blocks that are our friends, our family, our hobbies, our work, our own accomplishments, and even our stuff.

Moving is a great way to realize what your tower is composed of. This move took me physically away from a good job and a great set of friends and family, and a tolerable apartment. At work I was a known person, and I believe I was liked and people thought I was ok, and I took a fair amount of pride in that.

Now I am an unknown person at work and I need to work hard to establish myself as someone who is smart and can get things done. That’s fine, it’s good to force yourself into challenges.

Growing up I think my family was at the core of my own personal Jenga tower. And my toys and video games were probably a fairly major block as well. A move was disruptive, sure, but I still had my family (most importantly) and myself. As I’ve gotten older the tower is a little more complex now. My family is not one big block but quite a few smaller blocks with each member of my family being their own block, my in-laws involved, my friends are each blocks, my work is a fair-sized block, my home, etc, etc, etc.

jenga_distortedMoving caused a little disruption of the tower and when my wife and I got here, by necessity, each of us was a pretty darn big block for the other. And our home and our satisfaction with our surroundings became blocks too. We still have our friends and family, of course, but the distance changes things a bit.

To assist ourselves my wife and I have both picked up hobbies. This was a ‘trick’ my parents forced on my siblings and I, we always had to be signed up for after school stuff, usually at least a sport. New blocks come flying in and soon your tumbled tower is reassembled. When I was younger, because my family was so important, it only meant the top of the tower had fallen but the core of the tower had stayed intact, which made moving easier.

Now I have learned that work has become pretty important to me, and my tower took a bit of a hit when we moved (and ditto for my wife). But we’ve managed to start re-stacking the pieces, and introducing new blocks into our lives. It’s certainly a process.

What’s the lesson in all this? I suppose it’s that it’s good to have your personal tower composed of immutable things (or as immutable as possible). Hobbies that can go with you like reading or workout out, people, your own sense of self, and yes work is fine – but just be prepared to experience some growing pains when that changes!

Ok, toodles all. Take care to learn your tower and nurture it with strong blocks at the foundation, eh?


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