I am starting to think that humans are a lot like a ball of yarn. This either means I have had too many canned peaches in the last month, or I am on to something. Definitely the former, but maybe the latter, as well. We’ll see.

What makes you, you? Many things, right?

Picture a ball of yarn. That is us.

What started out so simple, is now a complex, layered being. Everything that makes us who we are is right there, all wrapped into one.

Now pull the loose end. That is also us.

Constantly pulled in every direction, undoing everything we knew and exploring everything we never did.

Sometimes, we give pieces of ourselves away and live on somewhere else. Sometimes, we venture off and come back to wrap ourselves in a different way.

And sometimes, we are a ball of yarn that gets kicked down the stairs and pulled around the house until we are wrapped around every table leg.

That is when we find ourselves completely unravelled.

At times during this pandemic, I have felt that way. Just an unravelled ball of yarn, trying to make itself whole again.

I know a lot of people are feeling the same way.

Everyone has something. Those three words have echoed in my head for the last few days and were my initial inspiration for this post.

In actuality, it should probably be four words: Everyone has many somethings.

What I mean by that is, we are all missing aspects of ourselves in this time of social distancing and staying home. Some of the things that make us who we are have not been apart of us for the last month.

Everyone has fewer somethings, right now.

There are so many nouns with which we cannot associate with. We can’t live with it; we can’t live without it. And as I said before, sometimes we give ourselves away.

You know where this is going.

We are stuck in a U2 song, basically. This is payback for the time people got mad that U2 uploaded their new album to everyone’s phone.

This is no secret, but I have felt completely lost without sports. They gave me so much purpose, joy, and comfort. For 28 years, they gave me an identity. And now they’ve been taken away like Charles Barkley’s skills in Space Jam.

While I can still consume sports in some capacity, it just feels like I’m a kid who got a Happy Meal, but they forgot to include the toy. The epitome of a sarcastic, whoop-de-doo.

It is a daily confrontation of, “If I can’t be this, then what am I?

This feeling is eerily similar to how I felt when I graduated from university. So much of my identity was linked to the people, the place, and the things. Who was I without all that? How do I fill the empty space?

If I am not a ball of yarn, then I am just yarn.

Maybe it is in these times of feeling unravelled, when I’ll surprise myself and discover something I never knew was there. I am not sure what that is yet.

Water polo in the bathtub? Somehow, this was the first idea that came to mind.

If I do find something new, when this pandemic is over and I am (almost) whole again, perhaps I’ll be able to bring these new interests, or skills, with me and can point to them and say, “they make me who I am.”

Am I being overly-optimistic, or did I just crack the code to the meaning of life?

The idea that, if you feel like the world is taking something away from your life and forcing you to replace the emptiness – it is not. It is, merely, creating more space so you can add to what is already there.

I do not know where this rush of self-proclaimed wisdom is coming from, so please do not let what I am saying come across as preachy because I am just discovering this stuff myself as I type it. Who is even controlling my fingers right now?

Today is Friday, but it does not feel like Friday because even the days of the week feel unravelled.

Just like me.

Just like a ball of yarn.

Yeah, it’s time to lay off the canned peaches.

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20 Responses to Unravelled

  1. darthtimon says:

    Definitely empathising. Being unable to go to work feels like a piece of me unravelling – and on sports, I feel your pain. Liverpool should be champions by now, and Formula 1 should be well underway.

    These are strange, weird times, and the world might just be a bit different at the end of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gigglingfattie says:

    I think you’re on to something here. And I think that it’s true this pandemic is unraveling our lives in ways that we never though possible. But it does also mean that we will wrap ourselves up in a new way to make us a nice tidy ball of yarn again! As someone who knit, let me throw in another layer to your analogy: when you buy yarn, it’s already wrapped up in its own little way. You get the end you need and use what you need but then it’s usually a weird shape and not really “together” anymore. So you roll it up right again and then it has a new shape and a new purpose and can be easily enjoyed again when making something new. This is just your re-wrapping phase into a new ball. 🧶

    Ps: your story on my blog is being posted today!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Ok you just explained my analogy so much better than I did! I sat here for a long time trying to figure out how to word what I wanted to say. I should’ve just asked you! That ball of yarn emoji is very cool.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gigglingfattie says:

        Aww!! Im stuck between an apology for doing it better (dang my Canadianness) and saying thank you for appreciating the analogy 😂 and the ball of yarn is very cool!! 🧶

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this!
    Everyone has many somethings.
    Its beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dutch Lion says:

    Well done Paul. I’m with you man. It sounds like you’re performing self-therapy, and it sounds like it’s working. Hang in there friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you. I love this metaphor. A ball of yarn may be unraveled. It’s fibers are still woven interwoven together. It might not be a ball, but it’s still yarn. And really, a ball of yarn is okay. The potential of what it can become once a skilled knitter unravels it and transforms the ball into something else is magnificent. Even though I feel frayed and unraveled, I’m excited about how I will be transformed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Belladonna says:

    This pandemic is leaving us with a lot of time to THINK! This was great but poor Charles Barkley. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: The week gone by — April 12 – A Silly Place

  8. It’s interesting that you brought up college and the loss you felt when you left. Yesterday I sent one of my closest college friends a picture I found back in the day. That was my whole world and I never thought it would end. When it did I somehow found a way to survive and grow.

    We’re all survivors in some way. Some of it is instinct and some of it is taught. We’ll survive and grow the same way you and I survived leaving the comforts of college. I’m hoping we appreciate things a little more. Be a little happier and hopefully stop ourselves when we want to blame others. .

    Good stuff as always.

    PS – I miss sports too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Those years really felt like I was in a different world and when they ended, it’s like, “Okay, you must return to the real world now.”

      The experience really made me appreciate the little moments that pass too quickly. Thank you for your words of wisdom, as always. Here’s hoping sports come back soon.


  9. mydangblog says:

    I actually found myself feeling randomly irritated on Friday, mostly because I’m just so damn tired of virtual meetings, but then I remembered that I’m lucky to even have a job, and then I drank some/a lot of wine, and I felt better. If only the weather was a little nicer and we could open the windows and get some fresh air!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      It’s deifnitely a fine line to cross between being frustrated by the situation and being thankful that we’re okay. When this is over, we’ll have a greater appreciate for everything, even poor weather (maybe, lol)

      Liked by 1 person

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