A jigsaw analogy taught to a seven year-old Daniel by his father is being re-evaluated by a 28 year-old Daniel who knows better. He shares his treasures – life lessons and perfectly timed profanity – with the world.
Spolier Alert: If you are planning to watch Jigsaw by Daniel Sloss, I’d recommend you not to read this article.
Daniel Sloss may be a comedian but he is sure to throw brutal truths and life lessons right at your face, in the middle of his bits. And it almost seems like his Netflix specials were made for no other purpose.
He has released two specials until now named Dark and Jigsaw. The second one focuses on what he calls the ‘Jigsaw Analogy’ that his father taught him when he was seven years-old. That analogy, which is centered around the truth of relationships, has made 14000+ people break up, got 60 engagements cancelled and was the reason for 65 divorces. He says “I can’t break up true love. I’ve asked you questions that you might be terrified of answering. ”
He began the routine in which he introduces this analogy to the audience by blatantly saying that life is meaningless. However, that does not mean that your life, or any other individual’s life is meaningless. He says your life can have a meaning but he strongly recommends giving it more than one meaning. It is so because he believes that having one core, intrinsic meaning to one’s life can be really damaging especially if one picked it up as a naive child.
When Daniel was seven, he asked his father, “What’s the meaning of life? Why are we all here?”
His dad tried to explain it to him with the use of the Jigsaw Analogy that would stay with Daniel all his life. He said that every life is a jigsaw puzzle and everyone is slowly piecing it together with experience and lessons that they’ve learned, for creating the best possible picture. There is one problem, though. We all have lost the boxes of our jigsaws. So we don’t know the image. We’re just confidently guessing.
So when we don’t know the image, we obviously start from the outside-the 4 corners-which is family, friends, hobbies and a job. Now, you may lose friends, or your hobbies and your job may not be able to co-exist or one of your family member may die. So, you move the puzzle pieces about a bit. You have got to fill those voids so that you’re not incomplete forever.
So Daniel loved jigsaws and he understood the analogy well. However, he questioned what is the middle piece that we are all working towards.
His dad told him that “it’s your partner who completes you and makes your whole”, like his mom did for his dad. How that translated into our little Daniel’s mind is that if you’re not with someone, you’re incomplete.
We have made all children feel that way-as a society-at least in last 40 years through movies, shows and fairy tales. He says that the society has made divorce a taboo because every relationship on the outside is perfect and “none of us are ready to admit we don’t know what we are doing.”
So when we are trying to be adults, we are so terrified. We take the wrong jigsaw piece, our “better halves” or love interests, and just jam them into our jigsaws anyway. We move other pieces away like hobbies to make the wrong jigsaw piece fit. And that’s because we much rather have ”something” than nothing.
Every relationship is perfect for three months because after that, you realise that nobody else is a jigsaw piece. They have their own jigsaws. You can’t expect them to give up theirs to fit yours and vice versa. But now that you are “in love”, you want to make a jigsaw together and we all know how frustrating that is.
It may seem awesome initially but time does not equal success. Years years later, you won’t recognise your own jigsaw. So, were the last five years a waste? Daniel says you might as well admit that they were or waste the rest of your life.
Daniel strongly believes that we have romanticised the idea of romance and it’s “cancerous”, and that people are more in love with the idea of love than the person they are with.
It is not impossible to find love but he strongly argues that 80% of the relationships in the world are “horseshit” because they are actually just a bunch of people who never took time to learn how to be alone and to love themselves so they “employed” someone else to do it for them.
He asks us all to listen to his relationship advice which is ‘nothing’. He says the relationship should be easy to handle and you must get out of it the moment it turns difficult. There must be no compromise involved, if it doesnt come to you naturally, because that would mean changing who you are. And that would mean hating yourself. And if you have to change yourself, your partner does not love 100% of who you are but loves only an idea of you.
He says that most of us are in a relationship because it is easier to be in it than to get out of it. He questions if at any point you have had the thought that “If the person I am with dies, it would avoid the emotional pain of breaking up and would free me from the relationship too.”
A 28 yearl-od Daniel knows better. So he has now changed the analogy. He asks you to find something that makes you happy and make it the centre of your jigsaw. Everything will naturally fit around it. For his dad, he recognized it was his mom. However, it may not be their partners for everyone else.
He reminds us all that you have to learn to love yourself before you allow someone else to do it as well. There’s nothing wrong with being single and working on yourself to know who you are and what you want. And that happiness is beyond a single relationship.
He questions, “there are 7 billion people on this planet and you found your soulmate 20 miles from where you live?” The old people would retaliate by saying, “We worked on our relationship! That is how you make it beautiful.” And he says he hopes they are right because if at all they’re wrong, it would mean they were so terrified of being alone that they forced themselves to love someone.
Last but most importantly, he remind us that jigsaws are not forever. He says he has a perfect jigsaw but he’s paranoid to lose it.
Feature Image Credits: Brisbane Powerhouse